24 Aug 2012 • Comments
I've built a lot of things in my career and, as I take on the role of CEO at Nomad.Works, I wanted to share three stories with you to explain why I came on board an application and web development shop like Nomad.Works.
My career started out in tech when my mom bought a computer and I first used a 300 baud acoustically coupled-modem. I later joined PSINet early on doing tech support and after the tech bubble burst and PSINet Canada was acquired, I was approached by the VP of Operations to find a way to replace the network and customer monitoring tools used out of the US. It was several near-overnights straight but in three days I had engineered a system written in PERL with a MySQL database and a dynamic Apache front-end. It did everything the US system did: monitoring of client or network nodes, tracking of the status as devices went unstable and back to stable, and alerting if a node didn't recover quickly. Over the next months, I upgraded the system and told it how to open tickets, how to log into core and edge routers, and even how to troubleshoot links between devices - eventually, the system could open tickets and automagically diagnose what was happening in the network in real-time, and the regional statistics were compiled into SLA data. This meant massive cost savings during the normally-manual processes and allowed for restoration times that simply hadn't been seen before in the industry. How did this come about? I didn't settle. Passionate people don't settle for just good enough.
Later on in my career, I joined Maplesoft to help do business analysis and took on a technology architecture management role. Part of this was a product development function, and what was hot was desktop-on-demand: being able to dynamically assign a virtualized desktop hosted in a data centre across the country to a developer who needed heavy-hitting resources for compiling. The architecture was well understood, but there were big business risks delivering something that was deployed in a remote city. I knocked the rust off on a Friday, installed a few PERL mods and MySQL on Darwin and came back on a Monday with a fully developed website that monitored the environment, including logging and reporting and dynamic collection of real-time availability statistics. I had to change the original concept to first pierce through the firewall so that security wouldn't be compromised and to remotely run the commands and parse the results locally. No small feat. As a result, we had full visibility into a remote and secured set of systems and ended up identifying hardware failures with the redundant hardware inside the environment that allowed us to fix issues before they impacted customers. How did this happen? I adapted. People who adapt don't give up and are better able to meet goals and deadlines.
More recently, I founded a technology infrastructure company I named Granite Networks - I brought together some great people to work together and get all the bits of the business up and running. Among the most important of these were the tools that the business needed: customer and sales tracking, ticketing, monitoring, billing and invoicing. Timelines were tight but it wouldn't be good enough to just have them working: they needed to talk to each other. I brought the best of the best on board: Shayne from Nomad.Works - we had worked together throughout our career paths and he had shown a very sharp mind and had focused so deeply on technology and coding that he had become known as one of the few at the top of the heap and had done so many more magical things than I had. He went with Python and Django, partly in the cloud and partly hosted locally, and occasionally there were times where we'd wrestle with three different ways something could be accomplished, or discuss flatly how the business objectives and the code would align (or not). Through these, we easily found the path forward together and opened the business on time and on budget: a remarkable feat. How did we accomplish this? I empowered without compromise. Teams had the authority to get what they needed done quickly, to ask when they couldn't, and to be measured by the same yardstick of success.
So, why did I come to Nomad.Works? To work with passionate people who don't settle. To work with people who can adapt to customer demands and help them. To work with a team empowered to get what is needed done without compromising on quality.
The decision was a pretty easy one.
That same decision has been made by every customer of Nomad.Works, and I look forward to meeting each and every one of them over the coming months.
Chief Executive Officer