Best CTO books

It’s 2022 and you’ve just been named CTO of your company. Congratulations!

But now what?

As the technology landscape changes rapidly, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.

That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best books for new CTOs in 2022.

These books will teach you everything from how to think like a CTO, to how to manage risk in your technology roadmap.

So whether you’re just starting out on your CTO journey or looking for ways to improve your skills, these CTO books will help you reach your goals!

List of the Best CTO Books

Modern CTO book cover

Modern CTO

by Joel Beasley

If you’re looking for a guide to help you become a modern CTO, look no further! Joel Beasley’s Modern CTO is exactly what you need. Inside, you’ll find tips and advice on everything from scaling your infrastructure to improving your team’s productivity. So if you’re ready to take your tech career to the next level, pick up a copy of Modern CTO today.

The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses

by Eric Ries

Have you wished you could start your own business or launch successful products at pace? Well, The Lean Startup is here to show you how. This revolutionary book explains how constant innovation can create radically successful businesses. Based on Eric Ries’ widely popular blog, this essential guide provides readers with the tools they need to start and grow their own businesses, with a focus on how shortening the product development cycles can lead to improved marketing functions. Packed with case studies and real-world examples, The Lean Startup is an essential read for any entrepreneur and CTO alike.

The Lean Startup book cover
The Hard Thing About Hard Things book cover

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

by Ben Horowitz

After being a part of some of the most high-profile startups in Silicon Valley, Ben Horowitz knows what it’s like when everything seems to be going right. And he also knows what it’s like when everything goes wrong. In The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Horowitz draws on his own experiences to help you understand the toughest challenges business owners face and how to overcome them.

The CTO ¦ CIO Bible: The Mission Objectives Strategies and Tactics Needed To Be a Super Successful CTO

by Rorie Devine

The CTO ¦ CIO Bible is the must-read guide for anyone looking to become a successful Chief Technology Officer or Chief Information Officer. Written by Rorie Devine, an experienced technology executive and advisor, this book provides you with the tools you need to achieve your mission objectives and stand out in today’s competitive landscape. With strategies and tactics drawn from real-world case studies, The CTO ¦ CIO Bible will help you navigate your way to the top of your field.

The CTO ¦ CIO Bible book cover
ReWork book cover

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever

by Jason Fried and David Hansson

Are you tired of working the same old way? Feeling like you’re stuck in a rut? It’s time to ReWork your life and change the way you work forever. With this book, Jason Fried and David Hansson will show you how to break free from the shackles of the traditional workplace and start living your best life. You’ll learn how to ditch the 9-5 grind and find more freedom, creativity, and satisfaction in your work. So what are you waiting for? Rework your life today!

Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow

by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais

How can you make sure your business and technology teams are working together as efficiently as possible? Team Topologies is the answer. Written by two experienced professionals, this book provides an in-depth look at how to organise your team for fast flow. With clear explanations and real-world examples, you’ll be able to create a team that’s productive and successful. Don’t let poor organisation slow you down – pick up a copy of Team Topologies today!

Team Topologies book cover
Measure What Matters book cover

Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs

by John Doerr

Think you don’t need to measure your success? Think again. In this book, John Doerr will show you how setting and tracking objectives (OKRs) can help you achieve more than you ever thought possible. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, this book is packed with tips and case studies from some of the world’s most successful organisations. With Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World, you’ll be able to create measurable goals that will help you reach your full potential.

Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations

by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim

The software industry is in a constant state of change and evolution. To stay ahead of the curve, organisations need to continuously deliver value to their customers at a rapid pace. This requires a different way of thinking about and managing software development.

Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps provides readers with the latest research on how to build and scale high performing technology organisations. The book shares insights and case studies from some of the world’s leading organisations, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix.

If you’re looking to understand how to Accelerate, this book provides a comprehensive overview of the principles and practices of Lean Software and DevOps, and how they can be used to improve your organisation’s performance. Whether you’re just getting started or are already on your journey, this book will help you achieve accelerated performance.

Accelerate book cover
Scaling Up Excellence book cover

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less

by Robert Sutton and Huggy Rao

Sutton and Rao’s book is a guide to achieving excellence at scale. It provides readers with the tools they need to build upon their successes while avoiding common pitfalls.

Leading Exponential Change: Go Beyond Agile and Scrum to Run Even Better Business Transformations

by Erich R. Bühler

If you’re looking for a book that will take your business transformation efforts to the next level, look no further than Leading Exponential Change. Erich R. Bühler offers a fresh and innovative approach that goes beyond traditional agile and scrum methods to help you achieve even better results.

