Veteran technologist brings a decade of experience in enterprise application software (EAS) to the Atlanta-based construction data and project-management firm.
ATLANTA (8/18/21)–ProNovos has hired Kirubel Girma—a veteran developer known for creating scalable and easy-to-use software applications—as Head of Application Services.
ProNovos creates both project-management and data-warehousing/analytics solutions for general and specialty construction contractors. In his new role, Girma oversees the entirety of the Atlanta-based startup’s software and technology infrastructure, from web and mobile apps to new dashboards for ProNovos customers.
“I met Kirubel in Atlanta’s startup community and have had countless conversations with him about leading-edge approaches to development,” said Bruce Orr, ProNovos’ founder and Chief Data Scientist. “Based on those discussions, I know that he has broad experience in creating solutions that can seamlessly scale as startups like ProNovos continue to grow. In addition, Kirubel happens to be obsessed with what has long been one of my top strategic priorities—creating a best-in-class user experience that continually evolves.”
Girma, founded enterprise application software (EAS) company Kirusoft Dev in 2012. His Atlanta-based company has created everything from apps that automatically grade SAT prep tests, to AI solutions that recommend products based on the user’s hair type.
The Atlanta native also co-founded Popcapacity, a digital marketplace that connects shippers and suppliers around the world, and served as a partner and Chief Intellectual Product Officer at Javvy Technologies, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Girma, who started his career as an IT specialist for Microsoft, says his passion for technology goes back to when he was seven years old. He went to coding camps, entered robotics competitions and, while still in high school, caught the attention of Atlanta’s startup community after winning second place in a coding competition—against local college students.
According to Girma, anticipating the many “ifs” that can arise as companies grow is one of the keys to creating solutions that scale. He also believes in a patient approach that emphasizes thoughtfulness and thoroughness, he says. “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Build it nice, or build it twice,’” Girma said. “That’s why I obsessively focus on scalability, sustainability and maintainability.”
In putting the user experience at the forefront, Girma adds, less can often be more. “We see this now in the construction industry,” he said. “Some of the best-known applications tend to overload users with way too many features. I prefer to let people index what the program does. For example, your Apple iPhone lets you pick what you want via the app store. It even uninstalls applications for you automatically if it detects that you have not opened them for a while.
A less-is-more approach allows busy contractors to avoid “analysis paralysis” and focus on the task at hand, Girma explains.
“Giving them the power to do this is key,” he said. “Few companies do a great job of making sense of their data in a way that is easy to explore, particularly if the user is more interested in knowing how something is occurring versus what it is doing.”
In Girma’s view, construction contractors need dashboards that provide easy and intuitive access to their most relevant data. “You need to be able to look at an ‘entity’ (a person, a truck, a contract, a customer) or a ‘dimension’ (a location, a feature, an attribute) and see its latest state,” he explained. “You also want to understand any ‘circles of influence’ (events, tasks, relationships, dependencies) it may have.”
Having worked for clients in healthcare, warehousing, retail and other sectors, Girma also says the construction industry stands to benefit by adopting tech best practices that have proven successful in seemingly unrelated sectors. “There’s a lot of overlap between different disciplines,” the developer said. “Oftentimes over the course of my career I’ve been able to take solutions from one industry and successfully apply them in others where they’ve rarely or never been tried.”