Ben has led development of a wide array of projects for clients since founding Tecture:
Prior to founding Tecture, Ben was senior developer at IRI, a consumer packaged goods analytics provider, leading development of a multi-dimensional data analysis tool. Prior to IRI, Ben led a software development team at a venture-backed startup. Ben built the first client access website for Wachovia Securities as a college intern. He holds a computer science degree from Knox College, with independent study in web application development.
What’s the most important thing you want clients to know about you?
I know how to dissect complex problems and design computer systems to solve them. It sounds simple, but is easier said than done. I’ve built up a “tool belt” of methods over years of analyzing many different types of situations.
There’s a reason that most software projects fail in one of several ways. Everyone is familiar with cost and timeline overruns, but many would be surprised by the number of false starts, aborted projects, and course corrections. Worse, many projects launch with severe defects in them
Anyone would be lying if they told you their process was perfect. Software is a craft, and we are in an endless pursuit to perfection. Still, there are a few things I do to be successful at it: Plan ahead. Prioritize the hardest things first. Fail fast.
Have any secret powers?
I can break anything! While most professions might consider this more of an annoyance than a skill, it comes in very handy when performing comprehensive software testing before a launch.
What do you like most about Tecture?
I love the size of Tecture. Small enough that I can work on interesting projects without red tape, but large enough that I have a skilled and supportive team. You don’t need a large team to build powerful software when you have great ideas, plans, and skills. The big consulting companies often compensate for mediocrity with sheer numbers, while we are efficient and capable.
What skills have most contributed to your success?
My artistic side. Nearly every application has a user interface of some kind, be it a website or app, and designing an easy and intuitive user interface is an important part of our process. Most software looks as if it were designed by developers. Which is to say, it is awful. One of my favorite things about my job is challenging myself and our team not to take the easy way out of hard design challenges.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Tennis: a lifelong sport that is great exercise.
Hiking: for the great views and time outdoors.
Reading: scifi and nonfiction.
Espresso: much like software, it is a challenge to master. Each element must be perfectly balanced for the perfect shot.
I just spent two years renovating my historic home. I learned a lot about architecture and many building trades from this experience. I blogged about the entire process for family and friends to keep track of the progress.