Tech Skills Will Make You a Better CEO

A set of technical skills will bring each CEO closer to the IT department. Tech skills allow leaders to understand more about methodologies in which software is developed. Even basic knowledge of how software operates gives managers ideas about how it can be improved or modified. New tech skills help managers communicate and present their vision more effectively. Managers who continuously learn new things and foster innovation are perceived as better leaders by their employees.

Kevin Systrom explains on Quora that he has become the CEO of Instagram because he spent his nights learning to program. At some point, he was able to build a prototype of his idea in HTML5. He showed it to investors and raised $500k. Instagram appeared thanks to Systrom’s determination and new skills he acquired.

Get acquainted with programming languages

Basic programming courses will help dig into the world of programming. Personal experience with coding greases the wheels with everything from time management to delegation. Signing up for IT newsletters helps keep track of major trends. A CEO has to understand what  the IT department is talking about at least on a conceptual level. He or she generally must have an opinion about it, so acquaintance with the terminology will let them feel in their element.

Master technical writing

Technical writing allows one to engage in a project. In the process of describing technical tasks and features, one remembers the information about the process and timing during which an IT project is created. Technical writing brings the CEO closer to speaking the same language as software engineers.

Learn about Agile

Agile project management methodology turns work in a collaborative, flexible process. It allows to find out more about employees and ways in which they react to exceptional situations. Additionally, projects are delivered based on evolving business requirements which increases competitiveness.

Be proficient in SQL

A leader who knows how to create queries using SQL can work with different types of databases and generate reports that are important for the decision-making process. Data analysis plays a major role in the identification of customer preferences, trends, and issues at early stages. A survey conducted by PwC says that 63% of CEOs are using digital technologies for strategic decision-making.

Develop your eye for design

It is hard to grow a business if website design and marketing materials are lagging behind. A CEO needs to know the basics of composition, color use, and typography to communicate their vision to designers and web-developers clearly. A leader needs to understand the difficulties that designers encounter and provide argumentative feedback.

Understand IT security

Understanding network security principles helps realize what must be in place in a secure network. When a manager can assess the financial risks accompanied with the usage of a vulnerable network, it becomes easier for managers from the IT department to get more funding for security.

Learning new tech skills is beneficial for CEOs because new abilities help look at business processes from a different perspective. New skills help communicate with colleagues, understand needs and requirements, and ultimately be a better manager. Learning new tech skills is one of the best ways to stay on top of things and formulate your company’s growth strategy in a clear and efficient way.

 

How to Start a Custom Software Enhancement Project?

Custom software enhancement is often confused with custom software maintenance services, because the line between these two terms may seem blurred sometimes. You need to know that software enhancement includes advancements in features, platforms, performance, usability and design. Through enhancement your software application becomes faster, more efficient, more usable, more useful, and more desirable. It’s the next step in your software’s evolution, that’s why you need to know how to prioritize the changes.

Step 1: Get an idea on where to start your custom software enhancement project at.

Create a database of requested changes where users of your solution can offer what they wish to see in the upcoming version of your software. In addition to this, you can approach your most valuable clients/users and ask them directly what kind of new features they would like to add.
Afterwards, ask the development team what kind of functionalities they would add.

They may speak in favor of:

Upgrading the software to be compatible with new database releases;
Adding new statistical analysis and visualization tools;
Adding a new tab to the dashboard;
Improving the search function; etc.

Step 2: Evaluate the information and take a decision.

As with all business decisions, it’s a cost/benefit problem. What is the benefit of adding a feature? What will it cost (including the costs that will result from not adding the feature)? Calculate how much it will cost to add it.
Tip: Usually the cost is calculated in hours that have to be spent by developers to develop a feature.

Analyze the information you got from the users of your platform and identify those missing features that will have a tangible business impact on user experience. It makes no sense to add a feature from which only a few will benefit.

At first, pick those features that have the most benefit for the smallest cost. Resources are often limited, while requirements and desires are not, that is why it is so important to prioritize correctly.

An accurate estimation of a custom software enhancement project may be a herculean task. These questions will help you estimate the project:

1. How will your existing solution be affected by modifications?
2. Do you need to build the new feature from scratch or does something similar already exist in the system?
3. Can you reuse the existing code?
4. Will modifications require the testing of the whole system?
5. How many developers are needed to make modifications?
6. How much time will it take to develop, design and test new features?

The bad news is that you can miscalculate the time and effort required. For instance, the development of a new functionality might take longer than you expected and result in higher production costs.

In order to avoid this kind of errors it is better to entrust your custom software enhancement project to an experienced team of software developers who know how to:

• Thoroughly analyze existing software documentation
• Analyze the architecture of the existing software application and offer structural changes
• Analyze and make changes to the existing code
• Perform software security analysis

Custom software enhancement cannot be made by a low-skilled developer. That’s why you need someone who has experience in adding new features to a code written by someone else, who can understand not only how to build in new functionalities, but also to see the business essence of the system.

One of the most important things in software enhancement projects is to clearly prioritize the requirements and take an approach to incrementally work on one function or feature at a time. Your users will thank you for the changes they’ve asked and waited for.