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5 Tools Every CTO Needs

Written by

Team Egen

Published on

Aug 23, 2018

Reading time

5 min read

  • Project Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Scale

The average CTO has a lot on their plate and having the right tools at their disposal can help manage the day-to-day tasks in a successful manner as their responsibilities go beyond coding and engineering.

In today’s work environments, the average CTO often has numerous tasks to juggle as they strive to successfully manage both their team and the technology that drives their products. To ensure success, CTOs work with a variety of tools and programs to establish maximum productivity for both themselves and other team members. The possibilities and options for these tools are endless, so it’s important to choose the one that fits your team, and your needs, best. These five modern tools can help CTOs on their journey from both a team and technology perspective.

Agile Development

Companies of all different sizes, whether it be small startups or large enterprises, are looking at agile development methods to speed things up and improve efficiency. Simply put, agile development provides the framework for helping teams stay focused on the rapid delivery of a business value or project. One of the benefits of agile development is that your organization will be capable of reducing the overall risk associated with developing new software.

No matter how hard you try to keep requirements stable and consistent, they change, and they change often. Sometimes it won’t be clear that these requirements are going to need to be altered until late in the development process. CTO’s may find it difficult to know if their teams are making progress in the right direction throughout the various stages of development.

As a CTO, the first thing you can do to ensure agile development is to have continuous collaboration with all teams involved so everyone is on the same page during your fast-changing business landscape. Team size is also important, as research suggestions that teams of five to seven members have maximum efficiency.

Project Management

Ensuring continuous integration and project management are also vital tools you need as a CTO. Successful project management can reduce backtracking to discover where development took a wrong turn. If something breaks or malfunctions, you’ll know immediately and will be able to find the source of the problem before things escalate.

There are many programs to choose from for project management, and ones like JIRA and Trello can help you achieve this. JIRA, which was originally created for developers, allows you to log all projects into a central database, where workflows control the status of each project and flexibility and customization are key components to the system. According to a 2017 report by Gartner, “Positioned as the leader, JIRA should be considered when you are looking for a comprehensive solution for running both agile and traditional projects, and have limited needs for portfolio-level functionality.”

Trello is also great for CTOs to use to keep tasks, team members, and goals organized. It’s great for all areas of business, from marketing and design to UX testing to software development. It can be used to follow the production workflow, develop a schedule, organize upcoming projections, create a content marketing campaign, and so much more. And, since it doesn’t matter where your team members are located, Trello works whether they’re across the country or in the next cubicle.

System Architecture

Every CTO knows how important it is to stay one step ahead of the competition, and that includes knowing what software is within their system architecture. A fantastic tool for this is Stackshare, which allows for businesses to share the specific mix of apps and infrastructure tools that allow them to grow. For instance, Airbnb lists over 50 services, Slack lists 24, and Spotify lists more than 31.

Founded in 2014, Stackshare currently features tech stacks for 7,000 companies and claims that over 200,000 developers use its services. As a CTO, Stackshare allows you to discover and compare tech stacks, see side-by-side tool comparisons, discover new tools you may not know about, and see what some of the top companies within your industry are using. One of the more recent updates to Stackshare is Stack News. This allows developers who are using dozens of products to receive a daily or weekly newsletter that highlights any changes or new thinking within their most-used programs.

Founder and CEO Yonas Beshawred knows that companies may wonder why they should share their own unique mix of apps that enable their business to grow. To that he says, “Because they know it’s the missing piece of the puzzle for developers, many of whom struggle to learn which tools certain companies use and why.” Overall, Stackshare strives to be the place where engineers go to get advice regarding what technology to choose for their various projects as research questions arise.

Development Operations and Regression Testing

Software testing is an integral step in the development process, especially when new features or updates are implemented and bugs are reported. Once changes are made, regression testing needs to take place, which is testing the software to verify anything that was developed previously is performing the same way.

DevOps teams perform regression testing to as they check various components of any new code that is in the software. There are various automated regression testing tools and workflows that can be used to determine to check the code. One of which being Jenkins, which is used to automate a variety of tasks, including building, testing, and deploying software so developers can find and resolve any defects within their code. There is also Tricentis, Zephyr, and Selenium.

Who performs such testing can vary. It could be a member of the DevOps team or an automated testing tool. Regardless of who conducts the testing, it’s key that it takes place before the code is in the hands of a user. It is often wise for your team to automate these tests so they can run as frequently as possible without creating a bottleneck.

Hiring Well

While CTOs often wear many hats, sometimes you need to implore a staffing company to help manage the many teams on staff. A company that has experience with Teams-as-a-Service (Taas), like Egen, can present you with top-notch, pre-screened candidates. It’s also up to them to monitor the selection of executive talent and can reach high-level candidates that your hiring department may not be able to approach on their own.

Filling an open position on your team takes both time and money. The American Staffing Association estimates that hiring a worker can cost 7-20% of that position’s salary and take 30-45 days to fill. At Egen, we have experience working with companies who are looking to hire an on-site team member, a team that works remotely, or a mix of both. You’ll skip the entire process of scouting, hiring, and onboarding your new team member, so you can focus on other tasks as they arise. Or, you also have the choice to outsource an upcoming software development project to our engineering team while your staff is busy with other business requirements.

There are many situations where choosing to go the route of TaaS can be beneficial for your business. For instance, if you are unsure of the exact staffing or skill requirements, or these requirements may change over time. Or, you may find that your hiring manager is having a hard time finding the exact skills needed as they recruit locally. The overall TaaS model that we work with is designed to give businesses a high degree of control, especially when the skills needed and the scale in which they need team members is likely to change over time.

Download our white paper on Digital Strategies for Scaleups.


The average CTO has a lot on their plate and having the right tools at their disposal can help manage the day-to-day tasks in a successful manner as their responsibilities go beyond coding and engineering. It is in their best interest to utilize these tools on a regular basis, and when it comes to hiring the best team members, contact Egen. We specialize in Teams-as-a-Service and can fit your business with the person who has the skills and expertise you have been looking for. Contact us today for more information on how we can successfully build your team.

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