“The main challenge for the CIO is knowing how to manage teams well”

As Chaume Sánchez (CEO of GeeksHubs) tells us, there is a key that defines the CTO Summit that this year celebrates its third edition in Valencia: Community. “It is an event organized by geeks, for geeks, a forum to share experiences with professionals who know the difficulties of the sector,” he says.

It is an event for ICT professionals and for those who are passionate about technology, who want to share experiences and apply new ways of working and dealing with the problems they face on a daily basis.

At MCPRO we are completely aligned with that vision and that is why we collaborate as media partners of an event that the next June 24 and 25 you can not lose. We also remind you that if you participate in our “CIO 2022 Study” you can get a double ticket. Can you ask for more? But first, we recommend our interview with Chaume Sánchez, who leaves us with a few interesting headlines.

[MCPRO] How did the idea of ​​launching an event like the CTO Summit come about and what balance do you make of the two editions that you have held to date?

[Chaume Sánchez] The origin of GeeksHubs is to empower the IT professional to make decisions and lean on the community. I am a Computer Engineer and in the different roles that I was carrying out at the end of my degree, I was aware that neither the figure of the CTO nor that of the IT teams had the same weight as that of other departments, such as, for example, Finance. or Marketing.

We then began to organize small training and community events, but there came a time when the attendees asked us for something more. They wanted an event with more training and to be able to meet their colleagues from other parts of the country. This is how we launched the CTO Summit, as a management training space for CTOs and their IT teams, but with a great weight of the social and community part of the profession.

If we take stock, we see how this third edition consolidates the work of the previous ones with a greater number of registrants, more collaborations from companies (national and from outside Spain) and a more senior profile with a lot of interest in management presentations.

[MCPRO] What can attendees expect at this year’s edition?

[Chaume Sánchez] Community. This is the key to the CTO Summit. We have always said that this is an event organized by geeks, for geeks. A forum to share experiences with professionals who know the difficulties of the sector and face the latest technological challenges, which undoubtedly provides impressive value to any professional who spends the two days listening to each presentation.

The event always deals with technology in a broad sense with conferences on technological innovation, technology for social good and more business approaches. But they will also find some presentations by CTOs who operate in startups and high-level companies, such as Mercadona, HP, Wallapop, Quipu… more day-to-day techniques, the reality of being a CTO.

[MCPRO] For you, what are the main challenges that CIOs and CTOs are facing right now?

[Chaume Sánchez] I think that these are two roles that management and team management must increasingly work on. In the end, they have a very broad experience and leadership capacity in processes, growth and evolution of the organization, without which they would not be able to provide a technical vision in the strategic planning of the business. However, what the market is telling us is that the demand for IT profiles is scarce and people are becoming much more demanding with our jobs.

I think that one of the biggest challenges for these leadership figures is knowing how to listen to their team, directing them to where they really add value and, of course, making them understand the latter in order to align their professional expectations. A strong and motivated team will always be a team with higher performance, and in the end this is like everything else, a loop that you decide how to feed back.

At a technological level, I would say not to fall into over-engineering and, before implementing new technologies, assess the real impact on the business. It’s difficult, but in my opinion therein lies the greatest challenge for a professional who, faced with hundreds of technological options and a million tools, knows how to choose which one best solves their problem, not only at that moment, but with a view to the medium/long term. Of course, in the circumstances of uncertainty that we are experiencing today, this becomes even more complex and therein lies the value of our sector.

[MCPRO] The cloud in its different flavors has been a revolution, a before and after for organizations and development teams. What technology do you think currently has the potential to achieve something similar in the future?

[Chaume Sánchez] None of us have the magic ball to predict the future but of course there are always some that look interesting and you are watching or you think they have great potential.

AI and its applications in the technology that people use and that companies use to function. Just as the tools and services that using AI are developed for the use of companies are already beginning to be seen as a significant change in the way of working and I believe that when they mature they will have a high impact on the way of using the technology of companies and people in general.

Another one that as an engineer I have been studying is quantum computing. Of course, it is going to mean a differential leap in computing capacity and that is going to have a great effect on all technology in general, undoubtedly cybersecurity as the first issue that can be glimpsed and on which work is already being done in the future in other things in which that perhaps it is still difficult for us to think or visualize.

