I founded Source Allies in 2002, shortly after graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in Industrial Engineering. As the CEO, I am very passionate about Open Source software because I believe that it enables Source Allies to focus on delivering powerful tools for our clients.
I truly believe in a shared commitment to client success, so I have established a linear employee model at Source Allies where there are no managers. This enables our team to take pride in ownership as everyone shares an equal responsibility.
Not to be overlooked are our Source Allies Slippers. As a way to make sure everyone feels at home while at work, the slippers are also a symbol of our “ownership mentality”. Feeling at home with our work and our clients allows us to build an important connection where we balance our easy-going nature with our strong commitment to success.
I started my career as a technical sales engineer in St. Paul, MN where I used my knowledge of web technologies from my undergraduate years to market manufacturing products. This experience steered me toward information technology and I’ve never looked back. I’ve worked on a wide variety of software engineering projects in the Des Moines area. From an applied technology perspective, I am most familiar with the Java platform, but I also have experience creating iOS applications. Over the last couple of years, I have led automated testing efforts coaching and mentoring on the application of Selenium, Cucumber, JUnit, Maven, and Continuous Integration/Delivery.
Source Allies has given me the opportunity to work with some of the best software engineers in the Des Moines market. It is exciting to be pushed every day to new levels of knowledge and productivity by the best and brightest in the business. I especially love the culture of shared personal development at Source Allies. It is what makes us great. There are no lone wolves in this organization. Everyone understands that it takes a team to get the job done right. We embrace it and we live it.
I’m not a rocket scientist, but I actually was a nuclear engineer – a real life Homer Simpson, you could say. After 8 years in that field, I’m happy to say that I don’t glow in the dark. With a wife and 3 kids to think about, it was time to move away from the stress of nuclear engineering; I had always worked with computers, and I knew SAI would be a great fit for me because it’s small in a way that I can contribute and have an impact that I can see. I like change: I thrive on change.
For me, the best part about SAI is the way the organization works: it’s a flat organization. The people I work with are all really smart and want to work together and learn about new things all the time. I like being challenged and sought out to solve problems for the companies we work with.
I am an evaluator of technology… all languages have their merits in my eyes. When my uncle showed me his PC with Windows 3.11 in 1997, I said “that’s what I want to do”. I was in Saudi Arabia at the time, and when I moved back to my home country of Eritrea from 2001 to 2009, I felt I had reached a ceiling for professional development. I decided to come to the US to do my Masters, and when I joined SAI, I found it to be a good fit for me. I enjoy the experience of having different clients and using different technologies as a way to keep my skills up to date. There’s never a boring day in the office, and there’s no limit to what you can do. It feels like a startup with every new project, but you know you’re not alone, and you don’t have the fear of failure because of all the support around you.
The best part of SAI is that the problem set is always changing, so you’re always challenged. You can inspire change when you speak; if you have an opinion, people will listen to you. There’s no ceiling for success or technology here which allows you to grow vertically or horizontally.
I’m a full stack guy: I can move from working on the front end, to building a new server, then making a bug fix while I’m right in the middle – I’m a jack of all trades. A natural problem solver, I grew up fixing problems as I came across them which eventually led me to web design, then servers, and on to infrastructure. I’m a newly married, new home owner who is into DIY work and side projects, and I’m currently learning about automation and cloud services. My interest in computers began when I was 8, and my dad brought home our first computer and video game; I spent hours mastering that game! SAI is such a good fit for me because it’s a relaxed atmosphere – a chill, cool place for people who are self-motivated. With that said, there’s a diversity of challenges that lets me jump between different problems in different sectors and use all of my skills while learning new ones at the same time.
Choosing my technology battles, selecting the projects I work on, and having influence in the direction of the company are some of the best things about SAI. It’s important to be surrounded by people who know their stuff, and you’re not going to get any fluff here. You get technically sound advice from the people you work with. We’re very selective with who we hire, so you’re never left feeling disappointed when you talk to the members of our team. There’s also a lack of bureaucracy which is a great change from the ordinary.