VP Engineering in a startup vs VP Engineering in a scaleup

The VP Engineering in a Startup is usually more hands-on and focused on building the product from scratch. The VP Engineering in a scaleup focuses on ✓ optimizing the existing technology stack and
and scaling the product to meet growing demand.

The role of a VP Engineering in a startups is quite different than the role of a VPE in a scaleup.

For example:

1. Focus:

Startup:
✓ 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.

Scale-up:

✓ VPE will have a larger team and more resources to work with.

Focused on:

✓ 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:

Startup:

✓ 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.

Scale-up:

✓ 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:

Startup:
✓ 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.

Scaleup:

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:

Startup:

✓ 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.

Scaleup:

✓ 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?

#vpe #cto #ceo #scaleup #startup #technology #startups #engineering
#reengineeringleadership

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Adelina Chalmers a.k.a The Geek Whisperer

Helps Engineers who are Leaders (CEO/ CTO/ VP) get buy-in from their peers/teams/investors by transforming Communication techniques into Algorithms