The CTO Field Guide

Get started the right and safe way

Congratulations on your new gig !

You got a new job or got promoted. You want to suceed as or get to a tech leadership position. I wrote this book to help people as I wanted to be helped while I was learning to manage. You will will find useful advice, guides and templates to get up and running as an engineering leadership. This is a field manual for CTO, Engineering Directors, Engineering Managers and Tech Leads.

After reading this book in any order, you will:

  • Learn how to start smart and efficiently for you and your team
  • Tackle hiring, firing, team organization, infosec and data challenges right away
  • Find signals and metrics to understand how your team and company are operating and to help your team succeed
  • Design budget, identify production concerns, interviewing, engineering culture as many other tools
  • Focus on what is important, identify what can be left behind

It is hard to start and grow throught the engineering management career. A lot of books teach useful stuff but many of them are focusing on the moment of change or how to manage your manager. This book is not like that. It was developed over my experience of 25 years in software development, more than half of that managing engineering teams and 10 years of mentoring for tech companies leadership. This is not an MBA book, this is the missing user manual for your job.

What is in there ?


Everything in this book is simple, clearn and actionable. No philosophycal advices, no agilisms, no tiresome coding or infra good practices. It is a concise and straight field guide for people that like to fix things.


Works for teams of 5 and 500.

Its goal is to get anyone comfortable and prepared to lead in any scenario. This is not a regular Engineering Management book. It is meant to be accessible.


This is a book about tech leadership - leading engineering and product organizations. No cheap philosophy or snake oil. You get what you see - it helps you manage tech teams, define a set of expectations and deliver on them.

Pay what you can for the book

Gumroad takes care of checkout and product delivery. After buying the book, you will receive access to all book releases and support material that eventually is created.

Buy it at Gumroad !

Buy it at

Alternative payment methods provided upon request to gleicon at gmail dot com: PIX (for brazilians) and Paypal.

If you don't have the money or belong to a marginalized minority group, drop me a line at gleicon gmail com so I can set you up.

Mentoring, Downloads and Links

Sample: Chapter 4 discuss decisions and patterns that can change your team behaviour. Get it here for free.

This book was built from my free material and blog posts, mostly at Medium and at github. I've added and expanded them with new material and learnings

You can find some new writing at my substack page along with a newsletter that I promise won't flood you because I don't have time for it

This is the slide deck to help you build a 90 day plan

The Engineering Ladder I mentioned in the book can be found here.

Data and Data organizations deck can be found here

Check out my mentoring program

Every quarter or so I open up mentoring slots. You can read more about it here: Mentoring. It is tailored to specific situations and something I do to learn.

mentoring info at

About the author

My name is Gleicon Moraes. I've been working in tech for more than 25 years, 14 of these in management. Been advising and mentoring startup CTOs since 2014. You will find more about myself at my Github and LinkedIn profiles. I tweet here from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a [coding, infrastructure, infosec, data] book ?

No, it discuss all these topics but from a manager standpoint and how to succeed on the. You may manage a small team of data engineers or be the head of a product engineering division - there will be something from you there.

Why should I buy this ebook ?

Have you found yourself starting as a manager because no one wanted to get the work done ? Have you had to start tackling new responsibilities that your coding skills felt "in the way" of getting a solution ? Have you had to have difficult conversations and felt that you were pushed into a leadership positions ? If so you need this book. If you didn't had any of these moments yet you still need this book to get prepared.

Where the information in this book came from ?

10 years of mentoring and coaching for startup tech leads, 25 years of experience on engineering. It is a guide, not a novel or methodology book. The information in there will help you get your work done. It is used to help CTOs build their teams and Tech Executives to get started in a productive way.

Do I need to buy consulting/mentoring/coaching/x from you ?

No, the book is designed so you can get your work done by yourself. It is a bold statement but an effort to make it easy for everyone and anyone to manage. If you look for mentoring, I have few slots per year but being successful with the book does not requires that. More on mentoring