It’s Valentine’s Day! I’m grateful for all the love I’ve got in my life. And for my parents’ love (Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!)

Today also happens to mark 6 months since I started at SCT Software as VP of Innovation & Products. That represented a big move for me – becoming responsible for leading an emerging engineering organization.

I’m a big believer in keeping a “good stuff” list. My experience so far has felt phenomenal, and I figured I should take my own advice and take stock here. Below are some of the highlights of the past 6 months. I’ll try to lump things together into some general categories. NONE of these things happen without an awesome team and environment – I don’t work in a vacuum. But I’ll list things I had at least a large part in.

This is a personal post and this list is just for me, but I’d still be happy to hear any questions about it in the comments!


  • Hired two awesome developers. This included:
    • Building a new automated hiring system using Jira.
    • Introducing an intentionally different format of job description.
    • Sourcing candidates from my network with no recruiting assistance.
    • Owning the interview & hiring process from first contact to offer acceptance.

Process & Communication

  • Introduced Kanban boards and ideas around making work visible
  • Introduced daily stand-ups (our team of 11 still routinely manages it in under 20 minutes!)
  • Created / shaped the overall flow of our work
  • Created & automated a high-level Kanban board, allowing stakeholders to see a big picture and drill down as desired
  • Created places to radiate information – Product FAQs, a company-wide shared glossary, teams channels
  • Created a standard for documenting certain kinds of information and a repository for that information to live, which is now part of the standard of how we operate.
  • Got the team used to working out loud. Pull requests, reviews, pairing/mobbing, and more.
  • Created on-boarding process and checklist. New hires were opening PRs 2 hours after on-boarding and fixing bugs within their first 2 days or so.


  • Built a CI/CD pipeline for continuous delivery of CloudFoundry-based applications to SAP BTP Cloud
  • Discovered a technical limitation of CloudFoundry and to get ahead of it, re-platformed our applications to Kubernetes (SAP BTP Kyma) in 7 working days. This included:
    • Containerizing all of our .NET applications
    • Essentially learning Kubernetes on the fly. I’d poked around the edges a lot, but I had to really get into it.
    • Making BTP cloud services work in a new environment
    • Updating application configuration for zero dev down-time while we transitioned to new platform, configuration, etc.
  • Scripted all of our infrastructure via Terraform
    • This included the SAP BTP cloud items, which involved working with their beta provider (though folks like Christian Lechner made that way better!)
  • Introduced Akka.NET and the actor model where I saw the need for building a reactive application. This included working with my team to port most of the application code, as well as procuring production support, training, etc.
  • Scripted the majority of our customer environments via Terraform
  • Introduced caching via Redis and S3-compatible storage via MinIO to allow us to bring these capabilities into our Kubernetes cluster.
  • Added geocoding capabilities to our application – vendor selection, API implementation, caching for effectiveness.
  • Successfully introduced OAuth 2.0 authentication flows, integrating with SAP BTP’s CIS product.
  • Updated the application to .NET 8 on day 1 of its launch.


  • Deployed Seq into our environment to quickly get a handle on some of our logging insights.
  • Deployed OpenTelemetry collector, Prometheus, Grafana, Tempo, and Loki in our environment (fully scripted via Terraform) to replace Seq. I love Seq but this stack makes the most sense for our needs right now.
  • Added business-level metrics to application code to see which clients & carriers are experiencing issues or utilizing our premium services
  • Added community-based and custom Grafana dashboards, deployed via Terraform.
  • Adding activities and spans to improve traceability across our tooling.

Security & Compliance

  • Introduced 1Password for secure password references and sharing within our organization.
  • Became a key figure in responding to client concerns and questions around security & compliance, and working to systematize that process.
  • Automated security scanning within our CI/CD pipeline.
  • Remediated all high & medium priority vulnerabilities.
  • Improved our .NET containers to use non-root, limited-capability containers.
  • Added Dependabot (and later, RenovateBot) for dependency updates.

Developer Experience

  • Wired up all of our infrastructure into a docker-compose file locally so devs could run docker-compose up and have everything they need.
  • Hopefully more things in this category that I’m forgetting

Other stuff

  • Introducing automated testing and bringing the team on board to a place where we now have hundreds and hundreds of tests running every commit
  • Diagnosed a complex issue that ended up pinpointing a bug in the Envoy proxy (used by Istio). Ended up going to the HTTP/2 spec to figure it out.
  • Facilitated an end-of-year half-day session on continuous improvement.
  • Got to work with my Dad! Honestly still feels surreal sometimes. We worked out a good dynamic early on and it’s serving us well, but that’s a very special thing for me, and I’m grateful to get to do it.

“What’s Next?”

That’s one of my favorite phrases. I feel like I’m doing some of the best work of my career, and I can’t wait to see what will happen in the next 6 months. There are plenty of ways for me to grow and learn still, and plenty left to achieve. I feel empowered and supported and like I’m working to be better at extending that feeling to others every day. I’ve got an excellent team and an organization with great bones. So when I think about what’s next, I’m excited.

Leave a comment