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‘Tech Leadership Training’ Transforming Leading CTOs

‘Tech Leadership Training’ Transforming Leading CTOs

The ‘Tech Leadership Training: Beirut’ gathered bright and aspiring CTOs over three sessions, to equip them with the skills and tools they need to thrive, in a growingly complex tech world. Organized by Developers Circle Beirut (by Facebook) and the Beirut Digital District, industry experts and leaders gathered, offering a series of talks and trainings to CTOs.

In this day and age, the CTO is tasked with developing, implementing and managing tech resources within a company, in addition to forecasting future trends to stay ahead of the game. Many senior technology practitioners who move into the CTO role, also face challenges in adapting to a position of leadership, responsible for team engagement and organizational leadership. As the role of the CTO changes rapidly, the need to adapt, adopt and connect to engage internal and external stakeholders has become more integral.

As such, the intensive trainings unfolded over three phases, Online Learning, a Training Weekend and Build Day:

- Online Learning: CTOs were given access to Facebook’s tools and materials, and took part in a series of e-learning videos, to deepen their understanding of being Tech leaders

- Training Weekend: Extensive talks that were facilitated by Rawad Assaf from RAMS Services, and included invaluable input by industry authorities covered both soft and technical aspects of the CTO profile.

On the soft skills side:

  • Role of the CTO, including strategy, culture and Technical Leadership with an insightful chat with Wissam Youssef, CEO of CME Offshore
  • Process management and agility concepts
  • Relationships between CTOs and other C-suite executives with a Panel including Ayman Kichly, CEO of RAY Labs, Abdullah Bakhache CTO of Toters, Elias Labaki, COO of Band Industries and Wael Houssami, CFO of UKLebanon Tech Hub

On the hard technical side:

  • Affinities between containers and microservices with Ziad Aouad, a Principal Software Engineer from Murex
  • Solid data processing underlying the data science, AI/ML trends

- Build Day: Held in collaboration with the Accelerator Lab ofthe UNDP, attendees worked on two community challenges. Overall, 8 teams took part, and 6 solutions were delivered to resolve them

The key takeaways from the Tech Leadership Training include:

1. How technology and business come together

Overall, the speakers pointed to the importance of the CTO’s role, as a C-Suite executive. CTOs must be part of the defining the company’s strategy and showcasing the importance of technology, for a company to gain a competitive advantage. In turn, the core requirements of a business need to be transformed into a technical roadmap that can be executed.

2. Change starts from within: an engineering culture

Creating an engineering culture was stressed on, in the ‘Tech Leadership Training’. This entails creating shared values within an organization, to solve problems, develop software to streamline operations and deal with customers more effectively. This can lead to better quality offerings and higher customer retention.

3. The role of CTOs outside the organization

CTOs ultimately represent the technology that is powering the company, and therefore, need to deeply understand consumer behavior, and forecast trends to adapt in time for imminent changes. CTOs need to work to best position companies from a technological standpoint, to create differentiation in offerings. Only through a unique selling proposition (USP), can a company stand out in a highly digitized age.

4. The technical leader should…

CTOs, along with their technological teams and with the support of the C-suite executives, need to maintain agility, to adapt to industry and sector transformations. Data must be collected on an ongoing basis, and analyzed by the team. By collecting insightful data, it can be used to transform organizations.

The ‘Tech Leadership Training: Beirut’ ended with ‘Build Day’, a hackathon where 8 groups were given community challenges to address, hosted in collaboration with the UNDP Accelerator Lab. In total, 6 solutions were delivered, and the winners of the hackathon were the Arabia GIS team.

As the world is technologically advancing, CTOs must continue to transform their organizations and take the lead in the realm of technology. This includes continuous learning, trainings and adapting to changes within the organization, industry and region.