Careers: Interviews
Dr. Simon Moser, CEO, Top ICT Authority

This week, Stephen Ibaraki has an exclusive interview with Dr. Simon Moser.

Dr. Simon MoserProfessional career:

  • 2002 – Current, SolutionBoxX Ltd. (former name until 2010: The SEE Group), Bern/Kirchberg BE, Senior Consultant, CEO and Partner
  • 1993 – 2001 Bedag Informatik, Berne Project manager, Lead Quality Manager, Software Development Manager
  • 1997 Swiss National Research Foundation, Berne Research Fellow in Melbourne (Australia)
  • 1984 – 1992 GfAI AG, Berne/Herrenschwanden Software Engineer/Consultant

Educational Activities:

  • Member of the Board of the Swiss Informatics Society, Project Leader of the Continuous Professional Development Initiative.
  • President, ICTscope.ch, a special interest group of the Swiss Informatics Society (www.s-i.ch) and the Swiss Project Management Association (www.spm.ch).
  • CBAP – Certified Business Analysis Professional (www.iiba.org)
  • Courses in HCD Human Centered Design, Requirements Engineering, Balanced Scorecards University of Berne, Switzerland
  • Dissertation “Measurement and Estimation of Software and Software Processes” Prof. O. Nierstrasz. Development of the System Meter Metric and Method
  • Master thesis on “Knowledge-based Database-Design” Prof. H. Mey. minors in: mathematics, business administration, astronomy
  • QA-System-Auditor

Link to Short Profile: CV_Simon_Moser_SBXX_2016-06_EN.pdf

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

PARTIAL EXTRACTS AND QUOTES FROM THE EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION:

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:23: Can you describe your journey from age four to your current role, and the milestones and valuable lessons that continue to shape your vision, goals, execution style?
"....I am not actually a techno and gadgets aficionado. As a child my interests were science and maths with a more theoretical, philosophical touch. At the age of 10, I was the proud owner of a pocket calculator; the only one in the class. Ironically, I did not use it a lot because we were not allowed to use it most of the time and also because I did quite well with mental arithmetics. My interest was more in getting the formula over applying the formula with concrete values. Precision in thinking was and still is my fascination....I did learn my share of programming and programming languages, most notably C and C++. Programming is real maths, formulas put to life. Real-life challenges are to understand the users and their needs, to understand concepts and words and then to be able to produce the needed ICT system in time on budget and with the impeccable quality that is needed. The programming part in my professional work has mostly gone into the background....What worries me still today is the amount of non-professionalism that can be observed in practise. Money and time wasted on not-needed and in the end not used ICT. Of course, we need the highly-qualified ICT producers, but the architect's part is specifying and evaluating possible solutions for the benefit of the customer and NOT being part (being independent), of the ICT seller and its benefits; this is the goal and my personal, as well as our company's execution style and belief...."

:06:37: What is your history and role plus the value proposition of the Swiss Informatics Society (SI)?
"....I joined the SI (as a student) in 1988. In 1997 I founded a special interest group, The SEE Group, for this architecture role which involves requirements engineering, cost estimation techniques as well as evaluation, contracting and project management skills. It has transformed into SI's SIG ICTScope.ch. Our ultimate goal right now is to set up a top-level certification; top-level because it might include existing certificates such as IPMA, PMP, CBAP, and others but enrich them with ICT-specific architecture and management skills...."

:08:32: What are your goals for the Society?
"....We feel there is not enough visibility for our Society compared to other professional Societies. Our goal is to transform it from a rather small powerful Society into a leading entity for the continuous professional development of ICT professionals with academic basic education....We want the academic path to become again more attractive by assuring a lifelong high market value through certification. Also to make Computer Science and Information Systems studies become more attractive compared to studying law, medicine, business, etc....."

:10:19: What are the goals for SolutionBoxX for 2016 and 2017?
"....Currently, we are mostly concerned with looking for young talents to join our team of experienced consultants...."

:13:10: Describe your role and what you hope to achieve?
"....I am SolutionBoxX's co-founder, CEO and one of the principal consultants. I really hope to find one or two young ICT professionals that want to join us and continue the way of Business/IT architecture and management we practice..."

:14:05: Describe three major projects you are working on, the problems and solutions?
"....Currently I'm working for a telecommunications company. I work on streamlining the heavily ICT-supported billing and collection processes....A second project, I also lead an electronic archiving project for a utilities company....The third project, I lead the CPD project at the Swiss Informatics Society. The Continuous Project Development project, which at the current stage is largely an organizational project....."

:18:32: What are five major challenges faced by business and your proposed solutions?
"....Be focussed on a result/document everybody understands because it adheres to a standard. Much too much “waste” is produced at all levels of overview to detail, both business and technical....Project management competencies that are missing....Effort and schedule estimation competencies which, in practise are largely not developed....Finding skilled ICT professionals with the ability to efficiently take-over a task from a predecessor....In modern Agile environments we have a lot of difficulties to control the cost and schedules of deliverables...."

:22:04: You have many interests. What are they and can you talk further about them?
"....nature.....politics...."

:25:40: From your extensive speaking, travels, and work, can you please share some stories (perhaps something amusing, surprising, unexpected, or amazing)?
"....In 2004 I got a mandate to contribute to replacing a large and complex legacy system (with some 80 interfaces), a project which was ongoing at that time for 2 years already. In the course of this project we made a few bets on how long this system would still run. The master plan said a phase-out end of 2006. So some betted on 2006, some on 2007....2 guys betted that in 2010 this system would still run. And you may not be surprised to hear that now in 2016 this system still runs...."

:32:20: Simon with your demanding schedule, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in to do this interview. Thank you for sharing your deep experiences with our audience.

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