CTO Connection Podcast

Peter Bell

If you run an engineering organization, connect with and learn from your peers at CTO Connection - the premier community for senior software engineering leaders. Learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating, or managing an engineering team, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers! Our podcast and weekly newsletter provide you with access to hard-won wisdom from top engineering leaders and associated experts. And join our summit series (online or in-person) to share problems and get answers.Learn more about CTO Connection and their virtual summits at https://www.ctoconnection.com/

All Episodes

Conversational AI has come a long way from simple rules based chatbots, but it's still a complex and quickly evolving space. Join me as I chat with Joe Bradley, Chief Scientist at LivePerson, about the use cases, tooling, team structures and gotchas if you're considering implementing a conversational AI system for your company.

Dec 2

28 min 46 sec

We're all dealing with remote-first teams now whether we like to or not. But the more I investigate hybrid working options, the more likely it seems that we're going to have to come up with remote friendly approaches to building and sustaining the culture of our engineering orgs long term. Hear how Claudius Mbemba, CTO of Neu, has built and sustained an effective remote first culture for four years at his startup.

Nov 25

23 min 29 sec

Most companies are increasingly trying to leverage data science to achieve their business goals, but it's easy to create biased models that disadvantage underrepresented groups. In this episode I get to chat with Labhesh Patel, CTO and Chief Scientist at Jumio.We start by looking at common types of data bias around representation and features that may be highly correlated with protected features (zip codes that are highly correlated with race, for example) and the challenges of supervised learning where the team tagging your data can also introduce bias into models.We then discuss the benefits of increasing the diversity and inclusiveness of both your tagging and modeling teams and questions you can ask as an engineering leader to make sure your data science team is being thoughtful about the potential impact of the models they're building.

Nov 18

30 min 48 sec

The great resignation is both a threat and an opportunity for engineering leaders. To avoid regrettable attrition, you need to make sure you are tracking your comp to industry standards, creating the psychological safety to allow your team to be honest about their career aspirations and ensuring that you have consistent, high quality management across the org. At the same time, you need to be super clear about your value prop as an employer, active in recruiting, and timely in making offers to the best candidates. Listen as I chat with Charlie Reverte, SVP Technology at MessageBird (previously CTO at SparkPost) about how you can ready your organization for increasing competition for top engineering talent.

Nov 11

28 min 37 sec

To create a truly diverse and inclusive team where everyone can thrive and share their views, engineering leaders need to abide by the following three pillars: 1) effective and fair management principles, 2) comprehensive DEI practices, and 3) an inclusive culture. Empathy is the framework leaders can use to ensure they are incorporating all three pillars in their daily work. Jossie will share more details on the three pillars and how to leverage empathy as the foundation for inclusive leadership for the future.

Nov 4

29 min 1 sec

In this wide ranging talk, I chat with Dr. Ben John about his experiences in scaling and managing the team at AppNexus (and post AT&T acquisition at Xandr). We talk about six week planning cycles, creating a supportive culture, building out a learnign and development team within the engineering org and Ben's advice for anyone else moving from engineering to leadership.

Oct 21

31 min 52 sec

It's not easy to bring gaming technologies into the enterprise. From hardware limitations to unreasonable expectations, it's challenging to bring game like learning simulations to the corporate world. Anne Lise Waal has been doing just that at Attensi, and in this episode she shares her experiences in aligning designers, copy writers and developers, managing feature creep, prioritizing an ever changing backlog and managing technical debt. 

Oct 7

28 min 53 sec

They're coming. From bubble.io and webflow through UI Path and Blue Prism, the chances are that someone within your company is already building a departmental system using a "no code" tool. As with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) for CIOs a decade ago, ignoring the problem isn't an option. In this episode, I chat with Colin Earl, Founder & CTO at Agiloft, about how CTOs can evaluate & leverage RPA tools to support "citizen developers" within their companies to reduce the pressure on the core dev team while still getting their departmental needs met.

Sep 23

28 min 4 sec

Wellington, NZ isn’t the obvious place to start a SaaS company. But Xero has built a globally distributed team of over 1800 people in product and engineering. In this episode, I chat with Mark Rees [https://www.linkedin.com/in/markrees3/], their CTO about how they scaled the org. Learn more about: - How he doubled his engineering team from 150 -> 300 in a year - His approach to allocating work across a widely distributed org - Why his team actually appreciated the introduction of standards for processes and technologies - The unexpected benefits of publishing a machine readable service directory for the org

Sep 9

35 min 2 sec

One of the biggest risks for an engineering org is the “Not Invented Here” syndrome where the tech team wants to rethink every decision and rebuild every piece of tech from scratch. But sometimes it makes sense to take a different path if the constraints you’re optimizing for are uncommon.In this episode I chat with Adam Sypniewski, CTO at Deepgram about some of the non-obvious choices that their team has made - from programming languages and hosting to team composition and how to approach build vs buy decisions.

