Being a technical co-founder can often be a challenging, yet rewarding job. As the "builder," “hacker,” or technical lead on a team, your responsibilities will take many forms. Most importantly, if your company is creating an app or technology-based product/service, you are responsible for overseeing and managing the actual building or coding. Remember that on your team, although you may be the technical lead, others may have experience with coding and electrical or mechanical engineering. It is important that you spend some time understanding each team members’ technical skillset and work to properly integrate their expertise in the development of your product. Especially on small 3-4 person teams, it can be difficult for just one person to execute all the technical work.
The Characteristics of the Technical Co-Founder
No one personality or character trait can be considered the golden solution to harmony in a team setting. However, a few key ones will always keep stressful situations under control: patience, honesty, and clarity. Especially when deadlines are approaching, the time crunch can put technical team members under a lot of stress to complete prototypes or ship updates and features.
- Patience allows each team member to calmly and thoroughly diagnose each roadblock he or she enters while under this pressure. This translates directly to higher quality production of hardware and software that is not rushed or overlooked. Despite how hard everyone works, large setbacks are always due to occur. Again, as a result of stress, even the best of teams can be quick to blame and judge others for setbacks.
- Taking responsibility and being honest as to the root of issues will always lead to the most efficient solution -- blaming others only leads to disconnect and idleness.
Resources to Become the Technical Lead
Resources pertaining to hardware and software tools are very easily accessible online. Often, technical co-founders may be faced with the necessity to develop in a new framework, language, or hardware system. The ability to find and properly utilize tutorials, forums, and other resources is critical to learning a new technology.
- For hardware design/CAD, Solidworks has sets of tutorials that will get you up and running on their software: http://www.solidworks.com/sw/resources/solidworks-tutorials.htm
- Other resources (AutoCAD): https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad/getting-started?sort=score
- For specific coding questions, forums such as StackOverflow (http://stackoverflow.com) are a great resource that usually have answers to common (and oftentimes very specific) errors and issues in most languages.
- Youtube is also a great place to find tutorials and instructions for embedded systems, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
Best of luck in your journey as a technical co-founder!