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Episodes

33: Build vs Buy and Disrupting Processes

10/9/2018
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We're back after a couple-week break! Don and Randy discuss the ever-debated strategy of building versus buying your software solutions. But they up the ante by discussing how existing workflows and processes are perhaps a bigger consideration than SaaS fees or software development costs

Duration:00:30:28

32: Handling Critical Feature Updates

9/11/2018
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Don's firm recently underwent its first major platform upgrade and we discuss the various ways they prepared, tested, and worked through the changes, all the way up to the dreaded "point of no return."

Duration:00:49:07

31: Elon Musk and Leading Your Team to Burnout

8/21/2018
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Pulled from the media, Don and Randy discuss Elon Musk's interview regarding the personal toll that his attempt to run three companies, perhaps poorly, is taking upon himself. Moreso, they talk about what it means to be in a leadership position and how leading-by-extremes can take a toll on the whole team (or company). Oh, yeah, they also bring in a discussion about college football coaches, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, and even Mark Richt. And for that, they sincerely apologize to those of you...

Duration:00:52:22

17: Identity Heft

4/10/2018
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With hacking, data security, and privacy as huge issues in the press, we discuss how we approach identity management on both products and across our teams.

Duration:00:47:55

16: Don't Be Evil-ish?

4/3/2018
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Where do you draw the line on ethics? How do you take a stand when you want to keep your job? This week, we discuss ethical behavior and the responsibility people have regarding it.

Duration:00:53:03

15: Non-Disclosures, Non-Competes, No Way?

3/27/2018
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Should you sign non-compete or non-disclosure agreements? Are these kinds of contracts binding? Are they even useful for your business? We discuss everything from saying "heck, no," to turning the ask into an initial business agreement test.

Duration:00:47:31

14: You're so vain, you think in-office work is about you

3/20/2018
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We discuss our history with in-office and remote work, why junior devs might reconsider working outside the office, and how requiring folks to work in your proximity is a trait of managerial vanity.

Duration:01:13:09

13: Fostering a learning environment with Mark Thompson of Trilogy

3/14/2018
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We speak with our first guest, Mark Thompson of Trilogy Education, about his approach to creating a productive learning environment both on the job and in a classroom setting. Mark is also working on a side project named Totally Strong, which is pushing his own limits about learning to code while building an MVP (and raising a newborn!).

Duration:00:52:47

12: Communicating on a roller coaster of uptime and downtime

3/7/2018
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Randy and Don found themselves stranded, mid-ride on the Expedition Everest roller coaster at Disney World's Animal Kingdom. Following their rescue, and during an in-person recording from Orlando, they talk about how a tech manager should handle technical downtime, service interruptions, and critical alerts for users, executives, and investors that depend on services.

Duration:00:51:16

11: Are code challenges a lazy or legitimate method for hiring developers?

2/25/2018
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Are code challenges or quizzes a legitimate practice for hiring developers? We debate whether the method of filtering candidates via whiteboarding or code games is plain lazy or a necessary part of the recruiting process for engineers.

Duration:00:52:07

10: Skills for a career in tech leadership

2/18/2018
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If a junior developer is looking at the fork in a technology career path of software engineering or management, what kinds of skills do they need for the leadership side?

Duration:00:44:16

9: Developer focus is an excuse not to talk, right?

2/10/2018
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Is the call for "developer focus" a selfish complaint from precious snowflake employees? What right do developers have to ruin the design trend of great-looking open offices where collaboration magically happens? This week, we discuss how we feel about the need for managers to talk to employees at all times vs the need for folks to get work done without interruption.

Duration:00:46:43

8: Your hosting strategy - Choosing from self, managed, cloud, or serverless

2/3/2018
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How do you choose the best hosting options for your product or firm? This week, we discuss the thinking in a choice between self-hosting, managed hosting, cloud options, and the new buzz word: "serverless".

Duration:00:40:01

7: Work-life balance

1/27/2018
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We discuss the importance of a work-life or non-tech balance for someone building a career in technology. Do folks need to set aside a specific amount of time, or any at all, not working on things related to their job?

Duration:00:38:45

6: Does a tech manager need to code to be effective?

1/18/2018
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Randy is a CTO that codes almost daily. Don has found it difficult to string together multiple days where he's able to code for his current roles. Today, we tackle the topic of whether a CTO or technical manager needs to be able to code to be effective at their job.

Duration:00:33:23

Episode 6 - Does a tech manager need to code to be effective?

1/18/2018
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Randy is a CTO that codes almost daily. Don has found it difficult to string together multiple days where he's able to code for his current roles. Today, we tackle the topic of whether a CTO or technical manager needs to be able to code to be effective at their job. Notes Links CTO Think Podcast is creating Episode Transcripts for Accessiblity Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. If you liked what you heard, please share a link to the podcast with your...

Duration:00:33:23

5: Antifragile and TDD - What's the value?

1/12/2018
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Don brings up the subject of chaos, based on a book he's been reading, Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. We discuss the merits of test driven development, unpredictability, and how technical managers can work towards a more resilient product in the face of inevitable failures.

Duration:00:33:19

Episode 5 - What's the value of test driven development in an Antifragile world?

1/12/2018
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Don brings up the subject of chaos, based on a book he's been reading, Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. We discuss the merits of test driven development, unpredictability, and how technical managers can work towards a more resilient product in the face of inevitable failures. Notes Links Nassim Nicholas Taleb websiteAntifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder on AmazonNassim Nicholas Taleb on AmazonChaos MonkeyAmazon Web Services EC2 Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO...

Duration:00:33:19

4: Risk and Exploits - Dealing with Meltdown and Spectre

1/5/2018
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Randy and Don discuss an item ripped from the headlines: What should a technical manager do about the recent Meltdown and Spectre exploits? They move into the CTO modes of research, understanding, translation, preparation, upgrading, monitoring, and, most of all, not freaking out. Randy requests a bobblehead or plush toy of the Spectre logo.

Duration:00:42:46

Episode 4 - What should a manager do about the Meltdown and Spectre exploits?

1/5/2018
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Randy and Don discuss an item ripped from the headlines: What should a technical manager do about the recent Meltdown and Spectre exploits? They move into the CTO modes of research, understanding, translation, preparation, upgrading, monitoring, and, most of all, not freaking out. Randy requests a bobblehead or plush toy of the Spectre...

Duration:00:42:46