People often ask me specifically what I’ll be doing when I start working for Wycliffe. I usually try to describe how web sites and applications can help the organization and translators better collaborate and how that can speed up translation, but since I dont have any specific projects to refer to my descriptions are pretty vague. It is also hard even for my new team to know what we’ll be working on when I get there because we dont know exactly when we’ll get there. As we have been getting closer to the financial requirements set by Wycliffe I have been in touch more with my new supervisor and the man who is also covering my role until I get there. They have been able to provide more information that I think will be helpful for all of you as well with regards to what the organization does and the value they add to Bible translation.
Here are several quotes from Doug Dillingham, the manager of the Project Management Office in the Global Technology and Information Services organization that I’ll be a part of.
We are eagerly waiting for Phillip to fill a critical position in Waxhaw, NC as the Global Technology and Information Services (GTIS) Application Development Manager. The way society collects data, communicates and works has changed forever and the world of missions is no exception. Wycliffe’s work would come to a screeching halt without our ongoing software development and system administration activities in support of field operations and translation centers, language programs, global publications, enterprise business systems, and network and communications infrastructure.
It’s important to recognize the crucial role information technology (IT) and data management play in Bible translation. They are core elements supporting every facet of what we do. So the coordination of software development across GTIS is a serious need. It’s encouraging to see how the God-given skills and talents that Phillip possesses, in concert with his unique industry experiences, are immediately transferable to Bible translation. We desire to use the resources God has given us in the absolute best and most efficient ways possible. That’s why we are so looking forward to Phillip providing the necessary leadership, coordination, and remote-team management needed across GTIS software development teams located in Waxhaw, Orlando, Dallas, and India, as well as independent consultants, volunteers, and contractors located around the globe.
One of the primary goals of GTIS is to shorten the time between need and solution, but our dispersed software development team presents some unique challenges in this regard. Phillip will be highly effective in matching mission business needs with technical talent and solutions. He will also be instrumental in helping us to adopt and implement Agile software development practices. Agile development methods are key to our future of developing flexible software systems in reasonable cost and time frames.
The GTIS project portfolio currently contains 20 projects in need of talented IT professionals like Phillip. One such project, REAP Integration to Distribution Sites, will develop a management point for sharing our translation repository resources with a wide variety of public outlets including SIL.org, the Open Language Archives Community, Every Tribe Every Nation Digital Bible Library, Amazon.com, and a whole range of Scripture websites.
GTIS is involved in web technology, as well as beginning to address mobile technologies, because we desire to see God’s Word accessible to all via the appropriate technical means. Under Phillip’s direction, the GTIS Application Development team will design and develop solutions to ensure connectivity to corporate websites such as Ethnologue.com and SIL.org and numerous enterprise data sources.
The ever increasing complexity of networked systems brings with it numerous integration issues. As long as more than one system exists there will always be a desire to share information between them, and as long as more than one software engineer exists there will be multiple approaches for integrating systems. SIL, International needs a consistent, principled, and architecture-driven approach to system integration that results in sustainable, consistent, and reliable flows of information between applications. One program Phillip will inject his insight and business experience into will be the GTIS Integrations and Middleware Program chartered with providing an operational framework around efforts to integrate systems. It will provide a single point of contact for those involved in global translation and language development integration activities (i.e., deployment personnel, software developers, integrators from partnering organizations, etc.).
So hopefully that all helps with your picture of what I’ll be involved with as it has helped me. I’ll leave you with one last quote with Doug:
I have no doubt Phillip will quickly become a valued member of the GTIS Development Department, and I know he counts it a great privilege to serve God this way on behalf of Bibleless people everywhere. As Phillip and Melanie build their ministry team, I invite you to talk to them about their dreams and goals for transforming lives through Bible translation. I know you’ll enjoy talking with them and hearing for yourself what God is doing through Wycliffe and SIL, International to bring the good news of the Gospel to the 209 million remaining Bibleless people of the world. If you have any questions regarding their role here in North Carolina please feel free to give me a call. Doug Dillingham – GTIS Project Management Office, Director – 704.843.6354