Aug 26

26 min

While running database services for AWS, Anurag Gupta, now Founder & CEO of Shoreline.io, learned the importance of going beyond monitoring and incident response to implement incident automation to automatically resolve common (and uncommon) production issues. In this episode, he talks about the importance of automating production ops, why just using cloud hosting or containers doesn’t fully solve the problem and how to think about building out an effective SRE team. 

Aug 12

33 min 52 sec

As a CTO, you're not just responsible for running the engineering team...Because you're also a C-level executive with the responsibility to help the executive team to leverage technology to achieve their business goals.So how can you maximize the value you're bringing to your organization? The answer is to be an "executive first".And that's what Rob Zuber, CTO at CircleCI, talks about in this short byte. He shares what the CTO brings to the leadership team, the biggest difference between a CTO who's focused on their org versus being an active member of the leadership team, how to balance your responsibilities to both the engineering team and leadership team, and why it's important to focus on outcomes - not egos.This episode is brought to you in partnership with Bugsnag, who invites you to join the Apps + Coffee Connection! The Apps + Coffee Connection is a new mobile and web app community for engineering and product leaders to converse about industry topics. Every third Friday of the month we meet to discuss topics such as process efficiencies, tools, team management and future thinking. You can join the community by adding this recurring event to your calendar. 

Jul 30

38 min 42 sec

Short Byte: Tim Olshansky - Managing hybrid remote teamsWe can't put the remote genie back in the bottle, but with some people desperate to get out and go back to the office, how can organizations manage the two?In today's Short Byte, I speak to Tim Olshansky, EVP of Product, Design and Engineering at Zenput, a foodtech startup focused on food safety. Tim embraced a hybrid remote model long before the pandemic and has been successfully managing hybrid remote teams for 11 years.In this chat, hear Tim talk about his remote first but office-centered approach to remote work, and the three driving principles that make sure employees are happy, productive, and enjoy similar experiences, whether they're in the office or across the country or world.

Jun 17

32 min 4 sec

Short Byte: Jeff DeVerter - Do you even know what software your company is developing?The good news is that software development has moved from a peripheral activity to the heart of every business. But as technology becomes integral to all functions, how can you keep track of what embedded engineers across the org are building, balancing awareness and reliability with agility? Today we’re speaking with Jeff DeVerter, CTO of Product & Services at RackSpace about empowering technology across the organization while still providing guard rails to ensure the quality and reliability of the solutions.

May 20

29 min 1 sec

Short Byte: Jeffrey Spector - Why you have to improve your hiring processWith demand for talent at an all time high, if you want to attract, identify and close the best developers for your team, you simply have to up your hiring game. Join us for this “Short Byte” as I interview Jeff Spector - a cofounder at Karat - a company dedicated to fixing the hiring process for engineers. We’ll discuss how to create a fair, predictive and enjoyable hiring process so that you get great signal from your interviews, create a good impression with the candidates and can improve the inclusivity of your process and the diversity of your team. 

Mar 31

28 min 58 sec

Short Byte: Camille Fournier - Managing a product focused engineering orgCamille Fournier is perhaps best known for her amazing book “the managers path” - a guide for tech leaders navigating growth and change. But she also has a degree from Carnegie Mellon, was a VP at Goldman Sachs, and then was the CTO at Rent The Runway before eventually returning to the finance world as Head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma.  Today she discusses her experiences in managing a product focused engineering org.Thank you to our friends at Carbon Five for sponsoring today’s episode. For over 20 years, Carbon Five has helped businesses build, launch and scale digital products and teams. They’ve helped brands like Signal, Masterclass, Stitch Fix, Chime, and more, design and develop some of the most successful apps and platforms on the market today. So whether you’re looking to build your first app, fix a broken development process, or to scale your successful engineering team — the folks at Carbon Five are ready to help. Visit carbonfive.com/ctoconnection for special access to free product development guides and technical team resources.”

Mar 11

29 min 24 sec

Short Byte: Mai Irie - What to do when your engineering leader leavesMai Irie is a director of engineering, but twice in the last two years she’s had to deal with managing the engineering org after her CTO or general equivalent left. In this interview we’ll look at some best practices for taking over an engineering org in times of transition.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partners:CodeClimate - Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.Karat - Karat helps companies hire software engineers by designing and conducting technical interview programs that improve hiring signal, mitigate bias, and reduce the interviewing time burden on engineering teams. Check out this short video or visit Karat.com to learn how we can help you grow your team.LaunchDarkly - the Feature Management Platform Powering the Best Software ProductsOur vision is to eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle. As companies transition to a world built on software, there is an increasing requirement to move quickly—but that often comes with the desire to maintain control. LaunchDarkly is the feature management platform that enables dev and ops teams to control the whole feature lifecycle, from concept to launch to value. Learn more at https://launchdarkly.com/CTO Connection is  a community where senior engineering leaders can connect with and learn from their peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Feb 25

