I’ve been in technology for 20+ years. Worked from small to large sized businesses across multiple industries (advertising, consulting, banking, utilities, property tech, SaaS and digital). Over the years I’ve built a broad set of experience, I was consulting and on the tools for the first 8 or so years and for the remainder I’ve been building and leading technology teams focusing on digital transformation, cloud, SaaS and have been very passionate about people and culture. I’ve travelled internationally, met and worked with businesses such as Slack, Okta, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, understanding how these businesses operate has helped build and carve a balanced career.
2. Get to where I am now:
I really wanted to start working as soon as I could, so I studied and landed my first job in support and networking. George Patterson Bates was a great introduction into the corporate world. As I progressed technically, I shifted into consulting which gave me a deep and broad level of experience across multiple industries, and it was here that I really learned the importance of building business skills while still honing my technology craft.
In 2010 I started at realestate.com.au and it was here where I went on the cloud, dev/Ops and agile journey and over 7 years I was privileged to work with some amazing people, built several teams and was able to have an impact on an international level.
My PropertyTech journey continued at Caydon where we built a host of digital consumer facing technologies and I then spent 2 years at Culture Amp in a high growth SaaS environment. Here I was able to combine my deep passion for people and culture with technology.
My whole career I’ve been motivated to grow, nurture people, create good culture while investing in great technology that’s fit for purpose. I’m a lean / agile advocate and have always considering myself a student of our industry.
3. Why StarRez
We’ve been the leader in our industry now for 30 years, with almost 900 customers globally over 2 million residents and 250k monthly active users we’ve got a very loyal customer base with little churn over a very long period. It’s unheard of. Our business owners are passionate and very opportunistic, and that support is incredible. Our customer base is well engaged and wants to help shape the future as to how we continue to inspire and revolutionise propertyTech. We have great people and a ‘family’ like culture built from genuine business values. I have talked to our technology teams coming about together to form a “community” and it is in that community we have so much potential and a bright future.
Our core business values bring this business together and we embed them in everything we do H and this comes out in the conversations we have, the work we produce and how we plan. Being a trusted partner is central to how we connect with our customers and residents and the solutions we build. Drive is all about our motivation to make a genuine difference, both within our business and for the markets we service. I love empathy, because it’s important for us to place ourselves in the position of our customers, residents, and one another to truly try and understand the needs which helps drive our overall purpose. As the key enterprise solution in our market, our expertise comes out in the 30 years’ experience we have and continuing to build on that is inspiring. Z-Factor is how we refer to our ability to innovate, produce new ideas and have one while doing it.
4. Where are we at?
StarRez is digitally transforming, we’ve put in some good work towards our SaaS journey over the last 5 years and now it’s all about how we shape up and execute over the next 3 years. We’ve just defined our new technology strategy with a 3-year roadmap, and with that we are reorganising how our engineering and product teams deliver on our business goals. We have a great opportunity for our teams and people to own their slice of our product experience end to end to help our communities thrive.
We have three core priorities:
Focus on transforming the reminder of our customer base over to our SaaS offering (1/3 is on prem, 2/3 are using our SaaS products)
Further expand our presence further into the PBSA market (purpose-built student accommodation) We have some great ideas for how the resident experience can thrive, we are ready to further embed ourselves in this market.
Offer an intuitive Marketplace of enhancements, integrations and vendor partnerships that enhances our product experience.
Now as CTO at StarRez, I’m looking at taking what we’ve started with our SaaS journey to further inspire, impact, and continue to revolutionise the markets we are in. Today’s world is changing at a breakneck pace, and I’m here now to lead the next phase of our technology offering, and fully empower our technology, product, and design teams to build great experiences. As a collective, our three groups in technology, product and design work closely together and we’re all brought into the journey.
5. Engineering Culture / what are we building and why?
It’s an exciting time, we have built a high level 3-year strategy and a roadmap with a north star that has us focused on building a world class properyTech experience. We have a strong focus on some key areas to modernise our code base utilising native cloud technologies, we want to migrate away from .NET Framework and move to .NET Core. Our front end is being re-built in React, so we have some important decisions to make as to how we re-build core feature sets while also building new enhancements to our products. From a software engineering perspective, we have laid out the importance to cast the net wide when it comes to alternate technologies with the aim of picking technology that is fit for purpose. We need to think about what we de-couple out of our monolith and how we work towards a service-based architecture. Defaulting to many mico-services is not what we will gravitate to, we want to be able to bring our leadership teams together to discuss our path and we architect for success in the long term. We have just spun up an architecture, security, and platform engineering set of teams, and have just launched our Kubernetes environment into production for our customers.
We want to focus heavily on scalability and reliability in the cloud, so there is a lot of impact to be had. Between higher education and PBSA markets our know we can further enhance the daily lives of our residents while enabling our customers.
6. Why should anyone join in 10 words
Be part of a transformational journey and have a genuine impact.
7. Favourite Drink
On a daily basis – can’t go past soda stream! I love a double espresso!
8. Fav Sports Teams
AFL: Collingwood (Don’t hold it against me)
Football: Newcastle United / Juventus FC
9. What’s playing right now?
Apple Music – The Weeknd (love his tune)
10. Last Movie you loved.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League. – was incredible how different and complete it was from the 2017 theatre release. The new scenes at the end tied it up nicely.