This post is part of an ongoing series of Rangers introductions. See An index to all Rangers covered on this blog for more details.
Who you are?
I’m Stuart Preston – married to Rachel and I’m the CTO of RippleRock, a company spanning UK, US and India that specialises in Agile and Scrum training, consulting and ALM tools. In a former life I worked through the ranks as a consultant at Conchango (later EMC Consulting) where I worked on the very popular Scrum for Team System template for TFS since early betas of TFS in 2005. I am also the founder and co-ordinator of the UK ALM User Group. I travel a lot internationally with work, but outside of work I love train travel particularly and attempting to take professional-looking photos with my camera.
What makes you "tick"?
I have a passion for improving the quality of software delivery through the use of tools and solid practices – borne from many years of being the guy wheeled in to bail out enterprise and e-commerce projects that were just about to go-live. It was always just too late to improve the engineering process, and the lessons I learned from this phase of my career guide me today when I work with teams to improve their engineering processes right from the start of the project.
My skillset is (fortunately for me) not specific to one particular technical discipline and one day I’ll be installing and configuring TFS, another day I’ll be helping testers write better automation, another I’ll be writing deployment scripts and installers where an in-depth understanding of the physical environment is required. I love to troubleshoot and reverse engineer software to understand how it works, not just from the code but from the physical environment it is running in. Variety and having new daily challenges are what get me up in the morning and I’m lucky to have both.
Where do you live?
I live in the ‘Garden of England’ – a county called Kent in the south east of England, about an hour away from central London. Kent is well known for its fruit (especially strawberries in the summer!) and hops used to produce beer (real ale rather than the chemical-based variety…)
Where is the place you call home?
Home for me is Kent, I only have a small family (no children or pets) and my parents are also conveniently in Kent about an hour’s drive away – so I don’t have an excuse to pick anywhere else!
Why are you active in the Rangers program?
Every day I work with teams who are dependent not just on software but solid practices and tools that help them achieve their goals. I feel that through participation I am able to give back to the ALM community with wider perspective than I could on my own, drawing on the collective experience of the other Rangers.