Podcast – Manuj Aggarwal, CTO at Minehub and Founder at TetraNoodle
In today’s podcast, we are glad to have Manuj Aggarwal as our guest, he is from Canada and is the CTO for Minehub and a computer technology professional with more than 20 years of experience. He also a distinguished educator with =~ 100,000 students for his (40+) Udemy courses. Manuj loves bootstrapping and has been running TetraNoodle, a technology consulting and e-learning firm for the past 20 years.
He has worked and consulted companies in various domains like E-Learning systems (Pearson, Accenture), Wearables (wivv) and Healthcare systems building critical/scalable software systems along the journey as an Enterprise software architect.
About Minehub: His current company Minehub is using cutting edge blockchain software for supply chain & asset management to create a secure, traceable and streamlined journey of assets from the mine site to the smelter and beyond. Minehub core systems are built on top of the robust Hyper-ledger.
CTO Advisory as a service: Manuj enjoys working with startups and has been providing CTO-as a service to startups to help these companies get their technology processes in place. He got this idea early seeing a sudden increase in the number of startups coming up and all these young companies needed senior technical resources. His idea of CTO as a service stemmed from his belief: “Build shovels when everyone is looking for gold”.
While talking to Manuj we had many interesting learnings, here are some Manuj’s wisdom of thoughts:
Views on the CTO role: As per Manuj the role of the CTO is to make best technology choices for the business considering the constraints(Capital available, Market conditions – mature market vs market creation) – Assuming you have 10 million dollars to build a product your focus should be to hire a rockstar and team and hot the market as quickly as possible. Whereas In-case you are in a new market – build crude an MVP so as to attract a good team and capital. On hiring and identifying talent for your startup Manuj had the following thoughts:
- Hire people who share your passion, some people will see the vision. These people will be few but with enough effort, you will find them.
- Choose carefully, hiring the right people will be the toughest assignment you will do as a startup founder. Make sure you dedicate a lot of time to the hiring process of the initial technology team – It will be the best time investment you will in the initial days of the startup
- Attitude matters more than experience. Experience is easy to track these days with LinkedIn, Github, etc.
Don’t try new technologies for the sake of new technologies:
One common bad practice that infects engineering teams is going to the new and flashy technologies, planning re-writes for very marginal gains and throwing away what is working, this should be avoided. Go with tried and tested until you-you are forced by to change by business requirements.
Soft skills, from Coder to Technology leader: Journey from being an individual programmer when you are only responsible for your work to becoming a technology leader where you are responsible for the output of your team involves the deliberate practice of learning soft skills – often exempted during formal education of engineers
Manuj’s Aha moment! as a CTO :
- The mental shift from being a core technology guy to developing curiosity about business – marketing, product and becoming a well rounded technologist who truly understands business needs.
- Pearson project that touched the lives of thousands of students and helped them become better.
Books mentioned in the podcast:
And there is much more learning for more details please listen to the above podcast.
To directly connect and take Manuj advice please follow below-mentioned links:
If you have any questions, suggestions, feedback or ideas, please feel free to write in the comment section below or directly connect with podcast hosts – Love Chopra and Puneet Kaura