25 min 49 sec

Short Byte: Lee Edwards - How to pick the right tech startupWhether you’re thinking of founding, joining or investing in an early stage tech company, Lee Edwards has some advice! From effective due diligence on an early stage company to some interesting focus areas for deep tech startups. Lee is a partner at Root Ventures - a hard tech seed VC, and was previously CTO/VPE at Teespring and an Engineering Manager at Groupon.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partners:CodeClimate - Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.Karat - Karat helps companies hire software engineers by designing and conducting technical interview programs that improve hiring signal, mitigate bias, and reduce the interviewing time burden on engineering teams. Check out this short video or visit Karat.com to learn how we can help you grow your team.LaunchDarkly - the Feature Management Platform Powering the Best Software ProductsOur vision is to eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle. As companies transition to a world built on software, there is an increasing requirement to move quickly—but that often comes with the desire to maintain control. LaunchDarkly is the feature management platform that enables dev and ops teams to control the whole feature lifecycle, from concept to launch to value. Learn more at https://launchdarkly.com/CTO Connection is  a community where senior engineering leaders can connect with and learn from their peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Feb 20

33 min 6 sec

Short Byte: Johnny Ray Austin - Measuring outcomes vs. inputsHow can you best measure the effectiveness of your engineering team? Lines of Code written? Number of PR’s? There are absolutely some input metrics that can have some value, but we don’t hire engineers to write code, we hire them to solve business problems. In this discussion Johnny Ray Austin, CTO at Till shares his experiences of managing his org by focusing on the outcomes produced rather than the inputs delivered.  Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partners:CodeClimate - Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.Karat - Karat helps companies hire software engineers by designing and conducting technical interview programs that improve hiring signal, mitigate bias, and reduce the interviewing time burden on engineering teams. Check out this short video or visit Karat.com to learn how we can help you grow your team.LaunchDarkly - the Feature Management Platform Powering the Best Software ProductsOur vision is to eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle. As companies transition to a world built on software, there is an increasing requirement to move quickly—but that often comes with the desire to maintain control. LaunchDarkly is the feature management platform that enables dev and ops teams to control the whole feature lifecycle, from concept to launch to value. Learn more at https://launchdarkly.com/CTO Connection is  a community where senior engineering leaders can connect with and learn from their peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Feb 13

30 min 28 sec

Building vs buying softwareBuilding vs buying is always a fraught decision. Nominally buying a solution provides more capability and a quicker time to market, but then you have the potential of vendor lock in and being constrained by the limitations of the tool that you chose. And in the engineering world, it’s even harder. While Not Invented Here syndrome is becoming less prevalent, you still need to pick between a ground up implementation or leveraging open source, professional open source and commercial offerings. And then to think about how to incorporate low code APIs and no code solutions into your tech mix in a way that reduces build and maintenance costs without limiting the quality of your final solution. Join us to hear how James thinks about this balance - both as a CEO of a company that buys other peoples software and as the founder of a company that sells its own SaaS solution.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partners:CodeClimate - Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.Karat - Karat helps companies hire software engineers by designing and conducting technical interview programs that improve hiring signal, mitigate bias, and reduce the interviewing time burden on engineering teams. Check out this short video or visit Karat.com to learn how we can help you grow your team.LaunchDarkly - the Feature Management Platform Powering the Best Software ProductsOur vision is to eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle. As companies transition to a world built on software, there is an increasing requirement to move quickly—but that often comes with the desire to maintain control. LaunchDarkly is the feature management platform that enables dev and ops teams to control the whole feature lifecycle, from concept to launch to value. Learn more at https://launchdarkly.com/CTO Connection is  a community where senior engineering leaders can connect with and learn from their peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the

Feb 6

28 min 8 sec

Building a startup within a startupThere are a unique set of constraints when you’re running an engineering team at a “startup within a startup” - from managing the planning cycle before you’ve hit product market fit, to customizing elements of your product and infrastructure designed for a very different audience. Join us to hear how Heidi Williams, Director of Engineering at Grammarly is working on these challenges by building out an enterprise offering for a traditionally consumer focused business.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partners:CodeClimate - Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.Karat - Karat helps companies hire software engineers by designing and conducting technical interview programs that improve hiring signal, mitigate bias, and reduce the interviewing time burden on engineering teams. Check out this short video or visit Karat.com to learn how we can help you grow your team.LaunchDarkly - the Feature Management Platform Powering the Best Software ProductsOur vision is to eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle. As companies transition to a world built on software, there is an increasing requirement to move quickly—but that often comes with the desire to maintain control. LaunchDarkly is the feature management platform that enables dev and ops teams to control the whole feature lifecycle, from concept to launch to value. Learn more at https://launchdarkly.com/CTO Connection is  a community where senior engineering leaders can connect with and learn from their peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show. 

