As a professional, I've been delivering software and managing projects and teams for over twenty years. I wrote my first commercial software at age sixteen on an Apple 2e. I believe that well managed software engineering organizations can deliver quality engineering products reliably. I have a strong track record of doing just that, and I'm looking for a great opportunity to elevate another organization to the next level.
The ability to influence others is the primary skill of a leader. I've always been a leader among my peers; work the hardest, set a good example, and people will follow.
I make and keep commitments; this is the most difficult goal and most desirable quality for any software organization. Hitting targets opens all other doors.
Success is not just about completing the task in front of me; it's also about understanding the business as a whole and its ecosystem. I cultivate an open dialog with others because good ideas don't discriminate.
With the continuing growth of the E-Commerce business and the rapid development of our platform, it became clear that many of our internal tools were suffering from delayed maintenance in favor of glittering revenue generating features. The business needed a team dedicated to operational efficiency across internal teams. In this vein, I was tapped to build another team: Continuous Engineering. This team owns all of the internal product and content management tools as well as customer service tooling.
The engineering group at Under Armour E-Commerce grew rapidly and much of the new staff were on a steep learning curve. The days of running everything with a crew of 5-8 engineers were over and the business needed a real Engineering Operations Team. Based on the breadth of historical knowledge that I had of our platform and record of past success, I was tapped to build this team.
When my Pastor asked me to join the staff as Assistant Pastor, I jumped at the opportunity. I care deeply about people and I'm happy to continue my contribution in this official capacity without salary. My responsibilities include:
I was able to elevate myself to manager based on my success in 2014. By this time Under Armour had acquired new mobile app properties and needed to have a true public API for these new partners to consume. This next-gen platform would have a four tier micro-service back-end behind the legacy frontend. Our goal was to deprecate the rest of the legacy back-end.
I was responsible for technical leadership and production maintenance of Under Armour's monolithic e-commerce platform. During this time, most of the engineering group was dedicated to a major next-gen front-end upgrade.
At Under Armour, I had to learn an entirely new technology stack, so I started out again as an individual contributor. This was a big risk and a huge opportunity for me to shift my career to web stack development. I loved the challenge and quickly picked up the skills I needed.
I was recruited at Under Armour by a couple of friends who worked in the fledgling e-commerce group.
All told, I worked for Harris / Tyco / MaCom, for nearly five years. It was here that I got my first leadership opportunity. After about a year as an individual contributor, I secured a promotion to Engineering Project Lead; this role was effectively a combined team lead and individual contributor in which I led a team of 3 full time software developers and up to 2 consultants. Most of my software contributions were in C++ and C#.
I was responsible for the engineering backlog and feature direction of two products: Network Sentry and TextLink. In addition, I owned the hardware design for the Network Sentry product; this was a 1U rack mounted, fanless, embedded data acquisition device for monitoring equipment health at radio towers. During my tenure, I oversaw two hardware revisions and multiple feature projects of the Network Sentry, as well as a full redesign and rewrite of the TextLink product.
During this part of my career, I was empowered to hire teammates and consultants. I hired two software developers directly as well as the consultants for the TextLink project. It was here that I first encountered the typical management problems related to consultants, as well as a healthy dose of diversity challenges with my full time staff.
Projects at Harris were enormously complex and I brought strong organizational and cross-team coordination skills to the table. As with all of my previous software development experience, the work at Harris was safety-related. Our radios were being used by law enforcement and first-responders, so quality was critical because lives were literally in the balance. At Harris, we had a very large quality organization, and projects came under an enormous amount of scrutiny by independent analysts and testers. Not only that, but large government contracts required us to deliver features that crossed dozens of supporting products from radios, to tower infrastructure, to configuration management tools, and dispatch operational tools.
At Tyco Electronics, I worked in the Wireless Radio Systems division, formerly known as MaCom, which had been recently acquired by Tyco. Later, this group was acquired by Harris Corporation. I started out as a software developer and individual contributor on the Maestro 911 console application. I was later promoted to team lead for two other products and I owned the engineering design for a custom piece of radio tower equipment. Please see my work experience with Harris Corporation for more detail.
At MPR, I was primarily an individual contributor on a variety of engineering projects for both public and private clients, including the US Navy, the nuclear power industry, and biomedical device manufacturers. MPR had precious few skilled software developers, so most of my energy was directed toward applications and embedded systems. During this period of my career, I mostly worked with C++ and National Instruments LabVIEW. I introduced the company to source control and the agile manifesto.
I had the pleasure of working on weapons damage modeling software for the Navy that had previously been authored by Richard Hipp wherein he had implemented his first version of the now ubiquitous SQLite embedded database engine.
I was the lead engineer for all data acquisition projects and was responsible for scoping out the equipment and manhour needs. The largest project of this type was for the US Navy wherein we provided temperature, pressure, and air sampling for testing shipboard fires on the USS Shadwell, in Mobile Alabama. The results of our work led to the selection of a non-CFC extinguishing agent to replace Halon to be used in all new ship construction.
I worked at MDEQ half-time while completing my theological education at Reformed Theological Seminary. During this time, we had our first two daughters. I was responsible for field surveys within the state that were of environmental interest. This included wetlands, waterways, and beaches. In addition, I created a database of place name to map quadrants so that survey teams could easily choose which topographical map to bring on the job. I leveraged my skills as a software developer to improve the management of battery powered data collection systems that were remotely deployed in the field and streamline the generation of analytical reports for the department.
I got my start at MPR while working as a student through the COOP program at Virginia Tech. My manager recognized my abilities as an engineer and software developer and included me on projects well beyond the usual scope of an intern. It was natural for me to continue working for MPR after graduation and my contributions were always well received. After five years with MPR, I took my leave to pursue a theological education - something I had wanted to do since 1992. I left on good terms and returned to their employ later. Please see my other work experience with MPR for more detail.