David teaching a course on Blockchain
Ultimately, my role is to guide the technical culture at Nona, making sure that our technical capacity is in sync with our company growth goals. I collaboratively manage our technical choices, keeping these and our practices in line with the different developers and teams. I similarly manage our tool choices and security concerns.
On the other hand, I meet with clients to consult on their technical direction, teams, and organisational behaviours. This also has a sales component, answering any questions they have about what we can do and how we like to deliver real value through our technical expertise.
You’ll also see me mentoring junior developers, interviewing new developers, and doing my own development, each day so that I don’t become irrelevant in my own skillset.
It really starts with making sure that the rest of the leadership team has a clear understanding, at all times, of exactly what’s happening in the tech department and how it relates to our business goals.
Setting a good tone and a good example for how technical decisions are made, standards are upheld and how people work together is also crucial to the job. Naturally, being an excellent developer is also vital. Less obvious, being able to understand and empathise with everyone is just as important.
In my current role, it can be tough to juggle and successfully keep all the different balls in the air – especially when switching between more technically focused things and people-focused things.
David’s hair enjoying a sea breeze in San Francisco.
Of course, there are many! One example, which I was personally very close to, was a project where we created a real-time fleet management system for a delivery-on-demand company. I wrote a lot of the code myself and we used some rather interesting technologies.
Another project I’m proud of is one for a client who needed us to completely overhaul a complicated, archaic system that they were using to control an auction. We developed a drop-in replacement and, on the day, everything went off without a hitch. It was pretty nerve-wracking!
Also, not a project, but attending the CoinDesk Consensus 2018 conference was also incredibly memorable. Not only was it fantastic to be there as “early-ish” developers in the blockchain space, but we made some very important client connections at the time.
Well, I volunteered at a bird sanctuary for a little while. I had to feed chopped-up rat and chicken heads to a peacock that thought it was one of the carnivorous birds.
But technology has always been my arena. I originally started in tech support before moving on to develop a variety of systems, like building automation and mobile games. I also worked on a PC assembly line.
These days, they’re pretty similar. I’m fortunate with Nona because I don’t really have to make a huge distinction. We’re not big on artificial professionalism. Rather, we focus on getting things done.
Back when David was in a band
The world has enough self-help books, don’t you think? So, I’d probably write one about a process for quickly helping people find the right self-help book that will help them, wherever they are in their lives. Typical coder, right?
iPhone, without a doubt! I already spend enough time tinkering with things. I prefer to have a phone where good decisions have already been made for me. Apple’s privacy stance doesn’t hurt, either.
Growing up, I used to have so many of these. But these days, not so much. I don’t know if one quote or motto can really capture things. But I guess, if I had to pick, I’d go with the philosopher Wittgenstein's words: “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.”
It translates as: whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Silence is really underrated these days!
Placebo and Garbage. Oh, the 90s!
If you want to talk about juggling different hats, the latest technologies or even 90s music, then David’s also your guy! If you’d like to find out more about him and his role as CTO, get in touch.
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