Jan 29

29 min 18 sec

JP learned engineering management the hard way - and he’s passionate about helping new engineering leaders to have a better pathway to building their skills. In this Short Byte we look at the differences between being an engineering leader at a startup vs a larger company, how JP learned to become a manager, resources that are now available for engineering leaders and some hints and tips on managing your boss and hiring effectively at a startup.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partner - CodeClimate! Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate by the end of the year and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Dec 2020

29 min 27 sec

Culture work is part of a developers jobAt Flatiron Health, the team thinks that getting IC’s to invest in the team culture is so important that they’ve built it into their career ladder. So I’ll be asking Cat why “culture work” (from onboarding and mentoring to planning hackathons and running socials) is everyone’s job and how it has helped her to build a cohesive and inclusive culture despite explosive growth of her engineering org.Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.And thanks to our sustaining partner - CodeClimate! Engineering leaders who are motivated to exceed 2021 goals know that gut-feel isn't enough to make performance-improving decisions. CTOs, VPEs and Directors at organizations like Slack, Gusto, Pizza Hut trust objective data from Code Climate Velocity to measure and improve productivity, efficiency and performance. Reach out to Code Climate by the end of the year and get a month free when you mention CTO Connection.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Dec 2020

27 min 45 sec

According to Christian Beedgen CTO and co-founder of Sumo Logic, there is no magic bullet when it comes to innovation. His brain child, Sumo Logic, was founded to empower digital business through real-time analytics delivered as a service.On this week’s episode of CTO Connection, Christian and Peter chat about the future of log files and where machine learning fits in. Christian also discusses his long road toward becoming a founder and CTO. Take a listen to the episode.(01:11) - Falling forward(06:58) - Technical management & leadership(08:31) - Leading through influence(16:02) - Getting insights from logs(24:00) - ML/AI analysis(32:34) - Magic bulletsSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Dec 2020

36 min 37 sec

Companies have largely figured out software. Data science, however, seems to be the new frontier. Many data scientists are coming from largely academic backgrounds and maybe don’t understand how to function at jobs in the private sector. Today’s guest is Ian Wong, co-founder and CTO of Opendoor. He chatted with Peter about the questions data scientists can ask themselves to better align their work with tangible business outcomes.Ian also discussed how the pandemic has led his team to talk about making remote-first work as a permanent practice. Tune in for his insights.(01:10) - Studying at Stanford(03:40) - Square and Prismatic(04:48) - Clojure and Lisp-based languages(08:41) - Co-founding Opendoor(14;26) - Recruiting winners(20:01) - Remote-first reality(28:36) - The strategy of data science(35:20) - Hiring data science practitioners(39:27) - Managing stakeholder expectations(41:41) - Questions to elicit competenceSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Oct 2020

44 min 12 sec

Content should be both structure driven, and easily integrate with software. But most Content Management Systems are legacy systems that are not intuitive and clunky. Paolo Negri, co-founder and CTO of Contentful, was an early adopter of GraphQL.This week on CTO Connection, Paolo talked to Peter about why GraphQL works so well for content and why organizations should strive to be API-driven. Tune in for his thoughts on management.(01:12) - Paolo's journey to building an org(04:42) - Life with 20 direct reports(07:49) - Attracting talent(11:13) - High Output Management(11:27) - Managing Humans(11:59) - The Manager's Path(12:11) - Team Topologies(12:34) - Building an API-driven company(18:16) - Looking into GraphQL(21:38) - Bridging the gap(26:22) - Query language(32:44) - Tooling maturitySpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Oct 2020

36 min 27 sec

Thanks to the pandemic, many people are getting their first taste of working remotely. But for Gustavo Niemeyer of Canonical, having a globally distributed team is just a way of life. On this week’s episode of CTO Connection, he discusses the pros, cons, and considerations for companies considering globally distributed teams.Further, Gustavo talks to Peter about managing teams looking to solve big, open-ended problems, why finding motivated employees is key, and why he is a proponent of globally distributed teams. Take a listen for more.(01:12) - Discovering a passion(05:07) - Team leadership at Conectiva(06:18) - Doorway to Canonical(09:16) - Bootstrapping large projects(17:16) - Managing expectations(22:03) - Self-motivation(25:20) - Communication overlap(30:40) - International compensation(35:15) - Remote interviewsSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Sep 2020

41 min 55 sec

Sites like Squarespace and Shopify have simplified the design and engineering process for people who either don’t have the technical skills or the resources to hire a team of engineers. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for the tools a business will need. Julien Lemoine is the co-founder and CTO of Algolia, a hosted search platform. He joined Peter for a discussion on API and customization.Listen as Julien discusses why things are trending toward customization and greater flexibility. He also shares why getting the architecture right is one of the most important aspects for anyone managing a team of engineers. (01:11) - How Julien got interested in technology(03:15) - Small team management(05:53) - Becoming CTO at MASA Group(07:10) - Simplifying search at Algolia(10:26) - Build and buy(25:37) - Evolution of the problem(33:40) - Choosing the right APISpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Sep 2020

