Two attempts to define the job of a CTO, one by Camille Fournier, from Rent the Runway, and one from Greg Brockman, from Stripe.

The bottom line from Camille:

My advice for aspiring CTOs is to remember that it’s a business strategy job, first and foremost. It’s also a management job. If you don’t care about the business your company is running, if you’re not willing to take ultimate responsibility for having a large team of people effectively attacking that business, then CTO is not the job for you.

Greg’s post is more about how to adapt within your job to say happy and productive in a rapidly changing company. One thing’s for sure, it sounds like Camille is probably writing a lot less code than Greg.

I think that Camille’s description of a CTO is actually a solid description for any engineering management job, at the scale at which the manager works. Managers should be thinking about the business strategy for their team, and should take responsibility for applying the resources they can muster toward that business.