Interim Chief Technology Officer

Get an infusion of talent & best practice from industry veterans with expertise in fintech and health tech,  online businesses and SaaS companies

Senior technology leaders, like Chief Technology Officers, are scarce, expensive and difficult to keep on staff. Many online businesses do not need a full-time CTO.  Interim, part-time, and, task-specific technical leadership can be a timely and cost-effective option worth exploring. So, borrow ours.  Tell us what’s on your mind.

  • If your company is growing fast, or, under pressure to deploy product sooner, or, pivoting to a new business model, or,
  • If your management team needs guidance on cloud platform transformation, technical labor sourcing, technology stack evolution, information security, or, a Road Map of disruptive technology changing your industry, or,
  • If you need help preparing for investor discussions, or,
  • If your company’s client-facing business systems and processes, such as, provisioning, support and subscription billing are the constraint to growth, or,
  • If your technical leadership is departing,

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Different Roles, Different Responsibilities

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“Telegraph Hill has advised us from our founding on a product and technology roadmap for our healthcare analytics solutions that fits available funding and revenues.”

Stuart Jacobson

CEO & Founder, Biome Analytics

Chief Data Officer

Focus on business systems and analytics without distracting from Product delivery

Your customer base is growing. That’s the good news.

In other news, customer-facing processes like client on-boarding, user enrollment, customer success/support and subscription invoicing are too slow, too expensive, and, don’t scale.  Managers, board members and investors are clamoring for better business analytics to drive sales tactics, plan support staff requirements, and, answer investor questions; “What is the cost of customer acquisition?”, “What is the life-time-value of a Customer?”. These are new challenges that confront your company leadership.

But, the current technology leaders are already over-stretched trying to build the next product release. And, their skills and experience are quite different from those needed for internal process and systems evaluation, implementation and integration.

Furthermore, the current functional managers don’t agree on the problems, priorities and solutions that would bring the greatest benefit. In fact, they don’t even seem to agree on the definitions of some pretty basic terms; like customer, and, subscription.

At this point, each functional area is likely to go in search of point solutions. And, terms like data warehouse and business process re-engineering are bandied about.

Telegraph Hill Software has the experience and expertise to help your company to the next stage of growth.

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New skills for new challenges

Telegraph Hill Practice Directors have experience in exactly these situations. They bring together the business consulting, solution evaluation, systems integration and analytics skills to create consensus, write a plan and execute

  • Business analysis: Using facilitated meeting techniques THS builds consensus among functional managers for the definition of the problems at hand, their degree of urgency and sequencing.
  • Technical architecture: Together, we evaluate applications, typically other SaaS applications, from large-scope COTS packages to small-scope SaaS apps to form the basis of systems supporting business processes and analytics. And, we define the data structures required to support analytics.
  • Implementation: THS can staff and manage the array of skills needed to implement and integrate the components and create/populate the analytics repository.

Telegraph Hill Software has the experience and expertise to help your company to the next stage of growth.

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“Our content delivery solution includes SaaS, mobile software, cloud storage and professional services. Telegraph Hill gives us the guidance we need to meet enterprise IT standards at a price we can afford.”

Dennis McKnew

CSO & Founder, Nirvanu, Inc.

Interim Vice President of Software Engineering

Grow your technology organization in a highly competitive labor market while managing hiring risk.

Go Faster – Not Slower

When your CEO says, “go faster”, what do you do?  Grow your Software Engineering team!

That’s when you run into 3 challenges that take time away from building and deploying product; challenges that threaten to make you go slower just when you have to go faster:

– Recruiting –  Training – Staffing –

Click to connect with our VP of Software Engineering >


Recruiting new team members is time consuming, especially for you and your direct reports who are already double and triple booked….

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You teach recruiters what to look for.  Still only 1 or 2 out of 10 resumes is a good candidate.  You screen, interview, and, ‘sell’ job candidates.  Which means more time away from building product. Threatening to make you go slower instead of faster.

