Help wanted: renaissance person needed for challenging CTO position.
The successful CTO candidate today is one-part hands-on IT specialist, one-part diplomat, and one-part business visionary. Of course, the trouble is that there just aren't many people out there who fit the bill. And a large part of that problem has to do with a fundamental flaw in the IT education process in general.
The truth of the matter is that there are a whole lot of people in IT because it was originally a profession that didn't require much in the way of people skills. This meant that you could make a nice living working in a data centre or developing applications without having to deal with the foibles of other mortals. In fact, many of the people working in IT have been conditioned not to care about the business at all. As far as they are concerned, they could be working for a pet food company one week and a financial services firm the next.
But a funny thing happened during the past two years. Now everyone in the company and many the company does business with want to interact with the people in IT.
This means that IT people need to develop negotiation skills, and need to have a core understanding of the business, because everything they do now has a direct impact on the valuation of the company. Welcome to the 21st century.