37 min 41 sec

When Justin Dean was placed as a network engineer in the Marine Corps, he had no idea that this would lead to a career helping legacy and emerging businesses shape what is possible in network engineering. Justin is currently the CTO and CIO of Weedmaps, a website that helps customers find local weed dispensaries and helps dispensaries stay in compliance with state regulations.Today, Justin takes us through his jobs at Shopzilla and Ticketmaster before arriving at the industry changing Weedmaps. Listen in as he talks to Peter about both the evolution and future of network engineering.(01:10) - The road to Weedmaps(08:37) - The secret sauce at Shopzilla(15:10) - Transforming Ticketmaster(25:49) - The World Wide Web of Weed(34:30) - Product prioritization(36:10) - Business unit organization(46:52) - Attracting and hiring staffSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Sep 2020

53 min 33 sec

Rob De Feo has spoken to more than 500 startups over the last few years in his role as a startup advocate. These experiences have given him insider knowledge on the patterns leaders in startups face as well as best practices that have helped businesses reach scale.This week on CTO Connection, Rob takes Peter behind the curtain of life as a startup advocate. They also discuss their biggest career advice: searching for roles based on tasks rather than titles. Tune in for Rob’s insights.(01:10) - How Rob got into the tech world(01:55) - Joining Expedia(05:37) - Becoming a co-founder and CTO(07:20) - Moving to Amazon Web Services(09:54) - Speaking to start-ups(10:45) - Building for now(20:17) - Lead geek personalities(22:37) - Patterns for early-stage teams(29:57) - Getting good advice(32:50) - Balance in mentorship(35:18) - Becoming a start-up CTO(36:51) - Training, coaching, and mentoringSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Sep 2020

39 min 53 sec

If you’re a startup or any company that doesn’t have vast name recognition, attracting top talent can be a key concern. Ashish Aggarwal cut his teeth at Microsoft, Amazon, and Postmates so when the time came to start his own company, Productiv, he knew how to get the right people for the job.Ashish spoke candidly about his past experiences and how they have helped shape Productiv. He shared with Peter the two things that attract top talent: challenging problems to solve and the opportunity to work with other high performers. Listen for more of his insights.(01:12) - Growing into people management(03:39) - Management training at Microsoft(06:15) - Attracting great talent at Ebay(08:50) - Geo-distributed offices(11:53) - Amazon's customer obsession(18:23) - Next-level ownership at Postmates(24:22) - Founding Productiv(34:30) - Principles for start-up team buildingSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Aug 2020

40 min 21 sec

According to Raj Sethuraman, good technology cannot be a successful technology unless it solves customer problems and drives great business outcomes. Raj is currently CTO at Wolters Kluwer and got his start at Intuit. The common thread throughout his career has been establishing customer-centricity to better inform technical decisions.He is our guest this week on CTO Connection and talked to Peter about a program he likes called “Follow Me Home” in which he and other team members sit down with customers to find out how they use products and what could make them work better. Listen for his insights.(01:21) - Transitioning to leadership(03:48) - Customer centricity(05:16) - Follow me home(12:26) - Co-creating value(16:57) - Badass: Making Users Awesome(18:24) - Achieving quick wins faster(22:01) - Appetite for change(24:51) - Managing pushback (28:01) - Hiring for culture fit(30:30) - Engineer rotation(32:29) - Innovation priorities Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating, or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Aug 2020

36 min 40 sec

Greg Thomas is the author of the book, Code Your Way Up. Over the course of his 20 years in software development, he found that there was a void when it comes to developing individuals on a team into leadership and management roles.Greg joined Peter to talk about some of the most important principles discussed in his book. He discusses why feedback isn’t always a pat on the back and shares three questions you should be asking when you join or build a new team. Listen for his advice.(01:32) - Code Your Way Up (03:10) - How to grow individuals(06:24) - Identifying the right track(09:51) - Selecting feedback(14:18) - Continuing to code(16:25) - Candidates for career change(22:29) - Training to become a competent manager(25:20) - The Making of a Manager(25:33) - Seth Godin's "altMBA" workshop(26:37) - Succession planning(28:50) - Touchpoints for reflection(31:43) - Helping teams help themselvesSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Aug 2020

36 min 14 sec

In any industry, communication is a key factor in a team’s success. For CTOs navigating complex problems, effective communication between all stakeholders is paramount. David Subar is both a Chief Product Officer and Chief Technology Officer at Interna Consulting. He joined Peter to discuss common patterns that result in communication breakdowns.David shares some of the clashes that can happen when a CEO’s vision is not in alignment with the metrics or working style of the team. He also discusses why having a hybrid position for a CTO and Product Officer eases workflow. Listen for his advice on diffusing these communication issues.(01:25) - David's first jobs out of college(03:27) - Transitioning to management(07:14) - Interna Consulting(09:43) - Common CEO failure patterns(12:13) - Relative strengths of C-level executives(16:26) - Building credibility and communication paths(18:41) - Helping the CEO focus on what matters(25:53) - Patterns in failing CTOs(28:35) - First time at bat(31:45) - Off-handed comments Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Aug 2020

