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Ask HN: What are some good books for a new CTO to read?
23 points by victorbojica on Aug 11, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 16 comments
I am CTO for some time now, but i now just realised that i may be missing different soft skills. What are some good books to read?

I'm not a CTO (yet?) but I've begin to grok some of the stuff involved in managing teams of engineers. 'The Manager's Path' by Camille Fournier was really helpful. Lots of very practical advice for all sorts of technical leaders: senior ICs, front-line managers, managers-of-managers, CTOs.

+1. Great book.

Daniel Jarjoura recently published a fairly complete reading list that might be useful: https://techleadership.substack.com/p/the-product-leader-rea...

Some books I’ve read and enjoyed and/or found useful: The hard thing about hard things, the innovator’s dilemma, High output management, Accelerate, The Phoenix project (though I much prefer The Goal)

I’m getting a non-functional page for that link. The page says that the content has moved to tlt21.com, but provides no links (I checked after disabling blockers on my browser too). If I go to tlt21.com, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to find this article.

hey not op but try this webcached page and make sure you dont let it load completely or else you'll get a page not found error:


Seems I can't reply to parent so putting the link here: https://www.tlt21.com/the-product-leader-reading-list/

Also, you might find the Rand leadership Salck (https://randsinrepose.com/welcome-to-rands-leadership-slack/) to be a good place to have discussions with peers on all sorts of topics.

Thanks for the mention! On top of the books mentioned in the article, I would really advise you to read Will Larson's Elegant puzzle

"Jocko Willink - Extreme Ownership" is a good start. I've got his older books and newest book on my desk to read next. Good leadership skills and perspectives etc.

While the concept is good the presentation of it is very.. not to my taste. From what I remember, it relates a lot back to Willink's military background. After you read a lot of it you realize a lot is common sense.

Each point they (there is two authors, not just Jocko) make has two points: how they learned it from leading SEALs in Ramadi and then how they helped a company apply it to their leadership.

The audiobook definitely has that military style to it: they speak is short, very terse sentences not using more words than necessary. It took me a minute to get used to it however I quite enjoyed it overall.

Yes it's a lot of common sense, but when you are running a company or a team, it's easy to have blinders on and miss these obvious things.

Getting to Yes; Exactly What to Say; The Coaching Habit

These are a few that I read and found useful. I'm not a CTO, just an intermediate developer.

I've put this list together for Tech Leads, but the non-technical parts of it are very much relevant for CTOs as well: techleadcompass.com

Peopleware, Evolutionary architecture, Domain-Driven Design, Ship It

Bullshit Jobs - David Graeber

Radical Candor is great!

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