As the NetEngine team continues to grow, we welcomed Steve Buckman last month, our new Head of Engineering! Since starting, Steve has dived straight in, heading up our diverse team with enthusiasm. We sat down with him to get to know him, his role, and what he’s most excited about in the NetEngine world.


Q: Hi, Steve! Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background? 

After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Physics degree, my professional career commenced as a Nuclear Physicist in the Physics Division at Ansto, where I developed new methods for the precise analysis of Beta and Gamma particles from radioactive materials. From early on I naturally gravitated towards innovation, coding, statistical modelling and software development.    

Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed leading challenging R&D projects involving a mix of people, technology, data and process. Some of my past roles include: Research Scientist, Software Engineer, Data Scientist, Software Quality Manager, Process Improvement Lead and Six Sigma Black Belt. 

I’ve been fortunate to travel widely for work and have represented Australia on International Committees, Collaborative projects and Conferences. These rewarding experiences have enabled me to develop into a well-rounded and pragmatic leader in Software Engineering, Data Science and Innovation.  


Q: What attracted you to the world of software and web development?

Personally, I enjoy the technical challenge of software development and love collaborating with really smart, motivated people working on innovative solutions. I relish the opportunity to understand what customers really need and their constraints. I also enjoyed the practice of cross-discipline collaboration to deliver innovative solutions to meet those customer needs.  


Q: What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?

There have been many proud moments throughout my career. Over time these moments have shifted my personal accomplishments to being proud of my team’s achievements. I’m especially proud of the professional growth and achievements of former team members who I mentored from early in their careers; especially those I’m still in contact with as friends.     


Q: What are you most excited about in your role?

Developing high-performing teams, applying the amazing potential of AI and advanced data analytics to solving real-world problems, and developing expertise in the world of work tech.


Q: What excites you about NetEngine’s vision for the future?

I’m excited about NetEngine continuing to forge its place as a leader in work tech. Our work on AI, combined with a dynamic, global team that approaches client work with enthusiasm, makes me excited for NetEngine’s vision for growth. 

I’m also excited to speak with clients, new and old, about our workshop approach, bringing their digital visions to life, and supporting their projects. If you’d like to chat with me, you can get in touch here.


Q: Finally, a fun one to end – what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Iterate. Be clear about your purpose, identify a goal, then give it a go. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good. Course correct as you learn & things change. Trust your instincts. Use data to make good decisions, consult widely and don’t overthink it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. 

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”  – Margaret Mead

How good are apps? They’re everywhere. Whether you’re at work or at home, if you’ve got a problem that needs to be solved, there’s likely an app that can do it for you. But with data stored across platforms, how do you get them to talk to each other and work in conjunction with the different tools that are available.

The problem magnifies at work if your internal and external teams use different apps day-to-day. If your apps don’t talk to one another, how much time is wasted circumventing these processes and manually shuttling data back and forth? Software integration is a common issue facing organisations, regardless of industry or size. If apps don’t have a way to speak to one another, this can lead to a siloed business, with vital information slipping through the cracks. 

Thankfully, software integration is now simple, straightforward, and cost-effective. There are countless solutions to help your organisation’s apps and data communicate with one another, and NetEngine is highly skilled at helping you achieve this. This article will focus on the basics of software integration, and how they can help your business run effectively and efficiently. 

What is software integration?

Before we dive into how integrating software can help your business achieve quantifiable goals, let’s unpack what we mean when we’re talking about software integration. 

Integration is the process of creating a system where two separate pieces of software can communicate with each other. It helps overcome the issue of isolated data by rerouting existing systems to talk to each other and share key information. Integrations can be scalable, so as a business grows, so can its tech capabilities. 

While integration approaches differ depending on the size of the organisation, smaller companies without internal development teams often opt for external Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. This allows them to upgrade their business offering without having to manage the process themselves. 

Some organisations, like GO1, are large and have their own development teams but choose to outsource their integrations to teams like NetEngine in order to seamlessly integrate their content and expand their capacity while they prioritise scaling their business. 

Having dedicated SaaS specialists integrate your software architecture makes life easier, and as an added perk, many of them make their Application Programming Interface (API) public. This helps you scale the scope of your integrations as your business grows.

What kind of software can be integrated?

Long story short, there are few limits to what kind of software can be integrated into an existing platform. Before we explore that, let’s explore what an API is, and how this can expand your integration possibilities.

The HubSpot team put it very succinctly when they described apps as cities, and the APIs of each app as the directions to access that city. This is how we define native integrations; integrations that are built directly into the interface of the existing app. While native integrations are conveniently adapted into the existing app environment, they are time-consuming to complete and often internal teams only have the capacity to carry out integrations with a few apps.

