Due to rapid increase in adoption of the Agworld Platform in all major countries where Agworld is present, Agworld’s Perth, WA based development team has recently been expanded, with more growth foreseen in the coming months. Catherine Rye and Matthew Dally have joined the development team, while Kusum Khatkar has reinforced the quality assurance team. The Agworld Platform is completely developed in-house, with the main team based in Perth, WA and smaller teams based in both New Zealand and the United States.
Catherine Rye is a Perth native who obtained a dual degree in environmental engineering and computer science. After working as an environmental engineer and software developer for 5 years, she returned to the University of Western Australia and gained her Doctor of Philosophy degree in soil science in combination with computer science. Catherine explains: “My PhD project was on transient wetting patterns in water repellent soils.”
“When soil is water repellent, infiltrating moisture typically gets channelled into narrow preferential pathways, dividing the soil into a mosaic of wet and dry. As rain continues through winter, these flow pathways gradually spread, sometimes eventually colonising the entire profile. The project was to try and quantify how these patterns evolve through the seasons over multiple years of study in a local bushland reserve. Water repellency is common in Australian soils thanks to hydrophobic oils and waxes produced by our native vegetation, so research like this is highly relevant to understanding how rainfall is partitioned and conserved in our native environments. This was a joint project with the wireless sensor networks group at the university, which provided the network of moisture sensors that collected our data. All in all, a very interesting project and a great way to link environmental science with computer science.”
Catherine has joined Agworld’s ‘Tech Ops team’, which is the team that focuses on small enhancements, maintenance, security, etc. “When you start with a company like Agworld, there is a lot you need to learn, so for me to be able to join Tech Ops and get my head around the codebase etc, is very beneficial.” Catherine says. “I like that, within Agworld, nobody is restricted to a specific team, and the potential to involve the environmental side of my degree in addition to the computer science focus. I like variety and learning lots of different and new things; Agworld offers me this, which is why I wanted to join the team.”
Kusum Khatkar hails from the Northern Indian state of Haryana and holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics & Communication Engineering from Kurukshetra University. Kusum worked as a test analyst in India for a couple of years before moving to Perth with her husband and working as a test analyst with Dynamics 365. “I was the only test analyst in that team, so I wanted to join a larger team where I could learn more and progress to different opportunities” Kusum says.
“When I saw that Agworld was looking to expand the team, I knew that I wanted to be part of the company. My grandparents were all farmers and so I’m passionate about agriculture and really wanting to learn more about it. I think it’s fascinating to find out how technology can impact farmers and their lives” Kusum adds. “Within Agworld I’m part of the QA team and so we make sure that software updates are flawless and that there are no bugs present. Before sending features to production, we test everything and make sure any problems get fixed before our clients get to use these new or enhanced features. For me, being able to combine my passion for perfection with my interest in agriculture, really makes Agworld a great team to be a part of.”
Matthew Dally is born and raised in the Perth area where he also attended a technical college, after which he started an IT business at a young age and ran his own business for the past 18 years, while also obtaining a degree in Computer Science from Murdoch University. “My business handled anything IT related, from technical support to programming software systems for our clients, which were mainly small businesses in the local area”, Matthew explains. “After 18 years it was time for a change for me and I was really keen to join a business where I could further my skills in a specific direction, which is how I ended up at Agworld.”
Within the Agworld development team, Matthew is currently part of the product team, which focuses on small enhancements and other product developments. Matthew: “I enjoy really being able to focus on the product and how we can improve it. When I ran my own business, I also had to deal with all the other aspects of owning/running a business, whereas now I can focus on what I actually want to do. Agworld works with and for farmers and their advisors and provides them with a system to make their life easier. So, being able to help with that process is really important to me. My whole family of my grandparents' generation was involved in farming, from wheat and sheep to pigs and honey; they did it all. For me, Agworld is my way of being involved in farming and help solve the problems that the farmers of today face.”
Agworld Chief Technology Officer David Eddy welcomes Catherine, Kusum and Matthew to the team and is excited to see them becoming part of the Agworld story. David: “Agworld prides itself on a cutting-edge development team which ensures that our users always have access to the latest and greatest in farm management software. We have recently made a lot of changes to the way we develop our software and have ramped up our release cycle from once every 4 weeks, to 9 times per week. This is a massive difference and one that we get a lot of feedback on from our clients and partners. In order to keep improving our service delivery, we need the best people on our team; with Catherine, Kusum and Matthew I’m certain that we’ve got just that. Please join me in welcoming them to Agworld!