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A Reading List for CTOs: What Tech Leaders at Spotify, Bitly, Shutterstock, and Handybook Read Each Week

Successful CTOs must keep up with the latest tools, technologies, and trends. We've asked a few CTOs, engineering VPs and engineering managers to tell us which blogs, aggregators, and Twitter feeds they check each week.

Whether you’re already a CTO or aspire to become one someday, these resources shouldn’t be missed.

Chris Angove, Engineering Chapter Lead at Spotify


"We have a strong culture of sharing things within Spotify so I find myself reading things from around the web. Here’s a list of my regular visits."

Cap Watkins’s Blog
Cap Watkins is a Senior Product Design Manager at Etsy. He writes insightful posts about design, management, hiring, and productivity.


Engineering Leadership Talk: Managing Extroverted and Introverted Developers

As an engineer, I have always been curious about why people, and especially other engineers, behave the way they do. How do engineers get “in the zone” when coding and why do they like it so much? Why are so many engineers (including myself) so averse to holding meetings?

This curiosity led me to research two topics, Introversion/Extroversion and Flow. I presented them at an internal tech talk at Shutterstock called “The Psychology of Engineers.” The talk generated enough interest and discussion that I recorded a version to share it more widely.


Scaling Search: We Used Solr to Reduce Indexing Time for Millions of Records from 14 Hours to 12 Minutes

We took the indexing time of over a million records from 14 hours to just 12 minutes using a combination of Solr’s native bulk import functionality (called DataImportHandler) and Sunspot.

Solr is used by some of the biggest sites on the web, including Netflix, Zappos and even NASA, to improve search functionality. I discovered Solr in 2009, when I was trying to search through over a million orders for an ecommerce site I was building.


How We Built an Error Validation Framework for Our API

Shutterstock developers pay a lot of attention to the user experience of our website. We have a fleet of User Experience experts who help make sure the error states our web application shows to customers are useful and actionable.

But when we’re building backend APIs instead of HTML forms, that experience doesn’t translate. What’s the equivalent of this, in an API?


The Shutterstock Contributor Team has been building our next-generation content-review system, so that we can scale our image-review operation. We’re building it in a service-oriented fashion, in Ruby, with DataMapper as an ORM.