Having a happy week at work?
If not, you are probably not a CTO.
The job/career website CareerBliss recently compiled a list of well-paying jobs with the happiest workers, and ranked Chief Technology Officer, with an average annual salary of $117,311, at the top of the list.
The survey on which the list is based asked respondents to rate their job happiness based company culture, growth opportunities, relationship with co-workers, and several other factors. CTOs who spoke with Data Informed explained why they are so happy in their jobs.
Some CTOs identified their ability to help clients as their favorite part of the job.
“My favorite aspects to my job are that I get to bring together the technical experts of IBM with our clients,” said Katharine Frase, CTO, IBM Public Sector, “translating business requirements into technical terms so that the researchers can invent the right new solutions, and translating the research inventions into business value terms the client can appreciate. At the same time, I get to learn every day, from both our clients and the technical team.
“The more businesses can use data and analytics to inform rather than confuse, the more effective they will be,” she added. “And it is exciting every day to help clients think about what decisions, what metrics, they most want to change, and then what data, analytics, and business processes need to be brought together to get there.”
“The best part of my job is the fact that we create better businesses and better customer experiences,” said Brendan Haggerty, CTO of Clarabridge. “I love being able to build new and exciting things that result in real benefits for everyday people. But even on top of that, given that we work in a fast-growing industry, it’s also great to see what our customers are doing with the product and what types of challenges they are solving. Our customers take advantage of social media in innovative ways, they listen to their customers from every direction, and they interact with customers more than companies that haven’t yet figured out that customer experience is important. I learn something every day from our customers.”
Working with the newest technology in a rapidly growing field also contributes to the position’s high job satisfaction.
“Big data, especially as it relates to the cloud, is one of those challenges that’s evolving on a day-to-day basis,” said Brent Bensten, CTO of cloud operator Carpathia. “The reality is that data is getting bigger every day. It’s incredible and rewarding to be on the bleeding edge of big data and analytics, because every stride you make forward with big data has big dividends.”
“The big thing with technologists is that they want hard problems,” said Haggerty. “Big data gives them a hard problem to sink their teeth into, so it’s not hard to keep people excited and challenged. A lot of programming is writing if-then statements and then just summing something up. But big data pushes you on multiple fronts. It makes you have to be able to actually combine the hard problems of performance with large amounts of data, as well as statistical calculations and spotting trends. It’s exciting to answer questions that haven’t been answered before.”
Haggerty added that working with big data also makes it easier to keep his team motivated and engaged.
“As a CTO, the hardest thing for me is keeping the team challenged and excited,” he said. “Programmers, developers, architects, they all get bored. They want to move on to the next big thing. Working in big data, you are (already) there. You don’t have to push or convince them why they need to do something.”
We all have heard that doing a job you love is the key to professional happiness, and the truth of that sentiment is evident when talking to people who are happiest at what they do.
“It’s a childhood dream to do what you love every day,” said Bensten. “I love technology, and especially love being able to impact change with technology, so that in and of itself makes the job incredibly enjoyable.”
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