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Employee spotlight – Celebrating Software Engineer Brian Justesen’s 25 years at EIVA

19 August 2021
Brian Justesen Software Engineer Helmsman's Display NaviPac
Software Engineer Brian Justesen at his desk in EIVA headquarters – his screens show the new and old version of the Helmsman’s Display, the user interface which Justesen worked on throughout his 25 years at EIVA

In 1996, as a freshly graduated software engineer, Brian Justesen joined EIVA to implement the Helmsman’s Display, an intuitive and extensive user interface in NaviPac, our navigation and positioning software solution. 25 years later, his work at EIVA continues – and during that time EIVA has grown from a fledgling company with around 20 employees to an industry-leading software and hardware provider with over 90 employees from around the world.

When I was hired, the CEO at the time said to me: ‘Brian, I expect this to be a long-lasting relationship where we should at least be celebrating our copper anniversary together!’ Well, as a very loyal person I naturally ended up taking that statement literally and stayed at EIVA for 25 years so far!

Brian Justesen

Sail through this interview to learn about the highlights of Justesen’s work on our navigation software and see what has changed over the course of his many years in EIVA!

What product are you most proud of having contributed to?

Over the past 25 years, it is without a doubt the development of the classic Helmsman’s Display user interface that has taken the majority of my working hours. It fills me with pride to see that my work resulted in a program that has helped thousands of users around the world! 


NaviPac Helmsman's Display
The previous user interface of NaviPac (left) as well as the new version, implemented in 2016 (right)

When have you felt most proud of your work on Helmsman’s Display?

The pinnacle was around 10 years ago, when NaviPac was put to the test... There was a major merger in the surveying industry between two large surveying companies. One of them was using NaviPac, and therefore the Helmsman’s Display interface for navigation, and the other one was using a competitive navigation software. After the merger, the new company performed a head to head comparison of the two navigation packages to decide which one would become the sole navigation package for the new company.

They chose NaviPac – and I was told that especially the Helmsman’s Display made the difference! The prestige of having such a big company as a client is priceless, as it not only shows us we are headed in the right direction, but also helps fund the resources which EIVA puts into developing advanced solutions.


What has changed most in your work over 25 years?

Back in the early days, there were fewer of us in the EIVA crew than today. This meant the daily work could be very varied, even chaotic to some eyes. Today, the work (day) is much more organised. This is in part because there are specialised people handling special tasks and issues – EIVA has for example established a dedicated help desk and a team focused on using machine learning to create cutting-edge solutions, such as NaviSuite Deep Learning. This leaves me free to focus on my core tasks.


What are the most important skills you use for your work?

Well, with 25 years of experience my most important skill is… my experience! As an old-timer in the game, I try to use my experience and mentorship as an inspiration to many of my (much) younger colleagues. My long-time experience is shown by my ability to hunt down and fix difficult issues in the software, whether that is in NaviPac or the entire NaviSuite – EIVA’s complete software suite of solutions for navigation and data acquisition and processing. I’m also a dedicated team player, which I believe is a must have skill nowadays due to the complexity of modern software systems, which is nearly impossible to manage and maintain for one person only.


What defines success for you in your work?

In short: happy customer, happy life… I try to live up to this ambition by accommodating the customer’s needs and expectations, in time and within budget. I feel a great sense of success when I hand over my work to a customer!

On a more personal level, to me success is also when I feel I have accomplished and completed a task the ‘right’ way. While there are often (always) several solutions that work well to solve a problem, some solutions I create make me feel especially proud… For example, when I feel I have attacked and solved the task the right way, using the right coding practices, the right coding patterns and/or the right design ideas. When that happens, I can feel great success and happiness, and even get goosebumps in extreme cases!


Brian Justesen office

Brian Justesen at his desk – Behind him is a framed print that was in the office when Justesen first started at EIVA, and which he has kept with him, even when EIVA headquarters twice has had to move location due to the expanding size of the company and product portfolio

Do you have any special memory you would like to share?

In my very early years at EIVA, I was asked by a client to visit a huge pipe-laying barge in a Norwegian harbour and help them sort out some issues. I’ll never forget the moment when I drove towards the harbour and saw that barge for the first time – I was surprised to see this monstrous thing, looking like something taken out of a science fiction movie! As I approached the quayside, and the ‘thing’ grew bigger and bigger, I was terrified by its gigantic proportions!

At that very moment, I realised my virtual world in the lab was not that virtual after all and that my work helps make it possible to navigate some of the biggest vessels in the world! It was a defining moment that put things into perspective. From that time on, the fact that EIVA always thoroughly tests the software before release made a lot of sense to me!


What is in your opinion the key to keeping EIVA’s customers happy?

I believe most of our customers know that when they face a challenge, they can come to us with their issues, and we will do our utmost to help them out. This commitment from our side is a major key to how we keep our customers happy!

Ever since the early days, our new customers have often come to us rather than competitors thanks to this committed support. It has made EIVA known for our ability to fulfil advanced requirements on short notice.

You can find quotes from our happy customers, or learn about how we create custom solutions to fulfill our customers’ needs in our case studies on developing a cable lay trenching tool for Andrews Survey and a quality control toolbox for bp.


The EIVA crew thanks our long-standing colleague, Brian Justesen, for these insights from 25 years of work on EIVA software! Justesen is far from the only ‘old-timer’ who has stayed with EIVA for over 25 years. Among the others who have reached that milestone is our software manager, Ole Kristensen, who we will publish an employee spotlight on in future! Stay tuned and follow the EIVA cruise to learn more about EIVA’s employees, as well as our latest software and hardware developments, virtual training resources and offerings such as free webinars!

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