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May 29, 2020 | 4 min read

5 Tools and Apps Every CTO Needs to Know About

Pavel Kaplunou , Marketing Communications

If you are a startup CTO, a startup on the lookout for a CTO, or a seasoned technology veteran, you don’t need anyone telling you there is a lot on your plate. It is a given. Navigating the maze of tasks, processes, meetings and schedules is harder the more responsibilities you have. To make that job a little easier, Smart IT has compiled a short list of tools and applications that can help a chief technology officer make the most of his or her day.

These apps and suggestions will help rein in your work schedule to working hours and help to be mindful during, when your attention is given to all but you. Hopefully, they will prove to be useful by addressing the same concerns you face during the day.

The following application toolset was compiled courtesy of Michael Astashkevich, our very own CTO at Smart IT.

Disclaimer: these tools are used by Michael and Smart IT, but are not listed for promotion purposes. Let’s start the list!

1. pwgen

pwgen is a desktop application that can be used to generate passwords and passphrases. Its distinguishing feature from all the available password generation tools on the internet is its ability to create passphrases that can be easily remembered. Software developers will appreciate its compatibility with Linux operating systems. Customization options come prepackaged and proficient users might be interested in tinkering with its code further to tailor it to their needs.

2. Diagrams

Formerly known as Draw.io, Diagrams is mostly known for being a UML-tool. It supports a web application and also comes as a downloadable desktop app. While it might look quite basic, it can easily be used to create anything from simple diagrams to complex wireframes if you really put in the time. Most importantly, it is not a tool you have to pay for, though premium versions are available.

Michael has enjoyed using Diagrams for application modelling and data schemas.

3. Worksection

This web and mobile application is a time tracking and task collaboration tool with a low learning curve. It can be beneficial to individuals (tech and non-tech alike), teams, and even entire companies. 

Smart IT has frequently used Worksection to track progress across projects and to communicate hours spent on development. Clients can receive access to their projects in order to view reports and review progress for many engagement models.

4. Google Sheets

Yep, it is everyone’s favorite Google Sheets. The old spreadsheet is not dead. Software developers young and old have come to rely on this trusted app to make simple reminders or create comprehensive tables and charts. Its Microsoft-powered counterpart, Excel, is another popular option.

Specifically for Michael Sheets have been a way to quickly organize project-related data, recruitment and vetting, as well as to keep handy data in one convenient place, at no extra cost. Michael relies on dashboards he has built to keep track of software development project data, HR and recruitment statistics across the company.

5. Custom Applications

This might sound trivial, but any and every CTO should probably flex those programming muscles once in a while. Building custom applications, whether they are Messenger bots, productivity apps, or simple web scraping scripts, helps to do just that. Sharing Michael’s own thoughts, building something from scratch every so often helps to be in the loop on latest development trends and technologies to experiment with.

Overseeing the recruitment and candidate review processes at Smart IT spurred Michael to build a custom application that assigns reminders and follow ups for new employee entrees into the database. The tool also integrates with the HR task tracking software. This way, our human resources team is able to conduct roundup interviews, submit feedback and service exit interviews with a better understanding of the candidate or employee profile.
Didn’t find an app to help you be more productive? Have you ever considered building a mobile application from scratch? It is pretty obvious a CTO has their own projects and side gigs to worry about, but they do not have to commit personal hours to development. You can outsource mobile application development to a company like Smart IT, who will handle every step of the way, from requirement analysis through to deployment and support. We have built some great apps over the years.

29 May 2020


Pavel Kaplunou, Marketing Communications

Pavel is Smart IT's Marketing Communication Manager. He oversees content creation and is in charge of the official Smart IT blog. Contact Pavel to learn about potential media and content collaborations. [email protected]