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SQL, AppFrame and other cool technologies

5 minutes interview #27 – Jan Ove Halvorsen

This is one of the most active guys in the community here in Haugesund. When I was thinking about starting a Microsoft-related User Group in the district, he had the same plans. He sent me an email asking if I was interested in starting it with him. That is now 3 years ago, and the UG is still up and running. Now I’m the chapter lead, and he’s the one responsible for communication with the other chapters in Norway etc. We might switch on these roles. He’s held several sessions both for NNUG and Omega AS, and we hope he’ll continue with this! Lately he joined a new company called Appex AS together with another board member of NNUG Haugesund; Tore Fremmersvik.

What’s your role in Appex?
My official title is “Technology Director”.  However, short-term I am first and foremost a fulltime consultant delivering system development services to pretty much the same customers I was already involved with before joining Appex.  Longer term it is our plan that my role will be gradually more and more in line with my title.  I will be responsible for the quality of our strategic decisions on technology and methodology.  It means I will not necessarily take the decisions, but will be responsible for the quality of the process leading up to a decision, and the implementation of decisions in these areas.  This also includes being responsible for our plans related to continuous improvement of our competence and knowledge.  Having said that, I anyway guess I will continue to do consulting in parallel for some years still.

What did you do before you joined Appex?
My education is actually within the areas (micro-)electronics, physics and mathematics.  However, all my professional life (20+ years) has been mostly about software.  I worked at Hatteland pretty much all through the 90’s, where I was involved in building the famous RamBase system.  In 2000 I joined Hydro Aluminium’s Rolled Products sector as a senior systems consultant.  During those years I was heavily involved in a major project called MACH2.  MACH2 is a production management system used by the two Norwegian rolling mills, at Karmøy and in Holmestrand.  In 2005 I took on the challenge as IS/IT-Director for these two plants, with full responsibility for the whole IS/IT domain.  But the geek in me conquered in the end.  I really enjoyed that position, but felt I drifted farther and farther away from what I love the most: programming.  So, in 2007 I left Hydro and set up my own consultancy, Halvorsen Consulting AS.  I had three nice years doing various software development tasks for a small number of clients, before I decided to join Appex less than half a year ago.

Why do you like being active in our community?
I have always been focused on and interested in knowledge sharing.  And the fact is that the process of diving deep into a new subject, build up insight on that subject and then share that insight with others is a remarkably giving thing to do.  I actually feel I get more back from doing something like that than I’m giving away.  This may sound like something I’m obliged to say, but it’s actually true.  However, I realize this takes some confidence to do.  I would never even consider doing that unless I feel the subject is something I could master.  If you asked me to learn to play the piano and have a NNUG session about it, I would shake my head wildly.  But ask me to have a NNUG session about LINQ (in C# !!), and you will see a big smile…

Are you planning any new sessions for NNUG?
Since I’m these days involved in a deep romance with a beauty called Silverlight, I can see something related to that on the horizon…  I’m also very excited about what is happening on the parallel programming area with .Net/C#, both in .Net/C# 4 and even more so in .Net/C# 5, so something related to that could also be coming up…

What do you do when you’re not in front of your computer?
I have a family, who by the way is quite forgiving when it comes to romances like the one mentioned above, so most of the not-in-front-of-the-computer time takes place in the family domain.  I am also an online gamer (hmmm… that I guess in fact counts as in-front-of-the-computer time…).  Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) it is.  I have been playing the same elf character, a so-called “tank”, actually for 2-3 years now.  I love the social dimension of online gaming, although it in periods sadly has to get very low priority.  As a long-term admirer of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy world I just had to try when the game was launched, and I have since then been lost.  Quite interesting to be questing through Middle-Earth, fighting hordes of nasty orcs, goblins and worse creatures, at the age of 40+, together with people of all ages from all around Europe, and even beyond.

Links:
Appex AS
@JanOveH

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