Through real-world case studies, Bühler shows how leading companies have used their Exponential Transformation methodology to successfully navigate today’s rapidly changing business landscape. You’ll learn how to create a passionate and engaged workforce, build a nimble and adaptive organisation, and drive continuous innovation.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to breathe new life into an existing transformation effort, Leading Exponential Change will give you the insights and tools you need to succeed.

Leading Exponential Change book cover
Don’t make me think book cover

Don’t make me think!

by Steve Krug

Don’t make me think! is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their website usability. Steve Krug shows you how to streamline your design, making it easier for users to navigate and find what they need. With his help, you can create a website that’s both user-friendly and visually appealing.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

by Jeff Sutherland

If you’re looking for a book that will teach you how to be more productive and get more done in less time, then look no further than Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. In this book, Jeff Sutherland shows you how to apply the principles of Scrum to your own life so that you can get more done in less time and stress.

With Scrum, you’ll learn how to break down large tasks into smaller, manageable pieces so that you can focus on one thing at a time and get it done quickly and efficiently. You’ll also learn how to Set priorities and manage your time so that you can accomplish more in less time.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time book cover
Continuous Delivery book cover

Continuous Delivery

by Jez Humble and David Farley

You’ve probably heard of Continuous Delivery, but what is it exactly? In a nutshell, Continuous Delivery is the ability to get new software releases into production quickly and efficiently, without compromising quality. But that’s just the beginning.

With Continuous Delivery, you can also expect better feature management, greater customer satisfaction, and accelerated delivery cycles. All of this is made possible by automating key parts of the software release process.

In their book, Jez Humble and David Farley show you how to implement Continuous Delivery in your organisation. They cover everything from build automation to testing and deployment strategies. If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to streamlining your software development process, this is the book for you.

The Phoenix Project

by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford

Are you tired of the status quo? Do you want to make a real impact on your organisation? Then read The Phoenix Project.

This book will teach you how to become a transformational leader. You’ll learn how to manage and optimise your resources, and you’ll see how change can be positive for your team and your company.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your skills, or if you’re just looking for some insight into the world of business, then pick up a copy of The Phoenix Project today.

The Phoenix Project book cover
The Unicorn Project book cover

The Unicorn Project

by Gene Kim

The Unicorn Project is a gripping tale of how three unlikely individuals teamed up to take on the bureaucratic behemoth and transform the software development process. Gene Kim’s story is one of heroism, and it will make you believe that change is possible.

Gene Kim’s The Unicorn Project is an inspiring read for anyone looking to challenge the status quo and improve their organisation. Filled with lessons learned from real-world successes and failures, this book provides valuable insights into creating lasting change.

Back of the Napkin: Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures

by Dan Roam

In The Back of the Napkin, Dan Roam shows us that the key to solving problems and selling ideas isn’t in the latest tech gadget or marketing gimmick, but in the power of a simple pen and paper. Drawing on thirty years of experience in business, Roam provides readers with a step-by-step process for using pictures to simplify even the most complex problems. And he doesn’t just stop at solving problems–he also shows how pictures can be used to sell those ideas to colleagues, clients, and investors.

With its engaging blend of case studies, exercises, and tips, The Back of the Napkin is required reading for anyone who wants to learn how to think visually and solve problems creatively. It’s the perfect book for CTOs who want to learn how to simplify complex problems and communicate their ideas more effectively.

The Back of the Napkin book cover
Start With Why book cover

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action

by Simon Sinek

Why do some leaders inspire everyone around them to take action while others don’t? Simon Sinek shows us that it’s not what we say or how we say it, but why we say it that makes the biggest difference. With Start With Why, you’ll learn how to find your “why” and inspire others with conviction, clarity, and passion.

Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism

by Tom Peters

Are you ready to take your life and career to the next level? If so, then it’s time to pick up a copy of Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism by Tom Peters. In this groundbreaking book, Peters shows you how to achieve excellence in every aspect of your life by following a simple yet powerful philosophy he calls “extreme humanism.”

At its core, extreme humanism is all about putting people first. It’s about treating others with compassion and respect and always striving to meet their needs. When you live and work from this mindset, incredible things start to happen. You’ll find yourself more successful than ever before, both professionally and personally.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of Excellence

Excellence Now: Extreme Humanism book cover
How I Almost Blew It book cover

How I Almost Blew It: Incredible Stories from India’s Most Successful Digital Entrepreneurs

by Sidharth Rao

Did you know that the founder of one of India’s most successful digital ventures started out by building websites for free? Or that another entrepreneur almost gave up on her business after a series of discouraging rejections?

