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My employer is hiring a CTO, mostly to manage my development team of four developers. Soon we have an one-to-one introduction with him. I was wondering if that's a good time to mention the problems I have had inside the team or it's better to wait for another chance?

If it's okay to mention those problems so early, how and to what extend should I explain them without sounding like I'm back-stabbing my team mates?

I have previously raised these problems with the lead developer, the company's director and the CEO/founder of the company as well, but they still persist. Presumably one of the reasons for the company to hire a CTO is to address those persisting problems.

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    Personally, I wouldn't mention serious issues in your first meeting. He's presumably still getting situated, getting to know people, etc. Ambushing him with office politics at this stage is only going to make things awkward. If he specifically asks about problems, maybe mention you have some "ideas for improvement" - but keep anything you say positive and focused on improving the whole team rather than outing individuals for their "bad behaviour." – Steve-O Apr 3 '17 at 13:48
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    If they are worth their weight they will come to you asking for input in such matters. Let the first impression be that you're a good, positive and forward thinking developer. – Bugs Apr 3 '17 at 14:15
  • They're creating a CTO position to manage a team of four developers? Really? – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Apr 4 '17 at 10:26
  • @JonathonCowley-Thom Yes, but there is more into that and he will be working on developing new product concepts, etc. as well. – Mahdi Apr 4 '17 at 10:37
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I was wondering if that's a good time to mention the problems I have had inside the team or it's better to wait for another chance?

If it's okay to mention those problems so early, how and to what extend should I explain them without sounding like I'm back-stabbing my team mates?

Your first meeting with a new boss is a terrible time for dumping your problems. You only get one chance to make a first impression. You don't want to come across as a whiner.

(It would be like meeting new neighbors. They come to your front door and say "Hi. We are new to the neighborhood!" and you say "Let me tell you how bad the trash pickup is here!". Not a good first impression.)

Better would be to extol the virtues of the company and department. You should also talk a little about your role, and perhaps talk about what you will be looking for from the new CTO if asked.

The CTO will almost certainly be given overall background on the company and the issues as seen from the CEO's level. And part of the CTO's charge may include a deeper dive into the individual developer's issues, particularly since there are only four of you.

Take the high road now. There's plenty of time for the low road later.

Hopefully a wide audience (including you) will be asked for your insight about the company's issues. That's when you can talk about these problems.

  • Hmm the neighbours analogy is only half right - the neighbour here was put in place with the exact power to FIX the trash pickup. Here, the fact that the CTO was put in place probably shows management knows something is not going well. If you only stay on the positive side, you risk coming across as someone with poor insight into the matters. Part of his job is to fix it - it might be good to show you are willing to help him where you can. Agreed, it's a bad idea to ONLY talk about that, or to pretend to have all the answers - it's his job to figure that out, over time. – Konerak Apr 4 '17 at 12:12
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Wait to be asked, or for a more formal request for information.

As stated in the comments, if a CTO comes into the organization to be faced with a blizzard of negativity and complaints, it doesn't really paint a good picture of the organization or the morale, or his impression of you.

He's most probably got a set idea of how he wants to learn how the organization works and a plan of how to collate the information needed to improve how things work.

Give him space to at least start that process. If you have any current grievances, they're not likely to become earth-shatteringly awful before the next few weeks are finished.

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Probably the initial meeting is more to familiarize the new CTO with your scope of work and duties within the team, and to size up your personality and attitude.

Jumping the gun on airing what you think is going wrong might create the impression of a negative attitude, even if your critique is 100% on point, justified and in the spirit of improvement.

Get a feel, a little bit, for that person's communications and management style. Don't put it off too long, but not in the initial sit down, is my gut feeling on it.

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I have previously raised these problems with the lead developer, the company's director and the CEO/founder of the company as well, but they still persist. Presumably one of the reasons for the company to hire a CTO is to address those persisting problems.

Then it's probably a good idea to assume this is part of his job description. Showing a willingness to help him from your side is not a bad thing.

Use the first one on one to get acquainted, explain your role in the team/company and mention you've contacted management before about problems you identified, and that you'd be more than willing to discuss these with him should he wish so. You will come off as cooperative, problem-solving person.

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