Looking for a CTO coach isn’t easy, there are not that many and then you need to get someone competent and where you can build a relationship to.
Why I Love Being a Coach
“I worked with Stephan for over a year. He coached me through a massive growth period of our company, asking the right questions as well as giving constructive advice based on his profound knowledge and experience in the field. He helped me to grow and become the professional I am today. I highly recommend working with him”
- Sebastian Galonska, CTO & Co-Founder, Kontist
I have been coaching people for a long time. First I’ve coached other developers and then my direct reports on how they can grow, develop and how their career could look like. Finding out what someone want is often the most difficult part - often it took us quite some time to find out what the best next step could look like. Then it’s good to have someone with experience who can see your strengths - sometimes hidden.
My Experience as CTO and Technical Manager
My tech career began with video games as a kid. Soon I found out I wanted to write my own, and learned coding from other kids in a department store. During my computer science in philosophy studies I’ve worked in many startup, first as a developer, then as a CTO. I’ve also coached founders on how to startup software and product development.
- Interactiva My first job as a coder. Soon hired more people and became Head of Development, my first management job
- Prodata I became Head of Development in another startup, where I had to manage very stressful clients
- Neotis My own startup, which was VC funded and I became CTO. The management challenge was to build product from scratch and have a technology strategy
- Fraunhofer As a researcher and consultant I became one of the first Certified Scrum Masters in Germany and helped companies introduce Agile
- ImmobilienScout24 I was hired to help ImmoScout to transition from a waterfall process to Scrum and as a lead build the team for professional agents. I’ve learned what management looks like in a larger company and how to build and scale a team
- Brands4friends The founders hired me to stabilize the website that was down all the time. As CTO I’ve learned to work under pressure in crisis, sort out development with many stakeholder and business pressure and how to scale a team again
- eBay Inc When eBay bought Brands4Friends, I stayed as the CTO of the Fashion Vertical. At eBay I learned how a company with 30k+ employees work and as CTO learned a lot on HR processes and and how to develop people, eBay is talent focused people company
- eventsofa I switched to the role of CTO in the startup of my wife and learned as CTO in a small startup to hire and manage people outside of IT
These and more were the challenges as a technical manager over 25 years.
My experience as a coach
I’ve always coached my direct reports and helped them grow and develop with feedback and opinions. After my wife successfully sold her startup where I was CTO, I swichted to full time coaching several years ago. My clients have been in all different industries, from adtech to fintech, healthtech to retail. Most of my clients are from software companies, some of them are from hardware companies with their own challenges. I’ve specialized on (fast) growing startups because I’m most interested in challenges arising from growth and change and so clients have between 5 and 80 developers.
Want to Learn About My Coaching?
I wrote about CTO Coaching in more detail.