Do you want to become a Chief Technology Officer, or are you just curious about the role?

If you want your keyboard to remain your closest friend, you can stop reading right here, being a CTO is much more than just being a talented developer. But if you want to get some insights from three experienced Barcelona-based CTOs, please continue reading.

Investing time in your team is the most important task, even more important than focusing on your product.

Right place at the right time

Roger Campos from Camaloon (to the left) says that personal experience is much more important than how many years you have worked in a company.

In the startup world not all decisions within the company are carefully planned and executed according to the planned strategy.

Pau Ramon Revilla, former CTO of Redbooth, and currently founder at Factorial felt he was at the right place at the right time when stepped up as CTO for the first time.

I started at Redbooth, living on the founders sofa in San Francisco, coding for a roof over my head, so I wasn’t a very expensive developer. But as I went back to Barcelona, the former CTO and the tech lead left, and I was asked to be the new CTO.

For others it’s more of a transitioning after starting a company from scratch.

Both Albert Bellonch at Quipu and Roger Campos at Camaloon founded their startups, and gradually grew into the CTO role as their companies grew. Roger never really set out to become head of tech at Camaloon:

It was never a goal of mine to become a CTO, but you take on responsibility and do your best to grow a great team.

The biggest challenge — new developers

A huge challenge for most CTOs these days is finding talented developers in a highly competitive job market.

CTO Pau Ramon Revilla and Roger Campos says personal motivation is key when hiring new developers.

But what kind of developers are most tech leaders looking for?

They all agree that the most important aspect when hiring, is personal motivation, and if the person is willing to go deep in all kinds of challenges he or she faces.

Experience is important, but having worked for many years, is not necessarily the only metric that is valued, say Roger:

If a developer has worked in five different jobs the last years, doing the exact same task, to me he is less experienced than a younger developer, that has worked on many personal projects and faced complex challenges.

Pau gives junior developers two tips:

The startup world may be too harsh for many junior developers. To get the right kind of experience I would advice to contribute a lot in open source, and maybe take a job in a big corporation the first years.

https://upscri.be/285782-2

Invest in people

People have different skills and methods on how to lead a technical team, but the three CTOs agree that people is the most important focus for them in their work. Pau explains:

Depending on the company, most of the time the development team will be the most valuable asset, sometimes even more than the product itself.

All the CTO’s agree, and Roger says:

My biggest task and most important mission is to talk with people. Talk with my team, with the rest of the company and external people, that’s most of my job.

I keep coding to keep my sanity

Albert Bellonch (to the left) is still coding every day at Quipu, but will soon have to stop to code on a daily basis because his team is growing a lot.

It’s no secret that time spent coding decreases a lot when you move over to the role of being a leader.

Albert is currently leading a 4–5 development team at Quipu. He’s happy he’s still able to code every day:

I still code on a daily basis, and I’ve been able to create some cool new features for Quipu, but as my team grows by the months, I will soon stop coding every day.

Soft skills

A developer that has the aspiration of becoming a CTO should have a lot of experience, but there’s also other skills that are vital, says Pau:

Focus on the soft skills, you need to be able to reach a consensus with people, not only focus on your own opinions.

All the CTOs agree that you don’t need to be the best developer in the company to lead the development team, but there are some skills that are good to know these days, according to Roger.

It’s hard to point to one kind of technology, because everything depends on what kind of project you’re working on, but Javascript is probably the safest bet for a developer today.

(If you want more insights, check out the video at the top!)

……..

This post was written by Sindre Hopland and the video was edited by Masumi Mutsuda — the itnig media team.

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A.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR THE MWC WEEK AT ITNIG

The Mobile World Capital and 4YFN have been cancelled! Not only it’s a shame that such a great and needed week won’t be happening, but also it’s a problem for all the people that were counting on it, bought their flights, booked hotels and had everything set to enjoy and make the most out of it. 

Because of this, Itnig is organizing a series of alternative events, workshops and activities that same week. We think networking is the main reason to gather all the entrepreneurs and startup community under our roof. 

Here are the events and activities happening at Itnig’s MWC Alternative Week:

Startup Networking Breakfast – February 25 10:00-11:30

Enjoy breakfast and coffee in a networking environment full of interesting people.  Come and join us at our Coffice space for  some pastries, coffee, juice, fruits & more.  The ticket includes the  networking breakfast + coworking space for the day. Buy your ticket here

Boosting your code quality with clang tools with Carlos Jimenez Rams – February 25 19:00 – 21:00

This talk will cover some of the different clang tools and how these tools could help you and your team to improve the code quality.  Come to Itnig Coffice to learn more about this topic while also getting to know new people. This event will be free. 

Pitch to Investors SPECIAL EDITION – February 27 18:00 – 21:00

We’re hosting a SPECIAL EDITION for our weekly PITCH TO INVESTORS. This is a pitch session for entrepreneurs to explain their businesses to investors like Bernat Farrero (CEO @ Itnig), Jordi Romero (CEO @ Factorial), Albert Domingo (CEO @ Nextret) or Juan Rodríguez (CEO @ Camaloon). 

You can either attend as a regular attendee or pitch your idea to us! You’ll need to have your ticket in hand, you can buy it here

Networking Mexican Night – MWC alternative party –  February 27, 18:30 – 23:00

Parallel to our Pitch to Investors, we’ll have a Mexican themed networking afterwork. Come to our venue to meet other entrepreneurs and networking with micheladas, nachos & guacamole! Get your ticket here

Afterwork Beers & Networking February 28, 18:30 – 21:30

To end the week properly, we’re making our regular afterwork public! It’s always time for networking, so let’s enjoy a beer, or tow, together at Itnig Coffice. The ticket includes a drink

ATTENTION: Any day of that same week you can come to work in our coworking space from 15€/day. 

So, no time for corona virus fear, let’s enjoy a week full of interesting activities and meet new people to help the community grow! 

Stay tuned for more updates and information, if you’re interested in organizing an event, or if you’re a speaker and don’t have a venue yet, let us know! We’re happy to be able to host and help the community.