And then I saw this ad - the emphasis is my own
(here is the original link - but as with most job sites it won't stay active for long)
"Chief Architect (CTO role) - Agile, SOA . .
IMPORTANT: Strong preference given to candidates from eBay, Amazon, Microsoft, MSN, Google, Yahoo, Netflix, other large ecommerce or software product companies . . . . . Must not be too high-level and still able to code and mentor Engineers. Will also have led large teams, and influenced/impacted even more people through their thought leadership.
This is a Chief Architect role that is at a CTO level! In this role, you will lead a team of hands-on architects in envisioning, building, and evangelizing the companys IT technology strategy. Their greatest challenge will be to harness the creativity of their agile development team and direct it in the disciplined pursuit of their aggressive business objectives. With the goal of meeting their business objectives, you will create and lead the execution of a multi-year architectural roadmap for their growing portfolio of software and hardware."
I don't know about you but if I was a CTO / Chief Architect / Enterprise Architect at eBay/ Amazon etc. I'd stay a million miles away from this company - IMNSHO they're really not sure what they want. I mean this is a CxO position - and they want the person to lead architects, mentor engineers and still code. Wow! Perhaps they should look for one who can also be administrative assistant and janitor too?
What do you think? Is this a reasonable request? This is a bad smell to me - someone high-up in the food chain either doesn't really know how software teams work or is unaware of the expectations for what a CTO does at any company bigger than 50 people.