Amazing CTO Newsletter
by Stephan Schmidt
I have been on the programmier.bar Podcast talking about my experiences
as a CTO and manager for over two decades. It was a lot of fun and I spilled
some opinions and experiences. Very good interviewers - we had a nice
chemistry. Highly recommended!
This week’s insights include
- 📅 Why deadlines are pointless
- 👑 Feeling Guilt? You may be a leader
- 🤖 Code Language Converter - Convert code to other languages using AI
Good reading, have a nice Sunday ❤️ and until next week,
Stories I’ve encountered last week
Why deadlines are pointless and what to do instead
A rather long read about deadlines. But if this is your problem - and with CEOs who have no clue this often is, or with customer-driven development - this article might help you. In general, when I got pressured with a deadline my first response was: why? My second response was: If we had decided this faster and started 3 months ago, the product would be earning money already. 4 out of 5 times the problem is not failing a deadline, but a bad management culture around fast decisions. 50% of the time is lost before development starts. CEO take this!
Why Feelings of Guilt May Signal Leadership Potential
“But new research puts a wrinkle in that stereotype, revealing an unexpected sign of leadership potential: the tendency to feel guilty” Feeling guilty? You seem to be a leader. An unusual perspective and a help to many of you probably.
Your CTO Should Actually Be Technical
yes. Yes. YES!
Solo founder dilemma: CEO or CTO?
Some insights into being the technical CEO and solo founder. While this developer is a solo founder, too many other developers look for a business co-founder as CEO. I’d argue for more developers becoming CTOs for better products and bigger innovation. Steve Jobs was soldering electronics. Learning the business side of things isn’t that difficult. But getting a technical mindset is.
Co-founding considered harmful
Incidentally, I found another article about arguing for technical solo founders. I know, you’re a CTO in a growing VC-funded startup, why bother? But you should take a look at what technical solo founders today can accomplish - I’m always amazed by the solo founder threads on Hackernews. If they can do it alone, why-oh-why do you need fifty developers? Because of marketing?
Code Language Converter - Convert code to other languages using AI
Yes I know it can’t do frameworks and your code is about using all these frameworks and libraries, but this is truly an accomplishment. Converting between programming languages with AI. And if this is scifi today, in five years it will work for many projects. What will this do to our industry? Use language A that you like most, and deploy as B? Switch from A to B to C every week? Changes ahead!
How we reduced our annual server costs by 80%
AWS is expensive as diamond-plated-platinum Rolex. If you have the money, go for it. But I see too many companies using AWS that do not have the money. If you can convert AWS cost to 10% more developers, always go for developers. I have seen medium-sized startups spend $ on AWS to the tune of 20% of their developer costs.
What people don’t understand about being a CTO
Some easy but insightful reflections about the CTO role.