Team Higeco More

Research & Development – Marco De Salvador introduces himself for Higeco More

Marco, give us some background about yourself.

I was born in Belluno, Italy, approximately 80 km from Venice. I attended pre primary, primary and high school in Belluno. My love for the mountains and my suburb is very dear to me. I joined the scout group in Belluno at an early age. It taught me independence and creativity. After high school, I obtained a Diploma in commercial programming. I have always been fascinated with computers and software development from an early age, I enrolled with the university of Udine to further my studies. I enrolled for a 5 year bachelor degree in Computer Science and in 2009 I graduated with a thesis on “protein folding” and received a distinction of 109/110 in my degree.

For the next 8 years, I worked as a Software Developer and Team Assistant for an American-based company that had American “Fortune 1000” companies as customers. My work entailed reverse engineering of web portal codes in order to create a version “accessible” to the sensory disabled as well as a “mobile” version such as the Iphone 1!

In 2011 I got married and moved to Santa Giustina where I continued working from home for the same company. In 2016  two distinct innovations changed my life. Viola, my daughter was born and I left my company in search of something more stimulating. After  freelancing to add experience, In 2017, I was introduced to Higeco More where I currently work.

What is your role in Higeco More?

I am part of the Research & Development team consisting of three Developers. We execute all the developments of Higeco Cloud. We work in a Linux Debian environment and use MySql/MariaDb and nodejs on the server side. We use HTML5, CSS 3.0 and Javascript on the client side. Previous work had already put me in touch with these technologies and work strategies, but the arrival at Higeco More allowed me to deepen them at a professional level.

We work with Big Data as each system produces a huge amount of readings. Processing such a quantity of calculations in short periods of time is crucial to extrapolate the information and provide them to the customer in time to identify alarms and to highlight current production. Efficiency in processor management and memory occupation are problems that we face daily.

What are your main activities within Higeco More?

With the R&D team we currently deal with the software development of the platform Vision. We have a number of important goals with tight deadlines. Work organization is crucial with the aim of creating value in the shortest possible time.

We rely on the “Agile” method called SCRUM: the work rhythm is imposed by Sprint, which is a limited time interval (two weeks) in which we have to carry out the defined tasks. At the beginning of the Sprint, the to-do list is defined and at the end it is checked. A 15 minute “daily stand up” is held everyday in which the goals are shared. Each of us explains what he is doing and what problems he is encountering, receiving suggestions from other colleagues.

The development cycle is short and the customer is continuously involved with reviews of the modules. The continuous feedback allows us to correct any misunderstandings of the technical requirements before they can cause significant waste of time.

A project you particularly care about/you are working on right now?

My favourite part of Vision is KPI (Key Performance Indicator) module. The main goal of this module is to allow any type of calculation and comparison between all the data present in the system or in the portfolio. It is possible to define complex algorithms directly from the web interface starting from a graphical auto composer “brick” (Google Blockly) and then generating a customizable function in Javascript. The libraries allow easy access to the system configuration information and the data collected. The typical example of KPI is the Plant Performance Ratio (PR). Each customer has his own preference to calculate it and this module provides all the tools necessary to create and calculate it in a personalized way.

We are currently working on the Energy Registers module which is the synthesis of the work done with all the previous modules. Its purpose is to connect all the data collected automatically by the system or by manual readings carried out in the field via smartphone app. This module automates the calculation of the energy produced and of the energy fed into the grid by each system. It provides numerous global and individual plant views and the operator can analyze all the quantities involved and he can decide whether to keep the values calculated automatically or to make a manual estimate. Finally, the module allows interfacing with GSE to contest or accept the proposed values and speed up the billing process.

Can you reveal an aspect of your work that we could never imagine?

An interesting aspect of my work is the novelty. When we start listing the features of a new project, we are often impressed by the complexity of things to implement. It often happens that you have to face a problem never seen before and this is the part of my job that I prefer: use our skills to start from a simple solution to a complete realization. In this respect, work is stimulating and satisfying. If it is done in a group with the methods mentioned above it becomes really exciting.

Can you share a thought or advice with us?

I have been working for Higeco More for only 2 years, and looking back at the many projects we accomplished as a team, I am amazed. I am excited for future and new prospects. The transversal competence of people, the innovative power of ideas and the true wealth of Higeco More. I am really happy to be part of this adventure and one day I will say “I was there…”