The role of VP Engineering at an Internet-based company is constantly evolving. Many young engineers at fast-growing start-ups find themselves promoted into a leadership position, and then have to figure out what to do. Or, they are part of the founding team, and take on this role with little experience. Being a VP of Engineering can a complicated, demanding and (usually) rewarding job. But, it can also be very daunting. Formal training for this role doesn’t exist.
This blog attempts to provide guidance to VP’s of Engineering, primarily those who are first in that role at a growing company. By extension, other software development leadership roles – CTO’s, directors or team leads might benefit from the content as well. The blog format will allow the author to share content on a variety of subjects, in short, digestible articles. The topics that will be explored will primarily revolve around the building blocks that a new VP of Engineering will need to provide:
- Team building, culture and organizational structure
- Development process and best practices
- Technology selection, system design and product delivery management
- Maintaining relationships with the CEO, other executives and departments
Additionally, the content will be grounded in a people-oriented foundation. This means that problems will often be explored from a process or organizational perspective, versus a focus on the technology. Technology or product problems usually stem from a people problem.
The author doesn’t profess to know everything about being a VP of Engineering. He has done it a few times at both start-ups and large companies, and hopes others might benefit from his experience. He will also draw from the experiences of peers and published material from other companies. If this blog helps one new leader feel more confident and make a decision faster, then it will have purpose.