GRO.TEAM » The GRO.TEAM Story » Rorie Devine » The CTO CIO Bible Book

CTO ¦ CIO
Bible Book

Amazon's #1 Information Technology Best Seller

Vera Mayuk TECHNATIVE.IO
12 Books Every CTO/CIO
Should Read in 2020

“When author Devine calls this book a CTO/CIO bible, he isn’t kidding. Devine has a plethora of experience in over twenty interim and permanent CIO/CTO positions, has been featured on the cover of the CIO Magazine twice, and has overseen three successful startups throughout his career. His insightful book goes through everything you need to be a successful CIO or CTO, covering over 100 topics related to values, tactics and game-changers that any CIO or CTO can apply to their work. In addition to being extremely informative, educational, and never beating around the bush, Devine wrote The CTO | CIO Bible in an entertaining and digestible manner, allowing you to absorb his lessons and advice easily and have fun while doing it.
Without a doubt, if this book isn’t in your repertoire already, it should be in your shopping cart this year!”

What is a CTO?

Before we delve into the technical aspects of what it means to be a CTO and everything else regarding the position, including GRO.TEAM’s story, it is best we highlight what one actually is. The chief technology officer, as you would expect, is concerned with all the technological aspects of the business and is pivotal to the success of an organization. As advances in technology and IT occur, which is continuous, so do companies needs for a modern and adaptable CTO. Thanks to a competitive and ever growing market, as well as a rise in start up businesses online, there is and always will be a need.

Michael Krieger and Werner Hans Peter Vogels, if you aren’t familiar already, are prime examples of how useful CTO’s are to the development of a company. They have literally changed the world with their progressive tech ideas and assisted Instagram and Amazon become to becoming elite businesses. Amazon more so of course, Jeff Bezos now being the richest man on Earth! And he wouldn’t be able to build that if it were not for Vogels. The role of CTO is to help the company maintain its competitive edge and stay technologically sustainable. However it depends on the scope of the company on what additional roles and responsibilities might be included in the position.

What does a CTO do?

Most sought after and high ranking positions have clear responsibilities and goals laid out for them. For CTO’s however, it is highly dependent on a number of factors such as start up area, number of staff and the business processing style. They may have various responsibilities, and carry even more weight than the CEO themselves. The overly general definition of the role is why some companies use different terms such as head of engineering sometimes. One constant though for every CTO is the duty to enable a business to reach its financial and marketing goals using an innovative tech approach. Taking into account the necessity of new tech innovation and maintenance it is easy to see why it is such an important position. Failure to do so would likely result in going broke and withdrawing from the market. Lean startup is a newly adopted technique in the industry that provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. It is best to test your ideas before you bet the bank on them. Don’t listen to what focus groups say; watch what your customers do.

What are their Responsibilities?

Other key responsibilities you can expect from the position is being the public face of the tech department. There is a great deal of social interaction and involvement either directly or indirectly with all technical projects. In small startups, the founder executes the function of CTO and in huge companies, the CTO oversees several development teams including those serving corporate tech needs, so they need to be able to think like a leader. In regards to MVP and software development operations, there is also a big difference in responsibilities between big organizations and small businesses. A CTO for a small company will be more concerned with daily engineering and tech tasks. For startups the modern CTO will have the burden of hunting for and hiring IT specialists and engineers. Another role is to hire a team without the help of hr department and conduct onboarding for the chosen candidates. So as you can see just from these examples they can often carry the weight of the company and be concerned with many different areas of expertise within the business and not just web or developer related issues.

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How do you become a CTO?

Now that you’ve heard about the endless plethora of responsibilities a CTO has, you’re asking where do I sign up, right? Well as you can imagine it isn’t easy but with technology advancing at an exponential rate, it’s certainly not a bad time to consider what options there are and start building up towards achieving that goal. It is one of the highest-ranking IT positions in a typical corporate hierarchy and professionals who want to know how to become one should be ready for a lifetime of learning.

