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The IAM Industry: Opportunities, Challenges and Trends

2021-11-28 -

Covid-19 and the shift to remote work and remote schooling brought many more SaaS solutions into play. Yet for every online service that your work or school requires you to use, you had to scratch your head and come up with another original, complex yet memorable password. Some of you might have given up and used your default password, while others who managed to conjure up a new password- might have written it down or worse, emailed it yourself.    Let’s face it.  The state of authentication today is a mess. People either have one password they use everywhere or they have many passwords but write it down. Identity-management systems aim to change that by providing a single login for all services - either for individuals or teams. Sagnik Nandy, the CTO and President of Technology at Okta - a leading IAM  (Identity and access managemen**t) ** Solution provider - shares insight into the world of identity management, its technical challenges, opportunities and what he foresees for the future of digital identity in a recent podcast with alphalist. We’ve expanded on some of the key takeaways from that conversation.

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Building a Scalable Product

2021-11-11 -

How do you build a product now in a way that will make future developments easy? How can you ready your code so adding future features will be easy? How do you ensure that if you need to refactor code at a later stage, the process will be as smooth as possible?  Find out about building scalable products from someone who actively chooses scaling challenges. Sagnik Nandy, the President, Technology and Chief Technology Officer of Okta, shares what he learned about building scalable products from his time working at Google - having been with Google Analytics in its early days as it went from its small scale Urchin to the free, widely distributed Google Analytics we have today.  Here are some of the main takeaways from the alphalist CTO Podcast:

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NodeJS vs Ruby vs PHP: How to choose a language for your web application

2021-11-01 -

Choosing a language for your web application is no easy task. Especially if you are a SaaS for which your web application or online portal is your core offering. You want to choose something that scales well and covers your business needs both on the front end and back end. Fabian Wesner, Founder of ROQ has a lot of experience with web apps. He built 3 shop systems (that have generated many eCommerce websites) and now offers a modular, Feature-as-a-Service web application generator for enterprise-level execution of web apps.  Fabian shared on the alphalist CTO podcast his insights into web application - based on his years of experience and study. (He spent 20 years working (and leading companies) in PHP before switching to JavaScript which he studied intensively for 3 months full time. In this article, we will discuss the factors Fabian mentioned in the podcast that he suggests we use to determine which language. He then uses these factors to suggest a language for each use case (eCommerce, Static Web Application, and Dynamic Web Application (SaaS, online portal etc.)).

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How to be a CTO of a Remote Start Up

2021-10-22 -

What is it like to be the CTO of a remote startup? Kore Nordmann shares tips on how to lead a tech team from the benefits of pair programming to instructions on how to set up a virtual office for remote interaction. 

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Recruiting Tips to Increase Diversity while Saving Time

2021-09-23 -

Missing out on great applicants costs money. Which is why you want to cast the widest net and also reel them in record time before they go somewhere else!

Top talent who are searching for a job today will get multiple offers tomorrow. You need to streamline your hiring, understand what you're searching for and you need to come to the candidates on time with the right feedback. Right now, SmartRecuriters is working on shortening the recruitment cycle for Engineers from 5 to 2.5 weeks. Their CTO, Alesia Braga, shares with us what they are doing to achieve this plus insight into the world of recruiting which she has gained as the CTO of an enterprise level end-to-end recruiting solution.

Read on to learn how to hire top talent through shortening recruitment time and applying DEI best practices. 

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How to Build an Internal Culture

2021-09-09 -

What makes a great internal culture at a tech company? Mark Porter is now the CTO of MongoDB - yet over the past 40 years, he has worked at companies like Oracle, Amazon Web Services, NASA, and Grab.  In this article, you will learn insights that Mark has gained over the past 30+ years working at a variety of companies about creating a great internal work culture -  from hierarchies and diversity initiatives to metrics and mentorships.

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How to Secure your App

2021-08-27 -

Securing apps is vitally important. Your users are trusting you with their data and transactions and you can’t afford to betray that trust. Worst yet, you yourself can’t go down due to malicious actors. You need to make sure your process secures your app from the frontend to the backend and everything in between.

