Macadamian Stories: Mark Thompson

I have a very cool role at Macadamian. I’m a healthcare software architect which might seem dull and tedious but that’s not how it is at all. I’m not the type of architect that does UML diagrams all day and my projects are definitely not lumbering monoliths of ancient code. I spend my days looking for the toughest and most interesting challenges on my projects across all levels and layers. Some days this is prototyping the next critical feature. On others, this is jumping in to help a team member through an insane debugging problem. Every day is different.

I took a focus in healthcare because there are still big challenges in this industry and there is a tremendous amount of innovation happening here. Everyone knows healthcare lags behind other industries but there are a lot smart people and fantastic companies tackling these challenges. When they need help evolving their concepts, getting to market, and expanding their offerings, they call in Macadamian.

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Of the 140 projects we deliver every year, a large proportion of those are blank slate development. With projects typically lasting 3–12 months, this presents an amazing amount of variety and I love that. Over my 5 years at Macadamian, I have been involved in seven very different projects and that’s a pretty average rate here.

I did six co-op terms with product companies and saw a lot of bored developers supporting legacy code and realized that I didn’t want to become one of those guys. Out of school, I spent my next six years with a couple of start-ups and had an exciting amount of responsibility and freedom. After those, I decided I wanted more stability but still fast-moving, innovative, and challenging work. Oh, and always variety.

That’s when I found Macadamian and haven’t looked back. Those seven projects across five different clients have exposed me to tons of different technologies and architectures. Every team member from Macadamian brings their own diverse experiences to a new project which creates dynamic and resourceful teams.

If I do stop and look back, it’s rather neat to be able to say the code I’ve done with Macadamain is used to:

- power a core component of the Canadian internet

- transfer terabytes of media data securely every day

- give healthcare providers access to the medical records of millions of people

- help patients better understand their care and gain access to their records

- evaluate and evolve the treatment protocols of chronic conditions

- ensure patients receive the life-saving medical procedures they need

I’m not exaggerating. I don’t know anywhere else where five years would have such a range of impacts.


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