VP Engineering in a startup vs VP Engineering in a scaleup
The role of a VP Engineering in a startups is quite different than the role of a VPE in a scaleup.
✓ the VP Engineering is usually more hands-on and focused on building the product from scratch.
✓ Has to work with limited resources
✓ Has a small team to create a minimum viable product (MVP) to test in the market.
✓ Is measured on how quickly they can get teams to deliver on short and unpredictable deadlines.
✓ VPE will have a larger team and more resources to work with.
✓ optimizing the existing technology stack and
✓ scaling the product to meet growing demand.
✓ Is measured on engineering delivery: time, quality and if delivered within budget.
2. Hiring and Managing Teams:
✓ VP Engineering is responsible for hiring and managing the engineering team.
✓ Usually works closely with the CEO and other members of the executive team to align engineering efforts with the company’s strategic goals
✓ Has to create from scratch performance metrics for engineering.
✓ VP Engineering might be involved in hiring and managing teams but only senior engineering staff
✓ Usually their Directors of Engineering or Engineering Managers will hire engineers
✓ Will likely have more support from HR and other departments.
3. Process and Systems:
✓ VP Engineering has to create and implement processes and systems from scratch.
✓ VP Engineering often faces challenges getting the engineers to adopt the new processes and systems.
VPE is responsible for:
✓establishing development practices,
✓ selecting the right technology stack
✓ ensuring that the team is working efficiently.
VPE is focused on:
✓ improving existing processes and systems
✓ ensure that the engineering team is following best practices
✓ ensure the technology stack is scalable and adaptable to changing business needs.
4. Strategic Planning:
✓ VP Engineering heavily involved in strategic planning and product development.
✓ They work with other members of the executive team to define the company’s vision and ensure that the product roadmap aligns with that vision.
✓ VP Engineering involved in strategic planning
✓ Has less direct involvement in product development.
✓ They work closely with the CEO and other executives to ensure that the engineering team is aligned with the company’s overall strategic goals.
What other differences have you been between a VPE in a startup and a VPE in a scale-up?