Nicole Ruszkowski
Nicole Ruszkowski
Nicole Ruszkowski

I recently caught up with CTO Craft conference speaker, Nicole Ruszkowski. Nicole is a Senior Delivery Manager with Checkout.com. She is an agile delivery professional who is passionate about building and scaling high-performing teams.

I wanted to bring her story forward to aspiring CTOs. Early in her career, she was often told that she could not go far because of her lack of a technical degree. Yet she became a key member of the team that brought the world Amazon Prime Video. Nicole is now leveraging this experience in the FinTech industry in her role as a Senior Delivery Manager…


Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Meet a Mentor is now over four years old, the community has over 2000 people and we’ve made over 3000 introductions between mentors and mentees — but where did it all begin?

Earlier this week, someone asked me what my motivations for starting the Meet a Mentor community were. As I answered him, it occurred to me that others might also be interested in the reasons and origins of the Meet a Mentor (MaM) program. So, I’ve written this post to share it with everyone.

Ultimately, I’m a career geek/hacker. And what I mean by that is: I’m fascinated by…


Stephen Powell, a Software Developer at Foundry4, recently gave an insightful and inspiring lightning talk to the London Java Community (LJC). Here, he talked about his bold new project to build an environment to help developers learn the skills needed when coding in the workplace.

He is designing this project to help engineers with their first technical jobs, built as an extension to the Meet a Mentor program. He needs help to get the initiative up and running, so if you’re good in Agile, Git, Coding, or Ops, we’d love to hear from you. …


The ByRecWorks Aspiring Speakers program is a completely free networking initiative for professionals from the tech world to try their hand at public speaking. After a recent event, I got the chance to talk to Helen Scott, a Java Developer Advocate, and CTO, Peter Hicks, about their experience.

I have long believed in the power of public speaking to build confidence and skills. With Aspiring Speakers, those new to giving talks and speaking publicly get the chance to try the waters in a safe and encouraging atmosphere.

Starting the group came from a desire to help tech professionals, a group…


Women in tech — Alex Radu and Stefania Chaplin

Stefania Chaplin and Alex Radu
Stefania Chaplin and Alex Radu

The next Aspiring Speakers event is an exciting roundtable interview with two outstanding tech professionals. Alex Radu is a senior associate with JPMC in software engineering and product adoption. Stefania Chaplin is EMEA’s solution architect at Secure Code Warrior.

The Aspiring Speakers initiative is our way of bringing new and established tech voices together to lift public speaking skills and enable the community to connect. I am a big believer in the power of these events to boost skills and confidence. …


Carly Richmond and Dominika Malinowska
Carly Richmond and Dominika Malinowska

I recently got the chance to talk to Dominika Malinowska and Carly Richmond about their experiences with the Aspiring Speakers program.

At RecWorks we have seen the benefits of public speaking and watched numerous tech professionals grow both personally and professionally. This is why we built the Aspiring Speakers group as one of the initiatives we are involved with under the ByRecWorks umbrella.

Starting the group came from a desire to help tech professionals get into public speaking and reap the rewards we’ve seen so many experience in our time leading user groups and communities. We designed the program as…


A Barry Cranford Aspiring Speakers interview — Andrea Mussap

Andrea Mussap

Our Aspiring Speakers community is something we started which was designed to encourage tech professionals to try public speaking. We have seen many benefits coming from people that have gone down this path and are now looking to pass those benefits on to others. This program is completely free to join and engage with, and is our way of providing mentorship and support to those wanting a safe place to take their first steps. I recently got a chance to interview one of our speakers, Andrea Mussap.

Why did you decide to do a lightning talk?

Because as a non-native…


I recently caught up with interim CTO/CIO and regular CTO mentor Frank Gibson to find out what his advice would be to aspiring CTOs looking to go down the path of becoming a full time CTO. Here’s what he had to say on the matter;

- What was your route to CTO?

My route to a CTO is not the typical Developer> Senior Developer route. I started my career as a scientist, developing methods and software to understand biological data. This scientific data management is known as Bioinformatics, but today this might have the more trendy name of Data Science.


I recently interviewed experienced CTO Ken Baxter to find out what advice he would give to others looking to get into a CTO role. Ken’s first CTO role was with Rivo Software over nine years ago and he’s since been involved in many other similar positions. Here’s what he had to say:

- What was your route to CTO?

Geologist! — Developer — Development Project Manager — Head of Software Development — CTO

- Can you talk about how you stepped into your first CTO role?

Having led development teams as a development PM and being a strong advocate for…


As part of our upcoming Aspiring CTOs Mentoring Roundtables event on Thursday 29th October we caught up with one of our CTO Mentors, Ivan Teage to hear his path to becoming a leader in tech and what you can do now to prepare for a future CTO role.

Ivan Teage
Ivan Teage

What was your route to CTO?

Tech support -> Software design/analysis -> Software Dev -> Architect -> Head of Tech

What was the first thing that you remember hitting you when you became CTO?

‘The buck stops with you’.

You have to see things through and take full responsibility when things need…

Barry Cranford

Founder of RecWorks (Tech Recruitment), Tech Career Hacker, Java User Group Founder (LJC), London CTOs Organiser, Mentor Match-Maker

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