Hello there, welcome to the week!
It's always fascinating to see how other CTOs made their way from individual contribution to leading teams, teams of teams, and in some cases organisations of their own. We've had several amazing leaders talk to us on the CTO Craft blog about their journey. Here are some of the best - there's more to come soon!
- From Zero to CTO – Emanuele Blanco of MoneyFarm
- From Zero to CTO – Emily Rigby of OVO Energy
- From Zero to CTO – Donovan Frew of GoodLord
- From Zero to CTO – Jonathan Holloway, Interim CTO
- From Zero to CTO – Klaas Ardinois of Azoomee
- From Zero to CTO – Aubrey Stearn of Oakam and Nationwide
- From Zero to CTO – Jon Topper of the Scale Factory
- From Zero to CTO – Marta Jasinska of MOO.com
- From Zero to CTO – Katie Womersley of Buffer
- From Zero to CTO – Joel Greensite of Publicis Sapient
- From Zero to CTO – Graham Hobson of PhotoBox
Thanks as always to our Headline Partner, Amazon Web Services - if you’re interested in partnering, drop us a line!
Until next time
Andy @ CTO Craft
Reads of the Week
I have always been fascinated by cognitive and social biases. As we’ll see in this post, we often vastly overestimate our ability to arrive at sound, rational conclusions that adhere to the facts. While this is already a bias itself (called the “Bias blind spot”), it has big ramifications for our work in organizations too.
Having mastered Product Management in their end products and realised the benefit of improving the customer experience, more companies are shifting their attention to how they can apply the same techniques to the rest of their organisation.
From our Partners
Read the MIT SMR Connections guide, Migration to Innovation: Developing a Technology Plan to Execute Strategic Priorities, for expert perspectives on the issues that technology leaders must consider as they develop strategies for using technology to unlock innovation in their organizations.
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Culture & People
Everyone wants to succeed, and for managers, that means leading highly capable teams that deliver excellent results. In order to drive team members to deliver successfully, managers need to identify what those capabilities are and harness them in a way that serves the organizational goals.
As a team of public servants, one of our key values at 18F is to reflect the diversity of the public we serve. To be inclusive and effective, a team needs a culture where everyone is respected, treated fairly, and feels that they belong.
I wrote Unearthing Your Project's Delays a couple of years ago. I told the story of Cliff, a manager who wanted to understand why the projects were so late. I gave several talks about that article.
What looked like a good idea back in the 1990ies—outsourcing, for example, software development as a non-essential business area—has meanwhile massively backfired for a lot of legacy organizations. And yet, they still do not understand what it takes to build a decent product/engineering culture.
Fred is on your team. He takes 5 times longer to build a feature than anyone else. When asked what’s the hold up, Fred responds that he’s tweaking a class definition or adding some out of scope automation instead of just building the dang thing that the ticket says to build.
Leadership & Self-management
Robert Walter Weir was one of the most popular instructors at West Point in the mid-1800s. Which is odd at a military academy, because he taught painting and drawing. Weir’s art classes were mandatory at West Point. Art can broaden your perspective, but that wasn’t the point.
As the head of a department I felt tremendous pressure to act like a leader. It wasn’t my first leadership role but it was a major step up. On top of that, my boss repeatedly told me I had to have a presence though I wasn’t sure what she meant.
You can train your brain to retain knowledge and insight better by understanding how you learn. Once you understand the keys to learning, everything changes—from the way you ask questions to the way you consume information. People will think you have a superpower.
How do you end up being one of those people that manages managers? This is the beginning of a series of articles looking at how you can start working on progressing up the management track beyond an Engineering Manager, and into the world of important-sounding job titles. And meetings.
I'm a Principal Engineer at Auth0, an Identity as a Service platform. I work in the Systems Architecture group, which today has three Principal Engineers. We work with different teams on strategic initiatives and also shape Auth0's technical strategy, architecture decisions, and guidelines.
Agile, Engineering & Product
Architecture decision records, also known as ADRs, are a great way to document how and why a decision was reached within a codebase.
Scott Gerlach, Cofounder & CSO, StackHawk - Recorded for the fifteenth virtual CTO Summit on Tuesday August 11th, 2020 on "Securing your applications"…
As a product manager, we work with multiple teams to define requirements for our products. A Product Spec is a communication tool we often use to get everyone on the same page.
Imagine you’ve just stepped into a meeting room with your CEO, and she drops a bomb on you: she says your team isn’t fast enough, progress is way too slow, and frankly she’s unimpressed. You can feel your heart rate increasing. It feels like an attack.
Dashboards have been the primary weapon of choice for distributing data over the last few decades, but they aren’t the end of the story. To increasingly democratise access to data we need to think again, and the answer may be closer than you think…!
We are happy to announce that GitHub is joining the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) as a founding member, alongside Google, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, NCC Group, OWASP Foundation, Red Hat, and others.
If you’d like to be considered for the free CTO Craft Community, fill in your details here, and we’ll be in touch!
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Have an amazing week!