- Full name
- Andrew Vincent Watkins
- Present position
- Independent IT Consultant
- Auckland & Northland, New Zealand
- BSc Computer Science, Chemistry & Geology, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.
- www.linkedin.com/in/andrewwatkinsnz twitter.com/avowkind
I have over 30 years in software development, product management and team leadership across a range of industries including science, technology, engineering, health, automotive, transport, mobile phone, and travel.
I have run my own company and led a start-up mobile phone company software team through a high growth period. I have created and developed multiple agile cross functional teams, managed DevOps processes and modernised IT platforms including migration to cloud services.
I have a track record as a forward thinking, innovative solutions designer and product development manager taking ideas from conception through implementation and delivery and into operation through a full business-process-aligned life cycle, managing teams using agile methodologies, leading edge tools and technologies.
- Leadership & team building including, recruitment, mentoring, performance development and management.
- Leadership style: set clear goals and challenges, coach the team, build trust and consensus, grow capability, build long term sustainability, focus on deliverables.
- Exec level strategy and planning, innovation and business transformation.
- Project & product management: business cases, budgets, planning, resourcing, vendor and supplier management
- Communications all levels and channels: management, customers, stakeholders etc.
- Lead design thinking and innovation processes.
- Evidence & data based problem solving, customer experience oriented design.
- Managing change across technical groups.
- Full life-cycle product design and development, business & functional analysis, specification, architecture, operations and support models.
- Embedded systems, linux, network communications.
- Agile (scrum), product ownership, roadmap & story development, delivery and operations
- Customer Experience, User Experience & Interface Design, Wireframes,
- API design and international data standards.
- Systems design for modern multi-tier service oriented architectures including microservices and cloud deployed systems.
- High availability, real time systems.
- DevOps CI/CD systems, automated test and deployment.
- Data Acquisition and Information Visualisation systems.
Tech lead: Voluntarily.nz - Pam Fergusson Charitable Trust - Jan 2019 to present
The Voluntarily.nz project seeks to remove obstacles to high impact volunteering by building and running a freely available, open source platform that provides a curated marketplace linking schools, communities, businesses and activity providers.
I have been involved with the project from its inception and have led the architecture and systems design, coded much of the implementation, trained and mentored students, interns and contributors.
- Implement the vision for the Voluntarily platform.
- Develop an open source project team and community
- Led multiple 'Code Party' contributor weekends.
- Project has over 5500 commits, 104 contributors.
- AWS ECS deployment with CI/CD.
- High automated test coverage.
Manager: Transport Technology, NZ Transport Agency - Jan 2018 to Nov 2018.
A strategic role in a new group within NZTA to develop new systems and services for the management of the NZ Transport system.
- Develop and maintain a clear future vision & roadmap for transport technology.
- Establish and manage the transport technology forward work programme as a holistic system for operations, optimisation, information and learning across the business.
- Run design thinking and stakeholder workshops focused on changing the way we use transport.
- Set and maintain standards and guidelines, governance and investment frameworks.
- Setup agile product management and development processes for the new group.
- Deliver releases of key applications.
- Programme business case for $150million over 3 years.
- Product briefs & 90 & 180 day roadmaps for 20 key products and initiatives including new transport performance monitoring tool, incident and event management system, major cloud migrations.
- Recruitment of extended product management team.
- Development of technology partnership with Auckland Transport.
- Delivery of incident and event management system (first production release)
Programme Lead: IT Transformation, University of Auckland - Aug..Dec 2017 (Contract)
Consultant at the University of Auckland as leader for a Digital Transformation Programme.
- Generate new programmes of work in the area of Cloud adoption, Agile and DevOps, Workforce planning and Value Management.
- Thought leadership on organisational design and change communications.
- Wide ranging stakeholder engagement, across IT and faculty to generate clear problem definitions and evidence.
- Ran design thinking process and workshops to assist in the growth of a new Digital Strategy document into a series of executable plans.
- Delivered 4 business cases and programmes of work for Cloud, Agile, DevOps and Value.
- Initiated new team formation, developed team charters and initial roadmaps & backlogs, funding, and vendor management for cloud services.
General Manager Information Technology – NIWA. 2015 – 2017
General Manager IT. A member of the NIWA Executive team reporting directly to the CEO and Board.
Internal promotion from Systems Development Manager
- Leadership and effective management of NIWA’s team of 5 IT Group Managers (Support, Operations, High performance computing, Software Development and Knowledge & Records Management) and their 30 staff.
- Ensuring the team provides information systems and services that enable innovative research; effective collaboration, communication, and decision-making; highly productive and efficient operations; and excellence in delivery of products and services.
- IT budget and financial management.
- Creating and developing a 4-person business transformation team which has led NIWA through a major migration to Office365 for information and records management.
- Developing a digital innovation strategy allowing NIWA to introduce advanced technologies into scientific research including Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
- Analysis of market requirements multiple sectors leading to the architecting and development of major new data visualisation and decision support products.
