CTO Studio by 7CTOs

By 7CTOs

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If you are a Chief Technology Officer of a startup or you hope to be one then this podcast is for you! Every week we talk about time management, hiring strategies and better leadership in the C-Suite. We talk to world class CTO Coaches as well as top technologists in spaces like Crypto, AI, Web3 and scaling tech companies. Etienne de Bruin is the founder of 7CTOs which offers peer groups for technology executives that meet on a monthly basis. These groups are lead by our hand picked coaches to help the CTO get unstuck faster, have a sounding board for ideas and share important resources to meet goals more effectively. Check us out 7ctos.com.

Episode Date
Investing in People: A Look into Fleetio's Software Development Strategy with Jorge Valdivia
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In this episode of the CTO Studio Podcast, host Etienne de Bruin sits down with Jorge Valdivia, the CTO of Fleetio. Jorge shares valuable insights on how his team handles software development, the role of engineers and product managers, and the importance of investing in people. He delves into the strategies and processes that have helped Fleetio stay ahead of the curve in the highly competitive world of software development.  Jorge is the CTO at Fleetio, a fleet management software company that helps organizations track, analyze, and improve their fleet operations. Fleetio helps fleets track their own vehicles internally, and also helps with compliance reporting. Rather than doing the work for the customer, the platform helps users unlock the full potential of their fleet management.  The company has around 40-50 engineers working on two main products: a web app for fleet managers and a mobile app for Android and iOS. The teams were initially divided by discipline (web, mobile, internal tools) but it wasn't scaling well, as mobile was always trying to catch up with web. As such, they reorganized the teams around domains of the system (Fleet Maintenance, Fleet Operations, Core Team) with developers from different disciplines working together towards the same goal. Fleetio adopted an Agile approach, with product managers running the day-to-day execution. Goals are set at a quarterly level and communicated down to teams. Product managers do customer discovery to understand what to work on. Engineers and product managers have different perspectives and goals, with engineers focused on the present and product managers focused on the future. This can lead to friction between the two groups, but it can also be beneficial in terms of balancing out different perspectives. The CTO may only need to intervene in individual cases. Fleetio’s early history and its founder's belief in remote work led to its remote-first culture. The company tries to pretend like everyone is remote, even if they work in the same office, to maintain a remote-first culture and encourage communication. The company places a high importance on the mental well-being of its employees, and works to maintain psychological safety and communication to ensure that employees are comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. Investing in people, whether through professional development or personal interests, will ultimately lead to a return on investment in the form of happier, more connected employees. Managers should be attuned to the well-being of their employees, proactively offer support, and invest in their growth and success. Some clients ask for SOC 2 reports as part of their due diligence process, which can speed up the sales process. The security team reports directly to the CTO, who is also responsible for cross-functional communication and business process optimization within the organization. The CTO must focus on strategic initiatives and coach others on how to work with them in their new role. Etienne points out that value stream mapping is a powerful tool for the CTO to facilitate conversation within the organization and create value for customers. KEY QUOTE: "Investing in people is one of the most important things a company can do. It's not just about hiring the best engineers, but also providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed." - Jorge Valdivia Resources Jorge Valdivia on LinkedIn Fleetio Careers
Feb 01, 2023
How to Replace Yourself and Buy Time with Dan Martell
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When you're building a business, you shouldn't hire people to add capacity but to buy time out of your calendar. If you don't, you'll end up building a business that you grow to hate and want to shut down because it's taking over your life. Dan Martell teaches entrepreneurs the sequence of how to replace themselves in their business as fast as possible to get the most value at the least amount of risk. He takes listeners on a journey through time as he shares his story and the lessons he’s learned along the way - lessons he also shares in his book. Dan Martell is founder and CEO of SaaS Academy, a coaching company for software entrepreneurs, and managing partner at High Speed Ventures. A serial entrepreneur, he has started and sold multiple successful businesses over the course of his career, starting his first company at age 24 and selling it at age 27, becoming a young millionaire. Dan is also an author whose book, Buy Back Your Time: Get Unstuck, Reclaim Your Freedom, and Build Your Empire, compiles expert advice to fellow entrepreneurs. Dan shares how he discovered his passion for programming and entrepreneurship. While cleaning out cabins at a church camp, he found an old 486 computer with a book on Java programming and quickly became addicted to writing code. He taught himself how to code and started building tools and apps using different programming languages. He started his own tech organization, Spheric Technologies, which became the fastest growing company in Canada. He eventually sold the company and became a millionaire at 27.  After selling Spheric Technologies, Dan moved to Silicon Valley to explore more opportunities in business and entrepreneurship. A successful business was one of his goals, and he didn’t want to regret not following his dreams of building one. Silicon Valley is “Disneyland for software entrepreneurs,” according to Dan. The environment is intense and rife with billion dollar ideas, and being there among other ambitious people enabled him to think bigger and achieve more. He went on to build more tech companies, raise venture capital and became an angel investor in multiple software companies, including Intercom, Bootsuite and Unbounced. Dan’s book, Buy Back Your Time: Get Unstuck, Reclaim Your Freedom, and Build Your Empire, aims to arm entrepreneurs with the knowledge and techniques they need to conquer their worthiest adversary: time. He believes that our job is to develop ourselves and share what we learn on that journey with others, which he seeks to do with Buy Back Your Time.  Entrepreneurs and creators should create more, Dan remarks, as is their God-given purpose. He wants to help entrepreneurs break through the pain line of building the business in the wrong order so that the world will have more solutions, more abundance, more problems solved and more creators creating.  When applying the buyback principle, rather than freeing up time to do nothing, trade your time to do valuable things you can get paid for. Start by identifying what you don't like doing and what skills you need to develop to get your desired outcome. Dan encourages people to trade their time, become more valuable, and create economies by creating opportunity for others in the value chain. KEY QUOTE “The human experience is to face adversity, learn how to overcome it, and if you're not a complete ding dong, teach somebody else how to get through that faster. Our responsibility to people around us is to become better so that we can be an example of possibility.” - Dan Martell Resources Dan Martell on the Web | LinkedIn | Twitter SaaS Academy Email Dan: dan@danmartell.com  Get your copy of Buy Back Your Time here! The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Jan 25, 2023
[Replay] Build Your Own CTO Peer Group So That You Can Succeed with Brittany Cotton
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Team Alliances are a way to create a relationship with others in order to achieve common goals. They help people stay healthy and motivated, and they can be helpful when it comes to resolving conflicts. Brittany Cotton joins host Etienne de Bruin to share the benefits of a Team Alliance. Brittany Cotton is Head of Coaching at 7CTOs and Program Leader, Coach, Trainer and Facilitator at Accomplishment Coaching. She is also Executive Coach at Be Radical Coaching. Certified by the International Coaching Federation as both a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and an Associate Certified Coach, Brittany is an expert in leadership development, career development and life coaching, and corporate training. A Team Alliance is a conversation around intention, commitment, and contribution, Brittany explains. It’s an agreement to come together under shared goals and collaborate, establishing clear expectations about what needs to be done to achieve those goals. Many people are uncomfortable answering questions about their goals and aspirations, and give themselves little time to think about what they truly want in life. Without a clear idea of what they want, people tend to live their lives at the effect of their circumstances, rather than being in control of them. It’s important to identify potential obstacles or “leaks” that could prevent the team from achieving their goals. In a boat, a leak may not be noticeable, or it may even seem manageable, but it diverts your attention and energy from the real goal, which is getting to your destination. Similarly, leaks in the team slowly sap you of willpower, forcing you to keep attending to the same recurring issues. Your Team Alliance needs to be able to communicate openly and honestly with the group if something is not working, without assigning blame or guilt. This requires a certain level of vulnerability. In order to prepare for a Team Alliance conversation, people should come to the forum with a willingness to let go of the past and forgive themselves and others for any mistakes or shortcomings, Brittany shares. Etienne advises people who might feel stuck or like they're repeating the same process as last year that it's important to approach the Team Alliance conversation with a fresh perspective and openness to new insights and ideas. Facilitators of Team Alliances are there to facilitate the discussion and handle any situations that come up. Members are encouraged to communicate their needs and what they would like to experience from their facilitators. KEY QUOTE “A Team Alliance is a conversation around intention, commitment, and contribution.” - Brittany Cotton Resources Brittany Cotton on the Web | LinkedIn Be Radical Coaching 7CTOs Forum
Jan 18, 2023
Myths of CTO Leadership with Mark Hunter
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In this episode of the CTO Studio Podcast with host Etienne de Bruin, Mark Hunter discusses the myths of leadership and how they can be harmful to individuals and organizations. He goes on to discuss how leaders can overcome their fear and create gaps in order to identify opportunities for growth. Finally, he encourages CTOs to build authentic relationships with their teams in order to foster trust and communication. Mark Hunter, author of “The Brink: How Great Leadership Is Invented,” is founder and President at Pinnacle Coaching, and Senior Program Leader at Accomplishment Coaching. As a business and executive coach, Mark works with both corporate and individual personal clients to help them get out of their own way and into new levels of possibility, transformation, leadership, and results. Mark believes that context and relationship are foundational concepts for sustainable and scalable teams. Leaders in particular need to develop relevant skills such as understanding context, understanding the audience, and situational awareness. Fear is not inherently bad, Mark comments, but the way we treat it creates problems. Because we view fear as something leaders shouldn’t have, we don’t tell others when we are afraid, which creates shame, and we suffer in silence. Enrollment is important because it ensures that people are committed to what they’re doing. If you complete tasks just because you’re expected to without any real attachment or investment in that goal, it will be much easier to quit when the going gets tough. Leaders should understand that gaps in teams are opportunities for growth. Humans are problem solvers, and if we don’t perceive that we have problems to solve, we manufacture them.  Hierarchy exists, but you don’t have to lead from it. The hierarchy creates a fundamental imbalance of power, and leading from it deepens that imbalance. There is a difference between issuing orders from the title you possess, and using that title as the source of your power.  Resources Mark Hunter on LinkedIn The Brink: How Good Leadership Is Invented
Jan 11, 2023
[Replay] Doing Curiosity vs. Being Curiosity
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Quick, critical thinking is one of the core strengths of a CTO, but unlearning the problem-solving mindset might do them good. Jeff Miller, founder and CEO Jeff Miller Coaching, defines and discusses curiosity. In this episode replay, Jeff describes his experience coaching CTOs and why they struggle with curiosity.  The environment that raises CTOs is one that teaches them to solve problems as quickly as possible. CTOs have been rewarded for their ability to think quickly and critically in efficient ways, but has this critical mindset actually stunted their curiosity? Executives of all kinds have been brainwashed into separating themselves from others, Jeff shares. While a good thing in some situations, it can hinder them from being as effective as they can be. CTOs, in particular, need to relate to many people across their organizations, which becomes difficult if they’re always seeing themselves as different. Jeff has observed that the higher the intellect and the more successful a CTO is, the more skeptical they are of coaching.  Curiosity is an invitation to learn, make mistakes, and have fun without necessarily having the answer. We need to give ourselves permission to be curious and not program ourselves into thinking in one way. Resources Jeff Miller on LinkedIn | Website
Dec 21, 2022
[Replay] Curiosity and the Unknown
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Curiosity exists in the realm of the unknown, and it cannot be predicted or directed. Joanie Connell of Flexible Work Solutions returns in this episode of the CTO Studio Podcast to discuss how we can learn from not knowing.  Team members can preface their questions by stating their curiosity, Joanie shares. Saying “I’d like to take a moment to be curious” immediately identifies the present time as inquiry mode, opening the floor to others to share their curiosity as well. Fueling your curiosity with rage takes away from the genuine desire to learn something new because you have a specific end in mind with your questioning.  Participative curiosity is performative, whereas reflective curiosity is introspective. Participative curiosity only appears to be curiosity, but when this is applied, you’re not absorbing anything. Reflective curiosity, however, occurs when you are actually open to changing your mind and willing to consider something new.  It’s important to have diverse perspectives in teams to stir creativity. Whether people agree or disagree, keeping the conflict centered around the issue they disagree on can lead to more creative solutions or more thorough answers. Resources Joanie Connell on LinkedIn | Twitter | Website
Dec 14, 2022
[Replay] When Curiosity Leads to Questions, But Not All Questions Represent Curiosity
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Asking questions is an outcome of curiosity, and curiosity leads to questions - but not all questions represent curiosity. Joanie Connell of Flexible Work Solutions returns in this episode of the CTO Studio Podcast to share how to foster curiosity in our teams by changing the way we ask questions. Open-ended questions invite people to answer in ways that reveal their thoughts and ideas. Beginning a question with “I wonder if…” is a great way to start, Joanie shares. Reserving judgement is key. Genuine curiosity withholds assumptions, leaving space for people to speak freely and convey what they mean without fear of being judged. Curiosity within relationships is about feeling excited to see what the partnership and intention you’re setting with someone is going to produce. We are often imperfect communicators, but we may be even worse when we’re curious. In our haste to learn, we may unintentionally convey the wrong message to people by how we phrase our questions and tone of voice. We should be mindful of being approachable when asking questions. Better yet, we can also tell others how we’d like to be spoken to, and how to phrase their questions in ways that don’t cause harm. Resources Joanie Connell on LinkedIn | Twitter | Website
