Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Managing Technology

My title is Chief Technology Officer. Since my company, Factor, is a tiny startup (no, you can't see our website yet - it's not finished), I do a bunch of non C level stuff, like project management, managing programmers, logical and physical database design (a boatload of that) and more. This is as it should be in a startup. 

But I also have to deal with technologies I don't know and have never used, and I have to make decent decisions about those technologies. Like whether to use PHP or .Net to build a data access layer between our database and our Flash modules. We went with PHP, so now I have really talented PHP/Flash programmers who are great, but who often say technical things in meetings that I know nothing about. They are good about educating me on their stuff; but marshalling these Flash apps through to completion is tough.
Where I work

I also have MS Access/SQL Server developers whose work I do understand well, and it's a real joy working with them, since I know their stuff, and they are very good at their work.

The lesson I'm learning is that I can't know all the technologies we use as if I were a programmer in each of them, but I can manage the work if I make sure to hire really, really good people to do it.

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