- 2015 - 2018: Provincial Aerospace
- 2012 - 2014: Startups & Consulting (ICBC, Mozilla, UNESCO, zedIT)
- 2008 - 2011: CLEBC - increasing access to professional development
- 2005 - 2007: Startups & Consulting (MUN, COL, ICBC)
My most recent three year cycle has been with Provincial Aerospace (PAL) in St. John's Newfoundland. It has been a fantastic and exhausting three years. If I was to pick a few themes, they would be; team building, shipping software, quality management, and an acquisition. So what do I consider my achievements over the past three years and where do I best give thanks. In giving thanks, I will not be calling people out by name - they know who they are.
- Team Alignment When I joined PAL there was so much raw software engineering power with good team trust and camaraderie that my focus immediately moved from team building and skills development to team alignment and clearing the way for their success. And successful they were! We got to the point where every customer was very satisfied and we had solved some lingering and potentially expensive issues.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to PAL senior management for being patient, keeping the team together, and trusting me to start shipping software. It took some time, we had to clean up some minor releases and complete a significantly complicated major release with a very broad deployment scope.
- SED Team What is most important here is the team was solid within itself as a software engineering team. They had very good end-to-end practices and audit proof trace-ability. The organization as a whole struggled with getting software out to the production environments due to many factors. Keeping in mind deployment is beyond the responsibility of the software engineering team and we had to deploy into highly secure customer networks in very rugged environments. Once we had a realistic schedule the team held the vision for success and delivered.
- Business Intelligence Team Innovation within a strong corporate culture can be hard and an organization will struggle to understand a team with a different rhythm and dance step. And the pressure for the team to align itself back with the corporate rhythm will be ever present and an effort to avoid. If you want innovation you need to allow teams to dance a different step, and allow them to master their new dance. We built a scrum - agile data analytics / business intelligence team from an exceptional group of transactional developers used to a more waterfall type development approach. It took us 12 months (which I consider a short time) to have a performing group of analytics and intelligence developers who ship new data dimensions in a sprint cycle time of 4 - 6 weeks.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to our project manager who is insanely detailed in the best of ways and the team for not only building quality code, but taking on the quality assurance roles for each others work.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to the whole team for deeply embracing the learning toward becoming knowledgeable analytics developers. With the ability to analyse, design, develop, and deploy for multidimensional data from a plethora of different data sources. I want to thank the scrum master for holding the vision toward the value scrum would bring. I want to give thanks to the business intelligence consultant we brought in for the first six months of the project, they did an excellent job of leading by example and transferring the knowledge required to get the team more than started. I again want to give thanks to PAL senior management for being patient, keeping the team together, and trusting that the data dimensions will come and the team would exceed the targeted number of KPI's.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to the team leadership who came before me. The use of Microsoft TFS within the SDLC made team alignment really easy. I also want to give thanks to the team for adapting so well to adopting more agile and devops type approaches. I may have cleared the way, but the team did the real work!
- IDNS 2.x (ADAM8 and SIS) This was an eighteen month project that included many major features within its release scope. The main considerations for the project were;
- the schedule restraints [we could NOT go-live to production during iceberg-season (Feb - June)]
- the breadth of the feature set we were delivering included;
- Increased security constraints
- Service Orientation
- Directory Integration
- Content Management
- Geo-referencing with advanced search
- Off-shore client deployment
- Legacy application support
- deploying to a new data center and multi-server architecture.
- Having two versions run in parallel for an ice-season to allow for comprehensive testing and customer network / security integration.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to the team for putting in the extra effort from being on a steep learning curve and focusing on the delivery of data cubes as our measure for success. I want to recognize the commitment of our senior developer in being a learning machine of the business intelligence and data analytics subject domain. I want to give thanks for our DBA taking on all the system and database level tasks to make the project a success.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to the PAL director of quality, she saw beyond the business of quality certification and her enthusiasm for quality made us all better. I want to again give thanks to our project manager; her commitment to process, record keeping, and traceability is a thing to behold.
- Rock solid processes We were fortunate to have developed an end-to-end SDLC process that was reflected in our use of Microsoft TFS. The team was committed to following the process' and we passed all our insanely rigorous ISO audits. We were continuously improving our process' to better suit a more effective and efficient SDLC. We adjusted our QMS to our practices, rather than adjust our practices to our QMS. And our adjustment followed solid change management practices.
- Traceability Having the ability to see an idea through to working software is an accomplishment. Having evidence of how the idea became working software, from an auditors perspective, is a thing of beauty.
- Multiple Successful ISO audits Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to all those who participated in our ISO audits. They can be stressful, but for us we embraced them and used them for our continuous improvement.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to the software engineering groups leadership team for being willing to continuously improve our SDLC as it was reflected within our QMS, and vice-versa. I want to give thanks to the team for following our practices. I want to give thanks to the auditor for providing candid feedback and encouragement to make change within our ISO certification.
Special Thanks: I want to give thanks to senior management for giving me the opportunity to see an acquisition from the other side. It confirms that acquisitions success are about cultural integration during the months that follow. I also want to give thanks to the top tier consulting firm that confirmed my due diligence findings, and were very focused and gracious. I want to give thanks to the CarteNav leadership team (and all the CarteNav employees) for being so welcoming and working so hard through the challenges that come with any acquisition. So there you have it, a reasonable summary of the standout themes from my last three years working with Provincial Aerospace. My next adventure begins... more on this to come. Be well...