I Dont know how this story begin, but my Story are related to this Moving forward as a new CTO for students

I'm Working on small starup with 4 person including me . I'm the CTO in that company, and other is legal, bussines, R&D, i'm sure everyone here is don't know how startup growing but we just moving foward, and i'm the only one know how to develop software.

We have start this bussines startup for a year, our theme is BigData related field, in the earlier stage we have lost so much money for paid freelance helping me develop but the application is still not ready yet, even for 30%, So i'm continued develop this with my self, and i'm sure the budget for this starup is to little it's just 35% for ideal funding (how i know? i'm searching how ideal startup needed for, and i didn't research before agree)

I dont have bachelor degree, i have experience 1 year as iOS developer, and 1.5 Year as Backend Engineer, I don't know Scrum, Agile, even Waterfall, my Design Architecture is so Poor, i'm already rewrite and change many time service code, the first our application using monolithic and then it's not good enough so i decide to change to microservice and it's has poor communication architecture, and our database has wrong schema (i'm use mongodb)

And i just want to fix everything i begin, it's so hard i don't have senior/role model/mentor it's feel like im stuck and overhelmed by everything, and Yes i tried learn anything

  • I need to code for product(Backend, Frontend, DBA, TechStack),
  • I Learn Managament Software,
  • I learn DevOps,
  • Since it's big Data i learn ML too
  • I learn how to good comunicate with Other

But still, it's to much for learn anything in short amount of time, i can't focus too.

I quoted this from https://www.betterteam.com/cto-job-description and i'm not qualified even for 1 specification

In the end, I'm just want fix anything and take responsiblity for i have begin, I need advice i don't know who should to ask, and i'm sure i can solved because i believe i can learn anything

How i can master Project Management, DevOps stuff, Technology Principel, Design Architecture, and anything related?

Is There any guide out there for accelerate all of stuff? Is I'm still not good enough even after i tried?

Please give nice advice :')

  • it's paid well, but it's hard as well, we got dividen each other, since i dont know how to sell, minimum relations, dont know the idea work they are doing that.. nad cause of low budget we cut some budget for hire we used much for legal, place & server – Mushi Mango Nov 22 '20 at 3:57

Please give nice advice :')

I try my best.

TL;DR: Yes, you are a little bit inexperienced to be a CTO, but that is not the problem. The problem is your priorities. Including yourself you have a team of 1 1/2 developer and for being a TL of 1 1/2 people you seem to have the right level of experience.

Yes i tried learn anything

This seems to be the problem. You are a startup with limited runway and your job is to focus on the one thing that will keep you alive after the money runs out, whether it is a certain client willing to pay you in advance or a working demo to the next round of funding.

I need to code for product(Backend, Frontend, DBA, TechStack),

Do you really need to write the whole stack from scratch for a prototype? Your product seems Data heavy, do you really need a fancy frontend or does a standard CMS do it? You can get a hosted solution for little money.

I Learn Managament Software,

You don't need managment software to manage one person. Use Telegram or whatever you use to communicate.

I learn DevOps,

You probably don't even have customer yet. What do you need DevOps? If the server occasionally crashes, just reboot it. There is a lot of succesful tech companies out there that have never heard of DevOps. I worked with a lot of incubator projects and we didn't worry too much about stability, if it crashed it crashed, we only wanted to see whether customers liked it.

Since it's big Data i learn ML too

Trust your R&D person with that, learn only the necessary.

I learn how to good communicate with Other

This is always useful, but don't overdo it, currently you only have to communicate with a handful of people which is fairly simple.

my Design Architecture is so Poor, i'm already rewrite and change many time service code, the first our application using monolithic and then it's not good enough so i decide to change to microservice

Was it really not good enough? For a start-up with just a handful of developers using a monolithic architecture is often a very good idea. Did you really have to rewrite or would it be good enough to last at least until the money runs out? If you have money for your company to exist for 1 year, it doesn't really help do build an architecture that can last 5 years. Build the simplest thing that can serve you for that one year and maximize your chances of having something good enough at the end of that year. Make a note somewhere to fix it later and worry about that, IF you get that extra funding.


Your startup is going to fail and you need to start getting used to this idea.

Most startups fail; something like 90% and for all sorts of different reasons.

If your other founders realise that you are weak point, they will fire you and get someone who does "know all this stuff". And the business might still fail because they might not be competent either.

There are courses on Pluralsight, Udemy, etc which cover a lot of the things you ask, but you still need to get something working (finished).

I'm sorry; there is no "nice advice". You either get this thing working AND sold (do you currently have any customers? Or even prospects?) before you run out of money - or the business goes down.


I think you shouldn't be distracted by CTO titles and management software, devops, etc. These are things relevant to a larger software team. In short, you don't need that at your current stage of startup, you just need to focus purely on the MVP and get it running, forget everything else. All the other fancy jargon are things you can learn later.

In short advice: Forget everything except the Product. Only the product matters right now to your startup. If there is no product there is no startup. If your team push you to learn non-essentials right now like management software and DevOps, tell them to hire more people.

Also I'm a bit confused, how do you "have experience 1 year as iOS developer, and 1.5 Year as Backend Engineer" and not come across these terms?

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