Newsletter #118 : Community

March 22, 2022
Welcome everyone and happy friday.

For the first time in this the #118th edition of the CTO Academy newsletter, we’re going all tech on you with a bunch of articles and videos the team wanted to share.

We’re also launching a community section where good news and product launches will be spreading fast … 

Final newsletter reminder about the talk we are hosting next week with Matt Lerner who is ex Paypal / 500 Startups and a great storyteller with some interesting observations about Tech Debt – details below.

Have an awesome weekend full of rest and the things you love …
Andrew Weaver
CTO Academy
[email protected]

5 Diagrams that show how context switching saps your productivityContext-switching is a proven drag on productivity. According to a joint report by Qatalog and Cornell University’s Idea Lab:On average, people take nine and a half minutes to get back into a productive workflow after switching between digital apps.45% of people say context-switching makes them less productive.43% of people say switching between tasks causes fatigue.This article is a collection of observations made by the author about how context switching impacts her own work. 

Find out more in 5 Diagrams That Show How Context Switching Saps Your Productivity

You can read another view from the Accidental CTO blog (written by Mostafa Khattab) with his thoughts on The Art of Context Switching.

Cybersecurity is top priority for operational tech systemsAccording to a report released by Honeywell, 71% of surveyed facility managers in the US, Germany, and China consider OT cybersecurity a concern or worry.

“Conversations about cybersecurity often focus only on IT and safeguarding data and assets, but OT cybersecurity is just as critical when you think of the potential effects”Read more in Report says that cybersecurity is top priority for operational tech systems

6 architectural diagramming tools for cloud infrastructure
Communicating a vision for cloud computing requires meaningful diagrams of logical, physical, and every layer in between. Here are tools that will help make them.Tools available here. 

Microsoft announces Azure Chaos Studio in public preview At the recent Ignite, Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Chaos Studio, a fully-managed experimentation service to help customers track, measure, and mitigate faults with controlled chaos engineering to improve the resilience of their cloud applications. 

More info here Microsoft announces …
“Exponential :
How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind & What To Do About It”
As technology accelerates, the human mind struggles to keep up – and our companies, workplaces, and democracies get left behind. This is the exponential gap.

Now, a leading technologist explains how this exponential gap is rewiring business and society. Exploring corporations and the workplace, diplomacy and big tech, Exponential makes sense of a period of dizzyingly fast change – and reveals how we should respond.

‘Azeem Azhar is one of the best-regarded thought leaders in the industry . . . He has a broad understanding of the ways technology can be used to solve our biggest problems, shape our society, and bridge cultural divides.’ 
Daniel Ek, co-founder and CEO of Spotify

Find out more here.

December 1st (that’s next Weds, folks)

“When Tech Debt Almost Crushed PayPal”

 Weds 1st December 2021, 1600 (GMT)

When Tech Debt Almost Crushed PayPal 
with Matt Lerner, ex PayPal and 500 Startups VC.

Discussion about the sometimes uneasy relationship between engineering and growth

In addition to some “PayPal War Stories,” Matt will cover other useful topics, including:- How can devs best support growth? Balancing fast growth obsession vs. tech debt and risk
– Hard (but fair) questions to ask your growth team
– Growth teams vs. product teams vs. marketing teams
– Is “growth hacking” really hacking?Presenter: Matt Lerner
Matt is a Silicon Valley “growth” guy with 20 years experience as an operator and VC, including time at PayPal and 500 Startups.
Now the founder of Startup Core Strengths

Free to Attend – Includes Breakout Sessions
Register Here

Find out more about Matt via his Linkedin and Twitter profiles, where he has some great stories to tell …

“After 17 years, we finally “cracked” a $100M churn problem at PayPal. Zero fancy tech. Just a spreadsheet, some simple SQL, and a physicist named Ben”

Celebrating success and new productsWhen hours are long, challenges are many and nights are late … it’s great to cheer success in any and every form.

Feel free to get in touch with any news you want the world to hear about …

3 members of the CTO Academy community have been in celebratory mood so congrats to …

In the UK
Andrew Ryan and Intuety for 3 significant innovations awards in as many months

From South Africa
Steve van Niekerk and ProQuo AI winning “Most Impressive Growth” at UK Business Tech Awards and “Best Overall Marketing” at MarTech Breakthrough Awards 2021″

And The Netherlands
Floris Vlasveld and Briq Bookings being included in the Dutch Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Top 100, following on from their inclusion in the MT/Sprout’s 2021 Challenger50 list.

Beta testers wanted …

Floris has also been working with a small team to create a tool designed to help software engineering teams reach their full potential. 

“TeamLiftr is an improvement platform designed to help software engineering teams reach their full potential. With TeamLiftr, your team can use carefully designed assessments and pulse surveys to map the state of your team across a wide range of topics. From there, TeamLiftr’s visualizations make it easy to identify which areas to prioritize for improvement. Finally, teams can turn insights into actions by creating improvement initiatives—dedicated workspaces where teams can plan, discuss, and track their progress towards achieving specific improvement goals. TeamLiftr is now in beta and we’d love to hear what you think”

To join the beta, head over to


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