As technology becomes integrated into every aspect of traditional business, CTOs are taking on more and more responsibilities. CTOs are no longer back office administrators that are called in to put out fires, they are front line leaders that require business acumen, top notch communication skills, and a deep understanding of every part of business from the sales cycle to the supply chain. Externally, CTOs are expected to stay on top of the latest and greatest tech products in the market. They are constantly weighing the pros and cons of system redesign and held responsible if product deployments slow down productivity.
So how do successful CTOs navigate the waters in constant sea change? Greg Madison, CTO at Synaptik, provides insight into what it takes to succeed in the 21st century startup:
1. Know your needs
Understanding the scope of a project or product is critical to identifying what your needs are and will help in the evaluation of new technologies. There is an overwhelming amount of new tech solutions to problems, and all marketing sells a specific technology as “the next big thing that you need,” but if you’re really not in need of it, don’t use it. Correctly identify what you’re needs are, and what the capabilities of your current technologies may be. If some new tech doesn’t solve a problem, then it’s not worth an in-depth evaluation.
2. Know your team
Most of us get into the tech industry to work with computers and we’re shocked to find out that we have to work with people instead. Knowing those above you, in your charge, and your peers, can help in avoiding personality conflicts, as well as increase efficiency of task completion and cooperation. Not to say that all things should be tailored to an individual, only that knowing the preference or passion of the individual can be of a benefit when taking an idea from your CEO, translating that into actionable tasks, and assigning those tasks to the right team member.
3. Know your code
As your dev team grows, you code less and less as a CTO. Though this may be a difficult reality at times, it’s necessary. However, that doesn’t mean that you should lose touch with the codebase. Though a CTO should be looking for new technologies, you also can’t forget to maintain and refactor existing code. Not many people will code it right the first time, and so it must be refactored and maintained without the mentality that you can just scrap it and start over if it gets too out of control. Establishing and maintaining a set cycle for code evaluation and maintenance is key to ensuring a stable product.
To learn more about Greg’s work at Synaptik, sign up for a demo and explore the best in class data management platform that is designed to adapt by providing a lightweight ready-to-go module-based software framework, for rapid development.
“Synaptik offers traditional business users access to high-powered data analytics tools that don’t require advanced IT skills. Whether you are working in insurance, media, real estate or the pharmaceutical industry, Synaptik can provide deep insights that put you ahead of the competition.” – Greg Madison, CTO at True Interaction and Synaptik
By Nina Robbins