Stephan b wessels

 

Career

I work in a highly technical field nowadays. My primary activities focus on computer software development. Agile development methodologies, highly scalable solutions, effective use of object oriented technology and modern back-end server side deployment concepts are a huge part of the world I breathe. I've worked from both the hands-on development side of the business as well as the high-level management side. And lots of places in-between, sometimes working solo and many times working as part of a team. I helped develop and deliver successful products, run agile development teams, and grown and nurtured a professional consulting team.

I've enjoyed being a mentor and trainer and have even taught for a while at the college level. The interesting thing is that my technical training is in mechanical engineering. I come from an applied and mathematical analysis background, having worked in research and development engineering and in thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. My college education included 1 class in Fortran. All of the other computer related technical skills have been either self-taught, or learned from seminars and having excellent professional mentors. On-the-job training has been a regular path in my career.

Mentors/Thank You List
I do have several people to personally thank for helping me get to where I am today.


Resume: PDF
Updated June 2015

I've had my feet firmly planted in both technical and management jobs. I've also spent time teaching and mentoring. Large corporations tend not to have the "right" position for me because of this level of diversity. I enjoy development very much and have also had satisfying jobs as department and regional manager.

While with First Data I participated in one of those "Strength Finder" studies. These are the strengths identified for me:

  • strategic - distinct way of thinking, point of view, what if?
  • creativity - connections, see alternate viewpoints
  • accomplishment - achieve something every day
  • inquisitive - collect information, things
  • enjoys the process

That's pretty "bang on". I've gotten feedback like that from both friends and peers.

My ideal job is probably one where I'm part of a small team. A place where I can provide strategic leadership and get my "hands dirty". But I'm also very realistic about the corporate world today and am quite comfortable choosing a more narrow role when needed.

I've done quite a bit of technical work in the Smalltalk world and am quite proud of my contributions to the open-source Squeak project. Here's a link to my Squeak Enhancements page. I've also written an extensive Squeak Development Tutorial emphasizing test-driven development and good object oriented design technique.

Linked-In
For the last 30 years of my career, my personal network has led to a job. I believe that your reputation, integrity and who you know has a lot to do with your ability to find great jobs. Not wanting to sound too much like a commercial, I really like the Linked-In concept of networked professionals. It's a free service and I have begun to recommend it to many people I know. Here's the link.