A fractional engineering leader is typically a CTO, VPE, EM or Principal Eng who embeds themselves into teams for 10-20 hours per week. They tend to be most useful in pre-seed, seed, and Series A environments.
Generally speaking, strong engineering leaders are:
- Not cost effective to use as front line developers
- Available for 40 hours a week or not at all
- Difficult to attract and time consuming to hire
In comparison, fractional engineering leaders are:
- Not operating as front line developers and focused purely on directing development
- Flexible and available for the amount of time you need them
- Much easier to attract and faster to spin up than their full time equivalents
Also worth noting:
- Fractional folks tend to pair well with embedded recruiters, offshore contractors, overloaded EMs and CTOs, and junior engineers
- Forward can help you identify the skillsets and commitment level you need from an engineering leader if you lack the ability to do this internally
- Whereas a 20h/week engineer is typically 50% as effective as a 40h/week engineer, a 20h/week fractional contributor should be 90% as effective as their full time equivalent.