Listen to this story in the IKE Update Podcast. Press Release ikeGPS (IKE) has added a complementary offering to its platform and customer experience by acquiring the power and communication AI software assets andRead More
To our IKE Customers and Community, Like all businesses, we are continuing to monitor and respond to COVID-19. Our focus at IKE is on the health and well-being of our people, their families, andRead More
Telephone, Email, Morse Code, or Smoke Signal
My business card says “Measurement Scientist/Mad Inventor,” and at the moment, I’m the product owner for the Hive team. The Hive is primarily involved in hardware integration, firmware development and measurement science. I’m responsible for making sure that the upcoming work for the Hive is clearly laid out by way of a well-groomed, prioritized scrum product backlog, and progress through this work is clearly communicated to the rest of the business.
I also do my best to encourage a “mad-inventing” culture. I try to help anyone who’s interested in learning new skills, experimenting with interesting technology and making amazing contraptions that they might not have made otherwise. We hang around after work on Fridays to discuss our latest projects, help each other through tough design problems, and generally gasbag about cool technologies.
I’m motivated by seeing people succeed, learn and grow. We always have aggressive goals, and I love working with the team to take on challenges and create something that makes our customers’ day better. That high-five moment when we get an awesome result on our experiments is always a great buzz.
Busy – I’m usually involved with lots of activities within the engineering team, so a typical day is hard to define. I work with the team to ensure we’re all on the same page in terms of the current stories in the scrum backlog, and our team members have everything they need to get their job done.
Sometimes I’ll roll up my sleeves and help out with the tricky problem of the day, which could be anything from crazy trigonometry, laser cutting jig parts, hand modifying PCBAs or whiteboard brainstorming our plan of attack for the next puzzle.
I was working for the U.K. division of a Japanese company called Anritsu making test equipment for cellphone manufacturers. I was based in the Luton, U.K., office for a couple of years, and then spent a year as a specialist task force expert to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in southern France. If you have a 3G phone, in theory, it should have passed the Layer 2 Test Cases I wrote before being certified as 3G compliant. Then, I worked for Anritsu in Japan for a year before coming back to New Zealand.
It was back in 2003. I was still working for Anritsu, living in New Zealand and earning a really good contract rate in British pounds. I needed to rent some office space, so I could separate my work environment from my home environment. As it turns out, I was renting space from Leon Toorenburg, our chief technology officer.
After I had been there for a while and seen some of the early ikeGPS developments, Leon convinced me to come join the team. It was hard to turn down the opportunity to play with lasers. I never looked back.
Getting the IKE 4 ready to ship is my main focus at the moment. My team is dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on the final calibration stages for the product and gearing up for first shipment. It’s always an intense part of a project, but it’s exciting to see products that only existed on a whiteboard a year roll out the door.
My current mad-inventing project is a hexapod Whats a hexapod you ask? A six-legged robot that I’ve been dreaming of making for about eight years now. I finally splashed out and bought all the servo motors last year, and it finally took its first steps last month.
Editor’s note: Check out the hexapod’s first steps here.
Aside from getting paid to make cool toys, the best thing about ikeGPS is the teamwork. I love the buzz during the day as groups of people tackle the latest challenges and the way everyone is supportive and respectful of each other.
I also feel that the culture is supportive of letting the teams create the environment they want to work in. I often ask interview candidates what’s the best team they’ve ever worked in. My personal goal is to do everything I can to make sure that anyone who’s worked with us will say ikeGPS if they’re asked this in future.
Professional skateboarder was high on my list for a long time, but I never managed to win anything more than Wellington regional competitions. Next, I wanted to be a photographer but looked in the paper and saw about three jobs sweeping the floor at photo booths and three pages of software development jobs. That was when I realized it was time to go to university.
I love spending time with my wife, Marise; our two boys, Tyler and Jacson; and our dog, Escher. You can usually find me skateboarding, snowboarding and mad inventing. I’m also a Cub Scout leader, so I enjoy inspiring my Cubs to be interested in mad inventing as well.
It would be something Japanese, like okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pizza, with sashimi salad and green tea ice cream for dessert.
Probably the vacation I just had over summer with my family. We rented a bach, which is a beach house, in the Marlborough Sounds. It was a 20-minutes water taxi trip from the nearest civilization. We went fishing, mucked about in boats, swam around with the stingrays and explored in the forest. Other than that, we chilled out and did lots of nothing.