March 22, 2022

Newsletter #121 : Digital MBA Launch

After a sabbatical caused by Christmas and the launch of our new course, we’re back …
with another slice of leadership insight via “The 5 Minute Tech Break”.

To those of you who signed up since our last appearance … this newsletter is a curated slice of articles, videos and book recommendations that we hope will help ease some of your tech leadership load.

And we’re celebrating the launch of our much anticipated (at least here at CTO Academy HQ) new course … The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders.

We’ve also expanded our team …
Nati joined from Buenos Aires to project manage the MBA course
Andrea is in Fortaleza, Brazil and helping us across our social media channels and;
Bakhrom joins from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan as video editor (aka the one who has to make us lecturers look good on camera!).

If that geographic range of new colleagues is not a brilliant example of the modern world of remote work … I don’t know what is.

Great to have them join the CTO Academy team.

Nothing else to add apart from …  have a great weekend.
Andrew Weaver
CTO Academy
[email protected]

How We Improved Our Sprints When We Stopped Estimating“Despite our best intentions, software projects often get delayed. We, the members of the Premium team, try our best to make realistic predictions, yet we often fail. For some, the solution is to take every estimate with a grain of salt or to massively inflate our timelines. Others joke that in order to find realistic estimates, the best method is to take the estimates of two senior engineers and multiply them to get an accurate due date. If you have worked in an agile or Scrum team before, you might have used story points to estimate your user stories. We used the same strategy in the Premium team … “

Full article here.

Reverse Interview Your Future Manager & TeamThe pragmatic engineer blog is full of interesting articles from Gergely Orosz, this one included …”I don’t know of many career hacks that get you ahead over consistently putting in the work. However, there is one approach I wish I had done earlier, and now recommend to anyone who receives an offer from any tech company. It’s also the best career hack I know:Reverse interview your future team after you’ve negotiated the offer, and before you accept it …”Full article here

Why Engineering Leadership Is So Hard“Every job has its share of challenges, but maybe the hardest part of being an engineering leader is that you no longer have peers who can trade-notes with, problem-solve, and empathize with. When the job gets tough, there is no one to turn to about it …”More to read here

Emotionally Intelligent People Embrace These Simple Rules Ah yes, that old chestnut ..: Emotional Intelligence.

We cover this in some detail within The Digital MBA but in the meantime, here’s an interesting look at some “simple rules” … article here.

VCs & The Marginal $ GameFor those of you working with VCs (or planning to move in their direction ..) this Tech Crunch article is worth a read;

“Venture capital should come with a warning label. In our experience, VC kills more startups than slow customer adoption, technical debt and co-founder infighting — combined. VC should be a catalyst for growing companies, but, more commonly, it’s a toxic substance that destroys them. VC often compels companies to prematurely scale, which is typically a death sentence for startups … “

Full article here.
“This is how they tell me the world ends”We love a cheery book here at CTO Academy.

On the other hand, it’s nice to be pre-warned about potential dangers ahead and this book definitely does that …

The untold story of the cyber weapons market―the most secretive, government-backed market on earth―and a terrifying first look at a new kind of global warfare …

“Part John le Carré and more parts Michael Crichton . . . spellbinding.” 
New Yorker

“Written in the hot, propulsive prose of a spy thriller” New York Times

Amazon reviews here

“Becoming a Tech Leader .. Requires Actually Leading”
“The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders”
Launched 31st January 2022

After much build up, fanfare and trumpets a-blazing …

Monday 31st January saw the launch of our new course with The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders welcoming 32 tech leaders from 13 countries to our 1st cohort.We’re thrilled to be working with such a talented group of people and excited to help them get the most out of their learning experience.

If interested in what’s ahead for the pioneering 32, you can find out more via this introductory video.

The 2nd cohort due to launch on 28th February is already building nicely with another fantastic gathering of global tech leaders …. if interested in joining them, then take advantage of the 20% discount available until the end of this weekend. Find out more here.
Much to celebrate …Stephen Stewart and his team at Factory 42 have created with BBC Studios an amazing project called The Green Planet …

described as “a boundary-breaking project powered by EE 5G combines captivating storytelling with cutting-edge technology, transporting you through five digitally-enhanced realms where you’ll discover the wonderful world of plants and their importance to the future of our planet”

And today – as I wrote this newsletter … it was being emblazoned across Piccadilly Circus

Santiago Garcia da Rosa and his colleagues at Nowports, hot on the heels of their recent Series B round, have opened a new office in Panama.

And in one of my favourite cities in the world, Manchester …. Paul Clegg and his team at Raildiary celebrated a stellar start to the year with major contract extensions, 100% customer renewal and that all important startup ingredient … “a massive boost in terms of morale and confidence in our product” 


CTO Academy are planning a number of events during 2022 that will take place both in and outside the UK.

We will be in Manchester on 31st March (Dukes 92 for anyone interested in joining us) and raising a toast to Paul and all of our global community making a real impact on the world.

Makes this job totally worthwhile …

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