How would you describe your role?
I’m responsible for managing and coordinating the design, development, testing, and maintenance of the software that we develop in-house. I ensure we deliver high quality software that meets our customers’ needs today, while also planning for tomorrow’s challenges. I do lots of other things as well that aren’t strictly what a Director of Software normally does. I also help with planning, hiring, and external projects to name a few. We’ve got a startup mentality, so I do whatever needs to be done until it becomes a full-time job that we can hire for or when someone else can take over.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’m a hands-on leader. I like to roll up my sleeves and get in there with the developers and hopefully not break too many things. I lead from the front and empower our people, which I really believe in. It’s something my leadership has done for me. If I have an idea, they help me implement it. If one of my direct reports has an idea, I do the same for them. If someone wants to complain, I’ll be there to listen, but also to help them think about the issue in constructive ways so that we can remedy the situation and move forward. Like most engineers, I am a problem solver and I like to help other people solve their problems too.
What’s your super power?
I like to think my current super power is documenting and capturing what’s happening while also being able to contribute to the conversation. I enjoy using collaborative tools and showing other people how they can really be used.
If I had to pick something otherworldly though, I think time travel would cool. Being able to bring current day technology to the past or to checkout future technology would be pretty cool.
What’s something going on at Ridgeline that you’re excited to see develop or grow?
I’m really excited about the mobile work we’re doing right now, especially mobile virtualization. I’m also excited about the platform we’re building which will integrate all of our products into a single interface. This is changing the way we deliver and maintain software for our customers.
How would you describe Ridgeline’s culture?
We’re very fast-paced. But, that’s not code for “we work a lot of hours.” I think most people have found a good work life balance. What I mean is the pace of new projects, new customers, and new ideas that come in. It’s unlike any other place I’ve worked. It keeps things fresh and there’s always something new and challenging to learn.
Can you tell us about a time when you were inspired or impressed by the work accomplished by another Ridgeliner?
It’s been a blast working with some of the most talented engineers. Early on, it was really fun and impressive to see entire products built in a short period of time, in some cases, we were building things for our customers in a matter of days. But, I have been most impressed by the maturity level we have reached at the company when it comes to engineered solutions. Now, instead of jumping right in and solving problems as fast as we can for customers, we are taking the time to really make sure we can maintain these products long term.
What’s unique about Ridgeline?
It’s hard to define Ridgeline, which is itself, unique. You could say we’re a government contractor, but that wouldn’t be accurate in describing everything we do. We do some government work, but we don’t put butts in seats like a lot of government contracting. We build products that are custom tailored for our customers. We’ve taken a lot of the lessons that we’ve learned while doing that and are now consolidating those into products that fit many customers instead of just doing a one-off every time. So, that’s something of an evolution for our company. But, there’s so much more to what we do, that this doesn’t capture. We do training. We have a whole lifecycle of taking care of our customer, and we spend a lot of time with them in the field.