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7 Books for CTOs in 2020 That Are a Must Read

Building the tech infrastructure of your business, choosing the right tools, and outlining a foolproof technical strategy, all while managing a diverse team of engineers — if you’re a CTO, then this is probably what your day looks like.

And when you have a never-ending list of responsibilities, a team to lead, and deadlines to deliver, keeping up with the latest technologies and management strategies can be difficult. And that’s why we’ve curated a list of books that you can read when you unwind after a long day at work.

In this piece, we discuss seven books for CTOs — books that can give you all the advice that you’ll ever need. From people-management to leveraging new technologies, embracing change, and understanding your engineers, these seven books can prove to be an invaluable source of practical knowledge that you can use on a daily basis.

1. Modern CTO

Author: Joel Beasley

Modern CTO by Joel Beasley is one of the most recommended books for CTOs for many reasons. Joel first began writing code at the age of 13 and went on to sell his first technology for one million dollars when he was only 18 years old. Today, Joel is a CTO, working with clients ranging from start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises.

Modern CTO is a book that is based directly on Joel Beasley’s personal experience, where he talks about the challenges he faced, lessons learned, and things to avoid when you’re a CTO.

“You’ve got to be able to communicate in life, it’s enormously important. Schools, to some extent, to emphasize that. If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.” – Joel Beasley

Why you should read it:

Modern CTO is a book that is based on a simple, yet fundamental principle — developers are not CTOs, but developers can learn how to be CTOs.

Through this book, you can learn how to successfully navigate the unexplored transition between the role of a developer and a CTO. You’ll also learn how to manage people and deadlines, know when to abandon a sinking ship and build a better one, deal with poor code, steer clear of some common UX mistakes, and more. Modern CTO is the ultimate guidebook if you’re making the transition from ‘a’ developer to ‘the’ CTO.

2. Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager
Author: Michael Lopp

Micheal Lopp, a Silicon Valley-based engineering manager, is known for his unique writings across a range of diverse topics such as people management, pens, and werewolves!

What makes Managing Humans a must-read book for CTOs is the humourous yet insightful management experiences of the author at Apple, Netscape, Borland, and Symantec, among others. Based in Silicon Valley, where a dull day at work includes throwing chairs and yelling at each other, Micheal Lopp has managed to pull no punches to deliver stories that will speak to you.

Why you should read it:

Micheal Lopp believes that writing code is easy. Managing humans is not, and that’s why you need a book to help you do it. Whether you’re an aspiring CTO, a current CTO, or if you’re simply wondering what a day in the life of a CTO looks like, look no further.

The book also highlights fundamental leadership aspects such as dealing with your boss, handling conflicts, hiring the right engineers, why everyone hates meetings, motivating employees, understanding different engineering personalities, and, most importantly, thriving in everything that you do.

There’s no doubt that this book has a substantial amount of information. But that’s exactly why people want to read it.

3. The Lean Startup

Author: Eric Ries

Eric Ries is many things — a blogger, entrepreneur, innovator, and a visionary. Also known as the ‘software guy’, Eric Ries founded the Lean Startup theory, which is aimed at shortening product development cycles to improve marketing functions.

The Lean Startup, nicknamed as the ‘Bible’ of entrepreneurship, provides a scientific approach to building and managing successful tech startups in an age where innovation is the need of the hour. The book introduces a new strategy to change how companies are built, and products launched.

“This is one of the most important lessons of the scientific method: if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.” – Eric Ries

Why you should read it:

The Lean Startup steers clear of elaborate business plans and focuses on offering entrepreneurs a way to test their vision, adapt, and adjust, to create a successful business. By doing so, it enables businesses to shift gears with agility, modifying plans on the go, inch by inch.

4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things

Author: Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz, the author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, is the co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and one of Silicon Valley’s most respected tech entrepreneurs and investors. Known for his practical advice on building a tech startup, Ben wrote this book to help CTOs maneuver the difficulties of running a tech business.

“Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness.” – Ben Horowitz

Why you should read it:

The Hard Thing About Hard Things is one of the best books for CTOs because it doesn’t talk about how great it is to start a business — it talks about how difficult it is to run one. The book analyses the problems that confront tech leaders every day, the challenges, the negotiations, and dismissals, hiring developers, managing and motivating your team, cultivating a CEO mentality, knowing when to cash in, and more.

This fantastic business book mirrors humor, honesty, straight talk, and business lessons with lyrics from famous rap songs. A must-read for veteran tech entrepreneurs as well as those who are aspiring to create their own new ventures.

Discover more to know must-read books for CTO’s in 2020.

Source: https://thescalers.com/top-7-books-every-cto-should-read/