Dec 07, 2022
[Replay] Curiosity vs. Being Curious
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Empathy is more than simply putting yourself in someone else's shoes - it begins with curiosity and asking questions. Joanie Connell, founder of Flexible Work Solutions, defines curiosity and describes how being curious can help interpersonal relations at work. She joins Etienne de Bruin to discuss how leaders can nurture curiosity among team members. Part of the curiosity mindset is the courage to take risks, be vulnerable, and try things that may not work. In relationships, being inquisitive can be difficult since it often involves asking people what they're feeling even when you don't know what that might be. You have to be humble and be open to the possibility that you may be mistaken. By setting expectations for how questioning will be used, leaders can establish a culture of curiosity. Employees may be hesitant to ask questions for fear of being punished, so leaders must take the initiative to make their environment a safe zone for curiosity. There is a time and place for curiosity; if you keep the questions rolling at a bad time, you can slow the process down and miss deadlines. Resources Joanie Connell on LinkedIn | Twitter | Website Email Etienne: etienne@7ctos.com
Nov 30, 2022
The Role of A CTO is Complicated
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Etienne du Bruin goes solo this week as he discusses the complicated nature of a CTO’s role. He talks about the four S’s of a CTO, and describes how systems thinking can be used to understand the role of a leader. CTOs shield their organizations from existential threats internally and externally; stretch out the organization with design thinking and organizational design; speed up technology delivery; and work with the cross functional teams to increase sales, Etienne claims.  Complex systems consist of many elements on many different scales, all affecting one another on different levels.  Systems thinking can be used to understand how the components of a complex company interact with each other. Levels of complexity within companies necessitate that leaders be able to adapt quickly in order to manage these complexities. Etienne believes the role of a CTO is one of business, with a budget to build teams that deliver technologies to grow revenues.  Resources Email Etienne: etienne@7ctos.com 
Nov 23, 2022
[Replay] Aaron Longwell in the CTO Studio
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How does the left and right brain differ in decision-making? In this week’s show, Aaron Longwell, a Software Manager at Amazon Web Services, dives deep into this idea. He joins Etienne de Bruin to talk about the importance of context in decision-making, communication, and how pushing management decisions down in an organization can lead to problems. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: Throughout history, humans have favored the left-brain model of thinking. "We pay less attention to context and … to emotions, pay less attention to the body and more to the brain," Aaron says. Alternatively, the right side of the brain is more creative. Good communication is a major factor in solving challenges. Code is communication, so being able to communicate effectively will allow you to code more effectively.  Getting communication right from the start saves you time. Don't assume that you're being understood, verify that you are. Ask questions that can let you know that the other person is understanding what you are saying and that you're both on the same page.  The mentality of reusing what you can is flawed. The idea that because someone already built in some component of the communication in the software, so it doesn't need to be reworked opens you up for a lot of third-party dependencies and increases complexity. Pushing management decisions lower down in an organization creates redundant decision making. Complexity is a prerequisite to being robust. Resources Aaron Longwell | LinkedIn  Thinking, Fast and Slow The Master and His Emissary 
Nov 16, 2022
[Replay] How to Find The Best Employees in Tech Today, with Casey Kleindienst
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Have you interviewed and hired someone only to have it not work out soon after? This week’s show discusses the importance of hiring people who will be successful in your company’s culture. Casey Kleindienst, a Management Professor at Cal State Fullerton and a consultant to small and medium enterprises, explores how to identify those individuals. He joins Etienne de Bruin to share how to screen candidates for emotional intelligence and potential risk. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: The interview process tries to answer two questions: Does this candidate fulfill the minimum requirements for the job? And will they succeed in the company’s culture? Culture and potential are the two most important variables to consider, Casey says. Don't hire resumes. Rather than the resume, look at the character. The character will give you a prediction of future performance. Hire people that have the potential to deliver value to your company in the long run.  Seventy percent of jobs come from the hidden job market, meaning they don’t get posted. Employers call people in their network and ask if they know suitable candidates. Being able to teach people and bring them into learning is a skill that demonstrates that someone has actually mastered the craft that they've learned. Decision making is a singular activity. If you assign decision making to more than one person, despite whatever discussion they have, they will eventually reach an impasse. They're not going to be able to go forward because there are two opposing views and they both have equal merit in the eyes of the holders. Instead of running from them and trying to get rid of them, you should work towards your weaknesses. On the other side of them, there are strengths. Resources Casey Kleindienst on LinkedIn
Nov 09, 2022
Sleep Tightly Through Your DevOps Woes with Phil Borlin and Ken Cone
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Just how easy is DevOps? In this week’s show, Phil Borlin and Ken Cone, co-founders of SleepTight, share the answer. They join Etienne de Bruin to talk about the challenges that come with navigating a company's DevOps, and what developers should keep in mind.  Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: DevOps is the idea that developers need to be in charge of their own destiny. Therefore, somebody needs to be able to help them get to that point.  "What we're trying to do is change the way people do computer science," Ken says. You don't have to flip the ones and zeros on the machines anymore because transistors do that. It's high time DevOps is that way for people who want to create value. Your business should be unique in your market, but not in your ops nor your tech.  Developers should understand their tools, but that doesn't mean they have to write their tools. Continuous integration simply means that all the code that is being written is grouped together continuously. Trunk-based development is going back to this ideal and feature flags is wrapping all the code.  Trunk based development, terraform and infrastructure are all important in approaches to code. Phil and Ken detail the steps and procedures that go into terraforming and building code infrastructure. Resources Phil Borlin | phil@sleeptight.io Ken Cone SleepTight
Nov 02, 2022
[Replay] The Importance of Psychology as a CTO with Dr. Dan Stoneman
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How do you build and maintain relationships? In this week’s show, Dr. Dan Stoneman, Executive Partner at Gardner and former CIO of the San Diego Unified District, dives deep into this idea. He joins Etienne de Bruin to talk about the role of psychology as a CTO and the importance of relationships. He tells listeners that we should not be so focused on outcomes that we no longer have people in our lives.  Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: When you’re texting the most important people in your life, Dan suggests, asking them what's special about their day instead of how they're doing.  If you don't understand psychology and influence, you're not going to get anything done. While persuasion is programming people in a way, you can't do that the way you would program computers. Humans make decisions all on their own, so to be able to persuade them, you have to understand why they make the choices they do. The three pillars of effective leadership are mastery, autonomy, and purpose.  The best thing you can do as a leader is to step out of the way so your team can activate and harness their creativity to make the product better.  How you interact and relate to your team is what drives productivity. Years of experience will not necessarily translate into effective leadership. It takes communication, empathy, and a desire to transfer knowledge. Resources Dan Stoneman | LinkedIn  Drive by Daniel Pink The Destructive Hero | The New York Times Netscape Time by Jim Clark
Oct 26, 2022
Trunk-Based Development And Feature Flags With EJ & TJ
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What must exist for a community to be vibrant and healthy? In this week’s show, EJ Allen and TJ Taylor, CTO and Staff Engineer at Mobilize, answer this question. They join Etienne de Bruin to dig into trunk-based development, feature flags, and how community and personal connection drive business.  Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: Community is the tide that raises all boats. Building communities of trust and connecting with people can unlock potential for everyone.  What it means to be part of a thriving community is the same across professional and personal networks. The key components of creating a vibrant network include trust, empathy, and unlocking potential.  In software development, you must be able to take risks and be vulnerable with your team. This means that you essentially eliminate the consequences of making a mistake, allowing your team to experience psychological safety. Building habits is one of the ways to create pits of success. That translates into looking at the habits of the people around you and figuring out how to leverage those habits to get the desired behavior. Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.  Think about how you're adding value to your customer. At the end of the day, your work is not necessarily as important as the work that your team is delivering to the customer.   "Being able to get 1% better a day makes you 37 times better in a year. Try not to worry so much about what can I get done in a day or what can I get done this week… Instead, just focus on how can I deliver the smallest amount of value as consistently as possible?"  You need every leg of the stool to be successful. That requires trust, empathy, and connection in your team.  Resources EJ Allen | LinkedIn  TJ Taylor | LinkedIn  Mobilize  Refactoring by Kent Beck Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers
Oct 19, 2022
A Conversation with CTO and Co-founder of 37signals David Heinemeier Hanssen, dhh
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This week’s show explores the importance of having a clear vision and crafting your code. David Heinemeier Hanssen, dhh, co-owner and CTO of 37signals, shares the story of his rise to the C-suite and the challenges he faced when starting the company. He joins Etienne de Bruin to discuss how his company has grown over time. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: David considers himself a programmer, not an engineer. Engineer, he says, should be a protected title for people who actually have engineering degrees. Most programming languages are not designed for the programmer but to contain and relegate the programmer as the “problematic character that’s driving it from behind the keyboard.” David and his business partner were both students of bad businesses, getting a close-up view of what not to do, which later informed their decisions in building Basecamp. This valuable insight, along with their combined skill sets in programming, design, and business operations, allowed them to approach entrepreneurship from a unique lens. “We had a healthy degree of utter arrogance and exuberant ignorance, and through those things, a commitment to doing things from first principles,” he shares. Once you've made enough money that no one can threaten your livelihood, you achieve a distinct degree of inner freedom that allows you to stand up for your principles.  There are aspects of hardship that are good for you, and they will only make you stronger. A lot of productivity is about realizing the value of doing nothing, and the value of not creating more. The inherent creation value in destruction and inaction is huge and should not be overlooked. Resources David Heinemeier Hanssen, dhh, on the Web | LinkedIn | Twitter Email Etienne: etienne@7ctos.com Programming Ruby by Dave Thomas Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns by Kent Beck Domain-Driven Design by Eric Evans Refactoring by Kent Beck and Martin Fowler
Oct 12, 2022
Change is Evolutionary with Dave Mangot
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Is iterative growth more substantial than revolutionary growth? In this week’s show, Dave Mangot, Principal and founder of Mangoteque, explores this idea in depth. He joins Etienne de Bruin to talk about how companies find benchmarks to compare themselves to, and how his organization is holding up a mirror in this process. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: The culture you cultivate at your company will endure for the company’s lifetime.  When you’re looking for tools for your company's DevOps, pick the one that fits your company's culture the best. A tool that does most of what you want, and that fits in with your company culture, will have the highest rate of adoption.  To have continuous improvement in your company, you need to plan as well as study. Development teams need to have a calendar, they need to study the projects that they are undertaking and decide whether or not they are feasible.  As a leader, give yourself and your team permission to fail. Be open to suggestions from your team members, and don't be quick to dismiss them. "That was a thinking, creative human being who spent time coming up with that. To dismiss it out of hand is probably not appropriate and certainly not great for team performance or team cohesion," Dave tells Etienne.   Hiring more people when work isn't getting done is not going to fix anything. Throwing more people into a broken system isn't going to fix the broken system. Instead, look at the work that needs to be done.  Resources Dave Mangot LinkedIn | Twitter Mangoteque
Oct 05, 2022
Getting Involved with Open Source Communities with Jesse White
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“Large open source projects with many developers can sometimes feel like chaotic construction zones.” This week’s show is all about open-source communities. Jesse White, CTO and President of R&D at OpenNMS, joins Etienne de Bruin to define and describe open source communities, what they do, and how they work. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: OpenNMS is an open-source network monitoring program intended to monitor large enterprises at scale. How do you nurture a community that has strong feelings about where the product needs to go? “I see my role as being as transparent as possible in painting a picture of where we're going as an organization and what impacts that has on the open source project that we have,” Jesse shares. Sometimes when things go wrong inside an open source community, developers fork projects in different directions or start another community outright.  If you’re thinking about contributing to an open-source community, you should start by asking around. You should also advocate for your own work - don’t seclude yourself in a silo and only come out when it’s ready. Let people know what you’re working on, and keep them posted. Even if there’s no response, people will see it and be aware. The key to open source is the openness of code, disposition, and how you approach it.  Resources Jesse White on the Web | LinkedIn
Sep 28, 2022
Feature Flags with Split.io CTO Patricio Echague
