At ReadySet, we are building an agile team that can move cautiously but nimbly via strategic engineering investments. We strongly believe one such key lynchpin engineering investment is developer tooling and productivity. Ron brings a rich experience in developer productivity to ReadySet with the goal of helping our Engineering team confidently make giant leaps forward through reliable tooling and automation.
Ron is a developer who kept finding himself working on the software used to make software -- until he finally gave in and made a career out of it. In organizations ranging from very large to very small, Ron's objective has always been to help development teams use technology to release products more smoothly and efficiently.
We asked him to share more details about his past work and why he’s excited to be at ReadySet.
Can you give us a brief overview of the technical challenges you’ve worked on previously?
Creating a great product with useful features is a critical focus of software development teams; but that product still has to be testable, releasable, deployable, and maintainable... and that's an awful lot of additional work. That work only gets more complicated as the team grows and the product scales. Software developers are valuable resources, and they need an environment that frees them to build high quality products without getting bogged down by the friction and pain that often comes from the process of getting that product tested and in the hands of customers. That's where I come in.
I got my start doing this kind of work at Nortel, a large telecom company. At the time I joined, it could take up to a week for a developer to see a code change finally get loaded onto a switching system for testing. That's a real momentum-killer. I was part of a team that used everything from automation to process changes to get that lag down to a few hours. That's still a pretty long time by today's standards, but it was an order of magnitude improvement that brought major benefits to the company.
Having that sort of effect on an organization that size was quite a rush; but I found that I enjoyed the challenges presented by much smaller teams even more. I worked at a very small startup with engineers that were at the top of their field. I was building the product, but also using virtualization and automation to multiply the effectiveness of the engineers by speeding up production and helping to improve quality. Later on, I joined a small ed-tech firm that had a mature product with a large user base, but they'd hit a wall with their development processes. By essentially re-engineering the development pipeline, I helped the team triple in size and kick off initiatives that launched a new era for the product.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of this kind of work. It can be pretty challenging but, when a developer says "You have no idea how much time you just saved me!" or when someone clicks a button that quietly drops yet another smooth, uneventful release, it makes me feel good.
What brought you to ReadySet? What about ReadySet’s approach makes it stand out?
What I enjoy most in my job is helping really smart people solve really hard problems -- and ReadySet definitely fits that bill. It's aiming to address a significant real-world problem in a novel way. I think there's huge potential here, and there are sharp folks working to actualize it. My goal is to help the team accomplish that as smoothly and effectively as possible. I'm looking forward to the adventure!