We hear you’re a coder from way back. What inspired you to progress a career in software development?
I’ve always been involved with technology. I’m one of those kids who got a computer when I was really young and I started hacking around with it. Two things appealed to me immediately about computing. Firstly you could never really break computers. You could experiment to your heart’s content and the worst thing that could possibly happen is you would have to restart it. Secondly you could really get creative with programming. So those two things combined made the whole process really eye opening to me. From then on, it was only natural that I pursued a career in software development.
What’s your role at DiUS?
Currently, my title is Head of Technology - Delivery. So my mandate is to ensure we are always innovating and looking at new technologies and processes within the timeframes we call Horizon 1 and Horizon 2. As an organisation, we acknowledge the need to ensure we are always innovating and pushing the envelope with regards to the way we deliver software. On the one hand, we need to ensure we are always striving to deliver value to our clients, but on the other, we need to ensure we are always looking for the most productive and efficient ways of doing it. My role is to ensure we always do both.
What made you take the leap into a managerial role?
It’s the way I can influence the direction and the operation of the organisation the most. As a consultant, I could influence one, maybe two projects at a time. As a manager, I can influence many more at once.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I like the interaction with people. We have a diverse range of people coming from all kinds of backgrounds. Everyone brings something different. So I enjoy that about my role.
Photo: Working out at DiUS Fit Club with a few of the Sydney crew.
What are the challenges you face?
One of the biggest challenges is improving DiUS, whilst also keeping everything functioning at the same time. It’s like Agile software delivery to a certain extent. You can’t just tear everything down and rebuild everything overnight. At an organisational level, you need to choose bits and improve on them incrementally. So it may not be perfect, but is it better than what it was yesterday? And if the answer is in the affirmative, then that’s a better place to begin tomorrow.
Are you working on any personal projects at the moment?
I maintain an open source project called Java Faker. It’s a library that generates fake data for projects. Actually, I’ve been getting some recent activity with it. Someone submitted a pull request to generate out of all things, Pokemon characters, just the other day.
The other project I have going is my Pace Calculator. I’m a bit of a novice runner and I developed this iPhone app because I couldn’t find something else similar on the market. Last time I checked it had over 30,000 downloads.
Photo: Me winning the marathon event at the Centennial Park Ultra 2016.*
Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in technology?
All I would say is go for it. I think a career in programming and technology is much more accepted nowadays than when I first started. There are a lot of avenues for people to explore their interest in technology. It’s such a dynamic career. It’s kind of a paradox, in the sense that you can stay in the same career yet have all sorts of different experiences.