Get to know The Team – Professional Computer Programmers and Agile Coaches in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Nick McKenna

Position: Founder, CEO, Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant and Agile Guru

Joined the Team: Mar, 2004

Background:

Back in March 2004, Nick had a vision to create a software company who built high quality, professional, value delivering systems. He was inspired by everything that he was learning from the (back then) revolutionary Agile approaches to software development and felt that these principles would make for the foundations of a great company. So, on 22nd March 2004, McKenna Consultants was born in Harrogate, UK. Fast forward 10 years and McKenna Consultants has grown into everything and more that Nick’s vision was. Not only do McKenna Consultants produce the highest quality, professional and value adding software that is possible, McKenna Consultants are also a leading provider of Agile Coaching, Mentoring and Training to other software development teams and companies. Nick has always had a passion for computer programming. From when he wrote his first program as a 9 year old, to the first time he watched Tron, Nick knew this was what he wanted to do. Before starting McKenna Consultants, Nick has successfully occupied numerous roles in the industry from making computer games, developing the first bespoke eProcurement supplier solution, being a software development manager to being a contractor. Nick is a CEO, Computer Programmer, Agile Coach, Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant, Management 3.0 Licensed Facilitator, ScrumMaster, Scrum Professional and Certified Enterprise Coach. All of this experience and awards listed below, plus that of running his own successful business, has enabled Nick to empower his staff, and give McKenna Consultants the vision, leadership and continuous improvement that sets it out from the rest.

Main Roles

  • Business Strategy
  • Computer Programming
  • Agile Guru, Coach, Mentor, Trainer and Speaker
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Business Development
  • Scaled Agile Expert

Professional Certificates

  • First Class Degree in Computer Sciences
  • Member of the MBCS British Computer Society
  • Certified Enterprise Coach
  • Certified Scrum Master
  • Certified Scrum Professional
  • Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant
  • Management 3.0 Licensed Facilitator

Outside the office:

When Nick is not busy running McKenna Consultants, he has found the time and dedication to become a 5th Dan Black Belt in Tang So Do, PADI Divemaster and full time dog owner to his Chocolate Labrador!

Nick’s other passions are Star Wars, Guns and Roses, F1 and anything Sci-Fi!

 

Aaron McKenna

Position: Commercial Director, Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant, Management 3.0 Licensed Facilitator and Agile Trainer and Coach

Joined the Team: Jul, 2009

Background:

Aaron is Nick (McKenna Consultants CEO)’s younger brother and is McKenna Consultants’ Commercial Director, along with being a Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant, Management 3.0 Licensed Facilitator, Certified ScrumMaster, Advanced ScrumMaster Certified Scrum Product Owner, Certified Scrum Professional and Agile Coach. In 2014, Aaron has been nominated on the shortlist to receive an award for “Best Agile Coach or Mentor – Process” at the 2014 UK Agile Awards. Aaron joined the team to use his skills and knowledge in business to compliment the technical aspects of the business. After graduating in 2009 with a degree in Business Studies from the Sheffield School of Business (Sheffield Hallam University), Aaron joined Nick in his spare room to take the first steps to transforming McKenna Consultants into one of the most successful Agile Software Development businesses in the UK. Aaron has always had a strong business sense and an organised, prepared approach to his projects, steaming from his days at School when he was responsible for organising many charity events and also from his time running the back office for a local taxi company during his time at University. Aaron and Nick have a fantastic working relationship which has gone a long way to build a strong, brilliant culture at McKenna Consultants, making the company great to work for and great to work with.

Main Roles

  • Agile Coaching
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Business Strategy
  • Account Management and Business Development
  • Product Ownership
  • ScrumMaster

Professional Certificates

  • Degree in Business Studies
  • Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) Program Consultant 4.0
  • Management 3.0 Licensed Facilitator
  • Certified ScrumMaster
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner
  • Certified Scrum Professional
  • Advanced ScrumMaster
  • Nominated for an Agile Award 2014 - "Best Agile Coach or Mentor - Process"

Outside the office:

In his spare time, Aaron is a keen gym goer, lifting weights 5 times per week. He is also a PADI Rescue Diver. In 2010 Aaron took part in a charity event across Peru which resulted in him being involved in a life saving ascent with a fellow trekker!

