Good Head of Technology / Bad Head of Technology (or Head of Engineering)

Please note: I am using the term Head of Technology as a synonym to Head of Engineering.

Preface

Why am I creating good vs. bad comparisons for various roles? In short: Because it helps me with my recruiting & feedback reflection process and it makes the game more transparent for anyone working with me. The long version of this article can be found in Why am I writing good vs. bad comparisons for various roles?

Good Head of Technology / Bad Head of Technology

A good Head of Technology will be a good manager. A bad Head of Technology will focus on being the best coder.

A good Head of Technology is obsessed with the operational excellence of the tech department. A bad Head of Technology will say I am here to supervise the coding.

A good Head of Technology has a good understanding of the company’s tech stack and it’s long term business impact. A bad Head of Technology just heard of a new fancy framework and will implement it directly.

A good Head of Technology sees it as his job to make his teams work quantifiable. A bad Head of Technology will argue his teams’  work is not measurable.

A good Head of Technology understands that a good alignment with his product colleagues is crucial also for his own success. A bad Head of Technology will blame the product for not delivering.

A good Head of Technology can explain “The business why” for all major projects of his team. A bad Head of Technology will argue this new thing is better than what we have now.

A good Head of Technology works alongside other stakeholders in the company and ensures constant feedback loops. A bad Head of Technology builds a tech silo because tech is so complex and nobody else can understand it anyway..

A good Head of Technology will translate the business strategy into a technology strategy. A bad Head of Technology will say “business people” don’t really understand technology.

A good Head of Technology has a planning and controlling mechanisms in place, to understand how much work goes into the product roadmap (feature development & iterations), tech roadmap (reworking the tech infrastructure ) and maintenance. A bad Head of Technology is surprised how much work his team spent on maintenance last month.

A good Head of Technology can pitch why an engineer should be joining his team instead of someone else’s. A bad Head of Technology will say we pay a good salary.

A good Head of Technology understands that software development extends beyond coding skills. A bad Head of Technology bases his assessment purely on code quality..

A good Head of Technology is a good Project Manager. A bad Head of Technology will say agile methods don’t need project management.

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