Hi, my name is Michael Amster.  I am a working CTO and have been involved in technology my entire professional life.  In fact, I got into computers at the age of 12 and never looked back. Over my long career, I have worked at a lot of companies and have tried my hand a number of times at starting new companies (with mixed results).

What prompted me to write a blog is that I have risen to the title of CTO and I have seen many things related to the management of technology and related teams.  I have seen a lot of projects go sideways and a lot of teams run amok due to dysfunction.  On the other hand, I have been part of many successful projects as well.  Most of what I feel I have to offer falls into the realm of common sense, but the dearth of common sense is the fodder for blogs.

Over the course of time, I will try to offer nuggets on technical management, observations about situations I encounter, and the occasional technical article on something I solve.  I usually keep a few side projects running – I feel that constantly learning is a big part of being a technical person, so I force myself to play with new things.

A note on running the blog – I will allow comments, but will filter them as is required in this day and age.  I want to keep the tone light, but not frivolous and to offer some constructive feedback.   I hope that this blog will be seen by execs, technologists, curious souls and become part of the knowledgebase for other CTOs and technical managers.  I have not operated at the largest companies or the highest levels.  I have not had wild successes which give me instant credibility, but I have a few gray hairs, tens of thousands of lines of code and hundreds of people with whom I’ve worked to draw upon.  I hope to make a difference for some of you out there.

Currently Vice President of Technology at Verifi a Visa company. Michael has been involved in the Los Angeles technical community since leaving UCLA graduate school in Computer Science. He has started 3 companies including WebEasy, Storitz and ParqCity and has consulted on many others. He has worked in industries as diverse as Banking, Insurance, Internet, High Frequency trading and Telecommunications. When not twiddling bits, Michael enjoys music, baking and running.

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