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Do you dream of more harmony between product and engineering teams when releasing features? This week’s show dives deep into the world of features. Patricio Echague, CTO and co-founder of Split.io, shares how to avoid causing trauma to your engineering teams with pushes to production. He joins Etienne de Bruin to discuss the fundamentals of updating code in a way that empowers teams across your company. Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: As a CTO, whether you're at a highly scaled organization or just starting, the value you create is through the code you've written. In updating that code, trunk-based development is the way to go.  Though you can use other branching techniques to use feature flags, they are more powerful when they are developed with a trunk-based methodology. When using feature flags, you should start by placing them as high in the stack as possible and then moving them down as needed. If a feature flag has at least two conditions, two possible states, it gets exponential. This will create difficulty if you have to change many feature flags. You can try to mitigate the animosity between product and engineering by giving them independence. Any mature feature flag will help you identify when flags are no longer being engaged and used.  If you have a monolith code base, you can move towards trunk based by peeling off areas of the monolith that haven't changed often and have a unit of domain, and then putting that into microservice and giving some teams autonomy to iterate on that service alone. Resources Patricio Echague on the Web | LinkedIn | Twitter
Sep 21, 2022
The CTO & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with Kathy Keating, Aaron Pina and Erik Enge
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DEI isn’t just an organizational to-do; it’s about the day-to-day behavior in a company. Inclusion and Equity are the things we put into practice in our daily lives – how are we inclusive of people, and how do we ensure there is equity across the board? Today, Etienne de Bruin is talking to three experts in their fields, and in the leadership of major organizations who are taking DE&I seriously. Erik Enge is the Head of Engineering at Postmark, Active Campaign. Kathy Keating the VP of Technology at Ad Hoc, and Aaron Pina is the founder of Anthropolicy. They discuss what DE and I really means, how to make it an integral part of your company, and why that matters.   They discuss: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion isn’t a set of checkboxes to tick off. The number of people of color or members of the LGBTQ community in your company doesn’t mean anything if their day-to-day experience of working in the organization isn’t inclusive. “If you focus on the I, the D will come.” Psychological safety is important, but the idea of it has de-developed equity in North America. It has kept majority culture, particularly whiteness, from fully engaging in the process and practice of inclusion. Real psychological safety is something else. Where do you start having conversations about people’s biases and resistance? Aaron recommends looking at skepticism and resistance as a signal for a story that needs to be told. When you’re part of majority culture, what you find normal, pleasant, easy and conducive to success, it’s hard to imagine that others don’t have the same experience. Eric talks about this realization and how he acted on it. Trust and safety doesn’t come from doing and saying everything perfectly, it comes from creating something new. Cathy shares that she feels safety comes from “that beautiful moment when we move from your needs, my needs and where it’s about us expressing our needs.” Aaron talks about how the whole self doesn’t always belong at work, but spaces where you can be unapologetically yourself are vital. He recommends active bystander training and looking at how it can be applied in the world. Fear is a feeling you can move through – it doesn’t have to be avoided, and it doesn’t have to stop you from making changes and doing the work. What happens when you bring difference into your workplace ‘tribe’? It always creates friction but how you treat and respond to that friction dictates whether you grow and evolve or stagnate and eventually decay.   Resources The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle  The Culture Map by Erin Meyer Aaron Pina on LinkedIn Instagram Anthropolicy Consulting Kathy Keating on LinkedIn Ad Hoc Erik Enge on LinkedIn Active Campaign
Sep 14, 2022
A Conversation With PayPal CTO, Sri Shivananda
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“When your name is mentioned, what are the characteristics that people implicitly jump to in a millisecond?” This week’s show peels back the curtain on leadership, authenticity, and the role of a CTO. Sri Shivananda, CTO and EVP of Product and Platform Engineering at PayPal, joins Etienne de Bruin to discuss a variety of topics all centering around his experience as CTO. Sri explores building effective teams, the intricate inner workings of a company, and the impact of a brand.  Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: At the end of the day, leadership is really about building great teams. It’s not an act of one - it’s the act of many passionate people that come together.  Communication channels are critical in leadership. The CTO is the pulse for the customer. Their role allows organizations to continuously evolve the experiences both consumers and merchants have.  Authenticity is foundational for creating trust in any relationship. It’s about ensuring that the way you express yourself and the way you interact with people is in harmony with your core value system.  Leadership is about serving people, but it often gets clouded by worrying about what other people think. Concerns like, “Did I sound stupid?’ are common, but they ultimately don’t improve your leadership. It’s important that you give yourself permission to not be perfect. You become much more productive collaboratively when you learn to stop judging things and people around you on a continuous basis. People who have a habit of reflecting during the weekend have an advantage in going into a new week with new learning. Within a company, the primary operating system involves the reporting relationships such as manager to employee, but the real information and work actually gets done through a secondary operating system of experts connecting with each other. Networking is very important for both personal and professional growth. Resources Sri Shivananda on the Web | LinkedIn | Twitter PayPal
Sep 07, 2022
Extracting Value From Your Network with Erin Fusaro, Wayne Haber and Brent Thumlert
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“If you spend a ton of time cultivating your network, how are you leveraging that work in your current role?” This week’s show explores multiple ways to reap the rewards of building a strong professional network, and how this week’s guests tap into that. Etienne de Bruin welcomes Erin Fusaro, Wayne Haber and Brent Thumlert to the CTO Studio Podcast. Erin is VP of Engineering at Chipper Cash, a fintech company. Her role involves helping the company grow and scale sustainably. Wayne is VP of Engineering at GitLab, focusing on security, growth and machine learning. Their primary objective is increasing “revenue via growth experiments and growth hacking and also apply machine learning to make teams customers more efficient.” Brent is the Managing Director of Software and Technology at Radicle. “Our purpose is to help people find the balance between people, planet and profit, specifically around inventory and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions,” he tells Etienne.  Some ideas you’ll hear them explore are: Who are you bringing to the table when you sit at the table? Having a strong network means that you bring more than just your expertise; you’re also bringing all the people you know and have influence over. You can get objective feedback on new ideas from your network and enter new places at a high level of trust. Maintaining a network of professionals who are as invested in personal development as you are is like “crowdsourcing mentorship”. Relationship building is everything in networking. “My network always wins,” Erin says. “That network is such a big part of my value as a leader … my network supersedes any job I have, because it is continuous across my career whereas I may work for a company for a period of time.” “A healthy network creates knowns and predictability or removes uncertainty.”  One way to keep relationships strong is to watch what you say publicly.  How to measure the health of your network. The power of community and group discussion. Using a personal Slack channel to keep in touch and simultaneously help one another expand their network. Resources Erin Fusaro on LinkedIn | Email Brent Thumlert on LinkedIn | Email Wayne Haber on LinkedIn 
Aug 31, 2022
How to Make the Horizon Model Better with Visibility Planning with Brant Cooper
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Brant Cooper is an author, disruptor, and lean innovation expert. He is CEO and founder of Moves the Needle and Market By Numbers. Brant joins Etienne de Bruin this week to explore how to improve the horizon model with visibility planning.  Here are some ideas you’ll hear them explore: The Horizon model originally suggested that companies plan their growth initiatives over three different time horizons, but somewhere along the line, people started equating the horizons to innovation, which was not ever part of the core concept. The innovation mindset can be thinking of ways to tweak your existing business model rather than inventing a new one. “How do I take my existing technology and leverage it in different ways?” Mature companies must first understand what their core objectives are over time when using the visibility model. The decision to determine how resources are used should be based on the evidence for the impact those different projects are going to have. “Horizon planning is arbitrarily assigning time to planning.” What stops agile within a company is that agile doesn’t reach beyond the technical. “You don’t have to abandon your existing horizon - you’re just using the visibility to actually populate your horizons as opposed to the other way around.” “We have to understand that the world we live in can change so quickly that today’s v1 is tomorrow’s v2. Resources Brant Cooper on the Web | LinkedIn | Twitter Email him at brant@brantcooper.com
Aug 24, 2022
What Evolutionary Biology Can Tell Us About Software Development - Part 2
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Aaron Longwell, Scott Graves and Judah McAuley are back for the final installment of this two-part episode of the 7CTO Studio Podcast. Aaron is the Software Development Manager at Serverless, Scott is the CTO at Reps and Co, as well as a Founding Partner at Scale Tech Consulting, and Judah is the Associate Director at Tinuiti. This week, they continue their conversation about degeneracy and its relationship to redundancy. Here are some ideas you’ll hear them explore: It usually takes a lot of waste to get to the optimal setup. The smaller the piece of the system, the more precise you need to be. As you zoom out, you can be more tolerant of inefficiency. Dial in the parts of the system that are stable; focus your adaptability on the areas that are subject to change. How is the energy in your team best applied? “The thing I've learned the most in managing teams the last couple of years, is to leave lots of slack… leave room for having the energy to think about and try different things.” Darwin originally theorized evolution as descent with modification and differential survival. They discuss what is similar in software development, and what might be missing.  How Deming’s generative organizational principles apply to building software development teams: “In a good generative culture the complexity will naturally evolve.” Is it wrong to piggyback off other systems to solve degeneracy? “Human engineers make progress all the time by looking at the solutions that evolution has come up with.” But is that an effective model to follow? They discuss the possibilities and implications.  “Unless we allow for those emergent phenomena we're never going to get true complexity.” Resources Aaron Longwell | LinkedIn | Twitter Serverless Scott Graves | LinkedIn Scale Tech Consulting  Judah McAuley | LinkedIn  Tinuiti  Gang of Four Design Patterns
Aug 17, 2022
What Evolutionary Biology Can Tell Us About Software Development - Part 1
2529
Etienne De Bruin welcomes Aaron Longwell, Scott Graves and Judah McAuley to this episode of the CTO Podcast. Aaron is the Software Development Manager at Serverless, Scott is the CTO at Reps and Co, as well as a Founding Partner at Scale Tech Consulting, and Judah is the Associate Director at Tinuit. In the first installment of this two-part episode, they’re exploring what engineers can learn from evolutionary biology when it comes to the software development process.  You'll hear Etienne, Aaron, Scott and Judah talk about: How software development follows patterns of biology and ecology, as well as dynamic systems theory. The importance of The Adjacent Possible. This is where modification occurs in a network that makes something possible that wasn't possible before the modification.  The way lay people think about code is much simpler than what coding actually is. "People who are not in software I always tell them, every piece of software you admire, …if you could peel the curtain back on that, you'll be shocked at how hard to understand and complicated and garbage the code looks," Aaron says. Software, especially coding, is much more complicated than it looks and there are so many algorithms that need to be followed. You can only change bits of code at a time or else the systems get out of balance.  What matters most is how well the system around the code works. The thing that makes the code most adaptable is you.  Why you should allow some randomness and some mess into your problem solving so that you can explore other avenues to resolve issues.  Resources Aaron Longwell | LinkedIn | Twitter Serverless Scott Graves | LinkedIn Scale Tech Consulting  Judah McAuley | LinkedIn  Tinuiti
Aug 10, 2022
Work on your reputation inside and outside your company! with Kevin Goldsmith and Claudius Mbemba
2389
Brittany Cotton and Etienne de Bruin talk to Kevin Goldsmith and Claudius Mbemba about the importance of building your reputation as CTO/VPE or technical executive.Check out 7ctos.com/podcast
Jul 25, 2022
Grooming Engineering Managers with Dalia Havens, VPE at Replicated
2077
Check out 7ctos.com
Jul 01, 2022
Shopify's Technical Advisor To The CEO, Duncan Davidson
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Duncan and I talk about what the role is of a Technical Advisor to the CEO. We also get into the hiring challenge, how to stay collaborative at such a large scale and we also touch on the immigrant story.Check out https://7ctos.com
Jun 20, 2022
How To Do Skip Level Meetings with Nathan Broslawsky and Scott Graves
2197
As we add layers of management, we as leaders should try keep our fingers on the pulse of how people down in the organization are feeling. We make extra effort to learn about their relationship with leadership change. A “skip level” meeting is an essential tool for the technology executive to learn more about how people are doing one level below your direct reports.Check out 7CTOs.com
Jun 09, 2022
A CTO Implements DEI Early On: A Discussion With Joan Pepin
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Joan Pepin is the co-founder and CEO of ZeroWall. She shared her story of coming out as transgender while also being at the forefront of information security and engineering.Check out https://www.zerowall.ai/Check out https://7ctos.com/podcast
May 23, 2022
What metrics do you use? A Discussion With Dave Mangot and Erik Enge
2541
Erik Enge is the Head of Engineering at Postmark, recently acquired by ActiveCampaign and Dave Mangot is the Founder and Principal at Mangoteque. We discussed our favorite book Accelerate and how to apply it to our organizations.Check out https://www.mangoteque.com/Check out https://postmarkapp.com/Check out https://7ctos.com/
May 17, 2022
Be The Best Damn Fractional CTO You Can Be
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You should be as uncomfortable with a fractional CTO running your tech as you would be with a fractional CEO running your business.Etienne talks about how to be a great Fractional CTO.https://7ctos.com/podcast
May 09, 2022
Integrating New Hires Into Your Engineering Culture with Erin Fusaro and Tracie Hlavka
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We had a great chat with Erin, VPE of Chipper Cash and Tracie, CTO at FlyHomes about the challenges we face when onboarding new hires.Check out more at https://cto.studio/
May 02, 2022
Designing a Great Hiring Process to Attract Engineers
2446
Paul and Agustin from CertifiedHiring.com join us in the CTO Studio to talk about what it takes to design a great hiring process for engineers.Check out more at 7ctos.com/podcast
Apr 25, 2022
Deconstructing The Hiring Problem with Eric Lackore and David Lormor
2168
Eric is the VP of Technology & Platform Development at Sweet Onion Media Group. David Lormor is the Co-Founder & CTO of Wyndy and together we deconstruct the global hiring problem many companies are facing right now.Check out 7ctos.com/podcast
Apr 18, 2022
4 Things The Security Team Wants From Their CTO with Naomi Buckwalter
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Naomi Buckwalter visits the CTO Studio with a quick perspective on what the security team needs from their CTO. Naomi is a CISO and founder of Cybersecurity Gatebreakers Foundation.Check out 7ctos.com/podcast and join our Slack community.
