Here's something I just posted on Hacker News - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11643390
I'm an engineering VP at a small tech (sort of) company in Chicago. I've been in my role for almost 2 years now and before then, I grew up writing software starting from the age of 7. I started my first programming job when I was 16 and for nearly 20 years I was a sole contributing developer. Just before my current role, I was a lead developer and although I had a few folks that I was managing, I was more of a sole contributor than a manager/director/etc.
Now that I've been in my role for 22 months I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. There's a lot that I've learned about being a good engineering VP and I finally feel like I'm getting comfortable in my role. Having said that, I'm now at a point where I really feel the need to be part of a larger (but not too large) group of CTOs and engineering VPs. It just dawned on me the other day that this is the very first job where my direct boss (who oversees the entire company) is completely non-technical. If I just spent my entire evening removing a whole bunch of duplicated logic in the code base, I have to explain to him why that wasn't a waste of time on my part. Or, if I just spent my weekend deleting a whole bunch of dead code, I have to explain to him why that was time well spent. This is the first time in my career where I have a significant say in how 10+ folks in the company spend their time and decide what they work on. I could go on and on with more "this is the first time..." comments, but you get the point.
I'm looking to talk to other CTOs & engineering VPs who I can learn from & even teach a few lessons I've learned. I'm looking for people who are still coding & love coding, but still have to devote most of their time at work on managing & directing.
If you can point me in the right direction, I'd really appreciate it. If you're in the Chicagoland area and would like to start/join this sort of a support group - please let me know.
I'm curious to see what sort of responses (if any) I will get.