What did you work on yesterday?
Yesterday I worked on a secure communications app that uses commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) technology. I linked up with a few program managers so I could update them on the status of the project. We’ve been doing some functional testing on the application and I wanted to make sure I understood their intentions for the solution and confirmed they’re happy with the direction we’re going in. I coordinated with Chris who wrote the code for that app. Part of my job is to convey how the app is actually working vs. how the developer thinks it’s working before it goes to an end user. I also worked with Connor, a different software developer who’s writing the code for a separate Android app. I was providing guidance and mentoring, explaining how this app will integrate with a larger system we’re creating.
How would you describe what you do at Ridgeline?
I call myself a “professional enabler.” I bridge the gap between the end user and the software guy. I am an advocate for the end user. There’s the cool guys who are using the device and the guys who aren’t cool but bring the technical ability. I’m the second one. I’m not the pointy end of the spear but I am the shank. If you let the pointy end of the spear guy be in charge, we’d be cowboys with no security. If you let the guy who makes the system be in charge we’d be super secure but no one would use the device. I help find the balance. I make sure the right hand knows what the left hand is doing and connect dots between teams so we’re not duplicating efforts.
Why did you come to Ridgeline?
I heard about Ridgeline before I came here. A former boss had attended a course at Ridgeline and came back raving about how great the course was. Later, a recruiter from Ridgeline reached out to me and eventually I realized it was the company my old boss was talking about. I explored the opportunity and found out what they were doing really was as amazing as my boss had said.
Why have you stayed at Ridgeline?
I love what we do here and I really like how we do it. We’re a pretty flat organization - I can just go ask someone the questions I have. I don’t have to fight through ten layers of bureaucracy to get to them. I don’t have a day where I think I’ll be bored. I love the culture.
What advice would you give to someone considering working at Ridgeline? Why should they do it? Why should they not?
Ridgeline is a unique environment. People used to thriving in chaos do really well here. So do people who like to get outside their comfort zone. If you want to be challenged you should do it. You’re not gonna be the smartest person in the room the majority of the time. You will have someone come to you with a problem and looking for a solution. You will need to be able to come up with an idea and find someone else who’s smarter than you who can make it work.
If you want to know exactly what you’ll be doing in the next year, you should not come here. We are very responsive to customer needs and often get requirements with a really tight turn-around. The core environment here is, “Surprise! Something changed.” It’s important to know that.
What kind of things do you enjoy outside of work?
I love hanging out with my wife and kids. I’ve got two boys at home and a daughter in college. My boys and I have gotten into 3D printing. We have a printer in the basement and we’ve got it running almost all the time. We do everything from making ear savers for COVID masks to creating devices so the boys can spy on their older sister. I go shooting as much as I can, play video games with the kids and really enjoy fishing.