Questions & Answers

10 June 2022 ยท 4508 views ยท Updated 27 April 2024

I’ve started this page a few years ago, mostly catering towards the technical co-founders who feel overwhelmed with the amount of things they need to do, and are looking for advice on how to survive under the avalanche of their ToDo list. If you’ve never run your own startup before, you might not know what kind of experience or skills you’ll need to make it happen. So I thought I will help out with my experience as I went through a lot of those things myself.

But the questions started moving towards more general software engineering topics โ€” , career growth, building the product, finances, business questions.

I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of all questions that a software engineer might have during his WHOLE career โ€” from junior developer to senior developer to technical co-founder. We cover all the steps of the process, and I’ve answered them to the best of my knowledge as a Software Engineer, as a CTO and a development agency owner. This is meant to be a general guide for anyone who’s looking for some guidance in the software development world.

The goal of this “Tech Q&A” is to eventually build it into a community where we all try and help each other with non-trivial answers to simple questions. I’m hoping you can share your experience with me and help me answer these in more detail.

Those questions that are marked as โœ… are already sufficiently covered. Those marked with ๐Ÿšง still require more work / information.

Send me your story [email protected]. Due to the amount of work, I don’t promise that I will answer right away, nor that it will appear here.

Building the Product

  1. ๐Ÿšง How to determine app idea is technically feasible as a non-technical founder? โ€” Figuring out if your idea is possible is kind of hard if you’re not an expert in the field, especially if you’re non-technical. Here are some tips to figure out if it’s doable.
  2. ๐Ÿšง How to build your SaaS with freelancers? โ€” So what if you’re non-technical? There’s a lot of possibilities to build something for yourself that your users will love. You will have to spend some money though.
  3. ๐Ÿšง Is it a bad idea if I build the MVP of my startup on my companyโ€™s pc? โ€” If you’re thinking of building it on your company’s time and equipment, read this before doing that.
  4. ๐Ÿšง How to promote your SaaS without being an ass? โ€” If you’re being too pushy with your sales, people will get annoyed quite fast. Here we discuss a few methods of promotion without putting anyone off.
  5. ๐Ÿšง Where do I find technical co-founder for my startup? โ€” Being a solo indie Entrepreneur is fun, but having someone together in the business makes things easier. Especially when that person can take off the whole product building responsibilities off your shoulders.
  6. ๐Ÿšง How do I tell my cofounder I need to quit? โ€” Hope you never need this, but if things go south, you’re burned out or tired of doing startup, this should help you.
  7. ๐Ÿšง Is 150K USD a reasonable rate to build a mobile app? โ€” We discuss the reasonable rate that the agencies or contractors will charge you to build your app. Quick hint: Any rate is reasonable as long as it’s in your budget and brings the expected (or more) value.

Development

  1. ๐Ÿšง How dangerous is over-engineering for a start-up? โ€” Good question about maintaining the balance between building it Lean and overcomplicating stuff from the get-go.
  2. ๐Ÿšง Build vs Buy: age old dilemma โ€”You’ll probably have some thoughts if you should invest in building or buying or nocode solutions. This article will help sort it out.
  3. ๐Ÿšง How to stop thinking as an engineer and start thinking like a business man? โ€” We’ve all been there. You’re growing into a startup CEO role, but think like a technical guy. Here are some tips to help you put on a new hat.
  4. ๐Ÿšง Can an offshore dev agency steal your code? โ€” So you’re looking to offshore your development and have questions about the intellectual property. It’s good to know the basics of what dev agencies can do.
  5. ๐Ÿšง What to expect from the dev agency after MVP is done? โ€” How to do proper Handoff with an external development company.
  6. ๐Ÿšง How do you know when to use which programming language? โ€” A general question from a new grad about choosing the right tool for the job. If you’re already in the industry, this wont be helpful, but you can contribute your own thoughts.