The steps towards

A bachelor degree sets the foundations for becoming a CTO and any young aspiring individuals will want to earn a degree in a computer-science related field to start their professional journey. Now the next step after this is to gain valuable experience in whatever job you pursue after gaining a degree. The CTO’s job is complex and ever changing so unless someone has experience in overcoming potential problems and dealing with complexities they won’t be any use at top level.

Examples of areas you can gain this knowledge and understanding are security engineering, software development and information security management. Even having a book to read on these areas can help you a great deal if you are serious. Positions in these areas may only require a few years experience but in order to progress to the level of CTO it is generally advisable you have 15 years experience in total. At least 5 years in a manager role also. It is a big commitment if you are just starting out but the benefits you can sow further down the line are well worth it. It’s especially good for personal career development.

Other than these steps, all you have to do is work hard, show commitment and develop a passion for reading if you don’t already as there is much to learn, so it’s best to read books on CTO work, software engineering or or whatever is applicable to your line of work. Any book by experienced CTO/CIO’s you’ll find is useful but Rorie Devine’s latest book is well worth a try. Other books are worth a read but his expanse of knowledge is way too big to miss out on.

What are the Advantages?

With years of experience required, organisations understand the importance of paying a CTO well.

The median salary for the position in 2019 was £80k. A chief technology officer in the bottom ten percent of the salary range makes £49k.

Conversely, for the top ten percent, the average is £149k. So it goes without saying the potential for a big salary is definitely an incentive.

Other pros are that you get to define the roadmap, work closely with marketing and sales, articulate the product value and design to customers.

What are the Disadvantages

A common downside is that at larger companies, there are usually two kinds of CTO. There is the evangelist, and they are more concerned with marketing sales, or there is the traditional CTO, that is concerned with the technology and products strategy for the company.

So being a CTO is often a balancing act as most need to combine characteristics from each type such as to communicate where the company is heading and also provide leadership to people below them, which can be challenging in its own way.

Another potential disadvantage is if you can’t speak to customers, or if you come across with a thin veneer. You put your company’s credibility at risk each time you get in front of customers or prospects if you don’t have the confidence or the knack to put forth ideas.

It is also possible that you might become detached on day-to-day product development issues like coding, code review, architecture, prototyping, and working very closely with QA, Software Engineering and IT. Minute details and mistakes can be quite detrimental as well so there are things to be concerned with regarding CTO work. After all they are only human too.

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What is a CIO?

A CIO, which we haven’t picked up on yet, has a rather similar sole to that of a CTO. The role of the CIO is to help set and lead the technological strategy of an organisation, in concert with the other C-level executives. As such one of the many roles of the CIO is to provide an executive-level interface between the technology project and the rest of the business. The simple distinction between the two is that CIO’s look inwards aiming to improve processes within the company as opposed to outside the company and customers.

The CTO/CIO Bible - Rorie Devine's 5 star book

There are books every aspiring CTO or CIO should consider reading if they are to reach their full potential and learn valuable tips and advice from other renown people in the position, but which book is for you? Perhaps most important and apt is Rorie Devine’s best seller on Amazon, entitled The CTO/CIO Bible. Undoubtedly a book every CTO should read, aspiring or current. We’ve brushed over the importance books such as these can have to help others out. it’s a different perspective and a different way of looking at things, as well as being helpful and easy to follow. As well as this it is featured in the top 12 books every CTO should read in 2020 by technative.io.

But why this book? It gets to the point quickly with distillations of hard bitten wisdom from decades of not just Rorie’s experience but those he’s worked with. The valuable content lays out the process of becoming a successful in the line of work and keeps it simple as opposed to other books. From the humble startup to 5 star author of two books, the otther being ‘How to be a hero CIO’, also a great read. He provides an insight into his life in the business and real stories which makes for a better and more engaging read. He really pulls together all the elements of outstanding IT management and software development while at the same time it includes bite sized wisdom and instant takeaways to ‘try now’. Rather than a massive tome of boring management theory, it is put across in a great way . A must read for the modern CTO!

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