34 min 45 sec

Fleming Shi has been with Barracuda Networks for more than 15 years. In that time, there has been a profound shift and evolution in the tools and security systems that power his engineering team. He joined Peter for this week’s edition of CTO Connection to discuss his journey to CTO as well as the many changes he’s witnessed over the years.Listen for Fleming’s thoughts on keeping up with trends as well as the character traits of 10xer engineers.(01:27) - Fleming's career journey(04:17) - Moving to Barracuda(08:07) - Sustainability after launch(14:18) - Motivation for the long-term(19:39) - Sustaining a culture of innovation(24:25) - Advanced technology group(29:46) - What makes a 10XerSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jul 2020

32 min 58 sec

Data science has increasingly become an integral part of the technical makeup of organizations. However, most CTOs don’t have experience building a data science component from scratch. Jon Morra got his start in data science at eHarmony when most technical teams did not have any researchers. He joins Peter today on CTO Connection to offer advice on how to build a research team from the ground up.Jon discusses why you want to bring on researchers who are generalists and why it is imperative that you have a clear problem you want to solve before assembling a team. He also explains why you should look at problems as oracles and offers guidance on the hiring process for data scientists. Listen to get ideas on starting a research team for your organization. (01:26) - Jon's path to becoming Chief Data Scientist at ZEFR(02:40) - Balancing competing priorities at eHarmony(04:30) - Where to start building up a data science team(08:16) - Approaches for making the first hire(11:14) - Beyond full stack(13:07) - Filling the gaps(16:18) - Thirsty to learn(17:56) - Promoting to manager(19:41) - Minimizing business risk(22:16) - Defining success(24:11) - Where should the team live within an org?(27:42) - Initial goals and expectations(29:32) - What is senior?(32:16) - Managing senior data scientistsSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jul 2020

35 min 33 sec

VP of Engineering is an expansive position. But what is it really like on the granular level? Alexandra Paredes is the VP of Engineering at Code Climate and joined Peter to discuss how she approaches the hiring process, keeps her team on track, and navigates metrics such as cycle time and code review involvement.Tune in to hear Alexandra’s thoughts on communication and transparency as well as mentoring new engineers to ensure they ask the right questions from the start. [01:28] - Alexandra's rise to VP of Engineering at Code Climate[07:21] - Internal metrics[12:02] - Milestones without estimates[18:40] - Cycle time[20:29] - Reliability requirements[21:59] - Code review involvement[23:29] - Incremental pull requests[26:34] - Tracking key abilities[29:58] - Communicating metrics to non-technical managementSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jul 2020

33 min 17 sec

Working nonstop without delegating is not a sustainable way to live or work. Such habits often lead to burnout. CTOs in particular struggle with this problem. Many are young, inexperienced, or desirous of being part of a shippable product to relinquish control. Andy Skipper was once such a CTO himself. Now he coaches and mentors other CTOs with his company, CTO Craft.Andy joined Peter for this week’s episode of CTO Connection to discuss what burnout is, how to identify it, and what tools you can use to turn things around. Listen to this important conversation for tips and advice on beating burnout.[01:26] - The early days of Andy's career[06:19] - The vision behind founding CTO Craft[07:56] - Patterns of burnout[11:29] - Heuristics for prevention[15:46] - Walking away from the golden handcuffs[19:36] - Mismatched expectations & resources[20:08] - Communication, helping others, and polyphasic sleeping[25:55] - Couples therapy for founders and lead technologists[28:50] - Cutting losses[30:42] - Finding a sustainable pace[33:54] - Step out of the situationSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jul 2020

36 min 4 sec

According to James Smith, CEO of Bugsnag, caring about customer experience is what makes for a better software developer. This is especially important when managing technical debt. Today on CTO Connection, James shares his experience and discusses his approach toward technical debt from both the developer and client perspectives.James shares why he believes overcommunication is key and how carving out time can help your team achieve a manageable sprint cadence. Listen for more.[01:26] - Becoming CTO in hard mode[05:43] - Learning to let go[10:17] - Hiring management[13:11] - Process maturation[15:34] - Overcommunication[19:12] - Managing technical debt[26:08] - Carving out time[31:23] - Bug triage[37:23] - Delivering a good experienceSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jul 2020

41 min 56 sec

Let’s say you join a new organization. How would you spend your first hundred days if you were to figure out how to enact change and implement your own priorities? Our guest this week on CTO Connection is Andrew Fawcett, CTO of Avantica. Andrew has worked with companies of all sizes and has seen some truly amazing changes made, but also has run into those that lacked vision.Andrew sat down with Peter to discuss some of the reasons why companies have such a hard time with change as well as best practices for setting up a culture that embraces change. He explains why he is a big believer in winning over the hearts and minds of employees. Check out the episode for more.[01:28] - Managing change in an organization[06:08] - Influencing cultural change[07:47] - Dealing with multiple platforms[13:02] - Three factors that inform how we view change[18:07] - Identifying a unifying vision[22:09] - Rolling out a large cultural change[25:17] - Running technology at a new organization[28:15] - Broadening the power base[30:21] - The other side of changeSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jun 2020