Apr 11, 2022
QA with Lu Saenz and Pat Cullen
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Lu Saenz, CTO at Flock Freight and Pat Cullen, VP Engineering at Carrot talk about the progression of QA inside our engineering organizations and how to fight off the temptation to create a separate QA department.Lu Saenz: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lu-saenz-startups-cleantech/Pat Cullen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pat-cullen-b3295b29/Join our Slack community at https://7ctos.com/podcast
Apr 04, 2022
Coaching Your Engineers vs. Giving Them Feedback with Etienne de Bruin
1131
Etienne spends a bit of one on one time with you talking about the differences between coaching our people vs. giving them feedback.Check out https://7ctos.com/
Mar 28, 2022
Psychological Safety For Your Engineering Team with Kimeshan Naidoo, CTO Unibuddy
2037
Kimeshan Naidoo recently gave a chat in the CTO Studio about how he built Psychological Safety for his engineering teams. He is the CTO and co-founder of Unibuddy.Check out 7ctos.com/podcast
Mar 21, 2022
Help The C-Suite Understand Your CTO Role with Nishant Mathew and Jim Catts
3137
How hard can it be to work with the C-Suite when you're a CTO?Check out https://7ctos.com/podcast
Mar 14, 2022
Emotional Literacy Tools For The CTO, with Patty Leeper facilitating a 7CTOs Forum
1536
Patty Leeper, formerly with NeXT Computer and now Executive Coach talks a group of CTOs through recognizing emotions in ourselves and in others. Patty is also a Facilitator at 7CTOs and can be contacted at patty@7ctos.com.Check out https://pattyleeper.comCheck out https://7ctos.com/podcast
Mar 09, 2022
CTO Strategies For Engineering Bonuses And Profit Sharing, with Agustin Lebron and 7CTOs
3080
We have a great conversation lead by Agustin Lebron from CertifiedHiring.com discussing the perils of short sighted bonus plans. But also more importantly, how to make our engineers feel like they are participating in the company success.You can help us by leaving us a rating and review!Check out: 7ctos.com Check out: certifiedhiring.com
Mar 07, 2022
How The CTO Goes About Meeting Their Team's Needs, with Scott Graves and Chris Peterson
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We have a chat with 3 CTOs in the room on being aware of their team's needs. And how to meet them. We also talk about our own ability to be vulnerable for our teams.Thank you Scott Graves from Scale Tech and Chris Peterson from Scientist.com for joining us.Check out https://cto.studio for all our episodes.
Mar 01, 2022
CTOs Building Web3 Startups Using Blockchains and NFTs
2533
We learn from Scott Hoffberg Wilson and Ben Howard, both CTOs building their startups based on blockchain and NFT technologies. We learn about how Nori.com is using NFTs to build a marketplace for carbon removal credits. We also learn how KinectAir wants to use NFTs to share rewards points between airline mileage programs.We also do a deep dive with Michael Bastos on using NFTs for building communities. Check out 7ctos.com and if you want to join our Slack for free, check out https://cto.studio/
Feb 21, 2022
Are Your Needs Being Met In The C-Suite?
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As Brittany Cotton, Head of Coaching at 7CTOs explains, whether you are a CTO, engineer, plant or dog, we all have needs. Key here is to understand that you do have needs and are they being met. We talk about Maslow, Needs vs. Wants and ultimately what is at impact when a CTO is acting from a place of unfulfilled needs.Check out 7CTOs.com for more information on our peer groups.
Feb 18, 2022
CTO Upgrades To OKRs by using GEMs and Sentinels
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It's not easy keeping the company aligned on technology initiatives.Kathy Keating and Subbu Rama are in the CTO Studio with Etienne talking about the challenges around executing OKRs and the alternatives that can help us keep the C-Suites informed of our progress.Come visit us in Slack by going to https://cto.studio
Feb 14, 2022
Engineering Staffing Strategies
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We invited a group of CTOs to chat about staffing strategies for engineering teams that we should consider. Many of them aren't new but we talk about how to apply them in today's (hostile) hiring climate.Learn more about us at 7ctos.com/podcast
Feb 08, 2022
The Power of Stillness for the CTO
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We had a discussion about how the role of CTO is actually fundamentally changing where we have to consider the fact that the tools we're using processes we have in place are actually not in service anymore to this globalized workforce. One of the things, I think why we're here in the workforce is that.Everything we did the last two years has been reactionary. Etienne de Bruin and Brittany Cotton discuss the power of stillness and reflection for the CTO in this time.Go check us out for more at 7ctos.com/podcast
Jan 31, 2022
New Ideas About The Future of Work
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How are you doing you as CTO have responded well to the pandemic. You've got your workforce remote right now, you're dealing with the globalization of the workforce. How are you viewing the future of work? How are you adjusting? What are you saying to your C suite? How are you approaching your people in a way that is innovative, unique? And appropriate for the times. Scott Graves, Paul Johnson Frank Febbraro are in the CTO studio with me and we'll have a discussion about it.Learn more at 7ctos.com/podcast
Jan 27, 2022
Engineering Compensation Challenges
2365
Agustin Lebron leads a group think tank with several CTOs on the compensation challenges CTOs are facing in the current hiring climate.Join the CTO Studio Slack community: 7ctos.com/podcast
Jan 25, 2022
What Does Smart Contract Code For A DAO Look Like?
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A few CTOs walk through a Smart Contract coded in Solidity. This Smart Contract is for a DAO and Michael Bastos walks us through the basic concepts.For more information on us check out 7ctos.com/podcast
Jan 21, 2022
CTO Relationships with Project Managers
1507
We talk to Matt Ferguson and Kathy Keating about Project Management. We talk about what the role of Project Managers are and how it differs from Program Management. We also talk about estimation skills and the definition of good project management.Check out https://7ctos.com/podcast for more information.
Jan 18, 2022
CTO Panel On DAO and Wallet Volatility
2224
We discuss the volatilities around the formations of DAOs and the connecting of wallets to websites. It's still a crazy web3 world out there but we're powering through the topics to figure out what CTOs need to know about this.Thank you to Frank Febbraro, Michael Bastos and Ken Cone for joining Etienne de Bruin in the CTO Studio. For more, go check out: https://7ctos.com/podcastEmail me any time at etienne@7ctos.comEtienne
Jan 13, 2022
CTO Introduction To DAO
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Join us in the CTO Studio this week where we dive into what Decentralized Autonomous Organizations are and how useful they can be for organizing people around a cause, product or mission.Thank you Agustin, Bryan and Alex for joining me in the CTO Studio this week.Learn more about us at https://7ctos.com/podcastAlways feel free to contact me at etienne@7ctos.com
Jan 11, 2022
CTO And Data Ownership in Web3
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Just like we saw the B2B landscape change with SOC2 requirements, what does it look like when our users and customers start demanding a new level of data ownership. We talk about  NFT, IPFS and the role of CTO in leading discussions and innovation in our startups. The botom line is that we need to collaborate and learn together.Thank you to our guests Agustin Lebron, Bryan Hall, Michael Bastos, Frank Febbraro and Ken Cone.Join the CTO Studio Slack Community at https://7ctos.com/podcastAs always, feel free to reach out to me any time at etienne@7ctos.com
Jan 06, 2022
Build Your Own CTO Peer Group So That You Can Succeed
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In this conversation, Etienne and Britt talk about the importance of having a team of peers that support your growth and can form an alliance with you. We live in a brave new world where mental health challenges are real and being locked up in our homes can lead to loneliness and distorted view of our reality. Get a team alliance going so that you can get out of your own head!Check out https://7ctos.com/podcast for more information.
Jan 03, 2022
CTO Discussion On Web3 Complexity
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We brought in a few CTOs and friends to discuss the current complexities CTOs would face in Data and Identity Management. Check out more at 7ctos.com/podcast 
Dec 31, 2021
CTO Under Fire Playbook
3141
What a refreshing re-frame coming from Ashley Raiteri and Kevin Goldsmith for when things go awry in the C-Suite for the CTO. Conversations get contentious and trust gets eroded and we talk about the need for solid allies in the C-Suite in case things get political. Hopefully it doesn't! We talk about nurturing relationships and helping other members of the C-Suite succeed.
Dec 28, 2021
CTO Timing For web3
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We assembled a few CTOs and Financial guru's to talk about how the CTO should consider the business viability of web3 and when to start committing to development resources. The short answer is to see this all as R&D and to not go crazy. It's goo though to get your engineers some exposure to the technologies. Thank you Scott Graves, Agustin Lebron, Michael Bastos and Ken Cone for joining me.Check out 7CTOs.com to find more peer groups and invest in your personal growth as CTO.
Dec 23, 2021
CTO Antidote to Decision Fatigue
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Kevin Goldsmith, Ashley Raiteri and Etienne talk about how to handle decision fatigue by leaning on a community of peers. Etienne talks about 7CTOs. Check out 7CTOs.com 
Dec 20, 2021
CTO Introduction to Web3
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In this episode we give a high level overview of the blockchain, including Solana, Ethereum and Bitcoin. We talk about dApps and Smart Contracts and we bring it all home with how the CTO should view innovation in the space of decentralization.Thank you to Agustin Lebron, Anup Marwadi and Michael Bastos for visiting with me in the CTO Studio. We are fanatical about Chief Technology Officers building cool new technologies. For more, subscribe to our newsletter over at 7ctos.com Also feel free to contact Etienne at etienne@7ctos.com
Dec 17, 2021
How to Deal with Employees that Don’t Show Willingness to Participate in Relationships
927
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Jeff Miller, Professional Certified Coach helping leaders to articulate their goals, perceived obstacles and professional challenges.
Nov 19, 2021
Defining the CTOs Role in Relationships and Company Culture
999
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Jeff Miller, Professional Certified Coach helping leaders to articulate their goals, perceived obstacles and professional challenges.
Nov 16, 2021
Doing Curiosity vs. Being Curiosity
823
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Jeff Miller, Professional Certified Coach helping leaders to articulate their goals, perceived obstacles and professional challenges.
Nov 11, 2021
Curiosity and the Unknown
902
Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D. is the founder of Flexible Work Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership assessment, development and retention for all levels. She teaches at the University of California at San Diego and is the author of Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life. For more information on the upcoming conference visit http://www.0111conf.com/
Oct 27, 2021
When Curiosity Leads to Questions, But Not All Questions Represent Curiosity
1105
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D. is the founder of Flexible Work Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership assessment, development and retention for all levels. She is the author of Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life. http://www.0111conf.com/
Oct 18, 2021
Curiosity Vs. Being Curious
813
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring a 3 part series with Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D. who is the founder of Flexible Work Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in leadership assessment, development and retention for all levels. She is the author of Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life. Joanie will also be a featured speaker at the upcoming retreat. For more information visit: http://www.0111conf.com/
Oct 13, 2021
Creating A Agile And Innovative Infrastructure
2223
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Brant Cooper who is the author of Lean Entrepreneur.  Buy Brant's new book Disruption Proof here: https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191  Learn more about 7CTOs at https://7ctos.com/
Oct 07, 2021
Evidence As A Way To Deal With Ideas And Uncertainty
1087
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Brant Cooper who is the author of Lean Entrepreneur.  Buy Brant's new book Disruption Proof here: https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191  Learn more about 7CTOs at https://7ctos.com/
Sep 23, 2021
Communication Flow for Handling Inventions
931
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Brant Cooper who is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and CEO of Moves the Needle.  Buy Brant's new book Disruption Proof here: https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191  Learn more about 7CTOs at https://7ctos.com/
Sep 20, 2021
Time Horizons And How We Address Needs
860
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Brant Cooper who is the author of Lean Entrepreneur.  Buy Brant's new book Disruption Proof here: https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191  Learn more about 7CTOs at https://7ctos.com/
Sep 09, 2021
The Role of the CTO has shifted beyond just Technology
823
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Brant Cooper who is the author of Lean Entrepreneur.  Buy Brant's new book Disruption Proof here: https://www.amazon.com/Disruption-Proof-Empower-People-Create/dp/1538720191  Learn more about 7CTOs at https://7ctos.com/
Aug 31, 2021
The two most important risk factors in customer and employment agreements
936
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Meetesh Karia who is CTO & Chief Data Officer at The Zebra
Aug 06, 2021
When, Why & How to start the Compliance Process
947
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Meetesh Karia who is the CTO & Chief Data Officer at The Zebra
Jul 27, 2021
3rd Party & Bad Actor Risk Assessment
655
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Meetesh Karia  CTO & Chief Data Officer at The Zebra
Jul 15, 2021
Navigating Compliance Risk as CTO from a startup idea in a garage to $1B+ unicorn
895
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Meetesh Karia who is the CTO & Chief Data Officer at The Zebra. 
Jul 01, 2021
Protecting Your IP in Customer Agreements Part 2
1012
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Will Marshall Partner who is a at UBM Law group. This is part 2 of discussing protecting your IP in customer agreements.  
Jun 23, 2021
Cyber Insurance, Compliance and Cyber Security
1054
Check out the latest episode of the CTO Studio featuring Will Marshall who is a partner at UBM Law group based in San Diego, CA. we discuss the importance of customer agreements and the threats to your IP when going into partnerships with clients or service providers.
Jun 16, 2021
Cyber Insurance, Compliance and Cyber Security
2117
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring @Beracah Stortvedt. We discuss mitigating risk and the responsibility a CTO has to secure insurances.
Jun 11, 2021
Intellectual Property
4511
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Gary Eastman. who is the Registered Patent Attorney based in San Diego and is the managing attorney at Eastman IP
Jun 04, 2021
Gitlab Transparency
3514
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Wayne Haber.GitLab Director of Engineering: Leading the growth & fulfillment departments, advising on security. Startup investor and advisor  
May 27, 2021
Must Have and Nice To Have Patents
2360
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Tushar Dadlani Engineering Manager at Standard Cognition and Krijn van der Raadt.
May 21, 2021
Intellectual Property and Patenting Process
2269
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Tushar Dadlani Engineering Manager at Standard Cognition and Krijn van der Raadt. Check out https://7ctos.com/
May 11, 2021
On Degeneracy
1495
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Aaron Longwell. Aaron is building the app that hosts all of the Afghanistan Legal System.
