Amazing CTO Newsletter
🚀 Issue 8.1
by Stephan Schmidt
this weeks insights include
- ⛅ the new CTO Job Market Weather Report
- Why Success Is Often Elusive at the Highest Echelons
- When no-code stops scaling
- Book recommendation 📚: “The Art of Action” by Stephen Bungay
Good reading, nice weekend ❤️ and until next week,
⛅ CTO Job Market Weather
How is the CTO job market? I’ve taken a look at Indeed to find out, how many CTOs are there on Indeed.
I found 82 CTO jobs for the US, which is down ⬇️ from last week. Remote jobs are 25 which is up 🆙 from last week. I found 40 for Germany, the same as last week.
Podcast: For your ears “Management and the Future of AI with Azure’s CTO”
Listen to “why Darren Dillon believes status reports are overrated” and
how GDPR impacts the future of AI, a topic some of my coachees struggle with.
Stories I’ve encountered last week
Why Success Is Often Elusive at the Highest Echelons
Very interesting read. “[T]hese hires have a solid track record of success over the course of many years at elite tech companies […] some might even have a prominent public profile […] Yet, none of these past laurels help them replicate this success at their new workplace”.
When No-Code Stops Scaling
I recommend every founder to start with no-code tools for the MVP. But there is a point in time when to migrate to a programming language. From my experience code is still the best and densest representation of complex logic. The article has more thoughts on why no-code does not scale (I was once asked to join as a CTO to move a startup away from no-code Salesforce, I declined :-)
Responsible tech playbook
“As technology becomes more central to peoples’ lives, and to what businesses do, and how they succeed, the ethics of technology must come into sharper focus.” Hell yes. You might disagree, like in “a gun doesn’t kill people, a person does”, nevertheless this is an interesting read. And although Thoughtworks is a pale shadow of itself, from time to time they still push ideas that move our industry forward. I’ve learned a thing or two.
Airbnb’s design to live and work anywhere
Airbnb wants its employees to live and work everywhere: Salary is not based on location and they increase off-sites and social events (duh! but do you?) What I also found interesting is they have two major product releases each year, in May and November. Everyone talks about daily releases, they release twice a year. This creates maximum customer impact and enables deep features! (but your code should be releasable each day, if you can manage a myriad of feature flags that is)
First 90 days as a new CTO
Some ideas on what to do in your first 90 days. I would focus more on action. First month understand the environment and challenges. Second month make a plan. Third month roll out changes, especially if they are disruptive. Or better start in the second month. In your first quarter as CTO you have the most power to change things radically. That power goes down the more you get assimilated into the company. One of my mistakes was making changes too late (some months in) and not radical enough (because of feature pressure, yeah yeah) - living with the challenges for years.
If you want to listen to the topic, “Your first 100 days as a CTO with Aviv Ben-Yosef | TLH #19” has you covered
Twitter Locks Down Product Changes After Agreeing to Musk Bid
Sounds drastic but Twitter closed releases (“Product changes will require approval from a vice president”) due to a change in ownership and the fear rogue employees might do stupid things. When a developer leaves your company, are you quick to remove access?
Who here is juggling two or more remote jobs? How is it working out?
This seems to become a thing with everyone working remote - developers with two full time jobs, getting twice the money.
DALL·E 2 and The Origin of Vibe Shifts
There we are again with AI. But with some insights about how AI generated content will shape design and aesthetics in the future. If you want to know what is a “vibe shift” and how designers will no longer rule your CTO day in your future with pixel perfect designs, read on.
Book of the week
This weeks book is “The Art Of Action” by Stephen Bungay. This is one of the most important books for managers and one I gave as a gift to many people because it’s so important. In its core it explains why strategies do not work and how to roll out strategies by closing the gaps: The Effects gap, the knowledge gap and the alignment gap. Without the understandings of the book it’s difficult to roll out strategies and plans successfully. Beyond that it gives deeper insights into the job of the manager (beyond manager and leader) and how to achieve what you want to achieve. Overall a must-read book for every CTO.