As part of a yearlong celebration of our 40th anniversary, Progress would like to introduce you to some of our fantastic longtime employees who have made us who we are today. In this post, meet Nassim Fotouhi, principal software engineer at Progress.
For Nassim Fotouhi, it’s hard to remember a time before Progress. Nassim started her career here on November 14, 1994, working on a team with just four other people. Since those early days, she’s seen Progress grow from a small, single-product company to an international organization.
Nassim herself has seen her personal circle grow while at Progress—company outings, events, and parties over the years have led to friendships that are still going strong today.
Over the past 27 years, Progress has been more than a place to work to Nassim—it’s become something of a second home to her and her family. Read more about Nassim’s time at Progress below.
As you can imagine, there have been lots of changes. Back when I started, we had one product line and it was called Progress; later, that changed to OpenEdge. When I was hired, I worked in development which only supported the SunOS operating system. All other UNIX OSes, of which there were many, were handled by the porting team. The Windows/PC was handled by the PC team. So, we would release a version on SunOS and throw it over the wall to the porting team to port it to other UNIX platforms. The PC team would then port to Windows and they would release each version in their own time. That process was very different from what we did a few years later and today, where we release an OpenEdge version on all platforms at the same time.
The team I joined back then was a self-directed, four-member team, meaning we did not have a manager. We all reported to the Vice President of Development, and would rotate going to various meetings, representing our team, and bringing issues/tasks/projects back. It was a fantastic group of people and I enjoyed working with them very much; none are here now.
The five of us managed all build and release tasks for Progress. We were responsible for setting up builds, development infrastructure, spinoffs of new versions and the release of products to customers. Additionally, my old team managed all the tools that development used for their day-to-day work, and all the build Makefiles and scripts.
Later, when the porting and PC teams dissolved and were merged into development, we were responsible for build and release on all platforms. We had new members added to our team to be able to support the needs of infrastructure and development. I don’t recall exactly, but I believe at one point we had over 25 folks on the team managing all builds and releases, as well as all development tools and processes for all of Progress Software.
I have had many colleagues that have been my friends, mentors, and family. Among them are my boss until early 2017, Biao Wang, my dear friend Lora Power (who also left in early 2017), her brother Earl Power, and many more that have come and gone. Luckily there are still a few that are still here, like John Harris (who joined Progress in 1992) and Steve Conners (who joined in 1999).
I have many colleagues that work on OpenEdge and working together and caring about the OpenEdge product has bonded us throughout the years. Many are still here and we are working together, which is great. It is so hard to answer who has been my favorite coworker! I’ve had so many great and wonderful colleagues; too many to count.
Again, a very hard question answer. There have been many years of great memories, friendships, and fantastic experiences. Biao used to say, “We are a great group. We play hard because we work hard!” And it was so true. We accomplished so much together and that made the fun we had even better.
I always say that the people make this company great, and the team mentality. My team’s motto has always been “Your success is my success.” From day one, when we were the self-directed team, we believed that our team came first and then the individual. Basically, it is not a success if only one of us is successful. We always jumped in to help when one of us needed it. That attitude continued, even when the team grew and the members changed. I am proud to say that we always put the team first, and still do.
My kids grew up with Progress and at Progress. They went on all the trips that we used to go to with work, and all the outings. They made a lot of friends with kids their age at trips and outings and have remained friends with them. Now, they’re grown up and are both young ladies in their late 20s. I have worked at Progress all their lives, and my colleagues are more like family. Progress is not just where I have been working. It is where I have been living.
I had a Mazda MPV, and that car seated eight. I bought it so that all the grandparents could travel with us in one car when my first child was born. She was two years old when I started at Progress, and my second daughter was only six months old.
I did use fax a lot back, oh, 20 years ago. Especially when I was communicating with our insurance company and had to send them bills and receipts. I still use the phone to communicate, too—I know, old-fashioned (or just old!).
To get to know other Progressers like Nassim, read more of our Progress employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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