At the Computation Center at Hadassah College Jerusalem, I led a team of 15 people responsible for shaping and maintaining IT infrastructure including hardware, software, support, and acquisitions.
I was offered this job when a new management team (with whom I previously worked) was assigned to the college. The information situation was in terrible shape. It depended on numerous legacy systems that were used to wield political power. It was impossible to determine how many students were in the college.
I founded a computation center that included three teams:
- A Systems Administration team was responsible for servers and network infrastructures.
- A Technical Support team was responsible for the installation and maintenance of PCs and end-user support.
- An in-house Software Development team was created to clean up information and to build a new, custom-built information system (built on Microsoft IIS).
Software Design Challenges
- Legacy Systems – the organization housed two colleges who were running two separate informations both with poor data integrity and validity. Management needed an integrated and reliable solution.
- Legacy Culture – the two legacy systems were controlled by two (legacy) administrative users who mediated all information access (input and output processes and needs) and wielded this mediation as political currency.
- Data cleanup – a rigorous process of sorting and integrating information from paper archives and the legacy information systems. This required tight collaboration between the developers of different modules/capabilities with the different academic departments. Eg: the developer who owned the grades subsystem also owned major data collection, input, cleanup and verification proceses.
- Technological Feasibility Study – demonstrating that a web-based decenralized information system was feasible (this was not obvious at the time) using Microsoft IIS.
- Information Architecture – creating an architecture that could grow and evolve as new solutions were built and new procedures were put in place.
- Developing a Living System – establishing development processes that made it possible to gradually introduce new capabilities (and migrate away from legacy systems) while the systems were running production (frequent and modular deployment).
In addition to my managerial role, I also taught systems analysis to 2nd-year software engineering students in the technical college (the vocational 2-year training college).