From IT professionals to UX designers, TechBirmingham thrives through its immensely talented and diverse group of member companies. Meet the Board is an ongoing Q&A series highlighting this group of movers, shakers and makers in Bham’s tech industry.
Meet Chris Matheson, Senior Director of Enterprise Data and Services Engineering at EBSCO, a leading provider of premium content through databases, eBooks, journals and magazines, and more. Hailing from Leroy, Alabama, Chris has been working at EBSCO since 2001. Read on to get to know more about one of our newest board members.
Hi Chris! Let’s get started — Tell us more about your job.
I work with the 8 software engineering teams in EDSE who build back-office management information systems for EBSCO. This includes applications that support workflow improvements, order processing, vendor integration, customer integration, and just anything else the business needs to get the job done. We use lean approaches to building software like Kanban and SCRUM which means I spend a lot my time working with the teams to find and analyze the metrics that measure our speed of delivery to our customers and formulate experiments to perform that may improve delivery. I also work with our product owners and executive team to determine what work is most profitable and achievable in the shortest period of time. We constantly evaluate our current direction and course correct as necessary. Lean principles have helped us make this a very effective approach.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your field?
Software Engineers are arrogant. I mean we are, but we’re also some of the most empathetic and resourceful people I have ever worked with. People who write software want to solve problems for other people. Sometimes we get it wrong. Ever hear about the Software Engineer who when to get groceries at his wife’s request? She told him to get bread, and if they have eggs, get six. When he came home with 6 loaves of bread she asked him why. He said “They had eggs…” Sometimes we get it wrong, but we genuinely want to serve others. That’s why I love this field of work.
How do you feel about Bham’s tech scene?
Birmingham’s tech scene is really exciting right now. With larger enterprise shops in town like Southern Company, Regions, EBSCO and Protective and the explosion of startups that have gotten off the ground and stabilized into long term, viable businesses, there’s never been a more diverse technology opportunity available in Birmingham. We’ve locally grown top notch talent and recruited the same from other markets.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I have a 9 year old daughter named Lily. When I’m not at work, I try to spend a lot of time with her and my family. That may result in blowing bubbles, playing Barbie’s, or riding bikes if I’m lucky. I tried to convince Lily recently that having the Barbie’s compete in a staring contest was an awesome game, but that didn’t pan out. I also mountain bike, camp, and run (last race was the Talladega Half Marathon at the speedway).
Very cool! Thanks so much for sharing, Chris!
Connect with Chris on LinkedIn to learn some more about who he is and what he does.
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