Monday, June 25, 2007

Advice from CTOs - top 10

I've gotten a lot of good advice from fellow CTOs over the years, and figured I would share a top 10 list (of advice):-

1) Get a coach (Igor Shindel) - having an executive coach has been an extremely valuable tool for me, and I continue to use a coach.
2) It's the people, stupid (Curtis Brown) - it's not about being the brightest technologist in the room, it's about supporting great technologists.
3) Reward and compliment your teams (Dan Woods) - Recognition goes a long way, plus technology teams typically work long and hard, and deserve an extra nod.
4) Bring it on! (David "Yak" Yakimischak) - When systems start to fail, don't cower and hope they go away. Reproduce the problems at will, and then conquer them. Load testing tools are critical here.
5) Make a list (old boss) - During a critical or rare opportunity meeting, make an action list, and email to all participants after meeting. Simple, obvious, yet highly effective.
6) Architecture is people (John Helm) - Have the right people in place and you'll have the right architecture.
7) Good vendor relations (Dan Holewienko) - Vendors are not out to get you (and your budget share). Make good working relations beyond Purchase Orders.
8) Give to get (Kevin Sickles) - Help out other CTOs and technologists freely, it will all come back in time.
9) Network with other CTOs (me - Jon Williams) - It's like having an all-star baseball team at your fingertips, the cummulative knowledge of a network is outstanding. And meet in person as often as possible.
10) Have fun (Chad Dickerson) - Technology is fun, that's why we do it.

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