Often, in order to complete native integrations efficiently and on scale, organisations will get some support from external web plug-ins and software, and won’t have their in-house development teams do that work. In times like this, when you need to integrate software internally to standardise best practice, you’ll need to use Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), a form of middleware. 

An iPaaS specialises in integrating siloed software. When there are multiple widgets within an organisation that need to talk to one another, an iPaaS is highly effective to align databases and standardise data for everyone that needs to access it. NetEngine is an industry leader when it comes to iPaaS, and we love working with clients to find a tailored software integration solution that fits their needs. We take a hands-on approach to software integration, and believe that workshopping issues with a client helps set actionable goals to help your business grow. 

Integration solutions in action

If you think about the amount of personal information you volunteer for different platforms, you’ll get a good picture of the sheer amount of data we process daily. Integrations start by identifying which data is needed to create a cohesive client profile, and then flagging similar data across platforms to ensure all content is in sync. Using an iPaaS, also referred to as middleware, is our method of aligning all relevant content to create a fully integrated solution. 

Take GO1 for example, an existing NetEngine integration client. GO1 is a tech unicorn and has the largest e-learning library in the world, with an innovative format of making content discoverable and available through a subscription model. In order to make sure clients’ content was compatible with the e-learning library system, NetEngine used iPaaS to develop integration solutions so their course content would integrate seamlessly with GO1’s API. 

As GO1 is a large organisation with their own internal development team, you may think they have no need to outsource their integration solutions. But their strategy was to direct the majority of their internal resources to scaling the business and enriching their interface, and assigned their integrations to external software integrators like NetEngine to increase their capacity and complete work more quickly. NetEngine worked as a dedicated team that worked alongside GO1’s team, to complete integration solutions for GO1’s clients. 

This strategy was effective for GO1–through NetEngine, they gained an external software integrator team that allowed them to achieve development goals without compromising their service to their clients or the effectiveness of their software.

The reason they chose NetEngine over an overseas company or freelancer was that they wanted a team that was local, reliable, and great with clients and communication. Though GO1 is a global organisation, their head office is Brisbane, which matched well with our Australia-based developer team.

As we have demonstrated, NetEngine’s integration solutions are used by organisations large and small to increase their business’s capabilities without either managing the process themselves or allocating too much of their internal resources to it. 

If you need help scaling, advice on how to approach integrations internally, or a hands-on way to grow your business through our solutions, NetEngine can help. Contact us here to get started!


A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to be part of The Design Conference Brisbane (#tdcbne17), a two-day event full of talks, ideas and designers from different industries gathering in Brisbane. Among the presenters, I was really intrigued by the experience of Camille Walala, a Commercial Artist from UK. Camille has developed a style of geometry with vibrant colours to show her desire for putting a smile on people’s faces.

Camille Walala

Camille Walala, Image Credit: Google

The main theme of Camille’s talk and what I’ve largely taken away, is that it’s alright to start your work small, messy and a little immature – its part of the process. With that in mind I’ll take you through some snippets of Camille’s adventure.

Starting from the Street

After graduating from University with a background in textile design, like most people, Camille was lost. She didn't know what to do with the degree she held, nor did she have the drive to continue running her small pillow case design business. She was encouraged to have a go at painting in the streets by her boyfriend of the time. Her style was a little young and unsophisticated – but still beautifully bold and unique. The experience grew her attachment to painting and allowed her to use the city as a giant canvas.

Painting walls

A vital part in Camille’s style development was painting walls. She was invited by her friend to face-lift the front of a old lady’s house in 2013. She said it was great to just be able to bring some joy to the house owner and to herself as well.


Painting House, Image Credit: Google

Followed by a shop.


Painting Shop, Image Credit: Google

Then a building. There was a stranger passing by the building said to Camille, “Every building should be colourful”.


Painting Building, Image Credit: Google

And a playground.


Painting Playground, Image Credit: Google

Going commercial

These days Camille is becoming quite famous in print, web and Instagram, with more and more collaborative opportunities hitting her doorstep.


Collaboration, Image Credit: Google

Wrapping up

The adventure of this adorable lady reminds me, as a designer, our job is not only to catch the trend and create eye candies, but also to keep trying and to develop our own style. Another big one is to remember the reason why we design. For Camille, it is to bring happiness to people by putting simple shapes and bold colours onto a shop, a building and any place we usually just pass by and never notice.

You can find more about Camille Walala here or follow her on instagram.