2009/2010 Steering Committee

Robert Crida

Biography

Robert Crida
Robert Crida studied Electrical Engineering at UCT. He has a PhD in image processing and worked at the University of Surrey as a research assistant doing more image processing. He has subsequently worked for Peralex doing signal processing in the form of radio spectrum surveillance where he was largely responsible for architecting their back end solutions and algorithm development. He subsequently worked for OmniPerception to develop a video brand analysis tool which is now the de facto international standard application. After that he worked on the KAT project initially as a software engineering consultant and eventually as the Computing Subsystem Manager. He is now back at OmniPerception working on face recognition.

Position Statement

Despite the engineering background (or perhaps because of it) he is acutely aware of how badly things can go wrong in the software development process. Because of this he has developed a keen interest in how to engineer software in a better way. This interest spans concepts from systems engineering, agile methodologies, intelligent technology selection and use of supporting tools.

Marius de Beer

Biography

Marius de Beer
Marius is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification and has lived the “life of software” since age 11 when his interest in software system started. Now, 28 years later, he serves a team of developers at Psitek as mentor and coach. He has been privileged to gain experience in most of the dominant technologies ranging from small embedded systems to high-availability server farms.

Marius is an avid Agilist and Scrum practitioner and completed an apprenticeship with Agilists in the USA and Canada. During this time he also did his Scrum Master Certification with Ken Schwaber. He also runs the South African branch of “Clean Code Project” with permission from Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob).

Position Statement

I believe the time of “the individual” is over. The next leap in our profession will only be possible through collaboration. CT-SPIN provides the perfect vehicle for such collaboration. The objectives laid out by CT-SPIN resonates with my own passion to guide development teams towards sound Engineering and Management practices. Exposure to brilliant minds at CT-SPIN meetings “sealed the deal” for me.

Role: The membership chair appeals to me. The community must grow.

Aslam Khan

Biography

Aslam Khan
Aslam Khan has eighteen years of professional experience covering software architecture and development using design patterns, agile methodologies and various static and dynamic programming languages. He works intimately by coaching software development teams to design and build sustainable, low maintenance enterprise applications by focusing on team agility, simplicity over complexity and by taking the fundamental position that design is more valuable than a technology.

He holds the philosophy that successful architectures and enterprise applications can be achieved if one immerses themselves completely in the business domain of the enterprise. With a degree in Electronic Engineering, Aslam believes that software architects must be able to build what they draw and still finds room in every engagement to practice his craft of software development.

Aslam is regular writer in various technical forums and speaker at local and international events and is a DZone editor for the Architecture zone. He is part of the factor10 team and you can read his blog at aslamkhan.net.

Position Statement

After experiencing CT-SPIN a lot more intimately in the last year, I am inclined to say it has, perhaps, the best balance between content, fun, and networking. For me, software process improvement is not just about process. It is also a lot about the craft of creating software. So, I want to focus a lot more on topical content in the world of software development, lots of sharing of successes and failures in our community and encourage people to share these experiences. Finding people to talk at CT-SPIN meetings is really hard, but maybe I can convince some interesting people to just do it.

Willem Odendaal

Biography

Willem Odendaal
Willem loves technology. He started programming in primary school because his folks would not let him play Leisure Suit Larry (they showed him GWBasic instead). Willem studied Java programming at Van Zyl and Pritchard and has been working in the Cape Town IT industry since 2001 – mainly building financial software on the Microsoft.NET platform.
Experience has shown him that the IT industry is still very immature. He would love to see better processes and practices lead to more successful projects.
You can read his blog online at: theCodersPerspective.blogspot.com

Position Statement

Willem is willing to help wherever he can. His passion – to build exceptional software and run successful projects – is perfectly in line with what CT-SPIN is all about. He believes that the way to make a difference in the industry is to learn from others with the same goals and to lead by example.

Christian Oloff

Biography

Christian Oloff
Christian has been working for very small and not-so-small-anymore companies since 1994 in the IT industry in Germany (Planta, Algos), The Netherlands (Quintiq) and South Africa (IFS). He enjoys supporting enterprise processes by IT
Designs and architects modern software solutions.

Christian strives to write great code, preferably in Java and to implement efficient software development methodologies in existing or new teams. He likes the challenges of leadership and motivation to achieve great performance.

Christian has an Honours Degree in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Mannheim, Germany.

Position Statement

The CT-SPIN meetings have given me a lot in the last two years: Contacts with like-minded individuals in the Cape Town IT industry and food for thought through great presentations, amongst other things. Therefore, I’d like to give something back, if need be, by nominating myself for the SPIN committee.

My mission statement (please consider it a draft): Supporting processes by IT is what I am passionate about, and I believe that it is still a long way to go until IT is a real engineering discipline. Possibilities of technology today are mind blowing already, a lot more can be expected, and in order to master the complexities of change, advances in software development processes and smart communication are required. SPIN fosters good communication and helps mastering these complexities, that’s why I am glad to be involved.

Jan Pool

Biography

Jan Pool
Jan is the CTO at NioCAD, a company focusing on the development of electronic design automation software for the superconductive integrated circuit industry. He is responsible for product development and assists with the day to day operations of the company.

Jan previously worked as an engineering project manager at Stone Three. There he was primarily involved with the company’s research and development projects in the industrial segment.

He enjoys working in small, dynamic companies where one has the opportunity to get exposure to a wide array of activities in development, management, business and innovation.

Jan holds a masters degree in electronic engineering from the University of Stellenbosch. His interests include entrepreneurship, agile businesses, signal processing, pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, complex systems, robotics, photography, brewing and astronomy. His personal website is at PshyMorphic.com.

Position Statement

Jan is interested in improving all aspects of the software development life cycle. Better tools, processes, management and business practices are critical for the long term success of the industry. He believes that it is up to each and every software professional to constantly improve their skills; both by learning new technologies, refining existing skill sets and learning to communicate in a team context.

He sees the CT-SPIN as an important role player in fostering relationships among software professionals and in creating awareness of the best software engineering tools, practices and processes. Through the monthly CT-SPIN meetings and on-line material the community can grow and learn together faster.

He wants the industry to mature to a point where all stake-holders (investors, clients, managers and developers) are consistently satisfied with the industry’s image, performance and ethical practices.