I became a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) by the age of 24, says Hailey Yoon, Co-founder, and CTO of IO21

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I became a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) by the age of 24, says Hailey Yoon, Co-founder, and CTO of IO21
I became a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) by the age of 24, says Hailey Yoon, Co-founder, and CTO of IO21

Ensure that the technology you develop is modular, adaptable, and saleable. It is neither cost nor time-effective to develop new technology every time a new update comes out

When asked how she planned her career path to be a successful CTO, Hailey Yoon, Co-founder, and CTO of IO21, in an exclusive interview with CIO News, said, right after University, at the age of 22, I joined an Emirati technology company as a junior developer. I quickly climbed the ranks and I became a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) by the age of 24. My motivation was not the title or the corporate ladder at all. I rather focused on doing more interesting and exciting things every day. I believe the key is – “do not chase titles, but things that interest you and help you in self-improvement”.

When asked about challenges she faced in her career path and how she overcame them, she said, “Computer science is an area that develops rapidly, most likely faster than any other industry today”. It is challenging to stay on top of the latest developments. What helped me was completing my postgraduate degree at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence, alongside my day-to-day job. Stanford is an incredible source of knowledge about the latest trends and developments and helped me stay abreast of all relevant industry progress.

When asked how her organization geared up in terms of technology in the COVID times, she said, We did not need to gear up – IO21 was launched in July 2020, which was the middle of the COVID pandemic; therefore, from the get-go, we were equipped to operate remotely. We still operate in a hybrid model, which is supported by our deep company values of trust and respect towards each other, and therefore, I do not have to check whether my employees are sitting in the office every day and doing their work!

When asked about technology solutions and innovations she plans to implement in the post-COVID era, she said, we are about to launch an exciting new platform that was developed under the IO21 umbrella. ATTIC is a marketplace for used items that people would like to rent on a peer-to-peer basis rather than sell via conventional online platforms.

When asked about challenges faced by CTOs today in a similar industry while implementing digital technologies and how CTOs can overcome the challenges, she said, “Ensure that the technology you develop is modular, adaptable, and saleable. It is neither cost nor time-effective to develop new technology every time a new update comes out”.

When asked about best practices/industry trends/advice she would like to suggest to fellow CTOs for their successful professional journeys, she said, “Think about the user perspective because software developers often tend to dive deep into technology that may be exciting for them but overcomplicated or simply unnecessary for an everyday user”.

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