Damian Maclennan bio photo

Damian Maclennan

Technologist, Agilist, Speaker, Ex Musician, Cyclist, Troublemaker, Dad. Engineering Manager at Tatts Group

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On leaving Readify and joining Octopus Deploy

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This is somewhat old news now, but I felt I should at least write something about it.

In September 2014 I said goodbye to my colleagues at Readify and took on a new role with Octopus Deploy as the CTO.

I had a great run with Readify, I started in Sydney but soon moved to Brisbane to head up a project which had all the signs of being a difficult one. Thanks to having a great team around me we managed to do the impossible and deliver great software quickly, something we managed to do time and time again.

Over the years as a consultant I managed to work on some amazing projects, and met hundreds of developers through training, mentoring and consulting engagements as well as being out and about in the developer community. We also worked on a number of what I’d call rescue projects, engagements where things had gone horribly wrong and we needed to quickly assess the situation, stem the bleeding as it were, and set about building something… fast. I used to joke when people asked that “so what do you do?” question at BBQs that I was “Like Gordon Ramsay, but for software projects”.

Over those years my thoughts about what makes for successful teams, companies and software have solidified. Ideas that I’ve tried to outline here on this blog.

Consulting took all the experience I’d had before Readify, forced me to truly understand it and hone it. Much like teaching guitar to people many years ago forced me to examine my own technique and turned me into a better guitar player. I’m grateful for all the experiences I had in that role.

One of the very common traits of consultants is that they all want to stop consulting and work on a product (and vice versa of course) and after 6 years I was pretty burnt out and had the same desire.

So it was interesting timing that an old friend an ex-colleague Paul Stovell called me up. Octopus Deploy is an amazing product that I’d been close to since it’s inception. It was our “go to” solution for pretty much every consulting engagement at Readify. We’d gotten good at TDD and Continuous Integration to get fast feedback to developers but deploying it to close the feedback loop with customers was still fiddly. Paul solved that for .NET developers with Octopus. So when we started chatting about his plans for the future and needing to grow the team it was a perfect opportunity. To get on board early with a company that’s going to be great.

So here I am.

My role has a couple of aspects at the moment. I’m building the team and bringing in development processes to help us grow and scale. I’m working in the community to help the consultants and developers out there who are evangelising our product and talking with customers to see how we can better solve their problems into the future. Because we’re still small, I’m also jumping in and working on the product too!

It’s a fun mix at the moment, some code, some customer facing stuff and some community evangelism type work. Every day is a new challenge and it’s fun to come to work and say “what thing can I do today to make our company and product better”, and get on with that!

We’re hiring too, so if you want to work with a fantastic team in Brisbane that’s making the world better for software developers by making awesome tools, you should talk to us!


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