Next-Gen CTO: How to Get One
An impressive technical background is just one box to tick when looking for an effective CTO. A qualified Fintech leader should also have innovative vision and substantial experience in management.
In this article, you’ll see how these pieces should go together in a C-level specialist who’ll lead your team to success. Five CTOs and CEOs with 5+ years of experience will guide you on this way.
What makes a pro CTO?
If your Chief Technology Officer is a top-notch engineer, that’s quite an asset. However, that won’t help if they lack key characteristics every tech leader should possess and hone non-stop.
After going through our interviews with seasoned Fintech CTOs, we jotted down such skills in a list below.
- Seeing into the future of innovation
- Learning non-stop
- Keeping both the team’s and the clients’ needs in focus
- Motivating and ensuring the team’s autonomy
Further in the article, you’ll find out how concrete CTOs boost and utilize each of the aforementioned skills.
C-level opinion on CTO’s role
It’s fun to face challenges and try to identify innovative solutions to them. That really moves us ahead of our competitors, both in terms of our redundancy and resiliency, to fault tolerance within our system, as well as just the speed at which we can deliver new services.
— Anthony DiSanti, CTO at Shift Markets
Anthony spurred major shifts in the team’s tech stack and approaches, in particular, to pursue serverless architecture. While pushing for the adoption of things such as the immutable data and reactive control flows, overall, he lets the team use the technologies they prefer.
To be innovative, one should be a hard learner. And teaching others is the best way to learn, according to Anthony. With that in mind, he introduced monthly training and knowledge sharing sessions within the company and promotes learning new things through cross-trainings.
Read the full interview with Anthony DiSanti here.
Between money and high responsibility as ways to boost motivation, Radomir chooses responsibility. While the latter takes a long time and much effort to foster, its effect is also long-term, says Radomir.
We are not able to beat the top market salaries. If you attract people only with money, usually it works only short-term. You need to have people that enjoy the fast-paced environment of a startup and like being challenged daily.
— Radomir Mastalerz, CEO & former CTO at WealthArc
High responsibility usually goes hand in hand with high autonomy, which will give a CTO more time to focus on the strategy and innovation.
The team should be one of the priorities for a CTO, but it’s important to ensure that the team doesn’t forget about the clients.
The biggest problems facing fintech today are based on a total disconnect between what the end client really wants and what technologists think they want. Over the past years we have all been sold an idea that technology will solve every problem, that the end consumer prefers the total automation of robos over human relationships.
— Sheryl O’Connor, CEO and founder of WealthConductor
With more insight into the clients’ behavior and a human-centered approach in general, Fintechs are more likely to succeed, Sheryl believes. Innovating for the sake of simply creating something new will leave those new things there for no one.