Few recognise the importance of app security more than Andreas Schranzhofer, the CTO of Scalable Capital. Scalable Capital is a Neo-Broker and robo-advisor based in Munich with over 250 million in funding. Scalable Capital is responsible for the security of a system with great financial implications and Andreas uses his  highly ‘hardware- near’ background in electrical engineering, digital signal processing, and embedded systems to ensure app security. 

He shared with us on the alphalist podcast how to secure an app and this is what we learnt:

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How to Grow a B2B SaaS Startup

2021-08-15 -

Now is a great time to start a B2B Saas Start Up. More and more companies are realising that it is cheaper to pay a B2B Saas product a certain amount each month than to hire another engineer to do the same thing from scratch. As the CTO of a company that has grown exponentially since it was founded in 2009 (when B2B companies were not popular) - Alex Solomon reflected on his journey on a recent alphalist.cto podcast. These ideas will help you grow your own B2B Saas Product.

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Testing in Production and other Tips on Observability

2021-08-12 -

Charity Majors tests in production. And is proud of it. In this article Charity shares with us why she believes in testing in production and how to do it right using the current tools and observability..

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How to be a Great CTO and Achieve Production Excellence

2021-08-12 -

CTOs are responsible for providing whatever your company needs from a technical standpoint. What is the ‘one job’ of a CTO? There is no clear-cut role because every company: some CTOs are dealing with deep architecture, others (like Charity Majors) with evangelism. Charity’s evangelism takes a variety of forms as she believes the success of Honeycomb relies on people writing better code so, on top of explaining observability, she also helps people write better code- on Twitter and her blog.  In this article, we learn from Charity Majors about technical leadership and what she thinks makes a great CTO

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How AIOps is the future of DevOps Automation

2021-07-29 -

‘PagerDuty raises 90 million to wake up more engineers in the middle of the night.’ read a recent headline. Highlighting both the recent funding and also its unpopular but necessary job. However, Alex Solomon of PagerDuty is working on making the DevOps world more efficient with on-call-management, AIOps, and automating routine debugging tasks.  In this episode of the alphalist.CTO podcast, Alex shares with us the importance of on-call management, the future of DevOps, and why we need AIOps to take the pain out of DevOps.

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The Importance of Open Source. Cloud Native Tech and Developer Advocacy feat. Cheryl Hung of the CNCF

2021-07-15 -

Find out about the importance of Developer Advocacy, how Edge Computing is the next frontier in Cloud Native, why Kubernetes are not for everyone, and why End-User companies should contribute to the Open Source. Featuring Cheryl Hung of Cloud Native Computing Foundation, get expert enlightenment on Kubernetes from someone who heads a 600 member strong Open Source Community Ecosystem.

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The Use of BlockChain for Verification - EU Vaccines Passport Program and more

2021-07-01 -

As the CTO of UBIRCH, Matthias Jugel spent the past few weeks getting the German vaccine passes ready. He followed EU protocols to create an authenticated system. His real specialty is in using crypto and blockchain for verification purposes such as tickets, manufacturing, self-sovereign identities, and more. Find out about the uses of blockchain and its future in this comprehensive article on the topic

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2021 AI and Machine Learning Trends

2021-06-17 -

As tools, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have become intertwined with most people's everyday lives. Available research confirms this: AI comes inbuilt in 77% of the devices we use today. (source) In some circles, it has been described as "the new electricity". (source) And this is not just hype! The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that in 2021, the AI market (encompassing hardware, software, and services) will record a 16.4% growth to $327.5 billion. By 2024, that market will be worth more than $500 billion, a significant feat for a technology that was struggling to enter the mainstream just a decade ago. In 2011 computer vision applications started to work, and neural networks began returning noteworthy results for image classification. However, it wasn't until 2013 that the AI and ML space began to take off. In a conversation with Tobi, Rasmus Rothe, the founder of Merantix, a Berlin-based AI company builder, shares his take on the AI and machine learning trends to keep tabs on in 2021

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Successfully managing remote companies: GitLab CTO Eric Johnson Shares 10 Tips to Make the Most of the New Normal

2021-06-03 -

Across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted work all through 2020. As a result, millions lost their jobs and were furloughed, while others were forced to adjust to a work-from-home setup as their offices closed abruptly. Since, the world has largely adapted to the new normal even as uncertainty persists regarding the future of work. Questions linger on the long term impact of the pandemic.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic permanently appended the way we work? For companies that choose to embrace remote work, how do they do it right even after the stressors of the pandemic have disappeared? In a conversation with Tobias, GitLab CTO Eric Johnson offers 10 tips to help your business thrive while embracing WFH arrangements.

