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Employee Spotlight: Nolan Bay - Trainee of the Year

September 12, 2022

For Matrix Applications' #EmployeeSpotlight series, we are excited to announce Nolan Bay as Trainee of the Year!

An Overview
Nolan Bay joined Matrix Applications in September of 2021 as a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. He came to us with experience in programming and a passion for UI/UX design. Matrix had a need for assistance in our DevSecOps team and help with UI/UX across all our products. We decided to split his time between the two. First, Nolan became a Junior to our current DevSecOps Senior members. This required learning the toolsets and practices already in place as well as exploring and evaluating new options to help solve the real challenges we face. To accomplish this, we used a three-method training scheme:

  1. First, we provided Nolan with access to relevant online training courses and books, providing him the time to read and participate at his own pace.
  2. Second, we provided him with regular pair programming or pair working sessions. These sessions were a mix of him observing a team member completing tasks or completing the tasks himself with a Senior member coaching and guiding. These sessions were frequent and the work was always high priority tasks for the team rather than a random side project. The Matrix team wanted Nolan to know from day one that his contributions were meaningful and impactful.
  3. Lastly, he was assigned tasks and projects of escalating difficulty to work on independently. The requirements and expectations would be set,  along with regular check-ins for questions or clarifications, but the work was all on him.

Nolan has also worked on improving the management of Matrix's UI/UX across all products. We used the same three methods that we did for the DevSecOps training, although there was more independent project work. This mainly included the build out of documentation to meet our standards in Confluence.

Through this training and Nolan's hard work, he was able to grow from someone new to Jenkins, to building a new Jenkins host, agents and new pipelines that are used in production. We also had a product release that was made up entirely of bug fixes and new features completed by Nolan. Lastly, we went from having minimal or no documentation on our design standards to having robust. centrally located documentation and guides for our UI standards.

Excellent Standards of Work
Nolan Bay continuously shows very high standards for his work. At every follow up or check-in, he has always been on point, progressing with self-chosen books or courses, as well as with progress on independent work. Our team is most impressed by his excellent level of judgement. Nolan has a strong sense of knowing when it is safe to move forward with changes and when he should wait for review. This is very much appreciated because the sense of caution is appropriate in our industry. The systems we are working on are large, critical and manage large sums of money and assets. Knowing when it is safe to move forward is also very valuable because it helps keep our projects and work moving.

Above & Beyond
In Nolan's time at Matrix Applications,  there have been many occasions where he has gone above and beyond for the organization. Part of Nolan's role with the DevSecOps team was initially observing and performing production releases. There was one install that was giving the team trouble, and work was continuing well into the nighttime hours. He stayed with the team the whole time without any complaint. In fact, he even encouraged the team to continue by adding recommendations to remediate the issues and taking on any tasks he could complete to lighten the load for the rest of the team. Thanks in a large part to him, Matrix turned what may have been an abandoned release into a successfully completed release.

A second example of Nolan going above and beyond for the organization came from the thoroughness of his work and attention to detail. Being part of the DevSecOps team requires being very familiar with our SDLC policies and procedures. He reviewed them, understood them and when it came time for releases, he quickly started completing related tasks on his own. This trend continued to the point where now he is the primary owner of our release management work.

High Standards of Professional Development
On the team, Nolan leads the way with professional development. He regularly makes use of the resources the organization makes available to him to learn new tools and practices. He then takes his learnings and shares them with the appropriate people and teams. It is through actions like his that we can establish and maintain a culture of continuous learning and improvement, which is tremendously valuable to the organization. In Nolan's short time with Matrix, he's already

Contributing to the FinTech Sector                                                   In Nolan's short time with Matrix, he's already started to contribute to the wider fintech sector. He has attended conferences and webinars, including Servoy World on Tour 2022.  One of his largest contributions has been through our internship program. On his own, Nolan offered to oversee and assist with our summer intern project in the DLT space. At Matrix, we see Distributed Ledger Technology as a strong fit for the settlement of securities in capital markets and we plan help lead that change over time. This project involved coaching and training the interns on the project and working with other organizations and partners in the industry.

About Nolan

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Mr. Bay joined Matrix Applications in October of 2021 as a Junior Engineer on the Development Team. His primary role involves software development and deployment. He is responsible for implementing continuous integration and delivery, along with UI/UX design. Mr. Bay graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 2021 with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science.

Nolan Bay | LinkedIn

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