My name is Lee Meyeridricks and this is my blog.
I am a Software Architect with over 20 years of experience in IT, software development, integration projects, and vendor engagements. Over the last 2 decades, I have been involved in implementing big and small projects across different areas of business and in various industries. I have learned hard lessons on what to look out for and what it takes to run a successful implementation.
My passion is to figure out what is important for a business and to find the right solution and/or partner to elevate the business. I would like to share some of my experience so that others can benefit from it.
My goal is to help small to medium-sized organizations to select the right software for their industry and business strategy. I have tried to make my evaluations specific to an industry where I can, as I know that each industry has different needs.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or feedback.
My life so far
I was born in December 1982 in Cape Town, South Africa (where I stayed most of my life). I was fortunate to be raised by loving parents that gave me all the love and support I could have wished for. However, that doesn’t mean my life was a walk in the park. For most of my life, I was a loner – I enjoyed spending time on my own, following my passions, and only making a few quality friends. Later I realized there was a word for this – introvert.
I grew up in an age when computers became popular. It was the era of MS-DOS, Windows, and Atari. While I enjoyed playing games and fooling around with my dad on spreadsheets, I never thought it would become my career. I thought it would be something in sports (as I loved athletics and rugby) or engineering (as I was good at math). Also, my school was quite poor and didn’t provide any computer classes. In the end, I decided to try my hand at both engineering and sports when I went to university. The Dean of engineering provided some very good advice and I decided to attempt a double major in engineering and computer science (stubborn as I was seeing that I knew next to nothing about computers).
As fate would have it I suffered a serious injury and had to quit my sports career after my first year at university. This was a blessing in disguise as it allowed me to focus and put all my energy into my studies. While I had a lot of catching up to do I started enjoying working with computers – building games, operating systems, developing software, building circuit boards, and configuring network architectures.
After obtaining my degree I decided that programming and developing software is going to be my life for me. My early career was focused on learning to absorb as much information as I could. I switched between jobs to get the maximum exposure to different areas in business and software development. I was lucky to work for some smaller development companies that focused on building software and applying best practices – I learned how software is supposed to be built.
After a couple of short years (around 2009) I ended up working for a larger company that was pivoting to the investment and stock market industry. They were moving from a pure data company to a full client servicing platform. This was where I focused on architecture and team development. I was fortunate to be able to build a very senior and successful team and for 5 years we created some amazing software. We made software that could stream 1000s of messages per second concurrently from the Stock Market exchanges and deliver them in real time to our multi-channel Trading and Investment platforms. We focused heavily on integration patterns and best practices. These were the days when VMs were new before SSDs and Cloud – we built our own private cloud. We were fortunate to have received multiple awards at the time for innovation as part of the Naspers ground. I learned some valuable lessons – as the company grew quickly the focus changed to scaling teams & improving business processes.
This led me to further my studies to do a post-degree in business. I wanted to understand how various businesses work so that I could solve the right problems at the right levels. I also decided to get exposure working at large enterprise organizations for the next 3 years. At these companies, I work on large-scale programs that involved multiple vendor engagements, team and project coordination, and lots of business process improvement initiatives. The nature of large enterprises is that they move slowly as there are much more governance and processes that are applied. You are involved with a lot of industry-leading professionals and it provided me with a deep understanding of how business executives operate and what their key motivations are.
At the height of my career, I ended up working for a large asset management company as the Head of Architecture. For 6 years I helped build a large IT team and was involved in multiple programs and projects per year that reshaped the business. I was responsible and involved in all sides of the business. This included implementing SDLCs, Agile, Document Management solutions, CRMs, CMS, BPM, MDM, Data Governance, Test automation, Data Platforms, AI and Robotics, Cloud adoption, Compliance changes, Reporting tools, and lots of integration projects. This required a lot of vendor engagements and software evaluations. On average we conducted about 10 different software evaluations every year.
After 6 years I felt that I accomplished all I could and the itch re-surfaced to get different exposure to ensure I keep growing as a person and professional. This was around the same time the pandemic hit with COVID-19. South Africa was heavily affected and we experienced extreme lockdowns and felt trapped in the country. In addition, I also have a love for traveling and adventures. This is when my girlfriend and I decided that we wanted to pursue our dream of living in Europe. We decided to move to the Netherlands as it is quite central in Europe, allows for great advantages in my field, and is culturally quite similar.
So now we live in Amsterdam and I have been lucky enough to work for two amazing companies while abroad. I was half expecting that international companies would operate differently or have different challenges. What I quickly learned is that the same problems and opportunities exist in any company, doesn’t matter where they are in the world. We continue to implement new and better software – most of them from SaaS solutions, which involve a lot of software evaluations.
That brings me to why I decided to start this blog. I wanted to share my experiences. I want to document my findings of evaluating different software in specific industries so that others could benefit from making informed decisions. Please feel free to reach out if you agree or disagree with my evaluations or even if you are stuck and looking for some insight.
As always, my motto remains “Simpler, Better, Faster”.