Management

I have about 8 years of experience managing software teams, and 4 more years of other leadership roles. I bring a unique blend of strong management and strong technical skills, having focused on both my whole career (I have degrees in both). I strive to maximize both team performance and employee satisfaction through aligning (and meeting) goals and expectations with empathy for both sides.

My management style is highly communicative and collaborative. I believe open and frequent communication with empowered teams is the key to the partnership between employer and employee, and a contributing factor towards success.

I have several competitive advantages as a Manager based on my background and focus

  • Management is not something that I moved up to because I reached the end of a technical career path, it’s been part of my goal for a very long time. I have dual majors in management and computers. I spend time and energy improving my leadership skills and knowledge, just as I do my technical skills. In fact, outside of work, I am on the Board of several non-for-profit organizations.
  • I have hands-on experience with many technologies. I’ve been involved in the design and development of eCommerce systems, financial systems, point of sale systems, and machine learning. One area I am particularly strong in is DevOps and automation. I have worked on the design of CI/CD systems, release strategies, branching strategies, environment configuration strategies, ETL tools, and monitoring and alerting, I am also capable of learning new technologies very quickly. For instance, one job I applied to had a coding test for Managers as well as developers, but it was in Ruby on Rails, which I never worked in before. Over the course of just a weekend, I was able to learn enough RoR to complete the coding assignment successfully.
  • My expertise in Agile/Lean values and methodologies supports creating high quality software that delivers value to the customer. I have been a Board member of Agile New England for about 10 years, and have organizes international Agile conferences for them.
  • In addition to managing people, I have significant experience hiring. At McGraw-Hill Education, I was the first technical person in the Boston site, and hired the entire Software development team, as well as supporting the selection of the QA team and other groups at the Boston site. I have a good track record of hiring effective developers that stay.

I have worked in a wide variety of environments, each with their own challenges I was able to meet.

  • When I started at ShoeBuy, I was told there were three key developers that were very unhappy, and would probably quit within a month or so. Through team empowerment, 1 on 1 meetings, and advocating for the team to management, I was able to get those developers to stay and thrive.
  • McGraw-Hill Education faced several challenges due to the distributed nature of the team (Boston, New York, and India). Part of that challenge was getting the teams in India to function as fully empowered members of the Agile team, where culturally the were used to being told exactly what to do without much communication. Working closely with one of the Scrum Masters there, we were able to overcome the cultural barrier through a series of social events to get to know each other, better telepresence equipment, and team building exercises.
  • Aptima is an R&D company, with about as many Scientists and Mathematicians as Software Engineers. Sometimes the two don’t mix well. I managed the technical side of several projects there that were very successful by applying Agile techniques of frequent iterations and embracing failures as learning experiences. This allowed the Scientists and Mathematicians to test their hypotheses and models over and over, improving them over time. The old mindset of “develop your models first and then we’ll code them” lead to developers with little to do and Scientists not knowing how well their models work for long periods of time.
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