Cheryl MacDonald


Cheryl MacDonald has been in software engineering for more years than she cares to remember. She started programming before the internet was a twinkle in her mother’s eye, she made hay while the Year 2000 bug shone, and she rode out the Dotcom boom on a run of good luck, a bit of shmooozing, and a sizeable down-payment of hard work.

Frustrated with the slow pace of software delivery in the nineties, and having worked on large-scale, big-bang projects that fizzled and died rather than making a bang, she decided there must be another way to deliver technological change faster and more reliably. With the rise of the internet and digital, she joined a couple of dotcom startups and became addicted to doing things faster and delivering value to customers quicker than traditional organisations.

The Agile movement of the 2000s resonated with Cheryl because it provided a framework that encompassed many of the values learnt through working in a startup: collaboration, developers taking ownership of their software, delivering value early and often, building quality in, adapting as you go and continuously improving.

From the heady days of working in small startups, she has taken these learnings into progressively larger organisations where she is able to bring the fresh ideas from a startup, and scale these for the enterprise, in order to deliver reliable software in an increasingly competitive business landscape. Latterly, she has been learning about how DevOps is the natural progression for Agile and Lean, and how businesses can adopt the DevOps approach to speed up the delivery of customer value.