In this interview, we talk to Appsbroker’s new CTO Khalil Dimachkie, who shares his insights on the importance of ‘zooming out’ and how Appsbroker is facilitating that ‘zoom out’ in other companies with our deep technical understanding. He also talks about what makes an effective CTO, and career advice he’d give to his younger self or someone just starting out in the tech industry.
Q: In your own words, what makes an effective CTO?
A: I find that the CTO does very different things in different companies and different domains. In early stage companies and startups it tends to be about getting stuck into the architecture, setting up the processes, and figuring out how the themes interact and operate. In more established organisations, you need to zoom out – it’s more about strategy and the company’s approach to technology. Your focus is more on the interaction with customers and partners, building the relationships and partnerships that enable you to deliver technology that really affects the line of business; and ensuring that you have the right processes in place at the strategic level.
That’s the main difference between a Head of Engineering and a CTO. A Head of Engineering is very focused on what a CTO of a startup would be doing, but in a larger organisation. A CTO needs to be operating a lot more strategically and looking ahead. The Head of Engineering is looking at the day to day, whereas the CTO is thinking about what’s coming up in three to five years time.
Q: How does Appsbroker facilitate the technical growth of the companies they work with?
A: Sometimes companies aren’t properly equipped to drive growth and innovate through cloud technology. It’s difficult to zoom out and get a strategic view of how technology can drive forward their objectives when they are naturally focussed on operations and their immediate goals. What Appsbroker can do is facilitate that ‘zoom out’ with our deep technical understanding and our experience in delivering real business outcomes through the use of technology. We can propose how to use technology in very efficient and strategic ways, in order to actually increase your progress towards your medium to long term business objectives- and by doing this you increase ramp as well.
We want to help our partners in utilising the infrastructure they already have, and come up with innovative uses for tech as well. It’s easy to set up a cloud account, commit a budget to the cloud and start iterating. However, getting to the point where you build and deploy with an effective, efficient methodology and use all the cloud tools that are available in a strategic way is the difficult part. And that’s the part where we can come in and help.
Q: What has inspired you most in your career?
A: The most inspirational parts of my career have probably been the people I’ve worked with. It’s people that helped me understand the real value of technology. Some of the work I’ve done with, for example, TFL was really eye-opening because I was able to see how even very simple tech can be implemented in very strategic ways, and make a huge impact on potentially millions of people’s lives.
I feel like I’ve been really lucky in my career to have worked with some really great people, who nurtured and cultivated my passion for understanding how technology can make a very real and positive impact on the world around us.
Q: Why did you choose Appsbroker?
A: I was looking for something really interesting to get stuck into that would drive the next stage of my career, and somewhere that I could feel at home that shared my principles and outlook. As I began meeting up with people from Appsbroker I found they were inspiring and I got along with them really well.
Q: And finally, is there any career advice you’d give to your younger self, or someone just starting out in the tech industry?
A: Always keep an eye on what’s coming up in the future. The tricky thing about being in tech is your skillset tends to become obsolete really quickly if you’re not constantly refreshing it. Look at what’s coming up, especially if you work in cloud-based technologies. Even if you’re not using something in production or in your work, play around with it a bit. Give yourself as much variety as possible within the kind of the tech that you explore, because it will come in super handy at every level of your career.
And the second thing is to always zoom out. That’s something I learned very early on and it’s something that served me really well. Always think about how what you’re doing fits into the bigger picture, because that’s the only way that you end up being really valuable and effective.
Appsbroker delivers digital transformation for brands in weeks, not years. Our team of experts bring all the skills, knowledge and understanding of Google Cloud you’ve come to expect from an award-winning Google-only partner.
If you’re looking for a new challenge, a company that prioritises your development and has colleagues you can learn from, check out our vacancies at Appsbroker here: Careers at Appsbroker