33 min 49 sec

We all want our companies to succeed so it’s easy to get fixated on numbers that we believe will help us judge our efforts. However, according to Dalia Havens of Netlify, metrics need to be optimized to give you a full picture of company or project health.Today, Dalia talks to Peter about using metrics in a healthy way that can empower and help solve problems. She also discusses why a consistent delivery pattern will give you the most insight into your operation. Listen to her thoughts. [01:26] - How Dalia ended up at IBM[04:03] - Engineering management at SailPoint Technologies[06:39] - Moving into the director role[07:54] - Engineering metrics[12:46] - Looking for a more consistent delivery pattern[14:50] - Understanding cycle time[18:37] - Defining the smallest unit of work[20:41] - Incentivizing teams[23:20] - Gauging quality[24:53] - Layering categorization on top of throughput[27:18] - Breaking down pull requests[28:40] - Educating business stakeholders[30:36] - Having foundational metrics in placeSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jun 2020

33 min 6 sec

When we think of startups we think of charismatic entrepreneurs plugging away on their passions. But what does it really take to form a startup? Our guest this week on CTO Connection is Bob Friday, CTO of Mist, a Juniper Company.Bob is a veteran who has been through the startup process many times. He talked to Peter about the thought processes that go into crafting both teams and entire organizations. Bob also talks about the formula behind the process new ventures will go through and which positions are the most important to fill. Listen in for his strategy tips.[01:28] - The beginnings of Bob's technology career[04:16] - The ultimate team sport[05:30] - The blank sheet of paper[07:52] - CEO checkbox[09:00] - Market timing[10:20] - Bob's first big company adventure[16:05] - Mist Systems[20:10] - Returning to the startup world[21:43] - Taking on the incumbents[26:13] - Jumping off the cliff[28:40] - Getting the team together[30:47] - Going all-in on an enterprise AI play[33:57] - Creating an environment where data scientists enjoy beingSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Jun 2020

37 min 4 sec

When companies transition from private to IPO, there are bound to be challenges and learning curves. Rachana Kumar has worked in five countries, two of her positions were in the non-profit sector. These experiences helped her roll with the punches as her current employer, Etsy, has undergone a massive change over the last few years.Rachana is preparing for a talk on helping leaders navigate large organizational changes. In this week’s episode, she explains to Peter the three foundational tools that can help any leader work through changes and challenges.[01:34] - Rachana's transition to management[03:47] - Co-founding Shaadi Karma[06:37] - Changes at Etsy[11:57] - Leading through rapid change and transformation in tech[13:09] - Compliance in a public company[22:27] - Feature flagging[24:38] - Three tools to lead teams through external changes[25:38] - Focus & resiliency[30:43] - Communication & transparency[35:09] - Managing up & downSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating, or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

May 2020

38 min 26 sec

Learning doesn’t end once you’ve earned your degree. Developers and engineers must stay up to date with their skills and emerging technologies. But most of the time, employees are expected to take on this additional learning on their own.Our guest this week on CTO Connection is Kwame Thomison, a consultant and leadership coach formerly of Meebo, Facebook, and Asana. Kwame discusses different learning models that can be integrated into workplaces to create a strong culture of learning and collaboration. He talks to Peter about the difference between high learners and light learners, and a framework for value creation.[01:27] - Becoming a force multiplier[05:11] - Differences in culture & experience[08:13] - Facebook in the early days[10:00] - Finding balance at Asana[11:54] - The rewarding demands of consulting[13:40] - Heavy vs. light learners[15:01] - Communities of practice[22:04] - Learning guilds[25:40] - Project guilds[28:18] - Tips for growing a learning cultureSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

May 2020

34 min 12 sec

When COVID-19 hit, UserTesting was already at a unique advantage: the team was already mostly working remotely. However, as the stay at home orders have increased, UserTesting’s CTO Kaj van de Loo has seen some unforeseen issues pop up.This week on CTO Connection, we’re discussing how the pandemic has not only changed the structure of work, but also the expectations people have of working in an office. Kaj discusses why everything (no matter how small) must be documented, why managers need to proactively talk to employees to see if there are any mental health issues coming up with the changed working environments, and the considerations that will need to be made to safely reopen. [01:26] - Kaj's management journey[03:23] - Increased specialization[04:56] - Programming in a pandemic[08:18] - Dealing with different time zones[12:35] - Introvert empowerment[15:59] - Flexibility for individuals[21:30] - Managing remote and distributed teams[25:34] - Improved metrics[28:39] - Online social activities[32:17] - Back into the officeSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