Telegraph Hill Software can help.  Our ‘Interim VP of Engineering’ consultants work with you to screen and interview candidates from recruiters and from our own professional networks.  Our consultants know the local labor market because they have decades of experience in technical hiring.  Instead of meeting 100 candidates to fill 10 roles, you might meet 12 or 13.

You’ll go faster, not slower.

Still, hiring 10 new engineers is no guarantee of 10 successes.  The best way to avoid bad hiring outcomes is to ‘try before you buy’.

So, Telegraph Hill offers ‘conversion contracting’.  New hires work under our contract until you offer to convert them to full-time employees.  Where productivity or other performance concerns arise, Telegraph Hill will be responsible for replacing the consultant.

Where the consultant becomes an integral part of your team, and, at your request, Telegraph Hill works with your HR department to offer the consultant full-time employment with your company.

You avoid the risk of bad hiring outcomes.


At the heart of any advanced development effort is a business problem embedded in a business context.  It could be an arcane banking function, or, a complex e-commerce process for medical devices, or, energy spot-market trading.  Whatever it is, few technical candidates are likely to understand the problem and context before their first day on the job.

How do they learn enough to become effective?  They ask their team-mates for explanations. Thus taking time away from building product. Again, threatening to make you go slower, just when you need to go faster.

Telegraph Hill’s Interim VP of Engineering consultants address the training challenge with formal training methods.  They can quickly research and understand your company’s target problem and context because they have worked in dozens of industries and have strong math and science backgrounds in addition to their decades of experience in software engineering.  They build and present training materials which can be used to bring new hires up to speed as well as fill in the knowledge gaps of your existing team.

You’ll go faster, instead of slower.


The first assignment can be the highest risk for time for new hires.  A time when they need the highest level of technical mentoring and job-specific coaching.  This puts the highest burden of people-management on you and your managers.  

Telegraph Hill’s Interim VP of Engineering consultants have decades of technical personnel management experience.  They’ve seen all the warning signs of trouble and discovered mentoring and coaching approaches that help.

If you are organized as product-centric, full-stack, scrum teams, our Interim VP of Engineering can be the lead of a new team.  This helps prevent distraction inside other teams.

If your teams are organized by technology layer (front-end, back-end, core algorithms) then our Interim VP of Engineering can serve as a mentor and personnel manager in a matrix structure. 

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“Telegraph Hill’s managers excel at evaluating top technical talent across the entire spectrum of skills necessary for a rapidly-growing, elite SaaS firm like ours. Although they are not a staffing firm, they’ve assisted us in building a great team.”

John MacIlwaine

Chief Technology Officer

Onsite Agile Software Engineering

We enable you to leverage high-performance, on-demand teams that work from your offices, on your schedule, and on your challenges.

OK, let’s strip the Agile Development manifesto down to its essence: The smallest, co-located team of highly skilled engineers deliver the highest-quality software, at the lowest cost, in the least time.

Telegraph Hill delivers this essence on a daily basis by providing on-site software and data development services using open-source components to build mission-critical business software and data solutions for digital firms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Our experienced engineers are a catalyst to development productivity by working at your offices as an integral part of your technology organization. Working primarily with open-source technologies, our senior engineers, analysts and managers are expert in:

  • Java, JavaScript, Python, open-source projects and componentry
  • Responsive UI and web content development
  • Automated test frameworks, test design and development
  • DevOps engineering and related script development
  • Systems engineering and related operating system configuration
  • Machine learning, natural language and intelligent systems
  • Image and voice signal processing and recognition
  • Enterprise API and middleware technologies
  • Microservices architecture and implementation
  • Relational and NoSql data solutions
  • Big data, data warehouse and operational data stores
  • Ecommerce and online advertising data solutions
  • Mobile application development
  • Agile team leads and technical project managers

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Telegraph Hill created a dedicated, highly-skilled cross-functional Agile team with strong leaders. They’re customer-focused. Their ability to identify potential gaps in the process—then make suggestions on how to overcome them—helped get us to the finish line.