May 04, 2021
Building the Legal Software System in Afghanistan
1712
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Aaron Longwell. Aaron is building the app that hosts all of the Afghanistan Legal System.
Apr 27, 2021
When Simple Concepts Unravel In The C-Suite
774
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Aaron Longwell. Aaron is building the app that hosts all of the Afghanistan Legal System.
Apr 20, 2021
Doing Work As A Means Of Discovery
770
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Aaron Longwell. Aaron is building the app that hosts all of the Afghanistan Legal System.
Apr 15, 2021
Left Brain Right Brain
1081
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Aaron Longwell. Aaron is the Director of Engineering, INL Justice Sector Support Program and is building the app that hosts all of the Afghanistan Legal System.          
Apr 13, 2021
IOT For The Hot Tub Part 2
677
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Jonathan LaCour. Jonathan LaCour is the CTO of Mission. Mission is a AWS Premier Consulting Partner. 
Apr 08, 2021
Designing IOT For The Hot Tub
816
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Jonathan LaCour. Jonathan LaCour is the CTO of Mission. Mission is a AWS Premier Consulting Partner.
Apr 06, 2021
Invest In Serverless
719
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Jonathan LaCour. Jonathan LaCour is the CTO of Mission. Mission is a AWS Premier Consulting Partner.
Apr 01, 2021
What Is Kubernetes?
791
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Jonathan LaCour. Jonathan LaCour is the CTO of Mission. Mission is a AWS Premier Consulting Partner. 
Mar 31, 2021
What is it that CTOs need to know about Infrastructure trends?
741
Check out the latest CTO Studio featuring Jonathan LaCour. Jonathan LaCour is the CTO of Mission. Mission is an AWS partner providing DevOps services and my go to friends for infrastructure questions.  Check out https://missioncloud.com/ Check out https://7ctos.com/
Mar 25, 2021
CTO'ing Mission through Pandemic Lockdowns
745
Check out the latest CTO Studio episode featuring Johnathan LaCour who is the CTO at Mission.Mission is an AWS partner providing DevOps services and my go to friends for infrastructure questions. Check out https://missioncloud.com/
Mar 23, 2021
CI/CD Pipelines Have Become Complicated
851
Matt Ferguson is the CTO at Galley Solutions. We wanted to showcase our fun side with a off the beaten path conversation which we decided to post. Not because it's that helpful to CTOs doing their actual job, but because we simply love Matt Ferguson very much. He is such an interesting person and I want you all to see how interesting he is.  
Mar 18, 2021
Ep.113 IOT, Micro Services And Data Visualization
1079
Matt Ferguson is the CTO at Galley Solutions. We wanted to showcase our fun side with a off the beaten path conversation which we decided to post. Not because it's that helpful to CTOs doing their actual job, but because we simply love Matt Ferguson very much. He is such an interesting person and I want you all to see how interesting he is.  
Mar 16, 2021
Ep.112 A Dragonfly Leads To a Conversation About Ecosystems
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Matt Ferguson is the CTO at Galley Solutions. We wanted to showcase our fun side with a off the beaten path conversation which we decided to post. Not because it's that helpful to CTOs doing their actual job, but because we simply love @Matt Ferguson very much. He is such an interesting person and I want you all to see how interesting he is.  
Mar 11, 2021
Ep.111 How To Build Your Own Backyard Pond
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We wanted to showcase our fun side with a off the beaten path conversations which we decided to post. Not because it's that helpful to CTOs doing their actual job, but because we simply love @Matt Ferguson very much. He is such an interesting person and I want you all to see how interesting he is. Check out https://linkedin.com/in/mfergie/ Check out https://7ctos.com/​
Mar 09, 2021
Ep.110 Why We Ran Out Of Toilet paper During Covid
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Check out our final episode with in studio guest Casey Kleindienst  where we cover the great mystery of why we ran out of toilet paper during Covid. One of our favorite Etienne-isms from a previous episode is: "The transferring of Enthusiasm". Casey is an expert at Supply Chain Management and current serves as a Management Professor @ Cal State Fullerton" Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dHATg3f   
Mar 05, 2021
Ep.109 Managing Expectations Part 2
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Check out part 2 of the managing expectations episode from the CTO Studio with our guest Casey Kleindienst who is the Director of Supply Chain Management. Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dHATg3f        
Mar 02, 2021
Ep.108 Managing Expectations Part 1
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Check out the latest episode from the CTO Studio with our guest Casey Kleindienst where he discusses how to manage your expectations. This is Part 1 of the series.   Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dHATg3f        
Feb 25, 2021
Ep.107 Truth As A Management Style
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Check out the latest episode from the CTO Studio with guest Casey Kleindienst where he discusses truth as a management style Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dHATg3f Do you need a community of your peers? Check out https://7ctos.com/
Feb 23, 2021
Ep.106 It's Hard To Be The Naysayer As CTO
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Check out the latest episode from the CTO Studio with our guest Casey Kleindienst where he discusses why it is hard to but necessary to be the naysayer as the CTO. Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dHATg3f
Feb 18, 2021
Ep.105 Time As A Metric
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Check out the latest episode from the CTO Studio with guest Casey Kleindienst who is the Director of Supply Chain Management and is currently a Professor at Cal State Fullerton. Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ckleindienst/
Feb 16, 2021
Ep.104 Systems Theory: Why Projects Don't Deliver
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Casey Kleindienst is the Director of Supply Chain Management. He is currently a Professor at Cal State Fullerton. We love having him in the CTO Studio as much as possible for orthogonal thinking! Check Casey out on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ckleindie... https://7ctos.com/  
Feb 11, 2021
Ep.103 Surviving The Start Up Graveyard By Building A Nimble Company
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Daniel Hindi is the CTO of Buildfire. He is also on the Forbes Tech Council. More recently he started a YouTube channel called Cogent Step to help build the relationship between founders and their technology people. Subscribe to Cogent Step: https://tinyurl.com/119cbqfi Check out Buildfire: https://buildfire.com/ Do you need a community of your peers? Check out: https://7ctos.com/ 
Feb 09, 2021
Ep.102 Being CTO Of A Market Leader
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Daniel Hindi is the CTO of Buildfire. He is also on the Forbes Tech Council. More recently he started a YouTube channel called Cogent Step to help build the relationship between founders and their technology people. Subscribe to Cogent Step: https://tinyurl.com/119cbqfi Check out Buildfire: https://buildfire.com/ Do you need a community of your peers? Check out https://7ctos.com/
Feb 05, 2021
Ep.101 Wrestling with the Changing Rules of The App Stores as CTO
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Daniel Hindi is the CTO of Buildfire. He is also on the Forbes Tech Council. More recently he started a YouTube channel called Cogent Step to help build the relationship between founders and their technology people.
Feb 02, 2021
Ep.100 The Conflicted CTO
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Daniel Hindi is the CTO of Buildfire. He is also on the Forbes Tech Council. More recently he started a YouTube channel called Cogent Step to help build the relationship between founders and their technology people. Subscribe to Cogent Step: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7v7... Check out Buildfire: https://buildfire.com/ Do you need a community of your peers? Check out https://7ctos.com/  
Jan 28, 2021
Ep.99 Technology Playbook Part 4
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm.
Jan 25, 2021
Ep.98 Tech Playbook Part 3
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm.
Jan 20, 2021
Ep.97 Tech Playbook Part 2
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm.  
Jan 12, 2021
Ep.96 Tech Playbook #1
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm.  
Jan 07, 2021
Ep.95 VP of Engineering
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm. 
Dec 28, 2020
Ep.94 Emotional Intelligence
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Check out our latest CTO Studio episode with our guest Emad Georgy in which he will discuss emotional intelligence.
Dec 22, 2020
Ep.93 Sprint Reviews
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Check out our latest CTO studio episode with Emad Georgy who is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm Check out: https://7ctos.com  
Dec 15, 2020
Ep.92 Consulting To CTO
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm. Check out: https://7ctos.com
Dec 09, 2020
Ep.91 The Immigrants Complex View of Self
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Emad Georgy is the former CTO of Experian and currently running his own consulting firm. We sit down with him today and discuss what its like to be a immigrant in America and how unique that view is.
Dec 01, 2020
Ep.90 The 7 Deadly Sins Of Infrastructure As Code Part 3
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Igor Mameshin is the CTO of AgileStacks and spent some time with Etienne, from 7CTOs in the CTO Studio. Check out: https://www.agilestacks.com/blog/avoi... Check out: https://7ctos.com Join https://ctostudio.fm/ to continue the conversation!
Nov 24, 2020
Ep.89 The 7 Deadly Sins Of Infrastructure As Code
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Igor Mameshin is the CTO of AgileStacks and spent some time with Etienne, from 7CTOs in the CTO Studio. Check out: https://www.agilestacks.com/blog/avoi... Check out: https://7ctos.com Join https://ctostudio.fm/ to continue the conversation!
Nov 17, 2020
Ep.88 The Seven Deadly Sins Of Infrastructure As Code
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Igor Mameshin is the CTO of AgileStacks and spent some time with Etienne, from 7CTOs in the CTO Studio. Check out: https://www.agilestacks.com/blog/avoi... Check out: https://7ctos.com Join https://ctostudio.fm/ to continue the conversation!
Nov 12, 2020
Ep.87 Agilestacks
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Igor Mameshin is the CTO of AgileStacks and spent some time with Etienne, from 7CTOs in the CTO Studio. Check out: https://www.agilestacks.com/blog/avoi... Check out: https://7ctos.com Join https://ctostudio.fm/ to continue the conversation!
Nov 03, 2020
Ep.86 Black Boxes
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more. Get Ted's book: https://hackablebook.com Check out: https://securityuevaluators.com
Oct 30, 2020
Ep.85 Security Penetration
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more. Get Ted's book: https://hackablebook.com Check out: https://securityuevaluators.com
Oct 20, 2020
Ep.84 Network Layers
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more. Get Ted's book: https://hackablebook.com Check out: https://securityuevaluators.com
Oct 15, 2020
Ep.83 The Blockchain Bandit
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more. Get Ted's book: https://hackablebook.com Check out: https://securityuevaluators.com
Oct 13, 2020
Ep.82 The Imposter Syndrome
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more. Get Ted's book: https://hackablebook.com Check out: https://securityuevaluators.com
Oct 08, 2020
Ep.81 Why Is Your Backlighting So Awesome
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Ted Harrington is the Executive Partner of one of the world’s leading security research & consulting firms -- Independent Security Evaluators (ISE). He is the author of Hackable.  Written to help technology leaders (including especially CTOs, future CTOs, VP of Engineering, and Lead Developers) better secure software. He recently sat down with Etienne de Bruin, founder of 7CTOs to talk about Security. Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.
Oct 06, 2020
Ep.80 Requirements of Writing A Book
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Etienne and Vidya are good friends who have worked on multiple projects together. Etienne as CTO and Vidya as CPO. They also co-founded https://lash.live  Vidya is the co-founder of Product Rebels as well as Ad Astra which enables funding for women founders.  Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.
Sep 29, 2020
Ep.79 The Opportunity Relationship Square
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Etienne and Vidya are good friends who have worked on multiple projects together. Etienne as CTO and Vidya as CPO. They also co-founded https://lash.live  Vidya is the co-founder of Product Rebels as well as Ad Astra which enables funding for women founders.  Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.
Sep 22, 2020
Ep.78 How to choose what Boards you want to be a part of
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Etienne and Vidya are good friends who have worked on multiple projects together. Etienne as CTO and Vidya as CPO. They also co-founded https://lash.live  Vidya is the co-founder of Product Rebels as well as Ad Astra which enables funding for women founders.  Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.
Sep 15, 2020
Ep.77 When Hiring a Product Manager is better than hiring a CTO
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Etienne and Vidya are good friends who have worked on multiple projects together. Etienne as CTO and Vidya as CPO. They also co-founded https://lash.live  Vidya is the co-founder of Product Rebels as well as Ad Astra which enables funding for women founders.  Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.  
Sep 08, 2020
Ep.76 The Basics Of Trading
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Augustin Lebron is the co-founder of Essilen Research helping CTO's build their tech organizations. He is also the author of The Laws Of Trading: A Trader's Guide To Better Decision-Making For Everyone [Wiley Trading] Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic and more.
Sep 01, 2020
Ep.75 Machine Learning
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Augustin Lebron is the co-founder of Essilen Research helping CTO's build their tech organizations. He is also the author of the Laws Of Trading: A Trader's Guide To Better Decision-Making For Everyone [Wiley Trading] Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on the topic  
Aug 25, 2020
Ep.74 The Fermi Paradox
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Augustin Lebron is the co-founder of Essilen Research helping CTO's build their tech organizations. He is also the author of The Laws Of Trading: A Trader's Guide To Better Decision-Making For Everyone [Wiley Trading] Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on the topic   
Aug 18, 2020
Ep.73 GPT-3 to Open AI
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Agustin Lebron is the Co-Founder of Essilen Research helping CTOs build their tech organizations. He is also the author of The Laws of Trading: A Trader's Guide to Better Decision-Making for Everyone Join https://ctostudio.fm for more community discussions on this topic
Aug 11, 2020
Ep. 72 The Case For Infrastructure As Code Part 3
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Here is the final installment of the conversation between Etienne De Bruin and Michael Snoyman about infrastructure and Docker.
