Ten Books a CTO shouldn’t miss out on

Knowledge is power, and this is especially true for CTOs in the present industrial economy which is constantly evolving. To keep abreast with the latest news and developments, it’s vital for CTOs to constantly update their knowledge bank. But when you’re constantly scrunched for a time between deadlines, leading your team, and heading the tech division of a company, it may be a tad difficult to always be in trend with the latest developments.

Tech blogs and newsletters don’t do justice to those who have an appetite for a lot of information. Events, symposiums, and conferences are a great way to connect to the tech space and read and learn about new innovations to hit the market, but it’s not always possible to be at all of them. One thing that will never let you down though, is a book that you can carry around with you. During those few minutes of breaks between meetings, you can always read a page or two and complete the rest when you get back home. We’ve picked out ten books that we think is a good read for every CTO.

  1. Hooked

Getting your consumers hooked onto your brand. That’s how the game is played and that’s what Hooked is all about. It’s about getting noticed amongst all the noise in the digital space. It delves into psychology, how brands play on it, what stays, what fades, and what you can do to create products that are remembered for long.

  1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

The book decodes the way great leaders think and communicate. Author Sinek terms this as “The Golden Circle”. It’s the perfect framework within which companies can be built and that can inspire change. It all starts with the question, “why?”.

  1. The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change The Way You Do Business

Author Clayton M. Christensen talks about the reasons why firms lose their market leadership. They may be doing all the right things and checking all the boxes, but sometimes it’s best to “not” listen to consumers. The right time to develop lower end products and high-performance products, targeting small markets and big markets. It’s a book that throws light on all these facets and makes for the great guide.

  1. Rework

Authored by the duo Jason Fried and David Hansson of the development company, 37 Signals. The book offers effective strategies for running a digital business. It busts myths that hamper your progress and offers solutions. Rework includes practical and innovative ideas that can be implemented for your firm’s growth.

  1. The Phoenix Project

The book focuses on DevOps and despite being a technical book, is very much an engaging read. It throws light upon a systems-thinking approach to help your team be more productive. It also highlights commonalities between manufacturing and IT.

  1. The Mythical Man-Month

It was published 30 years back, but till today it remains a book that has made an impact in the software development space. It decodes the human factor in the realm of software engineering. If you want to ace as a CTO and a team leader, then this book is a must-read.

  1. Continuous Delivery

It’s a book that helps breakdown software delivery processes and lays down guidelines for new and improved strategies and methodologies. Automation, testing, deployment, it has it all.

  1. Peopleware: Productive Projects And Teams

This book bridges the gap between humans and technology. Tech issues are human issues; the best way to solve them is by first going to the crux of the problem. This means focusing on your team and building better leadership skills. Better workforce generates better software enhancement. For CTOs this is probably your Bible.

  1. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

In this book, author Ben Horowitz gives an insight into what drives Silicon Valley. It’s great entrepreneurship advice for CTOs. Right from challenges, negotiations, firing or hiring employees, to managing your own psyche, it spills the beans on it all.

  1. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach To Web Usability

Decode the minds of consumers to get an idea of how web designs can be simplified, beautifies, and made easier to access. If you’re a programmer, writer, editor, or designer, then this book has to be on your reading list.

So, now that we’ve listed out a bunch of books that you can stack up and get reading on, the challenge lies in you finding the time to read them all. Start with one, read a few pages at your workplace, and make it a ritual before bedtime to at least complete one chapter. Believe us, the wealth of knowledge that you’ll gain will transform the way you think and operate.


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