Best questions to ask a CTO/Developer in an interview? And how do you test their skills?

Jack Mallon
1 reply
So i'm in the process of hiring a CTO, but i have absolutely zero tech knowledge of coding or anything technical. So what kind of questions do you ask to ensure they have good skills?


Sterling Freeman
@jackmallon Hard to fake experience. Just look out for the right experience on their resume A startup CTO usually wears multiple hats. Here they are: Software architect: * Design and implement a software architecture * Select a technology stack * Design and configure infrastructure * Select a development toolkit (IDE, etc.) * Design and implement a database design * Improve and optimize the application architecture * Ensure scalability of the application * Ensure scalability of the infrastructure * Explore new technologies and decide whether to implement them Developer: * Develop/test MVP iterations * Develop APIs * Write software and API documentation * Manage third-party services used in the application Team lead: * Define and implement development standards according to up-to-date coding methodologies and best practices * Build an agile development culture * Set up a development team workflow * Conduct code reviews * Perform design reviews * Break down development tasks * Supervise hiring of developers * Mentor newly hired developers * Communicate with stakeholders * Determine KPIs of developers * Monitor developers’ progress * Manage technical risk DevOps engineer: * Set up a streamlined deployment pipeline * Plan software releases * Manage releases, tags, and versions * Carry out safe and downtime-proof software releases System administrator: * Make sure that the company’s data is protected * Manage the organization’s domains, SSL certificates, and related components * Develop and implement an internal communication system for the company * Monitor the performance of the company’s IT infrastructure Senior executive: * Participate in strategy planning * Participate in company management * Keep track of and analyze the competition to suggest technological innovations * Suggest ways that technology can help the company be more successful * Oversee an external workforce (outsourced team) * Keep track of tech trends in the industry and identify competitive advantages * Evaluate the technical efficiency of the company * Oversee IT budgets to optimize expenditures So just look out for working experience in at least some of these fields (Team lead and developer experience being the most essential for a startup CTO in my opinion) and you should be good. Getting the right person to apply is the hard part because a lot of first time CEOs seem to overvalue themselves and undervalue the CTO in terms of equity so just don't be that guy haha. Hope that helps!