Meet Our Team Q&A series. My name is Daniela Williams, Project Manager at ISE, and I’ll be asking ISE team members questions to help give insight into what makes us tick.
Today I'm interviewing Caleb Koch, Software Engineer and one of our more recent additions to the ISE team.
Q. How long have you worked at ISE and what did you do prior?
Caleb: I started early June, so I have only been at ISE for about a month and a half. Before starting here, I worked for Allscripts in central Illinois, on their patient portal, FollowMyHealth for 5 years. That was my first job after graduating from the University of Iowa.
Q. Last month ISE had another round of Scrum Master training for new employees. What's one new thing did you learn that you have taken back to your team?
Caleb: Since I had only been on the team for about a week at the time, I didn’t really have a great feel for how we were doing everything yet. It was difficult to find much to suggest as improvements, so I didn’t bring much back to my team directly. However, it did give me a much better understanding of the different roles involved in the team, and the responsibilities of them. I feel I have been better able to contribute to our planning and refinement meetings more, and make them more productive.
Q: Your last company started to use Agile methodologies during your time there. Getting started can be a challenge. While you were there, what was the biggest obstacle they had to overcome?
Caleb: Meaningful Use 3 was a set of regulations that we started work on very shortly after starting to use Scrum. Because this work was regulatory, and had a strict deadline, our scope and time were very rigid, and we were not able to adapt to changes nearly as much as you should in an agile environment.
Q. If you could travel back in time to when you worked with Allscripts, what would you suggest they do differently?
Caleb: I think a training similar to the one we just had could be very useful for them. A lot of the developers working for FollowMyHealth started there straight out of college, and their only experience of Agile is the way we did it there. So they can see where agile was working well for us and where it wasn’t, but they don’t all have a reference to use to say how well we were following standard practices. Having an outsider come in for training is nice, as you're able to see how it should work, not just how your team is doing it, and compare to what their teams were doing currently.
Q: What do you do for fun?
Caleb: I like to play games of any sort - video games (Heroes of the Storm, and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds), board games (I have a lot, but recently played a really fun one, Emergence Event), or card games (mostly Ascension). I also enjoy cooking. In Springfield, one of the groups I was a member of gave me a certificate for “Making the best food ever” after making snacks one week. So I like to think I’m pretty good at it, too!
Are you interested in joining our team? Learn about our current opportunities on our Careers page!