[MCPRO] One of the most repeated terms in recent months is “metaverse”. Some say that it is a real technological opportunity and that it is the future. Others, that it is little more than “smoke”. How do you see it?

[Chaume Sánchez] We start from the basis that alternative digital worlds have existed for years, such as Second Life, it is not that it is a novelty but that it is now fashionable and is evolving due to the technological moment. In each technological hype there is a lot of smoke and mirrors and also some substance. But you have to prove it.

There are always those who take advantage of the hype to play at “being the first” or selling to whoever wants to be the first, doing projects and spending money (unfortunately sometimes public money) on projects that remain to demonstrate the technology itself, but do not have actual business content or utility.

We all want to know if it is the next opportunity as soon as possible, but we must allow time for it to settle down and projects with real business utility for companies or end users begin to be seen. Projects that solve problems and provide useful services beyond “look how beautiful my metaverse is”.

It will also mark a lot as it is implemented. We all know the inventors of Google or Facebook (now Meta) who are millionaire companies, but we do not know the names of the inventors of the http protocol or the DNS service, which are essential for the Internet to work and those other services of people who have become made millionaires with them.

The metaverse, in addition to demonstrating real utility for companies and people, which can have them in many contexts, will depend on how it is implemented and can be used. If it becomes a global system on which companies can implement their solutions and services, several separate but compatible and interoperable systems or separate fenced gardens that will not be compatible with each other.

[MCPRO] As technologies such as AI develop we are seeing how ethics gains in importance when deciding, for example, how to program an algorithm. What are the main dilemmas currently facing technology in this field?

[Chaume Sánchez] AI implies greater automation and delegation of functions in these systems that we will use for countless things, therefore it is clear that ethics is going to be very important because an AI will make decisions based on the basic ethical rules that have been programmed for it.

The main dilemma is whether or not we can choose, with what ethical rules or beliefs an AI has been programmed that has at some point to decide on dilemmas involving human lives. The AI ​​of a car with autonomous driving, will we be able to know the ethical rules that it will apply? Will they have to be the ones the manufacturer has put? Will we be able to choose or change them based on my beliefs or moral ideas?

Without reaching such a critical scale, we are already surrounded by apps that use algorithms. In many Internet services and social applications, these algorithms are deciding what to show you based on previous preferences or other parameters that we do not know and nobody is telling us.

What we see on social networks is affected by rules that we are not told. As a practical example, in digital marketing, a change in the algorithm in the system for displaying organic content or advertising in these apps generates “small crises” in the sector, trying to re-investigate how to beat the algorithm that is increasingly pressing for profit. to spend more money on advertising on your platform.

[MCPRO] What can large organizations learn from the way a startup’s IT department works? And backwards?

[Chaume Sánchez] It is a complicated question, because they are very different types of company. In a startup that is validating or adjusting its product to the market, it is acceptable to have errors (in fact, it is sought to have them quickly to discard them). On the other hand, in a large organization that already has an established business model, its function is to replicate it, being as effective as possible in that task.

Without a doubt, startups and their IT departments highlight the agile culture and methodologies, without going crazy and thinking that they are going to solve all our problems by themselves. And do not stop monitoring which technologies can improve our business model and be a new competitive advantage. Instead of dedicating themselves to rejecting and denying them, until they are forced to implement it because everyone else is already using it.

Of large organizations, focusing on the strategy of using technology must be aligned with the business and not get carried away by technological hype, fashions and doing over engineering. And that at a certain point you have to stop re-inventing everything you do, process them and dedicate yourself to being as efficient as possible doing what is already proven and works by exploiting that business model already found.

Differentiating yourself or being the most efficient in providing services can be the key to the company’s survival in a saturated market that is changing faster and faster.

[MCPRO] What new challenges do you set for yourself at the CTO Summit for future editions?

[Chaume Sánchez] Remain faithful to the spirit of the event as representatives of IT professionals and CTOs, as well as being the meeting place and community for professionals in the IT sector who can learn, share concerns, problems and solutions.

And get more female representation. This is the challenge of the CTO Summit, of GeeksHubs and of the sector. We must work for female visibility in the sector. This year 40% of the panel of speakers are women, we have to increase it. We need more women programmers to step forward to be present at this event, both as speakers and as attendees. From GeeksHubs we are promoting training scholarships to reduce barriers. In addition, we work in collaboration with companies that share our values ​​and concerns to achieve this.

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