May 2020

35 min 53 sec

Kunal Anand has an interesting background for a CTO. Despite majoring in business, Kunal got his start at JPL (an offshoot of NASA). From there he worked at Myspace and the BBC. His experiences at each of these companies taught him invaluable lessons that led to him founding his own company which was acquired by Imperva where he currently serves as CTO.Peter talked to Kunal about his diverse resume and then pivoted to an insightful conversation on the future of work. Kunal offers invaluable tips on how he is currently setting the tone for his employees by scheduling in mental health breaks and prioritizing flexibility. Check out the episode to get a clearer picture on what work will look like in the next ten years.[01:30] - Kunal's journey to NASA[05:21] - Unique workloads at MySpace[11:29] - The front row experience at Gravity[12:55] - Building microservices at BBC Worldwide[20:10] - ColdFusion[26:25] - Founding Prevoty[30:13] - The future of work[42:38] - "The Friendship That Made Google Huge"Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

May 2020

47 min 31 sec

Hypergrowth is what every startup dreams of, but actually filling the seemingly unlimited positions available is incredibly taxing on employees. Cat Miller is the Vice President at Flatiron Health. At one point, she took on the enormous burden of interviewing at least four people a week. Recognizing the strain on resources, she and her team set out to streamline their hiring process.Today, Cat is sharing what she’s learned from her year of panic in which she hired 100 engineers, as well as how Flatiron is structuring their current hiring process. She also discusses the training each interviewer must undergo before their first interview. Listen in for her hiring insights.[01:25] - Cat's early career[05:11] - Managing humans at Flatiron Health[08:25] - Product and platform team alignment[13:57] - Scaling hiring during hypergrowth[22:29] - The one-fourth rule[23:39] - Helping engineers become good interviewers[24:46] - Question maestros[26:27] - Hiring to match values and culture[28:41] - Rubric for humility[29:51] - Compensation strategySpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating, or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Apr 2020

32 min 18 sec

Now that everyone is working remotely, people are starting to realize how much they took meetings for granted. Our guest this week on CTO Connection is Douglas Ferguson, President of Voltage Control. Voltage Control’s mission is to rid the world of horrible meetings. So how do you transform ineffectual meetings to something of greater value?Douglas talked to Peter about his 10 mantras for meetings that work. Some include ideas like ‘no purpose, no meeting’ and ‘embrace the child’s mind’. Tune in to learn how to make meetings work for your team.[01:34] - Ridding the world of horrible meetings[04:29] - Durable decisions[08:59] - The 10 meeting mantras[09:09] - No purpose, no meeting[10:18] - Disagree and commit[17:58] - Bring your best self[23:08] - Do the work in the meeting[26:59] - Foster emotional safety[28:09] - Capture room intelligence[30:32] - Embrace the child's mind[35:45] - Respect everyone's time[36:46] - Decide what not to do[38:08] - Debrief for durability[39:42] - Meeting about meetingsSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating, or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Apr 2020

43 min 14 sec

Tolga Tarhan got his start single-handedly running all the technology in his high school. Fast forward to today in which his experience during the dot com bust and incremental steps at various development firms have led him to the belief that the cloud is the ultimate goal of any organization.On today’s episode of CTO Connection, Tolga shares wisdom and advice on how to find the right mechanisms for your business so you can gradually shift to a cloud native architecture. For Tolga, the key is not “lift and shift,” but making a gradual shift that will enable your company to innovate quickly.[01:26] - How Tolga became a technologist and engineering leader[04:01] - Specializing in AWS at Rackspace[05:55] - Getting started adopting the cloud[09:39] - Dealing with problems of scale[11:11] - Bringing professional software development to the serverless world[13:28] - Experimenting with Serverless Framework[20:45] - What are microservices?[22:41] - When to consider more than one service[26:58] - Talking to clients about resilience[28:34] - Observability requirements[29:40] - Becoming cloud nativeSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Apr 2020

33 min 19 sec

There are few jobs where you’re encouraged to break things, but Kolton Andrus has made a career out of “failure as a service.” Kolton is the CEO and Co-founder of Gremlin, a platform that seeks to help companies avoid outages and build more resilient systems.On today’s episode of CTO Connection, Kolton explains the concept of chaos engineering and why it’s so important, particularly to large scale operations. Take a listen and get ideas on how you can prevent outages.[01:26] - Kolton's backstory[03:21] - Managing a team at Amazon[05:10] - Moving to a technical role at Netflix[07:51] - Founding Gremlin[10:36] - Formative experiences with chaos engineering[15:39] - Graceful degradation[19:33] - Next-level testing[22:26] - Challenges with microservices[26:05] - Efficiency & resilience[31:18] - Preventing outagesSpecial thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services(AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to aws-cto-program@amazon.com if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to CTO Connection in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.Podcast episode production by Dante32.

Apr 2020

33 min 13 sec