Just recently, I was sharing the story of Northwest Cadence with a friend. Sometimes, when you look at something through the eyes of someone else, it can give you such great perspective. When you’re living life day to day, the incremental difference is slight. It’s easy to take things for granted. It was my day to day blur that kept me from taking a few steps back and seeing what he saw that was so extraordinary. So unique.
- On July 7, 2007 Northwest Cadence celebrates its 10 year anniversary.
- My wife (who also happens to be our CEO) and I are still happily married! (read this article for more context on this)!
- Our focus is the same today as it was on day 1: we help teams build better software.
Sure, technologies have changed. Trends have changed. The competitive landscape and software user expectations have changed. Dramatically. And that change is wonderful! It’s progress. There is nothing greater than having the opportunity to help a customer transform their business, impact customer relationships, improve work life balance of folks on the software delivery teams, or create something that will change the lives of many. We are blessed to do that with customers each and every day through software delivery, modernization, processes, and tools.
When Lori and I started Northwest Cadence 10 years ago, we chose to have the company focus on what we were passionate about. Lori cares deeply about teamwork and positive culture; I have strong personal affinity for processes and tools that can improve lives. These passions combined with our skills and Microsoft relationships led us to focus on people, processes, and tools around software delivery. Our tools of choice were Microsoft technologies – Visual Studio tool suite and Visual Studio Team System (it was called VSTS back in the day – fun to see the acronym reused today). Microsoft has always been a top choice for me in the developer space. In fact, I had the great opportunity to be one of the first 5 Microsoft MVPs in the world with a demonstrated specialization and expertise around TFS (2005).
Visual Studio Team System (which was the entire Visual Studio developer ecosystem, including Team Foundation Server, or TFS) was a logical choice in tool for developer teams. And I loved it! My background is mathematics and I spent the early part of my career as a mathematician for the US Government focusing on logistics. Yep, logistics and math. Ahh. The story seems to all weave together now, right? VSTS/TFS collected data in a great way so early on. And there’s nothing better than some great data!
Today, Microsoft has both TFS and Visual Studio Team Services (the new VSTS), with VSTS releasing every 3 weeks. Microsoft has done a solid job for us developers in the past 10 years. The VSTS -> TFS -> VSTS journey has been one of transformation of which I have enjoyed every minute. Our roots here are deep; so is our expertise. And we love it!
As we neared 2014 and 2015, we saw a pivotal shift occur in the marketplace. People were finally getting the messages that dev teams could no longer work in a silo. In order to build great software, they needed to embrace DevOps. And eventually the cloud. These transformations were (and still are) extreme for many dev teams. And IT teams. And leadership teams. However, time and time again, we see that when people look at software delivery as a cohesive system, the software success is exponential. It’s exponentially better. Or faster. Or cheaper. Or happier. Or all of these.
The marriage of dev teams and IT teams happened. DevOps happened. These two are becoming ever dependent for companies to stay competitive. It’s a new and exciting time for the world of software delivery teams.
While technologies come and go during a lifetime, there is one thing that remains. People. People who are smart, who want to do great things, and who can make a personal impact on the lives of others. Our joy is to align great technologies with innovative ideas and amazing people to build better software. Software that is easy. Complex. Beautiful. Simple. Impactful. After 10 years, I still love process and tools. And I still believe that great processes and great software can improve lives. It’s amazing to get to be a part of that each and every day at Northwest Cadence.