Earlier this year, I got out from behind my desk to support a new system field deployment. While this was not my first time commissioning and field testing equipment, it turned out to be a unique and rewarding experience!

The journey began at the customer’s test stand and then took me to a customer’s frac site for almost two months. It was intense because the software, controls and equipment were innovative and had never been proven in the field. We had to make sure everything worked together reliably in a complex operating environment.  To accomplish this, I had to learn about each component of the system equipment and how it functioned as part of a system. Because customer satisfaction is a priority for us, I got the opportunity to go beyond fixing defects to seeking improvements to add value for the customer.

Another remarkable aspect of my experience was bringing to life something I was involved in from concept to deployment. I worked on the multi-pump control feature from the very start of the project, gathering requirements, developing algorithms and even creating simulators to provide realistic test conditions. The simulators were extremely useful but time on the test stand proved invaluable for ensuring our algorithms accomplished their goals when the rubber hit the road.

This experience taught me that extensive software and equipment testing is critical to the success of a project. Spending quality time with each piece of equipment, operators, and other stakeholders was a huge learning opportunity that changed the way I look at quality assurance and even how I develop software.

If you want to become excellent at developing technology products, I highly recommend spending time in the field with equipment operators and support technicians. There is always something new to learn which can help visualize solutions to challenges more effectively.