Aaron’s other interests are Leeds United, Jay Z and trying to live a healthy life!

Team McKenna

Position: Experienced Software Developers

Joined the Team: Jun, 2009

Background:

All members of the McKenna Consultants software development team have a minimum of 10 years commercial experience. This means that our team is not only technically superb, but they are also switched on when it comes to producing software that is value driven and serves a purpose. The team will help to explore, question and define requirements, drive out issues at the earliest opportunity and contribute to deliver the best possible solution for every single one of our Clients. We do not outsource any of our software development, it is all crafted in our offices in Harrogate, in the heart of Yorkshire. We believe in employing the very best staff and investing in them in order to produce outstanding software. All of our development team are big believers in Agile Software Development and adopt a “test first” mantra. This ensures that the software you receive is the highest quality, most robust system that you could wish for. There is a common misconception that computer programmers like to sit hidden away in the corner of a dark room and not be disturbed, definitely not speaking to Clients. This is not the case with our team. We all share a passion for building great software, using new technologies, learning new techniques and experimenting with old ones! Most of all we have fun working together and believe that we are fun for our Client to work with too! The development team are a friendly bunch who regularly meet with our Clients! Don’t be afraid to come on over and meet them all if you haven’t already!

Main Roles

  • Scrum
  • Extreme Programming
  • Agile Software Development
  • Test Driven Development
  • Microsoft.NET
  • Microsoft C#
  • Microsoft ASP.NET
  • Microsoft VB.NET
  • Objective C
  • Javascript
  • Databases (SQL Server, MySql, Oracle)
  • WCF
  • WCP
  • C/C++

Professional Certificates

  • Degrees in Computer Sciences
  • BTEC Diploma in Music Production
  • Degree in Business Studies
  • Various Scrum Alliance Certifications (CSM, CSP, CSC, CSPO)

Outside the office:

As you can imagine, the development team have all kinds of weird and wonderful hobbies! Some of the more “normal” pastimes are; supporting sports teams (If York City ever play Barcelona we may have a problem on our hands), fishing, gaming, DIY, F1, the gym, Sci-Fi, dog walking and playing the guitar.

We have a great culture at McKenna Consultants and work hard to make sure that we have a happy team and a fun environment. To do this we have regular team meals, a posh coffee machine and office dog! We also celebrated the 2014 World Cup by giving out sticker albums and stickers for the team and we also recently went out on a racing car experience day!

Mike Calvert

Position: Computer Programmer and Code Ninja

Joined the Team: Feb, 2012

Background:

Mike came to work at McKenna Consultants after meeting Nick 10 years previously. Nick and Mike worked together building HR software for a firm in Harrogate and immediately found that they shared a passion for using the latest technologies, writing great code and working with an Agile mindset. Fast forward to 2012 and when McKenna Consultants were looking to expand the team, Mike was the perfect fit!

Main Roles

  • Computer Programming
  • Mobile Development Guru

Professional Certificates

  • Degree in Computer Science
  • BTEC Diploma in Music Production

Outside the office:

When Mike isn’t creating great code for McKenna Consultants and our Clients, he can often be found at Bootham Crescent cheering on York City. He is also a keen fisherman, has an ear for good music and is devoted husband and father!

Dean Sykes

Position: Computer Programmer and Code Machine

Joined the Team: Jan, 2014

Background:

Dean was the right man at the right time for McKenna Consultants. At Christmas 2013 we decided to expand the team once again and Dean presented himself to us at the perfect timing through local geek group, Agile Yorkshire. Dean worked previously for many years for a company building environmental monitoring software. Dean fits our profile for developers perfectly with a strong technical background and at least 10 years of commercial software experience.

Main Roles

  • Computer Programming

Professional Certificates

  • Degree in Computer Science

Outside the office:

Dean is another football fan outside of work, following his local team, F.C Barcelona… Hmmm. Other than that, he is a computer programmer through and through and is a keen gamer and walker!