Dries Buytaert

My first months at Acquia

Every week, several people ask me what I spend time on at Acquia? What does a co-founder and start-up CTO in a high-tech company do?

In starting a company, there are lots of things that have to be done but my main responsibility right now is to deliver Acquia's first product to the customer. This includes managing multiple threads ...

Roughly 50% of my time is spent building a rockstar team. So far I've been very lucky in finding folks smarter than myself. I've looked at over 100 resumes from engineers the past weeks and we interviewed many candidates. We hired one. If you're interested, we're actively looking for first rate hires ...

Approximately 25% of my time is spent running engineering and directing product development. The latter includes specifying the product, defining what our engineers will work on, ensuring that we're on track, and making sure that we have the best technology. I also enjoy talking to other projects and companies to create options for both Acquia and the Drupal community.

In my role as CTO, I don't think I've contributed a single line of code to Acquia's upcoming products. I expected this, but I find it surprising nonetheless. Instead I'm often sidetracked into marketing, human resources, and customer service related activities. It is interesting and refreshing to be on both the technical side and the business side of things. I like it a lot.

I obviously spend a substantial amount of time working in the Drupal community — often after hours like has been the case for many years. Drupal continues to be an act of passion. I'd say 40% of my Drupal time is spent in the Drupal.org issue queue, 60% of that time is working behind the scenes. For example, at the end of 2007 I spent 3 weeks connecting publishers and authors, and if all goes well, this should result in 10 Drupal books being published in 2008. In other words, a lot of (strategic) e-mail.

Going forward, I'd like to spend more time talking to Acquia's engineers and contributors in the Drupal community. I have many ideas in the back of my head, both for Drupal and for Acquia, but I simply haven't had time yet to describe these ideas as complete and detailed as I'd like to. I have a desire to express my ideas but I've to research and refine them first before I can comfortably do so. I'll need to allocate time for that. Until then, they are just that; vague ideas in the back of my head.

— Dries Buytaert

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