by Nortal cloud team , March 29, 2021

What made you join Nortal? What made you rejoin?

”I joined back when Nortal was Dynacron in 2010. What made me join the team initially, was that I was really looking into software best practices at the time, and the recruiting team mentioned that Dynacron was very much into Continuous Delivery. The second reason was that the company is a consultancy, and I had never worked at one before. The third reason was for the higher salary.

When I left the first time, it was not because I wanted to, but rather because the project lined up fell through so I was always hoping to come back. One day I got an email from someone and then a phone call from Justin Graham, which resulted in me coming back to Nortal. I was excited about the project because it had a high degree of autonomy and was dealing with a newer, greenfield technology.”

How has your career grown while working at Nortal?

”While working at Nortal, I have been able to really dive deep into Continuous Delivery, consulting, and modern cloud technology. Because of this, I have been exposed to how software organizations work and have a much deeper understanding of how the sausage is made – the business and organizational side of things.

I am at a level in my career where I would feel confident working for myself or any other company in the Seattle area developing a modern software stack because of my experience at Nortal. Working here has kept my technical, project management, and leadership skills – not just up to date – but accelerated them.”

How have you seen the company grow during your tenure?

”According to the North American CEO, Matt Munson, I was the seventh employee at Dynacron. When I first showed up, we worked out of a small office on commercial street in Kirkland, WA. We had meetings in a hallway and at the time a lot of challenges were solved by talking directly to the CEO or CTO who were ultimately fellow colleagues. Through the years, I have been able to see the growing pains, mistakes, and corrections of people solving problems in a startup environment. I have gotten to see a company go from a couple of people to a medium-sized software consultancy, which has been rewarding.”

What types of projects have been your favorite to work on at Nortal?

”I think my favorite project was one that took me out of my comfort zone the most. I had a new role which was called a Software Development Engineer Testing Lead, and while automated testing has always been an interest, being tasked to lead the effort was a new experience. The client was also unorganized, which presented many challenges. The dysfunction combined with a different role definitely developed my leadership and development skills. Overall, the projects that I’ve enjoyed the most were ones where I got to help colleagues improve, watch them get an understanding of technology best practices, then observe them improve as technologists and individuals.”

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? The most rewarding?

”The most challenging is always the organizational structure of the client. Usually, the client is having technical problems due to the way they operate. They usually acknowledge most of the technical problems they are having, but rarely recognize the organizational issues that are causing them.

The most rewarding aspect of my job is helping people grow in a technical capacity and if I’m really lucky, in a personal capacity as well. Software development has always had a special quality to me and even after doing it for close to thirty years, I still feel like it’s literally magic.”

What’s the biggest lesson you have learned working at Nortal?

”One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that organizational structure should not be taken for granted. If you are in a structure that works (or not), you must realize that this structure is not a given – it’s been built up over time by the people that comprise the organization. It’s tempting to take for granted many aspects of our existence, but shifting focus to the ‘why’ of the current situation is very valuable. The first lesson is, of course, to always be honest – especially with yourself. Personal and organization dysfunction begins with and grows due to (self) deception.”

What is your favorite Nortal memory?

”My favorite memory was when Justin Graham called me about an open role at Nortal. I realized that there was a good chance that I would be able to rejoin the company and work with people that I like on projects that I enjoy.”

What are you looking forward to most when we are able to all work in the office again?

”I am looking forward to hanging out in the office kitchen and talking to my really intelligent colleagues about things that have nothing to do with my projects.”

Interested in working at Nortal? Visit our careers page. To learn more about Paul and his background, visit his LinkedIn profile

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