Why I’ve decided to stop being our CTO
A few weeks ago, I informed my colleagues that I decided to stop as our CTO. And the reason is actually quite simple: the role no longer gave me the energy and satisfaction it once did. I still consider myself to be an engineer first and foremost. Putting my engineering skills to good use is still what I enjoy most, especially as part of a multidisciplinary team facing a tough challenge. But the reality is that none of those engineering skills are really important in my current position and as we grow, they’ll become even less important.
From a strategic point of view, our business is all about people: attracting new talent, supporting them in their careers, and developing and nurturing a company culture where people can thrive. Obviously, there are other aspects that are crucial for our company’s success, such as improving the speed and quality of our delivery, deciding where to build expertise, sharing knowledge and best practices, and having the right systems and processes in place to support our operations. But none of them are important if we can’t attract and retain the talent we need to support our envisioned growth.
In the past few years, we’ve been relatively successful to detach the management team from day-to-day operations. It allows the management team to focus more on our strategy, while operational decision-making is where it should be: as close to our operations as possible. For me personally, however, that meant moving further and further away from actual engineering challenges and spending more and more time on challenges that require skills that don’t come naturally to me. That proved to be an energy drain and was worsened by the fact that I felt I wasn’t doing a good enough job - at least not to my own standards.
So that’s why I decided to stop being our CTO. It was a tough decision, as I have been part of ITP’s management team since January 2015 and for a long time, I truly loved it. And yet, I’ve been full of energy, drive and determination since I made the decision. I’m proud of the journey we’ve been through as a company in these past 7.5 years. At the start, we were an ambitious young mobile agency with 30 employees. Today, we’re an even more ambitious digital product studio with 150 top-class professionals and a well-proven track record of delivering high-quality products, even in the most complex circumstances.
So, it might not come as a big surprise that I have no desire to leave In The Pocket. Instead, I’ll be reorienting towards a more engineering-focused role, closer to our service delivery, where I’m able to put my technical leadership skills to work.
Obviously, this announcement also means we’re actively looking for a successor - a new CTO. We’ve prepared a role description here. In the meanwhile, I will still be our acting CTO, preparing a proper handover and staying true to any engagements I’ve made.