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Episodes

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 discussing the personal toll that his attempt to run three companies, perhaps poorly, is taking upon himself. But they turn the tables on 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...

Duration:00:52:22

30: Debating (Angrily) the Responsibility of Cross-platform Support

8/14/2018
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Don runs into a problem with a podcast app as he launches a new podcast of his own, Friday Night Stripes, and wants to deploy his show on Overcast. The issue? Don is not an iOS user and cannot find a way to sign into the Overcast website, which . . . disappoints . . . him. As a happy iOS user, Randy doesn't feel Don's pain and congratulates Marco Arment on making millions of dollars while also ticking off Android folks.

Duration:00:55:55

29: Betting on Vue JS with Gregg Pollack

8/1/2018
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Covering everything from Rails for Zombies to Code School to Vue Mastery, we talk with one of the original online tutorial creators, Gregg Pollack, and how he decided to invest in the Vue.js community and a new front-end open source project. Gregg also throws in a number of great suggestions for folks that have thought about creating their own tutorials and why CTOs might choose Vue JS among the frameworks out there.

Duration:00:55:19

28: When People Don't Listen to You

7/17/2018
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We discuss the inevitable issue of bosses, owners, managers, and clients not listening to every bit of advice we offer up. From ignoring the frustration, the psychological reaction, and avoiding a passive-aggressive response, to the maturation of our process and quitting of the pointing fingers and getting stuff done. We talk about why every decision doesn't need to come from you. But never forget: We told you so!

Duration:00:50:10

27: When Everything's Going Wrong

7/3/2018
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How do you get things back on track when everything from the engine to the caboose is falling off? We discuss steps to take when everything and anything is spiraling downward on a tech project.

Duration:00:39:45

26: Stakeholder Types and Working With Them

6/26/2018
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We discuss the various types of stakeholders that a technology leader may need to deal as being part of a company or a particular product. We discuss the various motivations and communication techniques necessary across Executives, Investors, Regulators, Managers, Engineers, Current Users, and Potential Users.

Duration:00:59:38

19: Networking for Introverts

4/24/2018
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Having a strong network makes for a huge advantage for career opportunities and learning how to lead. We discuss how to push past shyness and introverted tendencies to grow your own network of relationships. Links This Old AppChad Fowler's TweetHow startup CTOs learn to be startup CTOsMeetups.comChicago CTO ForumCTO Groups in LA, NY, and Boston Notes Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. Shownotes and previous episodes can be found on our website at...

Duration:00:57:32

18: Choosing a Tech Stack

4/17/2018
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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. Links This Old AppThis Old App, Episode 1 - The Intro!This Old App, Episode 2 - Learning JavaScript (Better)This Old App, Episode 3 - Learning CSS Grid with Megan SchemmelTransistor.fmNode.jsExpress.jsFirebaseMicrosoftSQL ServerASP.NetMicrosoft OfficeLAMP = Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHPMacRubyRuby on RailsPostgreSQLPythonMongoDB...

Duration:01:00:07

17: Identity Heft, Part 1

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. Notes This Old App Links This Old AppTransistor.fmAsk HN: What are folks using for identity management?Identity-as-a-Service in 2018: What's New?DevisePassportOAuth 2.0Auth0OktaFirebase AuthenticationAmazon CognitoLastPass1Password Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. Shownotes and previous episodes can be found...

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. Notes Links Google Code of Conduct in 2010Don't be evil - WikipediaAlphabet replaces Google's 'Don't be evil' with 'Do the right thing' - EndgadgetFacebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach - WikipediaVibes Media Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. Shownotes and previous episodes can...

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. Notes Links Lobste.rs Comments on Why I Refuse to Sign Non Compete AgreementsRadio City Stage Door TourLobstersUber vs WaymoHigh-Tech Employee Antitrust LitigationGreg Baugues at Twilio Recommendations TwilioSleep Closing Thanks for listening to...

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. Notes Links IBMDisney WorldInnovations for LearningVue.jsVueMastery Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. Shownotes and previous episodes can be found on our website at www.ctothink.com Reviews on Apple iTunes are always appreciated and help promote the show. Patreon...

Duration:01:13:09

13: Mark Thompson of Trilogy on fostering a learning environment for your tech team

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!). Notes Links Mark Thompson WebsiteMark Thompson on TwitterMark Thompson on LinkedInTotally StrongTotallyStrong on TwitterTrilogy Education...

Duration:00:52:47

12: How to communicate when your product is on a rollercoaster of uptime and downtime

3/7/2018
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Randy and Don found themselves stranded, mid-ride on a rollercoaster at Disney World. 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. Notes Links Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain Recommendations AirBnB for Orlando CondosAvatar: Flight of Passage Closing Thanks for...

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 necessary part of the recruiting process for engineers. Notes Links Hiring without Whiteboards (on GitHub)Hiring Without Whiteboards: HackerNews Discussion Recommendations Angel: How to Invest in Technology Startups by Jason CalacanisAngel the Podcast - E15: Arlan HamiltonThe Bootstapped VC Podcast with Arlan...

Duration:00:52:07

10: What skills are necessary for a career path of technical 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? Notes Recommendations The Problems of the CTO RoleSimpleNote app Closing Thanks for listening to the CTO Think Podcast. Shownotes and previous episodes can be found on our website at www.ctothink.com Reviews on Apple iTunes are always appreciated and help promote the show. Patreon contributions help us to produce...

Duration:00:44:17

8: How do you choose between self, managed, cloud, or serverless hosting?

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". Notes Gator 100Northwestern Coding BootcampPatreon campaign Links Gator 100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing Gator-led businesses in the worldNorthwestern Coding BootcampAmazon Web ServicesGoogle CloudMicrosoft AzureHeroku - Managed hosting on AWSNow – Realtime Global...

Duration:00:40:01

7: How important is a work-life balance for a technology career?

1/27/2018
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How important is a work-life balance for a technology career? Notes Shadow Divers, by Robert KursonSoftwareLeadWeekly, publised by Oren Ellenbogen Links Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who RIsked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War IISoftwareLeadWeeklyCTO 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...

Duration:00:45:08

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

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