Aug 04, 2020
Ep.71 The Case For Infrastructure As Code Part 2
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Here we present part 2 of a in depth conversation with Etienne and Michael Snoyman VP of Engineering for FP Complete about Devops, Docker and infrastructure as code.
Jul 28, 2020
Ep. 70 The Case For Infrastructure As Code Part 1
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We reboot our podcast with the first of a three part series on DevOps and robust Infrastructure. This is especially valuable for the CTO who isn't fully up to date on what's been happening in DevOps land.
Jul 21, 2020
Ep. 69 Short Term Crisis Management or a Longer Term Thing
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With the onslaught on productivity as we know it, CTOs are working closely with their leadership to determine whether the WFH movement is a short term thing or a longer term change. 7ctos.com
Mar 20, 2020
Ep. 68 The CTO's Challenge Of Picking The Right Tools For The Job
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We're back! Honestly, I got so bored with the interview format that I had to take a break.  But I am thrilled to say that after many months of experimenting, I am finally inspired again. In this episode we talk to Jonathan LaCour, Aaron Contorer and Casey Kleindienst about how to bring tools to our organizations.  Hint, it's a mental challenge more than a tools challenge. I also want to invite you to sign up for our March 2020 Global CTO Colloquium to connect with other CTOs on the tools that are out there and how to pick the best of breed.  Check out 7ctos.com/events Etienne
Feb 21, 2020
The Gig Economy & Product Roadmaps with Vidya Dinamani, Eric Lawler and Kamel Boulos
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On today's CTO Studio we dive into the gig economy, and building product roadmaps with clients and customers in mind (including what to do and what not to do).    We are once again joined by three guests. Talking about gig economy and product roadmaps is Vidya Dinamani who founded Product Rebels and AdAstra. With her is Eric Lawler, the CTO of LawnLove and Previos, and also Kamel Boulos who is the CTO of Closing Corp. We also cover the origins behind our guests’ companies and how they’ve evolved since their inception. Join us to hear all of the great content on this edition of CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear:   What percentage of the mortgage lenders use Closing Corp? (7:10) How did the Y Combinator experience help LawnLove grow? (16:40) What two questions do they start with at AdAstra? (31:40) How do you know if you are giving people something they actually want? (34:30) Should you have a pre-planned product roadmap? (46:50) And so much more!
Sep 10, 2019
The Key to Company Culture, with Vidya Dinamani, Benji Koltai and Jerome Bonhomme
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What is the key to company culture? Here to weigh in are three guests: Vidya Dinamani, Benji Koltai and Jerome Bonhomme. Vidya founded Product Rebels and AdAstra, Benji is the Co-Founder & CTO of  Galley Solutions, and Jerome is the CTO of American Specialty Health. In addition to the topic of the key to company culture, we also talk about how to maintain a company culture in large and small companies alike. Also on today's CTO Studio, we talk about restaurants and food supply. Join us to hear those topics and more on the 65th editiono of CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: What has the term "cultural fit" become a catch-all for? (5:30) How do you keep your culture consistent as you grow? (21:40) What are the back house operations and how is Galley helping this part of a restaurant? (25:30) Why having clear values for your company matters to your culture. (34:15) What is the "now, later, and future" concept? (44:10) And so much more!
Jul 31, 2019
Growing and Scaling Your Tech Company with Michael Singer and friends
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How would you navigate growing and scaling your tech company from 30 million to 200 million? Now how would you do it if that growth happened in just one year? Our guest today has been through those exact trenches, and he’s here to share his experiences.  Michael Singer is the EVP of Technology at Veyo and he joins Vidya Dinamani of AdAstra and Brant Cooper of Moves The Needle. We talk about Veyo’s tremendous growth and the challenges it brought, why they couldn’t really use agile approaches to their growth and much more. Join us for all the details on episode 64 of The CTO Studio.
Jul 10, 2019
The Ins and Outs of the Car Finance Industry, with Robert Swisher, Brant Cooper and Sonia Steinway
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The second biggest purchase most of us will make is a car. Many people finance that purchase through the dealer, which means knowing the ins and outs of the car finance industry is important. Joining us to share her insider knowledge is Sonia Steinway of Outside Financial, of which she is the co-founder and president.  On this episode with her, we go deep into car dealerships and the process of car buying, and how to know what you are signing when you agree to a car loan. Listen in for those topics and more on today’s CTO Studio.
Jun 26, 2019
Creating Culture and Productivity with Your Team, with Robert Swisher, Brant Cooper and Michael Young
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Two critical components in a start-up or any business are creating culture and productivity with your team. Joining us to share their experiences and sagacity is a roundtable of CTOs from the tech field: Robert Swisher of biproxi, Brant Cooper of Moves The Needle and Michael Young, technology management consultant. Today we talk about engineering culture, product management, and KPIs. We also discuss the crucial question: how do you measure productivity? While no one has the final, definitive answer, everyone weighs in with perceptive knowledge. Join us to hear it on this edition of CTO Studio.
Jun 11, 2019
The Present and Future of Data Science, with Christoper Keown, Robert Swisher and Alex Balazs
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One of the hottest topics in tech right now is our focus for today: the present and the future of data science.   On this episode of CTO Studio, you’ll hear data science downloads from Christopher Keown who runs a local machine learning data science meetup in San Diego. You’ll also hear insights from Robert Swisher, who is the CTO of biproxi and Alex Balazs, the chief architect at Intuit. We specifically discuss when you should be adding data scientists to your team, how the role of engineering in the data science environment of today, and why data science is actually very personal and very local. Join us for those discussions on episode 61 of CTO Studio! Chris Keown Chris Keown’s San Diego Machine Learning group Kaggle biproxi Robert Swisher on LinkedIn Alex Balazs’ blog at Intuit Alex Balazs on LinkedIn Alex on CTO Studio
May 21, 2019
PR and Positive Publicity in Tech with Brian Jones, Alan Leard and Alex Balazs
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Are PR and positive publicity in tech two different things? Brian Jones will answer that question and more today. Brian is the CEO of Nuts and Bolts of PR and he is the master of all things positive messaging. He also happens to be one of our guests on this episode of CTO Studio. Our other guests are Alan Leard, the CEO and founder of Limelight Health and Alex Balazs, the Chief Architect at Intuit. The four of us discuss what PR is and isn’t, and if it’s different from positive messaging and positive publicity. We also talk about what makes a good conference good and a bad conference bad. We cover a lot of ground in this episode so get ready to join us on today’s CTO Studio. For more, check out 7ctos.com
May 14, 2019
Two CTOs, one Chief Architect & Dr. Debbie Chen from Hydrostasis
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We try a brand new format this week with a group discussion.  Debbie Chen, PhD sits with a few geeks and talks about her mission to measure hydration in elite athletes. Check out: hydrostatis.com Also, find your peer group of CTOs: 7ctos.com  
May 07, 2019
Community Building with CTOs, with Dr. Tony Karrer
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There’s a misconception that people in tech aren’t big on networking and connecting socially. Our guest today has busted that myth and shows us the power of community building with CTOs. Dr. Tony Karrer is one of the founders of the Los Angeles CTO Forum, and is also an inspiration to me. He’s built multiple start-ups, is currently the CTO of several companies and holds a doctorate from USC. Listen in to hear his wisdom on the topics of community building, scaling up and scaling down and much more on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: What is a fractional CTO? What lesson did he learn from scaling in the dot com era? When do you know if you need a CTO? Is there a way to ensure you find the right advisors? How do you know if a CTO is a first class citizen of their C suite? And so much more! We begin today with Tony telling us how did the LA CTO forum came to fruition. There is a small group of people who founded it over a decade ago. Back when InfoWorld was running a national conference for CTOs and creating local CTO groups. Doing so inspired a group of people - Tony included - to form their own local CTO group in the LA area. Originally there were 8 of them, and they would gather together to talk about their problems and get ideas from each other. Their original group met in 2001, and they've been growing ever since. In fact, they still help each other today. Tony tells us about how someone from within the group helped him deal with the recent GDPR updates. We also talk about the ebb and flow of this group and how he decided to stick with this idea for so long. Of course, the core reason is that it provides to him tremendous value in return. While the group ebbs and flows, its core is always there and always strong. Staying in that core group doesn't feel like it's a chore for him: it's a great group of people who provide incredible value to each other and to the larger ecosystem. And that commitment has paid off, they are a well-known group in and around Los Angeles. They’ve become so big they have also expanded to neighboring areas like Santa Barbara, Pasadena and Orange County. Our next topic is TechEmpower: Tony was a CTO at two start-ups in the 90s and TechEmpower came out of those experiences. He would get excited about the strategy and how the company should leverage technology.  In both instances, he realized once things got going with the company there wasn't a whole lot of strategy left to execute.  Instead, it became all about coding. He knew he was passionate about the strategy and wanted to do more of that, so he wondered how to make that happen.  It was the tech boom at the time and everyone wanted to have a start-up. So he opted to do three of these at a time, and he quickly realized his next problem: he needed people to help him build those three start-ups and everything that went along with them. Soon he had tapped out his pipeline of people, and was soon faced with the formidable task of hiring the right people. It seemed like a natural solution to build up a staff of his own. He was teaching Computer Science at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) all during this experience, As a teacher, his former students and currently graduating students were a natural resource. From there TechEmpower was born. In its earliest days, TechEmpower was run out of a lab at Loyola Marymount.. Before long there were 10 people working at LMU's lab. This was during the summer so when the department head saw so many students working in the lab, he asked Tony what they were doing. Tony told him the truth, explaining he had provided them with some work experience opportunities. The department head took it in stride, but a week later a memo was issued saying no commercial enterprises were allowed in the labs at LMU!  Tony followed the new ru
Apr 30, 2019
Innovating as a CTO in Online Advertising with Oded Cohen
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Technology and the internet go hand in hand, as does the innovation both engender. Nowhere is this more apparent than with Nativo’s CTO Oded Cohen. He joins the CTO Studio to tell us what it is like to be innovating as a CTO in online advertising today. We’ll also talk about why he’s a startup guy at heart, how Nativo continues to innovate their offerings while also building and scaling their teams. This is an in-depth talk about the world of online advertising, and how innovation from that world applies to every industry within tech today. Join us to hear it all on this episode of CTO Studio.   In this episode, you’ll hear: What does it mean to be a "startup guy"? What's the difference between native advertising and banner ads? Why advertising is still effective. Does the paid wall approach work for all publishers? What is the dirty secret of cloud storage? And so much more! Today Oded Cohen is the CTO of Nativo and is based in Los Angeles, but he is originally from Israel. He was working in an Israeli start up that went public, after which they were acquired by an American company. A few months later he was offered a job in Dallas in a more corporate setting. He took the job and moved his family to Dallas, but it didn’t take long for him to realize he is a start-up guy at heart. What does he mean exactly when he says he is a startup guy? Oded explains he likes the excitement and fast-moving environment in which he can have a meaningful impact and embrace challenges. In bigger companies you often have to get approval for more things and you have to plan things out or execute on someone else's plan. So with that realization he moved on about a year later and after exploring some options, he found Nativo and felt it was a good fit. He and his family moved to L.A where he joined Nativo as Senior Vice-President of Engineering. Today, he is the CTO. When he joined there was no product, no marketing but there was an operations and there was sales. The engineering team was 7 people and everyone was doing multiple things. I asked him to expand on the sales aspect of what they were doing at the time - were they a consulting agency?  Their business has two sides: one side is the publishers. They provide technology to publishers to help them monetize their site using native advertising (which is how they got their name, Nativo). The other side is the advertisers (brands). So their sales team goes directly after advertisers to get them to run native campaigns across all sites that embrace their technology. Their platform also act as a supply side platform (SSP), which allows publishers to auction their inventory in real time and serve the highest paying ad onto their site, maximizing the yield for the publishers. The idea behind native advertising (versus display banners) is to provide a better user experience for site readers by adopting the characteristics of the rest of site, or in other words being more “native to the site”. That means if you go to a particular site looking to read articles in a specific topic, you will be shown ads on similar topics, with a headline and an image promoting sponsored articles (or videos) When you actually click on the sponsored content ad, you read the article on the same site (whereas banners will send you to some other site). With their sponsored content you stay on your original site giving you a true full native experience. We then move on to to talk about what it's been like to be the CTO of Nativo and his teams there. Going from SVP of Engineering to CTO hasn't been much of a change, according to Oded. He's now managing 40 people and working very closely with the VP of product and his team. He's still a technical guy so he'll sometimes get involved in the coding. He might be even deploy some of the code himself, as
Apr 23, 2019
Disrupting The Healthcare Market with CTO Unmesh Srivastava
