What I’m Thankful for in 2018

Ideally, we should give thanks every day for the things that make our lives better. But life and responsibilities get in the way most of the time. When the month of November comes around, it forces us to consider the blessings we so often ignore during the rest of the year. Here are some of the things that I am grateful for.

Loyal Customers

In just a short time from now, we will be releasing a major update to our GeoHECRAS product. We have been testing the software and running it rigorously through a variety of engineering scenarios to ensure that it works perfectly every time. So far there are no showstoppers that we have run into, so I am confident we will be shipping this new version shortly. I am grateful for all the new feature suggestions that our customers have provided to help us develop this new version. So, I am giving thanks to our loyal customers that really believe in what we are creating.

Gritty Employees

Over late summer and early fall, as we struggled to finish and complete features for this new version, I saw something remarkable in our workforce. Everyone was pulling extra hours and effort to wrap up what each person had taken on. Our testing team was deep in testing mode—subjecting our software to all manner of tests to see if it will perform to expectations. Our developers would review features that were not quite as fast as they could be and would further optimize the algorithms that our software utilized. Our technical support staff would spend their spare time stress testing the software on large, grueling data sets to make certain that this new version would be remarkable. And, of course, the sales and marketing team kept prodding us on to “finish up already!” It really showed that our team pulled together to get this new version released. I am very proud of them.

Disaster Brings out the Best in People

This was a bad year for storms and floods. If you have been watching the news in August, Madison and the surrounding area had torrential rains and flooding, causing over $154 million in damage. However, several employees took time out of their busy schedule to volunteer and assist neighbors in cleanup efforts to get them back on their feet. There is a remarkable human spirit out there and it comes out in full force when there is a need. Even in the middle of a disaster, it always amazes me how generous people are.

Rising Above it All

There is always plenty in the news to keep us up at night. Whether it is threats posed severe weather, infighting between political parties, or changing job roles due to technological advancements, we as a human race will always have work cut out for us. I need to remind myself to remember to rise above this daily “noise” and consider how lucky we all are.

About the Author Chris Maeder

Chris Maeder

Chris is an experienced civil engineering and software technology leader, with over 30 years industry experience. With proven expertise in global software development, he has built engineering teams that adapt quickly, focus on what’s important and, most importantly, deliver. He is a licensed professional civil engineer with extensive experience in water resource engineering. He has performed and supervised engineering projects in urban stormwater drainage, transportation and roadway drainage, storm sewer design, detention pond design, stormwater quality, green infrastructure, watershed management planning, wastewater sewers, water distribution networks, pump stations, FEMA flood studies, bridge and culvert design, bridge scour and armoring, dam failure analysis, seepage and groundwater modeling, and environmental permits.