Competence.

Integrity.

No nonsense.

Mallowfields builds digital tools and methods for engineering and governance. We solve problems in decision-making, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration.

We self-fund our product development through relevant service work. We offer our clients in business and government the same attributes we bring to bear on our own projects: technical depth, mature skill, efficient self-management, and a no-nonsense approach to building digital systems that actually work for the people who use and support them.

Team

Collaborators

Mallowfields works as a team. Collaboration is a practical requirement to build quality software that solves more actual problems than it creates.

We are experienced masters of our trades. We are more than the sum of our parts, but our parts are formidable too. Working with us means engaging our actual, specific, human selves, with our accumulated histories of skills, knowledge, and perspectives.

Kendell Joseph
Principal Software Engineer

Kendell Joseph

Principal Software Engineer Kendell is Mallowfields' inventor, ambassador, professor, recruiter, and coach. He is by trade a geographic information systems (GIS) professional, an expert JavaScript developer, and a restless reformer in the practice of teaching computers and science to kids and adults. He has the unique talent of turning vague-sounding technical ideas into vivid, specific, working prototypes, and this talent is the foundation of several of Mallowfields' original software products.

Mallowfields was founded in large part to bring Kendell's prototype products to market as robust, scalable, useful software for government and industry. He drives Mallowfields as a company as he makes connections, solves problems and casts a vision of what could be. At the same time, his authentic kindness and interest in people brought together and sustains the group of individual humans that are the employee-owners of Mallowfields.

Jessa Challa
Software Engineer, Principal Community Liaison

Jessa Challa

Software Engineer, Principal Community Liaison Jessa is Mallowfields' lead frontend developer, our geographic information systems (GIS) expert, and the leader of all facets of our community engagement. From alumni boards to professional networks to teaching introductory coding courses to equity-design workshops, Jessa is a constant advocate and active participant in West Michigan-based efforts to democratize technology. She is the archetype of Mallowfields' collective goal to build digital systems for a purpose, for people, for good.

For our clients and customers, she builds beautiful, useful user interfaces. For our team, she is the totally authentic and uncompromising heart and conscience of our company. Jessa builds most of the visible parts of our software herself, but she makes sure we all build things that matter.

Carla Siler-Maddalena
Senior Engineering Analyst

Carla Siler-Maddalena

Senior Engineering Analyst Carla is Mallowfields' manager of people, products, and projects. With 15 years of experience as a software engineer building enterprise applications and systems automation for manufacturing, Carla understands all the parts -- and all of the people. She knows what can and cannot be built, and why. She extracts clear-cut achievable goals from vague desires, and sets a clear direction through scattered piles of possibilities.

Carla does all of this with a rare blend of no-nonsense clarity and personal warmth. She drives our work for ourselves and our clients without sacrificing the well being of the humans involved. Whatever page you're on, she'll be there with you.

Anel Guel
Associate Software Engineer

Anel Guel

Associate Software Engineer Anel is a primary contributor in backend service software development, relational databases, and data analysis. Her career history spanning from the Peace Corps to civil service to longtime community involvement in Southwest Grand Rapids strongly informs her understanding of how technology affects work and life, for better or worse.

Mallowfields has no boss. But in our small team full of strong personalities and big ambitions, Anel is a mediator and guide, a strong voice that keeps us working in the same direction as we plan, decide, and act as a group.

Joshua Honig
Principal Software Engineer

Joshua Honig

Principal Software Engineer Joshua is Mallowfields' lead engineer, with primary responsibility for solution architecture and backend implementation: He draws diagrams, explains things, writes code, and guides the engineering work of the rest of the team. Joshua is also the primary architect of Mallowfields' governing structure, drawing many of the blueprints for the foundations of our corporate republic. Actually laying those foundations is, by definition, the work of the whole team.

Joshua's hostility to nonsense is neither guarded nor a secret, yet his empathy for people is also clear. His passion to use machines and rules to give people agency over their world was an important motive for founding Mallowfields. While he relishes the challenges of building digital machines, he values compassion over all else, no matter what a system is made of.

Methods

Architecture First

No actual solution starts with software. Recognizing and describing the systems and environments in which we live and work — and sometimes build digital machines — is more than requirements gathering, project management, or business analysis. Clear-eyed architecture, based on combined decades of success and failures, is the foundation of all our work, no matter how small the project.

Effective systems thinking starts with recognizing the limits of designed systems. We want to quote most of Systemantics by John Gall, the greatest (only?) satire in the field of systems theory. We will settle for just two more aphorisms, which offer a grounding perspective for us as even as we do the work that we love of designing and building human-digital systems:

NEW SYSTEMS MEAN NEW PROBLEMS.

and

SYSTEMS TEND TO OPPOSE THEIR OWN PROPER FUNCTIONS.

But are you Agile?

We actually have our own manifesto, subject to change at any time:

  • Critical thinking over manifestos
  • Actual experience over certifications
  • Vegetables over meat, unless it's smoked or incorporates bacon
  • Pragmatism over computing religion
  • Technical depth over fad-chasing
  • Actual reality over compelling narratives
  • Thoughtful architecture over enthusiastic hacking
  • Obvious over clever
  • Utility over artistry
  • Humans over systems
  • Effective teams over "ninjas" and "rock stars"
  • No nonsense

Fine Print

No Nonsense

We don't hustle. We don't fake it till we make it. We are experienced and competent in our trades, and know both the depth of our skills and their limitations. We offer the skills and knowledge that we actually have, and that's enough.

We are comfortable saying "We don't know." We recognize that some problems can't be solved by us, and some problems can't be solved at all — at least not by software. We also know how to arrange and attack problems that we can solve, whether or not code is required.

Privacy

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