Friday, August 8, 2008

man me pt. 5

After Toll I went to a small software firm right outside of Philadelphia. What I found there was a small team of really talented people who had formed this great bond and work dynamic, seemingly in-spite of an oppressively micromanaging and confused management team. The management team was comprised of three investors who each had a say and a stake, yet none of which had any understanding of software or how to make it. It was confusing because their dynamic would change at seemingly random times, one taking the lead from the other and roles being changed and priorities following suit. Meetings frequently became discussions of the same topic over and over again, each time with different results.

This tumultuous environment had served to strengthen the team's internal dynamic. Everyone was fiercely loyal to the team. This actually back-fired on the management team towards the end of my tenure there, as work from home had been taken away company-wide - a mandate intended to strengthen communication and team unity when one of the partners asserted controlf from another - almost everyone in the company began to leave. But not just random job searches, they each communicated with each other, with several members going to the same company. By the time I left there was no one left from the original team when I had started.

My responsibilities there were:

First to serve as Lead. At first I was lead for several products but as time went on I assumed lead of all technology at the company. By the end of my time there I was in a Director position setting the technology strategy company-wide and leading a department of developers and interns that I had personally hired.

Second, to serve as Architect and Sr Engineer. I architected solutions to migrate the company's two legacy products to a Service Oriented Architecture, using .Net web services and Flex front-end. I architected a blue-print for the company to create mobile pieces to plug into their newly forming enterprise. I also created a plan to create build servers where database topography and pre-built templates would be used to generate code and build new instances of products for client installs.

When I left, the development department was rebuilt and energized with a good technology road map to lead them well into the next two years.

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