For the past six years (and a little bit before that) I’ve been involved in the world of online video and media. I find the eventual transition away from linear television to be a very interesting topic; in addition to the tectonic financial shifts implied, the technological possibilities are awesome. Aside from my professional background (below), I have a lot of interests and hobbies. I would describe myself as autodidactic and constantly learning. I am a reluctant traveler with a lot of miles under my belt. I’m currently learning Chinese, love cooking and exploring new foods, playing WarHammer 40k (which involves a LOT of model building, painting, and playing), Zen (or Chán) meditation, history (especially related to economics), yoga, collecting and drinking tea, building models (mostly WW2 Armor), drawing, and general urban exploration.
My software development leadership philosophy is informed by 20 years of working across engineering, product, and project management. Bringing scalability to groups that are growing rapidly or attempting to pivot is where I excel. By “scalability” I mean keeping the organization responsive to business needs amidst rapid growth or pivots. My approach is to focus on Product Strategy, People, and Process. First, clarify the business goals and focus the technology strategy to fit. Second, get the right talent and set up in the correct team structures, making sure that every team understands their ownership and are aligned to a laser-focused set of SMART goals, supporting and ingraining the strategy. Third, processes are put in place to track, measure, and correct as well as to ensure Agile practices are followed; this is more than philosophy, it is an ideal way to maximize team throughput.
I have proven success applying my practices at multiple companies, always refining and iterating to create an aligned, happy, and efficient tech organization that is super-responsive to the needs of the business.
2012-Present – VP Software Engineering, Tremor Video
Tremor Video builds software for trading desks, agencies, and brand marketers who seek brand ad effectiveness and video buying efficiencies at scale across every screen. Reporting to the CTO, I lead a team of over 60 software engineers, managers, directors, and testers across multiple locations (Boston, San Francisco, NYC, and Singapore). My team is responsible for building and supporting Tremor’s Buy Side AdTech software products including our real-time bidding and decisioning engine, machine learning optimizer and forecaster, big data pipeline, and web application portal.
When I took over the team it was a daily struggle to maintain the aging tech stack and get performance to meet the needs of the business. At the same time, the business needed us to switch to a SaaS model while also delivering features. Through clear communication, strong relationship-building, project management, and technical ability I was able to justify the investment to the business and lead the re-architecture of these legacy systems while also meeting our day-to-day needs. I also had to lead a re-staffing of the majority of our US teams in order to get the right talent.
After going through this re-architecture, we are able to deal with the scale that our business requires (200k QPS, 2 billion requests and 1.5 TB of data handled every day) while making decisions in real time. These efforts have allowed us to consistently exceed customer expectations and build a world class AdTech platform that continues to win business for our company.
2011-2012 – Product Manager, Pegasystems
Pegasystems is the leader in Business Process Management, dedicated to providing software and technology that enable enterprises to respond with speed and agility to changing business conditions and evolving market opportunities.
I came to Pega because of a passionate interest in their product which I had used and advocated for while at Coventry. I was also interested in taking on an individual contributor role and so I joined as a Product Manager focused on building out their health care vertical framework. My experience here taught me a tremendous amount about what an Agile top-to-bottom company operates like, as well as how to be effective in a Product role.
While at Pega I contributed to their Agile and Product Management methodology by including the use of Product Vision documents as well as Mind Maps to decompose and document Customer Needs, Product Attributes and the natural themes and phases within the life of a product. I helped to develop a feature-exploration process resulting in highly-developed backlogs of Epics and User Stories. The net result was a more effective Product Development process with products that better-met the needs of the market as well as the ability to react quickly to changing needs.
2007-2011 – Director Software Engineering, Coventry Health Care
Returning to Coventry, I expanded on my previous role and owned their Enterprise Content Management system and Business Process Management system. Our ECM tools included externally-facing web tools to serve our clients as well as their customers. I was responsible for the metrics-driven incremental development of these systems to meet the needs of our users and internal customers. I managed a team of 20 Java and .Net Developers, Analysts, Project Managers and Managers and had responsibility for project budgets and software spending. My development team would often come to me for advice on tough coding questions because I stayed hands-on regarding architecture, analysis, design and development.
I created and managed the Enterprise Content Management Center of Excellence (ECM CoE), responsible for the strategy to meet the content and process management requirements for the entire organization. We used IBM products including FileNet P8.
Through the use of “overarching technical objectives” applied to all of our annual projects and solid architectural practices we were able to migrate away from legacy Perl, C and Tuxedo code into a web-based architecture consisting of a cohesive data model, business process modeling, and a standard UI framework. This has reduced support and maintenance time and enabled my team to develop new functionality in a fraction of the time that it used to take.
2007 – Director PMO, The FeedRoom
The FeedRoom is a pioneer in online video communications, and a market leader in live video and digital asset management. Taking a “sabbatical” from Coventry, I came to The FeedRoom to further my experience in Technical Program Management. I designed, organized and staffed a PMO (four project managers plus myself) and established practices for change control and releases. I implemented these process improvements in Jira (a work-flow management tool) and Confluence and made these tools standard through the enterprise. This helped FeedRoom through a difficult period of growth. I also developed the process standards to move their software development to an Agile methodology. These changes brought new efficiencies and bandwidth to FeedRoom.
2003-2007- Software Engineering Manager, Coventry Health Care
Coventry Health Care is a managed care organization consisting of 15,000 employees and around $14 billion in annual revenue. Coventry serves hundreds of customers and millions of protected lives.
Responsible for the design, development and product life-cycle for two key external web applications: Image Repository and Online Claims Tool. I managed a team consisting of 10 developers and analysts. These products were developed in a J2EE environment, leveraging a Struts framework; Model 2 and AJAX design patterns.
I was nominated to the Enterprise Architecture team by my SVP. While on this team, I assisted in the development of many corporate standards including “Application Architecture”, “Identity Management” and “Programming Languages”. I headed up the task force to develop the standards for company-wide Java development, receiving special notice from the CIO for this effort.
I participated in the due-diligence for the acquisition of a large Workers Compensation company and for integrating their technology with ours.
2000-2003 – Consultant, TekSystems
While consulting for TekSystems I worked as a developer, technical lead and project manager for several companies, including Wells Fargo and American Express. I wrote code, prepared SLAs, developed BCP plans, and worked closely with vendors and business partners to architect the most reliable and scalable solutions.
1998-2000 – Software Engineer, Digital Insight
I joined the Research and Development group at this startup company, working as a C++ developer working on the framework for their web application security. I was with Digital Insight through a successful IPO.
1996-1998 – Software Engineer, Telesoft Corp
I was initially brought on as a junior level programmer and was quickly promoted up to a more senior level position because of the skill and dedication that I exhibited. Programmed in C, AWK and Informix 4GL.