If you’re curious to hear the inspiring stories of some of India’s most successful digital entrepreneurs, then How I Almost Blew It is the book for you. Packed with insightful anecdotes and advice, this book is sure to motivate and encourage you to pursue your own dreams. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy today!

Escaping the Build Trap

by Melissa Perri

When it comes to product development, we often get stuck in the “build trap.” We think we have to build something perfect before we can launch it, but that’s simply not true. In her book Escaping the Build Trap, Melissa Perri reveals how to escape this trap and get your product to market faster.

With practical advice and real-world examples, Melissa shows you how to make the right decisions at each stage of development, so you can find the sweet spot between meeting customer needs and delivering value quickly. You’ll learn how to:

  • Prioritise features and functions using the MoSCoW method
  • Create prototypes that help you learn fast and fail cheap
  • Test your product with users

If you’re ready to start shipping products that your customers will love, Escaping the Build Trap is the book for you.

Escaping the Build Trap book cover
Building Evolutionary Architectures book cover

Building Evolutionary Architectures

by Neal Ford, Rebecca Parsons and Patrick Kua

Looking to build software that evolves over time? This book provides the perfect blueprint, showing you how to design and implement architectures that can handle growth and change. Neal Ford, Rebecca Parsons, and Patrick Kua guide you through every step of the process, from initial planning to long-term maintenance. You’ll learn how to create systems that are both scalable and resilient, making it easy to adapt as your needs change. Whether you’re working on a new project or looking to improve an existing one, Building Evolutionary Architectures will help you build software that can keep up with the demands of today’s fast-paced world.

Zero to One

by Peter Thiel

Do you want to change the world? Then you need to read Zero to One.

In this book, Peter Thiel shows us that progress doesn’t come from copying what’s already been done. It comes from doing what’s never been done before.

Thiel starts with the contrarian premise that we now live in an age of stagnation, despite all the talk of innovation. He argues that too many companies are just trying to do slightly better versions of what’s already been done, rather than developing truly new and game-changing products.

If you’re looking for a blueprint for how to create something new and amazing, look no further than Zero to One.

Zero to One book cover
Product-Led Growth book cover

Product-Led Growth

by Wes Bush

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, look no further than Product-Led Growth. This book by Wes Bush is a must-read for entrepreneurs of all levels. With insights and strategies for using product innovation to drive growth, you’ll be able to take your business to new heights.

The Innovator’s Dilemma

by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator’s Dilemma is a groundbreaking book that shows how successful companies can lose their edge and even fall from grace. It reveals why some companies manage to stay ahead of the curve while others quickly fall behind. The Innovator’s Dilemma is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how technology and innovation can shape business success or failure.

The Innovator’s Dilemma book cover
A Seat at the Table book cover

A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility

by Mark Schwartz

A Seat at the Table: IT Leadership in the Age of Agility is a book by Mark Schwartz that offers a compelling look at how IT leaders can survive and thrive in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. The book provides readers with actionable advice on how to adapt to the new reality of business, which is being shaped by forces such as the digital revolution, global competition, and the ever-changing needs of customers.

In A Seat at the Table, Schwartz argues that IT leaders must embrace agility if they want to remain relevant in today’s business world. He provides a roadmap for how IT leaders can transform their organisations to become more agile, responsive, and innovative. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the curve in the age of agility.

Seeing Around Corners: How To Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen

by Rita McGrath

In today’s work-from-home world, remote leadership is more important than ever. In Remote Leadership, David Pachter shows you how to Accelerate Achievement and Create a Community in a Work-from-Home World

With Remote Leadership, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build trust and credibility with your team
  • Communicate effectively in a remote environment
  • Engage and motivate your team members
  • Foster collaboration and creativity
  • Create a thriving remote community.

If you’re looking for a way to take your leadership skills to the next level, Remote Leadership is the book for you.

Remote Leadership book cover
The Inspirational Leader book cover

The Inspirational Leader: Inspire Your Team To Believe in the Impossible

by Gifford Thomas

Do you have what it takes to be an inspirational leader? Gifford Thomas’s new book, The Inspirational Leader: Inspire Your Team To Believe in the Impossible, will show you how. Drawing on his years of experience leading teams in some of the world’s most challenging environments, Thomas provides a step-by-step guide to becoming an inspirational leader and achieving success against all odds. Whether you’re a CEO or a team captain, this book is essential reading for anyone who wants to inspire their team to achieve the impossible.

Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People To Stay

by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

Companies have a love ’em or lose ’em problem. They can’t keep good people from leaving, and the cost of turnover is enormous. In Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em, Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans offer concrete strategies for getting employees to stay put―and become committed to the organisation.

Drawing on extensive research and real-world examples, the authors present a four-step program for reversing the “job-hopping” trend: targeting your message, understanding why people leave, intervening before they go, and turning leavers into stayers. You’ll learn how to create an environment where employees want to stick around―and contribute their best efforts.

Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People To Stay book cover
The Leader's Guide to Unconscious Bias: How To Reframe Bias book cover

The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias: How To Reframe Bias, Cultivate Connection, and Create High-Performing Teams

by Pamela Fuller, Mark Murphy, and Anne Chow

Are you curious about unconscious bias and how it affects your team? This guide will teach you how to recognise and reframe your own biases, cultivate connections with others, and create high-performing teams. With actionable tips and tools, you’ll be able to start making positive changes in your workplace right away.

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister

Peopleware has been called the “Bible of software engineering.” It’s certainly one of the most highly respected books on the topic. Its lessons have been applied to everything from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and it’s been praised by everyone from CEOs to developers.

Why? Because Peopleware is all about making teams more productive. It covers everything from how to optimise your work environment to avoiding common traps that can lead to wasted time and energy. Whether you’re a project manager, developer, or just someone who wants to be more effective at work, this book is a must-read.

Peopleware book cover
Well Aware book cover

Well Aware: Master the Nine Cybersecurity Habits To Protect Your Future

by George Finney

We all know that cybersecurity is a major issue, but do we really know how to protect ourselves? George Finney’s new book, Well Aware: Master the Nine Cybersecurity Habits To Protect Your Future, will teach you everything you need to know about cybersecurity. From protecting your personal information to avoiding cybercrime, this book has it all!

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

by Nir Eyal

Most products are boring. They’re not fun, exciting, or engaging. As a result, we quickly lose interest and move on to something more interesting. But what if your product could be different? What if it was so engaging that you couldn’t help but use it every day?

Nir Eyal’s Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products offers a blueprint for creating such products. Drawing on years of research and experience, Eyal shows how to build habit-forming products that keep users coming back for more. You’ll learn how to identify the user behaviours that you want to encourage, implant cues and rewards that trigger those behaviours and create a feedback loop that locks in users’ attention.

I highly recommend this book to any CTO looking to create products that users can’t help but use.

Hooked book cover
Technically Wrong book cover

Technically Wrong

by Sara Wachter-Boettcher

We all make mistakes. But when it comes to technology, some mistakes can be costly in time, money, or even jobs. In Technically Wrong, Sara Wachter-Boettcher takes a critical look at the ways we misstep in our digital lives and offers up real-world solutions for making sure we’re building smart, sustainable, and safe tech products.

We all know someone who’s been fired for Facebooking pictures of their weekend bender or lost a job interview because they couldn’t stop checking their phone. From big corporations to small businesses, from government agencies to nonprofit organizations, technologists are still making disastrously wrong decisions that impact us all.

Wachter-Boettcher draws on research as well as stories from her own life and work to explore the cultural causes of these issues, including our toxic relationship with technology and our dangerous reliance on “disruptive” thinking. But this book isn’t just a list of things that are wrong with the tech industry-it’s also a call to action for building a better future. With thoughtful analysis and clear advice, Technically Wrong is an essential guide for anyone who cares about technology and wants to make sure it’s being built right.

Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust

by Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley

Are you looking for ways to be a better leader? If so, this book is for you. Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways to Be a Servant Leader and Build Trust is packed with leadership wisdom that will help you build trust and become a more effective leader. Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley, two of the world’s leading experts on leadership, share 52 simple truths that will help you transform your leadership style and increase your organisational effectiveness. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills.

Simple Truths of Leadership book cover
Debugging Teams book cover

Debugging Teams

by Brian W.Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman

If you’re a software developer, then you know that debugging is an essential part of the job. But what if you could make debugging easier and more efficient? That’s where Debugging Teams comes in.

This book by Brian W. Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman provides insights and guidance on how to build successful debugging teams. In addition to providing tips on how to select the right team members and foster a productive team environment, Debugging Teams also covers effective strategies for debugging code.

Whether you’re a software development manager or an individual contributor, Debugging Teams will help you take your debugging skills to the next level.