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The Loneliness of the CTO

Gaston Maron

Oct. 20, 2020

Speaking about loneliness is speaking to oneself. Sometimes, a real waterfall of internal victories; some others, a flood of external requests that overwhelm integrity. Although the character is merely to share knowledge with the community, considering that each one is part of a whole, the main topic to be addressed in this article is the loneliness of the CTO.

Noise is generated by thinking of a C-level loneliness. Do not all responsibilities (business, team, customers, stakeholders, etc…) fall on a person who plays such a role? If organizations do not have these types of roles in front, what degree, more or less exact, should be at the helm?

To all this, the “pandemic” phenomenon is added to an environment where the teams, always firm and united in the offices, begin to work in a distributed way, in the comfort and disorder of their own home. It is pretty similar to the first day of work. The famous “setup” where each professional accommodates his desk, placing his secondary monitor along with some other addon such as a photo frame, the tablet and some other nerdy, geeky and / or sentimental element. You begin to see the defects in internal communications where the word of mouth query ends up being an email or a chat on some platform waiting for a response. This response is expected, since on the other side is a person dealing with household chores, taking the dog for a walk or paying attention to his son who asks him for help with school tasks.

However, the technology manager must continue to hold the helm for the ship to reach the desired ports. Fighting against a calendar full of meetings (even more meetings because of the distribution of the team) looking for a nook to stop planning or talking in order to do. To all this, it is added that the working day is no longer 9 hours any more, but many more since the distinction between office and home seems difficult to perceive.

As additional factors, keeping informed is a must, that’s why the iPad is full of articles, books, documents to read at night before going to bed. Therefore, adapting to new habits results in a task much more complex than the benefits that the "home-office" brings. Likewise, He has a whole team under the same circumstances. The faulty internet connections, the interruptions of the mail that arrives at the house, the bricks of the dogs, the noise of the building where He lives, among other issues that affect all members.

Dealing with daily life, added to the above, is it a challenge worth facing? I mean, nobody was prepared for this. In addition to having to make the decisions for a recessive economy and carry forward the roadmaps, projects and planning ahead. A thousand webinars of all kinds of new technologies, an exploited mailbox for forum newsletter, events (on-line, of course), calls and others generate dizziness for those who cannot always have their north marked on their compass. Distractions everywhere and the focus of the business with numbers in red and a technological stack that has to be updated due to the demand for more users, greater competitiveness in digital services. In most cases, the aforementioned issues end, in one way or another, at the head of a CXO.

In summary, this article seeks the union of lone wolves who deal with this type of distraction every day and to be able, from a community, to generate support for each other. Validate decisions, generate feedback on the processes adopted, applied methodologies, good practices for the good performance of teams, among other technical, business and management concerns.

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