- Creation of stakeholder and governance groups for science and business information systems at NIWA.
- Introducing Skills Framework to improve the quality of position descriptions, performance assessment and remuneration for IT staff.
Systems Development Manager – NIWA. 2009-2015
- Product management and ownership for new and legacy commercial science software systems.
- Work across 12 science groups to identify needs, problems, new products, create proposals, gain funding, generate road maps and project plans.
- Create and lead the Systems Development Team.
- Design and implement modern environmental information management systems as a layered, web services, open data standards architecture
- Developed Product oriented approach to science systems software. High quality, production ready, scalable information systems.
- Created and led an 8-person agile software development team focused on environmental science and real time, data management applications. Cross function team including systems & business analysis, UI design, database specialists and developers.
- Creation of an overarching systems architecture for NIWA with information workflows from field sensors networks through database, analysis and HPC modelling to SOA delivery system and web applications.
- Using a strong process and automation based approach the team significantly rationalised and improved the extensive family of NIWA online digital systems and databases
- Won the NIWA Excellence award for service delivery in recognition of work in creating the NIWAForecast: FarmMet and Weather services.
Development Team Lead / Group Manager – Vianet International. 2007-2008
Start-up Vianet created what became TradeMe’s TravelBug – a travel and accommodation booking system.
- Lead 10 person team including Python developers, BA, database specialists, UI/UX, Dev/Ops and integration.
- Lead development of a new product line integrating travel booking into in-car navigation systems.
- Formed and led agile cross function team for 2 years.
- Delivered web gateway between a European GDS (Global Distribution System) accommodation booking Web service and mobile client devices to provide a location-based accommodation booking service.
- The team developed a production quality system including deployment tools, auto test environment, documentation and multi-tier software application. Python/Pylons + PostgreSQL database.
Software Architect, User Interface Group – Navman. 2005-2007
Navman design and manufactured in-car navigation devices.
- Lead UI development team for navigation devices. (6 developers XML, C++)
- Lead visual design with stakeholders and consultancy.
- Project technical lead. Usability testing.
- Delivered innovative new touch based UI for the 2006 Navman product range.
- Wrote and delivered underlying high performance, graphics architecture supporting map styling, downloadable themes and 3D maps.
- Innovated, designed and delivered in device camera acting as dashboard camera with augmented reality turn indicators.
Chief Software Engineer – Sendo, 1999-2001
Start-up full-stream mobile phone design & manufacturing company.
- Design and develop the software for Sendo’s first mobile handset product range
- Grow and manage the software development group to 20 staff.
- Manage vendor relationships.
- Design and develop supporting systems for manufacturing, provisioning, logistics etc.
- The team produced a successful range of low-end mobile phone handsets in its first year of operation.
- Ran team collaborating with Microsoft to develop their original ‘Smartphone’ software.
- Multiple patents for new software technology in mobile phones.
Consultant Software Developer – Newland Software ltd
Much of my career has been as an independent freelance software engineer working in a broad range of environments including, data acquisition, embedded and mobile systems, web services and communications. I also started a company to provide interactive control and tour guide tools to museums and art galleries.
Professional Development and Qualifications
New Zealand Leadership Institute (UoA) 2015
- Leadership Mindset Programme
Open University, UK 2004
- Mathematics Diploma, (2 years)
Aston University, Birmingham, UK. 1984
- BSc Computer Science, Chemistry & Geology, Combined Honours.
Monitoring apparatus for monitoring traffic flow in a tunnel, Golden River Ltd, EP 0396432 A3, https://www.google.com/patents/EP0396432A3
Resource files for electronic devices, Sendo, WO 2002041139 A3, https://www.google.com/patents/WO2002041139A3
Device for automatically extending text messages, and methods therefore, Sendo, US 20050180392 A1, https://www.google.com/patents/US20050180392
Method of Determining a Rendezvous and Related Personal Navigation Device, Navman, US 20100161210 A1, https://www.google.com/patents/US20100161210
Portable navigation apparatus with refueling prompt function and method thereof, Navman, US 8280619 B2, https://www.google.com/patents/US8280619
Method of displaying multiple points of interest on a personal navigation device, Navman, US 20100077361 A1, https://www.google.com/patents/US20100077361
I am a lifelong learner. In addition to continuous self-education in a range of technical topics I have taken courses in time management and small business management.
From 2003 to 2005 I completed two years of a Mathematics Degree course at the Open University prior to migrating to New Zealand.
I am a fan of MOOCs (Massive open online courses) and over the past few years as time allows have completed the following courses:
- Computing for Data Analysis, Johns Hopkins University, Grade Achieved: 99.0% with Distinction
- Virology I: How Viruses Work, Columbia University, Grade Achieved: 89.2% with Distinction
- Functional Programming Principles in Scala, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Grade Achieved: 97.5% with Distinction
- Introduction to Databases, Stanford University. Completed with distinction.