Chaomei Chen

Chief Risk Officer

DevOps Consulting

Welcome to the “app culture” – fast-paced releases with smaller, self-contained deliverables.

An effective process is one that recognizes and responds to stated goals and the specific dynamics of its environment. While the pace of today’s software development environment is dizzying, and software development management is more critical than ever, there is no silver-bullet, off-the-shelf process that works for all companies. Not one!

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There is no silver bullet – not all Agile best practices are universally applicable.

The reality is that every company must create a software development process that works within their context. At Telegraph Hill, we understand that. Since there is no one-size-fits-all process, we help define, create and implement processes that are unique to your business, culture, workforce and the software universe at large. The result is a tuned and balanced development approach that considers all the dynamics of your organization and your agenda.

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The Agile process is not a silver bullet – you still need to deliver the end game.

Eric Lan

Managing Partner & COO, Telegraph Hill Software

Customer Engagement Center

The right people; experts in both the underlying technology platforms and industry best practices.

When embarking upon a technology transformation in the customer experience space, often times companies will rely solely on the vendor’s Professional Services organization to perform business analysis, requirements, design, and implementation. Without having technical expertise and resources trained on the new system in-house, this model can lead to a disconnect between the business requirements and the design, and a deficiency in delivering a best-in-class solution due to a “like-for-like” migration approach from the outdated technology. A consultative approach is necessary to evaluate the legacy system configuration and business processes to propose a value-added methodology that considers both IT and Business operational impacts.

A fully resilient Application Architecture that first takes into consideration the upstream and downstream integration dependencies is also paramount to gauge the complexity and insure the effort is sized properly. It should serve as the foundation to enable the business to realize their short and long-term strategies and align with the technology road map.

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“Telegraph Hill Software led the successful deployment of our Genesys call center infrastructure after years of false starts.”


CIO, -

Technical Skills

Mission-critical software and data development services, on-site, at fast moving SF Bay Area digital businesses.

Founded in 2010, our ability to provide highly experienced, cost effective and local development talent has made Telegraph Hill an essential partner at many Bay Area businesses.

Our experienced engineers maximize development productivity by working at our clients’ offices as an integral part of their technology organization. Using primarily open-source technologies, our senior engineers, analysts and managers are expert in technology management.

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Technical Management

  • Agile Development
  • Agile Team Leads, Technical Project Managers
  • Interim CTO, Interim CIO and Interim VP or Engineering Leadership
  • IT Risk Management Consulting
  • Information Security Consulting
  • Business Intelligence, Data Architecture and Reporting
  • Automated Test Frameworks, Test Design & Development
  • IT Operations

Problems We Solve

  • DevOps Continuous Integration & Delivery
  • Enterprise API & Middleware Technologies
  • Image & Voice Signal Processing & Recognition
  • Machine Learning, Natural Language & Intelligent Systems
  • Big Data, Date Warehouse and Operational Data Stores
  • Business Intelligence, Data Mining & Quantitative Analytics
  • Microservices Architecture & Implementation
  • Ecommerce and Online Advertising Software Technologies
  • Cloud Enablement

Skills We Possess

  • Java, Python, Scripting Languages
  • Javascript, Angular, Node C++, C#, Ruby, Rails, Grails
  • Responsive UI , HTML/CSS & Web Content Development
  • SQL, NoSQL, Hadoop, Stream/Event Columnar
  • RDBMS Oracle, Sql Server, MySql, Others
  • Linux & Android Drivers, Configuration, Administration
  • Mobile iOS & Android Application Development
  • Open-source Projects, Components & Integration

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Much more software is being developed by all companies, in all industries, than was ever true in the past.

David Ward

Founder & CEO, Telegraph Hill Software


268 Bush Street, #1500
San Francisco, CA 94104

535 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105