CTO Craft Con 2023: Our highlights and top trends
CTO Craft Con, held November 7-8, 2023 in London, presented a unique gathering point for technology leaders from myriad backgrounds. With a key focus on culture and the CTO, as well as a global community spanning from fledgling startups to established public companies, CTO Craft Con offered an excellent opportunity for tech leaders at all stages of their careers to connect, learn, and grow.
We were thrilled to be a sponsor of CTO Craft Con for the second time this year, following a successful inaugural event in May. It was great to see so many familiar faces again and once again take part in two days of networking, insightful talks, and informative conversations — and don’t worry, we did not forget our lego giveaways!
Here are some of our highlights from this November’s talks:
The Kobayashi Maru of Management: You didn’t have to be a Trekkie to appreciate what Michael Lopp, renowned author of 'Managing Humans' and 'The Software Developer's Career Handbook' had to say about managing business complexities. In his captivating session titled 'The Kobayashi Maru Management', Lopp unravelled how to implement changes through a four-stage process: writing down the plan, vetting it, understanding its impact, and crafting a communication strategy. This approach provided attendees with practical, real-world tips to navigate 'no-win' scenarios in leadership.
Diversity beyond boundaries: A panel discussion on embracing diversity in tech stood out for its holistic approach to inclusivity. The panel offered actionable advice, such as using tools for refining job adverts and promoting role flexibility to attract a diverse talent pool. The emphasis was on not just diversifying the hiring process but enriching every step of it to find candidates who can truly shine in their roles.
Heidi Helfand's reteaming insights: Author and technical leader Heidi Helfand delved into 'Dynamic Reteaming at Fast-Changing Companies.' She shared real stories and insights on five key patterns of team dynamics, providing a valuable framework for leaders navigating the ever-changing landscapes of tech companies.
CTO Craft Con is more than just a conference: it's a confluence of ideas, experiences, and visions aimed at providing unflagging support and unparalleled learning experiences to new and seasoned technology leaders alike. With that in mind, this is what we at Vention see ahead for the tech industry at large, and what CTOs and other technology leaders should keep in mind heading into the new year.
- Cautious optimism in economic uncertainty: One prevalent trend was the cautious approach adopted by companies in response to economic uncertainties. Conversations with various CTOs revealed a spectrum of strategies, from scaling down teams to maintaining current structures, all underpinned by a sense of guarded optimism.
- The growth and challenges of remote cultures: The rise of remote work cultures — and how companies architect their tech and engineering functions to support this shift — was a recurrent theme. The conference highlighted the importance of fostering a growth mindset and the nuances of leadership in the office — wherever that office is.
Building resilient management rosters: Another emerging trend was the focus on developing robust management teams. Discussions covered the balancing act between individual contributor and leadership tracks, the necessity of aligned compensation, and the art of coaching new leaders to ensure business growth aligns with management expansion.
All in all, CTO Craft Con 2023 was not just a platform for learning and networking but an insightful community for tech leadership to navigate the complexities of hiring and retaining talent — not to mention hitting growth targets — amidst economic challenges.
As the tech world continues to evolve, events like CTO Craft Con prove even more invaluable in charting a course towards successful and resilient businesses. We at Vention are very much looking forward to collaborating with CTO Craft in the future and continuing to be part of this vibrant community of thought leaders in the tech scene.