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We’ve seen the disruption of many markets in the last decade, so is healthcare next? It is and that disruption is already underway, according to our guest Unmesh Srivastava. Unmesh is the CTO of P3 Health Partners, and he’s been in the healthcare industry for over a decade so he knows where the industry has been, and where it is going in the future. On this episode, we talk about his journey to becoming a CTO in the healthcare industry, what we can learn from even the most humble of jobs, and why he doesn’t see his tech team as different from the other teams in his organization. Join us for those topics and more on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: What is the currency you have to spend to build connection? Why is connection the key to earning respect from your team? How sales applies to every aspect of your organization. What's a problem he often sees with technologists and tech leaders? How do you build a team so your developers so they have a balance of business knowledge and development and coding? And so much more! Unmesh left India for the States in 2008 to pursue a Masters of Science in Engineering Management at Cal-State Northridge. His undergraduate degree is in electronics and communication engineering, but he's always been a people person and enjoyed the managing people aspect of projects. 2008 was the peak of the recession and no one was hiring, it was very different than how he imagined it would be! But he learned a lot as a result. His first campus job was being a cashier at Burger King, not a job he was entirely happy to have.  Looking back he says it shaped him a lot. Now he sees the value in it: he had to talk to all different nationalities of people, and he learned the art of selling even though he was not incentivized to do that. And the concept applies today whether you are working in a multi-billion dollar enterprise or a mom and pop shop: how can you sell your services and have the most positive impact on the organization you are working for? This applies not just on the front line of the actual sale, but down to the way your team is built and managed, and how your product and/or service is built so your entire organization is sustained long-term. He shares how he's developed this, but the foundation was there from the way he was raised in his family (especially from his mother). Also on today's CTO Studio, Unmesh continues this story by sharing why he saw graduating during a recession as an opportunity when a lot of other graduate students were delaying going out into the workforce.  With six months to go before graduation, he left Burger King and the tutoring he was also doing to completely focused on preparing for interviews. And after that preparation, he got a call from a management firm for an interview. He met with them, had a great interview and started working with them as a solutions consultant on their Kaiser Permanente account. That's how he got started in healthcare and how he realized this was the industry he wanted to work in. For almost the next three years he was at Kaiser, a role he loved. His team was devoted to the next generation of products and builds for Kaiser, which was an amazing experience because Kaiser is one of the most innovative healthcare delivery systems in the world. From there he went to Toyota (still as part of the management consulting firm he was hired by after graduation), where he learned everything about business process management. He learned how to use Six Sigma and use process mapping to solve problems. Even though he loved what he was learning with Toyota, he realized his passion was in healthcare. So he moved to North American Medical Management, which is part of Optumcare. He was with them for 6 years until very recently deciding to move to a smaller organ
Apr 16, 2019
From Engineer and Developer to CTO with Jesus Lizama
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It's no small feat to go from the second developer in a company to its CTO, but one man who is up to the task is Jesus Lizama of Studio 3. Jesus is joining the CTO Studio to talk about his career progression, as well as what it's been like to live here as a DACA recipient. Jesus is an engineer who has become CTO of Studio 3, a rapidly growing agency. In fact, his agency is growing so fast they are doubling their revenues every year! They are now a two-time Inc. 5000 company. Today you'll also hear about how he is managing his team through this tremendous growth and what he's learned along the way. Plus he has a very special story to share on the topic of immigration and DACA. Listen in for that and more on this edition of CTO Studio.  In this episode, you’ll hear:  How has being CTO changed things for him? Does he still see himself as a developer? Where did he had to grow the most after becoming CTO? Why does his team choose their own tools? How did switching to Slack and Airtable help his team? And so much more! We begin our conversation with a discussion about Studio 3: Studio 3 is a all-encompassing marketing company. They specialize in digital marketing, but also do print, and other media. If you have an idea and you bring it to them they can give you a product. Prior to joining the agency, he was going to college and was working at the university as a math mentor. He was on break and he wanted to start programming. He went out on Christmas Eve and decided to try to get a job in the field. He sent out a bunch of resumes through Craigslist and that is how he landed at Studio 3! Right away they threw him into a project and had him build a web site. He started at a time before mobile responsiveness was really big, but he had them build for that and he changed a few other technologies he knew would be helpful. After a year or so he became lead developer and the company kept growing. The company now employees sixty employees, ten of which are engineers. What about becoming CTO - how did that transpire? It all started during a meeting he had with HR, the person he was meeting with asked him where he saw himself in five years. He replied honestly telling her he saw himself as CTO of this company in 5 years. It turns out the CEO of the company at the time was thinking the same thing. The CEO took him to lunch a week later and he told Jesus he wanted to make him CTO. A few months later he became CTO. He says now that he is CTO it hasn't changed much for him, hierarchies are non-existent to him. The main difference is now he is involved in the company's strategy, and that is something he is still learning about. What about his nomination for 2018 CTO of the year by the Los Angeles Business Journal - has that changed anything for him? It was amazing, he says he felt like he didn't belong! He was among big name CTOs: the CTO of the LA Clippers, Los Angeles' CTO, Playboy's CTO, Verizon's CTO and Disney's CTO, etc. At the dinner for the nominees he sat at a table with LA's CTO and he had a great conversation with the Clippers' CTO. He was nominated again for 2019! Also on today’s CTO Studio, we dig into his actual experiences as CTO a bit more, I asked him to share the first obstacle he had while CTO.  One of the first tasks he was given was to build a reporting platform. His background is primarily building web sites, which were mainly static or perhaps had a few business logic components involved but not too many. A reporting platform on the other hand is a full-on MVC application!   In addition to being the CTO, he was also a developer so there were a lot of technologies he had to grasp very quickly so he could build an MVP. After many iterations and a year later, they finally had a working system  that was useful for the company
Apr 09, 2019
The Formula For Evaluating Start-Ups with Sergey Sundukovskiy
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If you were considering joining a start-up as their CTO would you have a formula to evaluate its potential? Our guest on today’s CTO Studio does and it stems from his years as a CTO, an advisor and mentor in the field. Sergey Sundukovskiy is the CTO, CPO, co-founder of Raken. He's also a mentor, advisor and father of three.  Sergey and I have a great conversation about the formula for evaluating start ups and how to manage and keep healthy development teams. Join us as we dive into those subjects and more on this episode of CTO Studio.  In this episode, you’ll hear: What is the benefit of being both CTO and CPO (Chief Product Officer)? What are the two sources for ideas? How has their product changed since its inception? Why compromise doesn't always work to solve disagreements. Should all CTOs mentor? And so much more!  We start with a discussion about Raken: what it is and who it serves. Raken is a field management solution. They serve the construction industry by helping supervisors and job foremen keep track of what is going on on the construction site. So often the people in charge realize there is a problem when the job is running behind schedule and off track, Raken helps avoid that scenario. Raken helps construction companies to keep the construction projects on time and on target through daily documentation and labor/project insights, as well as serving as a Worker Time Management app for payroll purposes. Sergey explains what it does in more detail: If you have ever been on a job construction site you know jobs are broken down into roughly 3 separate buckets. Prep time is one bucket, the second bucket is the actual build stage of the project and the last bucket is the transition stage when you are completing the project.  They primarily serve the building stage and the transition stage. In the building phase you need to be sure you are on time and things don't need to be adjusted. Basically Raken is project management software for the construction industry projects focused on field management tools. Normally, construction projects are driven by the management office in the office/field trailer and then what happens on the job site. The project gets conceived in the office and planned in the office. Raken's approach is to service the field. They serve the field workers so the field workers can keep track of activities, and to do so in a simple and easy-to-use manner. Raken helps Superintendents to document what is being done as it is being done, rather than having two hours they would normally have to use at the end of the day to make note of the progress on the job. Sergey says they are staying focused on the construction industry and not branching out right now. I was curious to know how Raken came about - where and how did he get the idea? He was a late stage co-founder for the company so the idea wasn't his. But in general ideas come from two different sources. The first is industry insiders who have been working in their field forever and eventually start their own business to do a particular thing in a better way. The second source is industry outsiders who see a better way to do something that others haven't seen. Their co-founder, Kyle, fell into the second category: he decided to create Raken after recognizing that the construction industry lacked a reporting tech solution that could alleviate major pain points. So Kyle set out to fix that with Raken. As a CTO with a rich history in software development, management leadership and previous CTO roles, how did Sergey know he wanted to join Raken?  He met Kyle about a year into his 2-year earnout from his previous company. At that point, Sergey knew he wanted to join another start up. He knew he had three choices: he could form his own start up, join an existi
Apr 03, 2019
Why It’s Okay Not to Finish with Evan Phoenix
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Have you ever found yourself working on a side project because you thought you had to and not because you wanted to? Our guest for this episode of CTO Studio has and he also found out why it’s okay not to finish that side project. Evan Phoenix is the lead engineer on the private Terraform enterprise  at Hashi Corp, and the Director of Ruby Central. He’s also been a CEO of a start up and regularly finds time to try out side gigs of his own. Today he tells us how he carves out the time for fun engineering projects and why sometimes it’s okay not to finish those side projects. You’ll hear from Evan on those topics and more on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: Is it okay to do something even if you think you are not the right person for the job? Why everything we do doesn't have to become a business. What is the "for market" challenge? Why does he prefer Go over Rust and C++? How to put the fun back in your side projects. And so much more!   We start off by talking about Evan's scariest childhood movie and how we met at a Ruby conference and became friends. Then we segue into talking about his current role at Hashi Corp: he is the lead engineer on the private Terraform enterprise. He came to that position via his previous start up, Vectra. Vectra eventually became a logging SaaS and Evan and his team worked to build it for 8 or 9 months before their financial runway was depleted. At that point, Evan had to figure out what to do next.  After struggling with the decision, Evan realized he didn't like being a CEO and so they decided to close Vectra. Along the way, he and his team had been talking to Hashi Corp about what they were doing. When Vectra closed Hashi Corp invited them to come over and work there. For Evan it was the best case scenario. He didn't like being a CEO, but he liked working on interesting problems and have some say in what he worked on. Hashi Corp is the perfect place that allows him to do both. I was curious when he first thought of being the founder of his own company, and why that interested him. Evan explains he wanted what he thinks every founder thinks they are getting when they start their own company: control to do whatever they want to do. They make all the decisions. If they don't want to do something then they don't do it, and vice versa. But the reality changes when the business involves more than just you or you and another person. If you take on investors you no longer have complete control. In Evan's case his family and friends invested in his business so not your typical investors, but he was still aware of risking other people's money. And that awareness changed and altered his own risk tolerance. So now he gets to enjoy his work at Hashi Corp and have fun projects on the side. He says he start a new project every couple of weeks and he does it for him. We go on to talk about engineering simply for the sake of enjoyment, before we discuss his time at Living Social and Splice. We also talk about how he manages his time as a family man with a wife and two daughters: when does he work on his personal projects? He tries to be kind to himself and he works on them when he has the time. In the past, he would've beaten himself up for not getting more done on something, but now he doesn't. Instead, he talks to his wife and tells her he wants to work on something. She tells him she wants to do her own thing and then they do their own thing in the evenings. On the weekends his daughters still have nap times so when they nap he works on his projects. But sometimes he uses those two hours to watch a TV show or do something - and he is now kind to himself about it and just does what he wants. If he wants to work on his project then he does; if he wants to watch Netflix then he does. We then ta
Mar 27, 2019
The World of Cloud Services with Jonathan LaCour
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There’s a lot happening in the world of cloud services today and Jonathan LaCour of Mission is here to tell us all about it. Jonathan is CTO of Mission, a managed cloud consulting service based in Los Angeles. On today’s episode of CTO Studio, Jonathan and I talk about all the issues related to cloud and cloud migration and owning your own data. Be sure to listen in to this fascinating conversation on today's CTO Studio.  In this episode, you’ll hear: Why doesn't it work to just throw people at a problem? Why the CTO and the product team ultimately have the same goal. What is the most difficult thing for most technologists? What is the #1 most important value a CTO can hold? What do people ultimately value? And so much more! Mission helped sponsor our first CTO conference, the same conference at which Jonathan gave a talk. So it's fitting to actually we recorded this show from Mission’s headquarters with Jonathan. We start off by talking about Jonathan's journey, how he became the CTO at Mission and what they do there. Jonathan got into computing young, his dad was a Presybterian minister and also an engineer who went to Georgia Tech. His dad even worked on the space program, and has always been a technical kind of guy. In fact, Jonathan's dad would bring home his portable computer when Jonathan was little. This computer was a Mac Plus with a handle on it! And that's where Jonathan started to code: on that little Mac Plus. He started with HyperCard and Pascal and eventually C, etc. In high school he began writing code professionally and started working at an enterprise healthcare business. He went through a few acquisitions with them, including when they were bought by an enterprise document management business so he was heavily into enterprise in its early days. From there he did a hard right into startups and went into business with his sister and brother-in-law. They created a type of SaaS application in the photography space called ShootQ. They built out a cloud native app (back in the very early days of cloud) and grew ShootQ to become an industry standard, after which they sold it to a company in LA. Which is how Jonathan met Simon Anderson (the CEO of Mission). Simon was the CMO of the company who bought ShootQ before he became the CEO of DreamHost. Jonathan and his family moved from Atlanta to LA so he could take a role with DreamHost. He had 5 different titles in 7 years with them. In those 7 years he did a lot of different things including building out cloud infrastructure, engineering management, etc. When Simon became an entrepreneur-in-residence at a private equity firm out of Boston they worked together on a thesis for the managed cloud space, which is how they both ended up at Mission. Also on today's CTO Studio, he tells us why the firm chose Mission (formerly Reliam), how they expanded to a company of 100 people today over the course of a year and what they do at Mission presently. Honing in on that kind of growth in such a short period of time, I asked Jonathan to talk more about how his team has changed and evolved as it has grown. He explains that because they are a business that does a lot of professional services and consulting a lot of Mission's technical resources work on a team other than his team. His team represents the glue that holds things together. When he started it was just him so over time he has been pulling in people who are the best fit for what they are doing. I also asked him how to decide which cloud (or clouds) to be in and he says it is about picking the best tool for the job. It's like any other exploration a CTO will undertake so the way he helps people understand the hyperscale cloud providers is simple: ultimately you are looking for someone who is going to provide you with as many sho
Mar 20, 2019
How CTOs Can Best Utilize Recruiters with Kimberly Owen
