Here is a list of regularly updated podcasts that the Chief Technology Officer, regardless of company size or experience, should keep an eye on. In between all the incredible technology talks and episodes that fuel our geekiness, there lies the podcast focussed on helping engineers turn into leaders and grow into visionaries.
There is definitely something for everyone here so take a look and let me know if I’ve missed anything!
Average length: 50 minutes
Topics include: CTO Role, Scaling, Organization, Growing Leaders
Style: 1-on-1 interviews via video conference
Joel Beasley is doing a stellar job, not only finding ALL the CTOs, but as someone who has experience as CTO and as a developer, his conversations are engaging and fun! The gold lies in the banter between general leadership and growth topics when all manner of tools, trends and books are casually discussed.
If you’re interested in learning how people grew into their roles as CTOs, tackle coaching and development of middle management roles like directors and lead engineers then Joel and his guests are definitely a table you’d want to sit at.
Average length: 40 minutes
Topics include: Ideas, Creativity, Innovation
Style: Interviews and coaching
Phil McKinney reads my mind! As CTOs we have rich imaginative conversations in our heads especially when the going gets tough. Don’t you wish that you could go talk to someone who’s been there, done that sometimes? Well, this podcast is like having coffee with an advisor who not only gets you out of your head but also gives you solid actionable advice. This podcast has a nice balance between interviews and 1-1 coaching which I really like.
Average length: 30 minutes
Topics include: Just enough tech to keep CTO on their toes, Personal, Technology Trends
I love listening to Keith Townsend and his crew. I feel like he is really close to all the topics CTOs are thinking about. I also get a sense that if I were to meet them at a party, I would be jealous of the camaraderie and rapport they have with each other.
This is one of those podcasts where it’s not that important *what* people are talking about, but rather the trust you feel for *who* is doing the talking. This is not to say that the topics are weak by any means at all. But if you enjoy freestyle banter between people who are obviously very well informed, super experienced and comfortable with each other, this is a great show to add to your subscription list.
Average length: 30 minutes
Topics include: Tech
Style: 1-on-1 and panel interviews
In our roles as CTOs we are members of a C-Suite and I love this podcast for giving me a glimpse into the minds of my fellow company leaders. In an age where collaboration and emotional intelligence is a significant differentiator, host Michael Craigsman guides us through very interesting conversations that fuel empathy.
The true value of this podcast lies in various experts’ opinions on topics that are relevant, and most essential, to the role of CTO. CXO Talk has also been around the block so it has a nice air of confidence in the way it’s produced and backed by sponsors.
Average length: 40 minutes
Topics: Product Development, Leadership
Style: 2 “recovering CTOs” talking, no interviews
This podcast has more of an episodic vibe tracking the journey of two “recovering CTOs”. The gold in this show lies in the fact that both hosts, Don Vandemark, and Randy Burgess are currently building products and seem to be in leadership roles at their companies so the topics give you a glimpse into their decision making processes and navigation of real-world situations on a weekly basis.
The benefit that comes with not having guests on a show is that you grow comfortable with the hosts and they tend to speak to their audience more directly rather than hosting a talk show in which they have to guide a guest through a conversation that provides value to their listeners. In this case, you have two extremely knowledgeable, hands-on CTO types checking in with each other every week and we all get to listen in on that conversation.
Topic: Wide ranging
Style: Live presentations to audiences of CTOs
I’m a lover of live music where the authenticity of the moment trumps the production of perfection and so here you have a unique TED stage meets indie conference vibe that brings CTOs out from their workplace and onto the public stage. Sometimes it sounds like the speaker is referring to slides but overall, the topics are absolutely focused on what Chief Technology Officers should be thinking about and offer a whole plethora of frameworks, models, and systems for getting work done while scaling your organization.
Average length: 1 hour
Topics include: Startups
Style: 1-on-1 interviews
An often neglected aspect of the role of CTO is whether it also includes co-founding the company. What I love about this podcast is the perspective Dave Albert brings by interviewing people that help CTOs who also wear the ownership hat. A key differentiator for this audience is the requirement to help with sales.
So, there you have it, our list of podcasts that we think every CTO should listen to. There is one final podcast that I would be remiss not to add to this list but it’s focus lies more with the entrepreneur founder and is not a technical podcast per se. But every time I listen to How I Built This, I feel inspired.
Go check all these out and please let me know what else CTOs should be listening to!