General

  1. ๐Ÿšง How to better handle stress in a startup? โ€” A reader asked me about how to develop grit? How to handle the pressure while working at a startup.
  2. โœ… How can you tell if youโ€™re a good developer? โ€” So you’ve jumped a few companies that were easy, and then you joined a company where you seem out of the league. Here’s some advice to keep you grounded in terms of your skills.

Finances

  1. ๐Ÿšง How much equity should a CTO ask for? โ€” One of the most frequent questions by visitors of the site.
  2. ๐Ÿšง How to split equity fairly between founders? โ€” It’s important to keep it fair to yourself and to the other co-founders when splitting shares of the company. I answer a question here about a situation that a fellow entrepreneur has.

Hiring

  1. ๐Ÿšง How to hire first rockstar employee โ€” Your first hire is a make it or break it decision for your business. Here I talk a bit how to find the right person for the job.

Career

  1. ๐Ÿšง Do some people just not have the talent for Software Engineering? โ€” I received a question if coding is not for everyone, maybe some people should avoid it? I tried to elaborate why I think any field is not for everyone, tech is no exception.
  2. ๐Ÿšง Should I quit my well-paid job to start a startup? โ€” So you have a cushy job, and you want to dip your toes into the startup world, read this first. You need a plan and ramen-profitability before you quit. Going cold turkey is not the answer here.
  3. โœ… My coworker rewrote all my code, what should I do? โ€” Imagine coming back after a long vacation and finding your code gone. Here we discuss how to behave in such a situation and what can we learn from it.
  4. ๐Ÿšง What to ask a startup before joining them? โ€” A guide for employees number 1-20 on figuring out if a startup is healthy or not before joining.
  5. ๐Ÿšง As a recent college graduate, should I work in a tech startup? โ€” What should you do after college? Should you join a startup or a FAANG company.
  6. ๐Ÿšง Is coding bootcamp better than university? โ€” If you’re just starting in your career in software engineering and looking to get my opinion about coding bootcamps vs universities.
  7. โœ… What is your unethical CS careerโ€™s advice? โ€” Some advice that shouldn’t be followed.
  8. ๐Ÿšง Is software development the right career for me? โ€” There will be moments where you question yourself if you’re doing enough, when it seems that everyone around you is coding 24/7.
  9. ๐Ÿšง How to learn coding without a degree? โ€” So if you’re looking to switch careers into development, start here. I give some tips how to approach when it all feels overwhelming.
  10. ๐Ÿšง How to get programming experience when you canโ€™t find a job? โ€” We discuss how to build up your portfolio while looking for a job. If you just graduated and are looking to gather experience, start here.
  11. โœ… I have a very poor work-life balance. How can I escape the grind? โ€” If you’re stuck in the grind mentality, here’s a bit of advice for you, from a person who’s walked in your shoes.
  12. โœ… How to become a CTO? โ€” I tell a bit of my journey how I became a CTO and how I would do it right now.
  13. โœ… How much a CTO makes and where can I find CTO Jobs? โ€” We talk about money. Not personal finance, but how much richer you can get if you take on the risks.

Security

  1. ๐Ÿšง How to protect my startup from bots or hacks? โ€” The age-old question of how to protect your SaaS and your company from hackers and spammers.

Marketing

  1. ๐Ÿšง Doing Self-Promotion on Reddit the right way โ€” Community websites are an unlimited source of potential users that are just waiting to hear about your startup. Tap into it.

If you have a question that you want me to help you with (and maybe share this info with the rest of my friendly readers), send it to me per email [email protected].

  • Ahmar Almas

    I think we have to add one more point for startups which is
    Crafting Your Entrepreneurial Mindset:
    It takes a certain kind of person to be an entrepreneur. Thereโ€™s no one-size-fits-all formula for success, but there is an essential mindset that all entrepreneurs must adopt in order to thrive. If youโ€™re ready to take your business to the next level and become an unstoppable force in your industry, then itโ€™s time to craft your entrepreneurial mindset.