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Joining us to explain how CTOs can best utilize recruiters is my friend and expert recruiter Kimberly Owen. Kimberly has been a recruiter for 23 years, starting in London then Silicon Valley during the first dotcom boom. Now she is based in southern California. On today's CTO Studio, we talk about what she's learned during those two decades as a recruiter in tech including why recruiters have a bad rap, what CTOs can do to make the most of their relationships with recruiters and what does the term "culture fit" actually mean? Listen in for the answers to those questions and much more on the topic of recruiting in the tech world today on this episode of CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: What was it like recruiting during the first dotcom boom? Why do recruiters get a bad rap? What language should you avoid when listing a job description? What is the proper format for a resume? How can CTOs improve their relationships with recruiters? And so much more! One of my first questions was when should a CTO stop using their networks and start using a recruiter like Kimberly? She says it depends on how quickly you need the product development to happen. How quickly are you bringing your product to market and what is the trade-off? Once you answer those questions then you can decide if recruiting is your best choice or if you should check with your network. If you are going to use your network, her advice is to be active with your social media presence. You should specify on LinkedIn what you are hiring for - especially those top positions. You should be advertising those roles. If you have an internal person who manages candidate flow they need to get an outreach campaign underway and that needs to include your own network. So after social media, what else? Kimberly says meet ups are an option but you need to know if these events are where people are asking for help and talking about vacancies and openings. If they are not then the meet ups won't help you. And how can CTOs work on their brand and their messaging to ensure they are attracting the right candidates? The job description is really important - she sees a lot of awful ones! Be sure to talk about the vision of your company and where you are going and what this person will contribute towards that vision coming to life. Candidates want a story. They want to know why do other people like working at the company, why would they want to work there and what life-changing things will they impact by being on the staff of this company. In summary, you should be capturing the story that includes the vision and the values of your company. Once you've done that be sure the job description is in the right places and having the right filters in place for whomever you enlist in your organization to sort through the candidates. And if you still can't find the right person then go to a recruiter like Kimberly! My next
Mar 13, 2019
The Psychology of People in Tech, with Joanie Connell
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Who better to help us understand the psychology of people in tech than a former engineer now licensed psychologist?! Joanie Connell is that very person and she is here to talk about the issues CTOs face in leading their teams. Joanie works with dev teams and technical teams on their communication. We talk about how she does that, what some of the common issues are regarding team communication in tech today and a whole lot more. Join us to hear more about the psychology of people in tech on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: What are the top challenges she sees regarding communication in tech today? Why it's important as a CTO to expand your communication toolkit. How can you deal with feeling triggered in the workplace? Why addressing uncomfortable feelings often brings people closer. What are tell tale signs you are too deep into the tech effect? And so much more! Before becoming a psychologist, Joanie was an engineer for eight years in Silicon Valley. She began as a data communications design engineer for Tandem computers. Tandem was one of the big computer companies back then right alongside HP and Apple. Tandem made mainframe computers and they had parallel processors (hence the name tandem) for everything so they would never go down. One of their biggest clients was the New York Stock Exchange. She did data communications which meant she helped mainframes communicate with modems to other computers. I asked Joanie how she made the switch to psychology - what happened that convinced her to work with the people side of tech? Joanie recalls she had gone into engineering because she thought it was a good stable job with a good income. She didn't want to be a millionaire, she just wanted a good living. People had always interested in her but it became obvious when the other engineers were so into their work they would be debugging til 2am, and she couldn't wait to leave. She realized then that the work wasn't satisfying and she felt stagnant in her work. One story she recalls is a time when there were 12 in their group and they had a manager who they met with once a month. They'd get into the conference room and you could feel the tension because no one wanted to be there. The manager would go around the room and each person had to update on their project. By person #12 everyone would be ready to leave. When that last person finished it was like school was out and everyone would run out of the room! She saw the people she was with didn't want to be around other people and they didn't have the skills to work with others, either. Engineers are trained to design, debug and code and they are not trained on how to interact with others. Joanie realized this could be a space in which she could make a difference; she coulod help engineers and other tech people communicate better. To bring more of her skills to the people side of the working world, she tried marketing and then consulting. But eventually she decided to go back to graduate school because she would find herself being pushed back into engineering roles and more technical positions. She realized she would have to re-specialize so people would see beyond her engineering background. But before making the leap, she took some night classes in Psychology to be sure this was the route she wanted to go down. And before becoming a psychologist, she considered being a therapist or counselor. A volunteer experience on a hotline convinced her otherwise, so she opted for social psychology with an emphasis on organizations and the workplace. After a few years of working for a consulting firm and teaching at university, she formed Flexible Work Solutions. Her company provides assessment for leaders and teams of people, her personal niche is with technical people. What types of scenarios does sh
Mar 06, 2019
Optimism and Longevity as a CTO in a Healthcare Tech, with Larry Heminger
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What does it take to be successful and have longevity as a a CTO in healthcare tech today? In Larry Heminger’s case it takes optimism. Larry is the CTO of Sapiens Data Science, a company committed to increasing people’s life span through healthcare tech breakthroughs.   On today’s CTO Studio, we talk about how and why Larry joined the team at Sapiens, why he’s attracted to companies that are making a difference in people’s lives and what his Design for Success approach is all about. Join us for this illuminating discussion on today’s CTO Studio.     In this episode, you’ll hear: Why doesn't he see himself retiring - ever? How many years does it take for a medical breakthrough to make it to family physicians? As CTO, how to make decisions that stand the test of scale What is his Design for Success methodology? What is the Snowflake Computing approach, and why did Larry choose them? And so much more!   Larry is the CTO of Sapiens Data Science. Our very first topic is a dive into his journey of becoming their CTO. Larry tells us about his interesting ride; he had been working with ecoATM Gazelle for about 7.5 years and had been apart of their organization from their ealy start-up days.   Larry experienced a full 360 degree business cycle with ecoATM, going public through acquisition and then back to being a private company again.  The work they did (and still do today) was in the field of automated retail: recycling of cell phones.  Even though the work was amazing, he felt it was time to look for something new and different after his 7+ years with them. He wanted to do work that was meaningful and of benefit to everyone.   Using his experience with a previous healthcare start-up, Larry found a few new opportunities in San Diego that were health tech related. Sapiens specifically interested him because of their CEO, Brad Perkins. And Larry became even more enthusiastic after meeting with Brad, hearing of Brad’s passion and learning of their mission - Sapiens is in the business of adding more birthdays to people's lives. They help people live longer through the burgeoning fields of genomics and data science.   Next I asked him to describe his mindset coming from ecoATM, a company that was retail-focused, and then going into the health tech space with Sapiens.   Larry says there are many similarities and of course some differences. For him the key was and is feeling like he is doing something good. Like most of us, Larry spends so much time at work that he wants to feel like he's having an impact on people’s lives. For him it is not just about paycheck, it’s more the opportunity to help build a new, amazing company.   He goes on to say he believes healthcare will look very different in 10 years. One area in particular is the speed at which information becomes available to physicians, he says this will be sped up exponentially. Instead of taking almost two decades for your family physician to find out about medical breakthroughs, it will happen much, much faster. Patients will also be empowered with their own data and information.   My next question for him was where does Sapiens hit roadblocks with regulations and stereotypes? Those are definitely challenges they face as any healthcare company is going to be challenged with regulations, data privacy and security. Those aspects are all very important to the success of a healthcare company in tech and outside of tech.   Larry explains the basic strategy, something he calls design for success which applies to start ups as well as larger companies. It goes like this:   If you assume your company will be successful, and you draw out the architecture of your company with that succes
Feb 27, 2019
Hybrid CTO of Hardware and Software with Ahn Nguyen
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What is it like to handle both hardware and software development needs? Anh Nguyen is a hybrid CTO of hardware and software and she’s here tell us all about it. Anh is the CTO of Creative Electron where they build imaging systems that use creative electrons for the purpose of inspecting samples for defects. On today’s show she’ll explain how their equipment works, what she thinks about the state of women in tech today and her journey to the United States from Vietnam when she was a child. Hear that and more on today’s CTO Studio. In this episode, you’ll hear: Do their products create image renderings in 2D or 3D? Are their offerings all custom-made? Why or why not? How does their annual preventative maintenance work? y/What was it like to participate in Hacking for the Homeless? Why women should embrace being women CTOs and not just CTOs. And so much more! On of my first questions to Anh is whether they are mostly a hardware company or a software imaging company. Anh responds by telling us what her CEO likes to say: "What we are is a software company that delivers our product in a hardware box." Although that sounds like something a sales person would say, her CEO actually has a background in EE and an MBA. He has come up with a lot of their ideas and how they have productized those ideas. He works with her and their COO to come up with solutions that work for their customers. Who are those customers exactly - who makes up their customer base? PCB manufacturers, electronic manufacturing services. She goes on to explain how their products work and why they are safe to use without protective gear! My next question was about her responsibilities as CTO. Does she preside over a hybrid of hardware and software? Yes. Because software is managing the hardware they are very intertwined. As far as what hardware is going to be used and how things are integrated those decisions are all under the software stack. Anh and her team make suggestions on what is compatible or not. We dive into the world of X-rays a bit deeper including Anh's explanation of how their imaging systems work in a variety of settings before talking about her journey to becoming CTO. Was she hired to become CTO or did she advance into the role from a different position within the company? She became one. Her original title within the company was VP of Software Development. Then last year she became CTO. They have been growing and because software is so intertwined into their products that originally her focus was on maintaining and developing the software side of things. But over time her CEO realized they needed to have a tighter relationship between software and hardware. He said it made sense for her to be CTO and to think about new strategies they can deploy and new technologies they can start implementing to grow their software along with their hardware. Does she have direct reports from both hardware and software? She does and when asked how she manages both she laughs and says you just do it! She says it's the equivalent of working at a startup essentially. Making good software they do have to understand what is happening with the hardware so managing both hardware and software is a natural evolution. Because they are a startup you just have to dive in and figure things out. The main advice she would give others is to simply do it. From here we get more into the mechanics of how Anh "CTOs". She doesn't have VPs she manages directly. She has three direct reports and then she will also talk to the manufacturing team.  The person who does all of the CAD designs will come to her and her team to ensure everything they are creating can be fully integrated; they all want to be sure the software performs up to the levels the customers need which means having repeatable results and being ab
Feb 19, 2019
Being CTO in the Health Insurance Industry with Alan Leard
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If you saw a need or an opportunity outside of your industry would you recognize it? Our guest did and he’s here to tell us about it. Alan Leard is one of the co-founders of Limelight Health, a quoting, underwriting, proposal platform that started as an idea for an app.  You'll hear the origin story of Limelight Health today as well as how it has evolved, plus Alan's thoughts on having four co-founders and making the transition into the CTO role. Join us for those insights and more on today's CTO Studio! In this episode, you’ll hear: Why four co-founders is the best number to have. What are the three questions I ask every CEO before I join a startup? When did he know it was time to make the transition into CTO at Limelight Health? What are the ways they mitigate risk? Why are the technical challenges of Limelight Health so attractive? And so much more! When I asked Alan to tell me what Limelight Health does he explained Limelight involves everything that needs to happen from the moment an employer says they are going to get insurance for their employees through the point when the employees are actually choosing the health insurance right for them. The process is about providing accurate information on what plans are available and quote them accurately, as well as apply contribution modeling as far as how much the employer is going to pay and how much the employee is going to pay. All of that gets wrapped up into a proposal that helps the employer make a decision. But how Limelight got its start goes back to one of Alan's first businesses: a make-your-own wine bar. Before he and his wife had kids they wanted to do something together, they wanted to run a business together. When they came across the idea of a make-your-own-wine wine bar it seemed perfect and they set about making it happen. They ran their bar together through all the ups and downs that entailed. That bar also led Alan to meet one of his future fellow co-founders of Limelight Health. It started after the wine bar had been up and running for about four years. Alan realized he was putting in 12 hours at the wine bar then coming home and making mobile apps as a hobby on the side. Along the way he also met Garrett when Alan hired him as a musician to play at one of the bar's Wine and Roses events. Alan had also gotten hired with Accelerator in a support role - he mainly offered support for other developers using that platform. When Garrett began talking to Alan about an app idea he had Alan's ears perked up. But Alan was no stranger to app ideas, he had so many people approach him with ideas that Alan had a series of questions he asked everyone who talked to him! The first was does that app already exist? Have you checked the app store? If they had and the app wasn't already made (which was the case with Garrett’s idea) then he had a follow-up question. That question was do you know what user stories are? Garrett didn't so Alan explained to him what they are. A week later Garrett came back with full-on wireframes and had written out user stories. So they built that app together, it was an app meant to help people find local artists online. After that Garrett saw the potential in his everyday line of work: insurance brokerage. This was about the time the Affordable Care Act was coming into existence and Garrett wanted to be able to help his families find the right options for them. So they turned it into a lead gen app: you would plug in your household size, your income and location. The app would then tell you what your insurance was going to cost. There was also an in-app purchase which would allow brokers to have their customers quickly get an idea of what they were going to pay and then the brokers would help the customers sign up for a plan straightaway. And that is how they found th
Feb 13, 2019