Should Your CTO Still Be Coding?

August 25, 2017 Chelsea Strong

Your chief technology officer (CTO) is integral to your operations by overseeing technology integration, acceptance and issues. But has your CTO moved on from the task you primarily hired them to complete in the first place? Are they no longer coding as a regular part of their responsibilities? Or do they no longer have the time for it as business architecture design, prototyping and other day-to-day issues require more and more of their undivided attention?

Below, 11 executives from Forbes Technology Council share the reasons why your CTO should be coding as part of their regular duties and under what circumstances they should give up the practice.

1. Help Make The Best Decisions For Your Company

One of the most difficult parts of making technology decisions is understanding the problem. Continuing to code and making yourself aware of the code bases that are being used in your company give you invaluable insight into the coding issues that your company is facing. - Matthew Kolb, United States ZIP Codes

2. Keep Your Skills Relevant

As CTO of Due, I still code and program daily because it is important to make sure these skills are relevant and up to date in order to work with my team of developers and lead them appropriately. Plus, I enjoy doing this aspect of work. - Chalmers BrownDue

Programming Code Abstract Technology Background Of Software Deve

3. Mentorship

As a CTO, I make sure I find the time to program/code on a regular basis. It is important to keep up with the code base so that I can understand the issues my developers are facing and be able to advise them better. I also often take on code that has become orphaned as developers move or shift focus. Eventually, these responsibilities get passed to new developers as they become part of the team. - Chris KirbyVoices.com

4. It Should Not Matter

Whether the CTO still codes or not may have no relevance to how the company will perform, nor how good the product(s) will turn out. Some CTOs will love to roll up their sleeves and code, while others will focus solely on architecture design and innovative technology prototyping. In many cases, it all depends on the CTO's personality and the maturity of the company development organization. - Juliette RizkallahSailPoint

5. Better Understand Available Technologies

Good CTOs won't stop coding -- they'll compartmentalize it. CTOs who continue to code have a better understanding of the technologies available to their firms and how to leverage them. It allows them to make decisions with up-to-date experience. CTOs can continue their code practice by setting time aside, just like you'd set time aside to learn about IT security or to stay current on new trends. - Brian FrittonPatch of Land

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