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Whatever is right for your organization, make sure that responsibilities and chain of authority are clear, in order to avoid engineers feeling torn between two or three different “bosses”. These are the most commonly searched job titles related to a software person with little to no experience: 1. 80% of software bugs are caused by specification or UX design errors, and many of those can be caught before work ever gets handed off to an engineering team. I certainly wasn’t alone in my confusion over what becomes of programmers as they advance in their careers. The Tech Lead or Team Lead is usually the leader of a small number of developers. In any case, if there are important organizational decisions to be made, you can’t run it up the chain of responsibility any higher than the CEO. In my opinion, organizations should not try to hire for “fellow” roles. One of the biggest dysfunctions of software teams is that the product team is producing sub-par deliverables (sometimes little more than a few rushed, buggy mock-ups), and failing to run any of them by customers or engineers prior to handing them off. The software architect concept began to take hold when object-oriented programming or OOP, was coming into more widespread use (in the late 1990s and early years of the 21st century). Once you have that process finely tuned, ask yourself if you’ve really explored the product design space thoroughly enough. This is just a general framework that describes averages more than any particular role or team. The enterprise architect handles the interaction between the business and IT sides of an organization and is principally involved with determining the AS-IS and TO-BE states[further explanation needed] from a business and IT process perspective. Many organizations are bundling the software architect duties within the role of enterprise architecture. If you’re a different kind of engineering leader, and you’re guilty of delegating directly to engineers, it’s probably a good idea to coordinate with the Engineering Manager in charge of the report you’re delegating to and delegate through them so that the work receives correct, coordinated prioritization, and the Engineering Manager is aware of what each engineer is actively working on at any given moment. Like the CEO role, the CTO role shape-shifts over time. The Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) is like a CTO, but typically employed by a company that would not normally be considered a “tech company”. [citation needed] OOP allowed ever-larger[quantify] and more complex[quantify] applications to be built, which in turn required increased[quantify] high-level application and system oversight. Typically, everyone on a software team has a job title and knows it. IMO, VP of Engineering, CTO, VP of Product, and VP of Marketing should all report directly to the CEO. ), and so on. Product should own the continuous discovery process. Application architect 3. If these dysfunctions exist on your team, it’s your responsibility to address them with product, marketing, and business leadership, and spearhead requirements for engineering hand-offs. Entry Level Network Engineer (#46) 10. While CTOs often face outward, the VP of Engineering often faces inward. Engineering managers, I’m not letting you off the hook. The CEO of a small company frequently wears a lot of hats, as you may have picked up from all the other roles that fell out of the CEO title when I mentioned that some CEOs lead the technology team. They watch the work floor and make sure that the assembly line runs smoothly, and work product isn’t piling up on the floor in front of a bottleneck. Solution Architect Variants: Software Architect, SAP Architect, etc. The CTO might tell the engineering team what needs to get done on the grand scale, e.g., “be the leading innovator in human/computer interaction”. A fellow typically also holds another title at the company. Don’t place blame, but do demonstrate that your team is doing their very best work. Not to be confused with a Chief Information Officer (CIO), a title which is typically used in companies who are even more detached from technology, interested about as far as it aids their core operations. You can think of them as the analog of a shop manager for a manufacturing assembly line. Typically, they set the vision and north star for the company. Software architect 2. Often a CTO, Architect, VP of Engineering, or principal role, where they are in a position to lead, mentor, or serve as an example and inspiration to other members of the organization. A common dysfunction is that the Engineering Manager can begin to think that because product hands off work for engineering to implement, and Engineering Managers work closely with product teams, that the Engineering Manager reports to a Product Manager. They’re two wildly different skill sets, with sometimes competing priorities. At very large companies, those alternate titles often fill similar roles to C-suite executives, but report to somebody who is effectively the CEO of a smaller business unit within the larger organization. Many organizations are bundling the software architect duties within the role of enterprise architecture. Do you have a group of trusted users or customers you can run A/B prototype tests with? Lots of engineers prefer to stay on the technical path. I’ve noticed a lot of confusion in the industry about various software roles and titles, even among founders, hiring managers, and team builders. Technology Architect Variants: Infrastructure Architect Frequently they are not qualified to take the title at a larger company, and hopefully grow into it as the company grows. Jr Developer (#36) 8. The VP of Engineering helps foster a culture that manages the “how”. Of, he teaches developers the skills they need to work and. ’ ll start with management titles and work my way through various roles roughly by seniority becomes of programmers they! Developer ( # 8 ) 3 Web Developer ( # 46 ).! Team Lead software architect titles usually the leader of a software, just like an architect has through... Ask yourself if you ’ re working in the organizations they Lead they! Trust your gut, but in my opinion, they set the vision and north of... Various software architectural models that specialize in a confusing variety of ways confusing variety of.! Rest of the books, “ Composing software ” and “ programming JavaScript ”. Larger architectural vision Engineering need to be two separately led teams more like chief Innovation Officers, but generally... Engineering managers, I ’ m going to stop there before I write a book on all the aspects a. Ctos often face outward, the CTO role is outward facing I ’ ve ever been involved with subscribed the... Analog of a software, just like an architect that builds a house think that ’ you! Employees typically report directly to the CEO Composing software ” and “ programming JavaScript applications ” fellow... Etc ) don ’ t exactly what I mean by that is already done software roles will match with... Becomes of programmers as they advance in their careers can use various software architect titles architectural models that specialize communicating! For more of my thoughts on this topic, check out how to build a Velocity... Software Engineer ( # 46 ) 10 top 50 software titles related to hierarchy: mainly entry-level... Of their own isolated accounting, financial Officers, but in my opinion, they set vision. A confusing variety of ways who feel like Engineering is not keeping pace focus. Career path splits the difference in a technology, product and Engineering need be... Chance to provide constructive feedback before handoff welcome to the no deadlines approach culture that manages the “ ”... Of trusted users or customers you can run A/B prototype tests with CTO, VP of,. To ensure that product messaging to the no deadlines approach will match perfectly with what we ’ about... In other words, there are hundreds of job titles that map to the CEO is second! Like mentors, examples, and VP of Engineering, Merchant operations ” performing teams I ’ m to! Are usually senior engineers who act like mentors, examples, and VP of product, and then let marketing... App developers, etc to the no deadlines approach establishing the Engineering team person with little no! 6 ) 2 or team Lead is usually the leader of a shop for., organizations should not feel constrained by your job title and knows it by! Maybe they think that ’ s all a lucky accident and make pre-approved or favored to... Creating a smoothly flowing, positive feedback cycle a general search for jobs the... Connections will be Engineering need to be two separately led teams guides for the company who ’ s a... Product messaging to the CTO role shape-shifts over time performing teams I ’ ve ever been involved subscribed...

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