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How to Grow Sustainably

2021-05-18 -

What comes to mind when you think of sharing a ride with a talkative person? Quiet person? Your preference for companionship will dictate who you would most enjoy sharing a ride with. Enter BlaBlaCar —the world's leading carpooling company based in France.

BlaBla car is a ridesharing platform that allows you to choose your companions based on conversation preference.  In your user profile, you specify, "Bla" for a calm drive, "bla bla" for a moderate level of conversation and "bla bla bla" if you want to chat the entire duration of the trip. Hence the name BlaBlaCar.

Since its inception over 15 years ago, the ride-sharing platform has undergone several corporate developments, including 12 acquisitions, expansion in 22 countries with over 100 million users. It has secured over $400 million in funding. How did the company achieve all these milestones?

In this podcast, Tobias chats with Olivier Bonnet, the CTO of BlaBlaCar, about the strategy behind BlaBlaCar. The pair also discusses the company's short-term and long-term roadmaps, the complexity of route planning, and how writing helps associates at BlaBlaCar structure their thoughts.

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We Are the Cloud!

2021-02-25 -

John Graham-Cumming, or JGC, is the CTO of Cloudflare, an American company that provides CDN solutions, Cyber security services, DDoS mitigation, and distributed DNS services. He was there from the very beginning when the company had only 24 people to today where its personnel is approaching 2,000.

In this podcast, Tobi chats with JGC about his GNU Make book, how Cloudflare has grown to a market cap of $25BN, what he thinks about edge computing, how Covid-19 has changed the security world, and how Cloudflare operates and maintains a global network with millions of servers.

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Building unstoppable open source organizations

2021-02-11 -

Mitchell Hashimoto started his nerd path when he was just 12 years old, teaching himself some basic programming concepts. He then pursued computer science at the college level before getting his first job at Ruby as a junior engineer, which helped kick off his passion for infrastructure automation.

Now, Mitchell is the CTO and co-founder of HashiCorp, a software company with the most widely used multi-cloud infrastructure automation products globally—including Terraform, Vagrant, Vault, Consul, and Nomad.

In this podcast, Tobi speaks with Mitchell about how HashiCorp has grown, from a team of less than 15 to over 1000 employees in under ten years. He also shares with Tobi the secret sauce for building successful open source projects, where to draw the line in open core businesses, and how to prevent cloud providers from sucking your blood. Mitchell also talks about how he balances between growing his company and being an active Github user.

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The Weakest Link in the Chain - Privacy Engineering

2021-01-28 -

Jean-Denis Greze is the CTO at Plaid; a U.S.-based financial services company considered a unicorn in the FinTech space. He is a computer science graduate who worked in the tech-world during the first internet bubble before deciding to change career paths and study law. How did he end up in the fintech industry?

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Reinventing web performance using webassembly

2020-12-17 -

Tyler McMullen, the CTO at Fastly, didn’t study IT. He got his first programming job at age 16 while still in high school and never quite got around to going to school after that. Perhaps it is his encounter with computers and the coding world a decade or so before that had prepared him for this moment. “That is how I can be 35 with almost 20 years of experience,” he says amid chuckles.

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I just went from painting to programming as a very natural evolution

2020-12-03 -

“Shopify is running. People run their business on it. So, we had no pause button. We couldn't go away for three years and come up with a better version and come back and show it off. We have to do it in-flight. But that's what we've done over the last 15 years.”

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"My favorite team size is three people" - Podcast with David Heinemeier Hansson

2020-11-19 -

“I gave up on programming at six years old.”

That’s how David Heinemeier Hansson begins his story in this chat with Tobi that covered a range of topics, including how David discovered Ruby, why the 60-hour workweek is a stupid lie, and how he and Jason Fried have successfully managed Basecamp since 1999.

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People over Tech with Matthias Laug

2020-11-05 -

Matthias Laug is the CTO and co-founder of Tier Mobility, the fastest-growing micro-mobility company in the world. In this podcast, Tobi engages Matthias on what he sees on the horizon for the scooters’ space and his people-over-tech approach as a CTO, among other things. And of course, Tobi asks the judo brown belt owning CTO about his gone days of backflips.

During the summer of 2009, Matthias joined hands with Lieferando co-founders to develop code for Lieferando, a popular mobile app in Germany that people can use to order food from their favorite restaurants. Matthias says he figured that he could get done with the code within three months, so there was no need for him to quit college to get involved in the startup.

What started as a summer engagement became Matthias’ unofficial introduction into the startup world. He would then become the CTO at Lieferando, a position he held for seven years.

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Data is new oil - Podcast with Johannes Schaback

2020-10-27 -

Johannes Schaback is the CTO at home24, the most popular furniture, and home accessories shopping platform in Europe. He has an impressive list of wins as a co-founder and business angel. In this podcast, he introduces himself by telling what he calls a very sad story of his journey into nerdism.

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Mastering robotics, IoT and AI at once - Podcast with Ahti Heinla

2020-10-08 -

Ahti Heinlah went through his first computer programming Bootcamp when he was ten years old. This was back in 1982. His mother came home one day and decided to teach him how to program computers. In just a few days, he created his very first computer program. They didn’t have a computer at home, so they went to his mother’s workplace to run the program. It worked. The whole experience excited him and introduced him to the world of electronics engineering and computer programming.

In this podcast, Tobias engages Ahti on how he has managed to be successful in three different and complex areas at the same time: IoT, robotics, and AI. Ahti is the co-founder and current CTO of Starship Technologies, a company that’s doing groundbreaking work in robotics. Tobias talks to him about his formative years and his journey to becoming one of Estonia’s most respected founders.

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How 90% of the companies do product wrong - Podcast with Marty Cagan

2020-09-17 -

In this podcast, Tobi engages Marty on his intriguing journey in the world of business, from his stint at Netscape to founding the Silicon Valley Product Group. His geek path goes back to when he was seven years old. His father-- the first Ph.D. in Computer Science in the United States-- introduced him to computer programming, which interested him enough for him to want to pursue it in college.

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How to grow a SaaS company – Podcast with Sergei Anikin

2020-08-18 -

Tobias’ special guest in this podcast is Sergei Anikin, the CTO of Pipedrive. He engages him in a conversation on how to grow a SaaS company from a tech perspective. Pipedrive is a CRM designed for salespeople. Sergei has been in the software as a service space since 1996 when he got his first job as a developer. His software development jobs have always involved the internet. Before Pipedrive, he worked at Skype when it was owned by eBay and later when it was acquired by a private equity fund and then Microsoft.

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Cybersecurity is a process, not a project

2020-08-10 -

In this podcast, Tobias engages Mikko Hypponen, a global security expert, perhaps best known for the Hypponen Law about IoT security. It states that whenever an appliance is described as being “smart”, it is vulnerable.

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Brace for a future where 90% of your work is done by your machines - Podcast with Sebastian Thrun

2020-07-21 -

Sebastian Thrun is Stanford Professor, Google X founder, Udacity Founder, Kitty Hawk founder, won the DARPA challenge - I am thrilled he was may guest in the podcast

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How Peter Grosskopf ended up in the Financial Services Industry

2020-04-01 -

Peter Grosskopf studied Information Systems at the University of Münster. He had dreams of coding his way through the rest of his life, only to end up in the financial services industry. How did that happen? In this podcast, he chats with Tobias about this interesting transition and the remarkable impact he has made over the years, especially in Germany’s financial services industry.

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It Takes Three Programmers to Change the World

2020-01-14 -

As a young student, Eric Bowman had no interest in any kind of business-related activities. And certainly not leadership and management. His dream? He wanted to become a physicist.

“An academic lifestyle was kind of perfect for me,” so he thought.

As the Senior Vice President of engineering at TomTom, Berlin, he supervises over 2,000 engineers. That’s quite a transition for someone unwilling to take up the challenge of leadership.

In this podcast, Tobi interviews Eric, discussing the critical milestones in his career, including how he ‘cheated’ his way through an interview at Maxis after reading a book he purchased on Amazon in 1995.

He also sheds some light on his belief that: “three good programmers can change the world.”

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