I have served in many capacities during my career, although there are several areas or themes which stand out, starting with …
My Strongest Skill
Where I have done my best work is where I have found myself straddling the line between the technical aspects of the development of a new product and the business needs of the customer for which that product was being developed. Over a third of my career has been in customer driven product development. Listening to customer requirements, articulating those requirements to the technical staff to develop the product architecture and schedule, and presenting the results back to the customer in their terms has been some of the most exciting and fulfilling work I have had the pleasure to perform.
My résumé highlighting these accomplishments can be found here.
Web Application Developer / Startup Entrepreneur
Not there yet, but I’ve become very interested in building a startup around a web application. I have several that I am working on although none are public yet. I’ve participated in Startup Weekend and am hoping to be selected for the ongoing Startup Monthly. Any resume listed on this page can point to the broad range of skills I bring to the table.
What can I bring to a team? I’m very creative and yet able see through the fog. I get big picture, but focus on the immediate and pragmatic. Excellent listening skills. Excellent communication skills. When people are in violent agreement, I’m the guy who sees it first and translates the clashing vocabularies into consensus.
What would my dream team look like? It would be filled with creative and imaginative people who share a good mix of complimentary and overlapping skills (no gaps, no closed silos) who love to brainstorm, then develop, build, demonstrate, and iterate rapidly.
What are the best projects I’ve worked on?
- Conversion of monolithic and static process control system to multi-user, multi-process, and mutable solution from [rest of team available] to [customer on-site demo] in 8 weeks (as architect).
- Proposed simplified Workcell Core design from [un-staffed team] to [painting a truck in Detroit] in 13 weeks (as architect/project manager).
- Led most of the technical development (~2/3rds of 60+ change orders) to evolve the Phase I Workcell Controller through Phases II and III (as proj mgr).
- Turned around a crashing HW/SW project (3 weeks from failure) into a success leading to a phase II project (as proj mgr).
- Proposed commercial distributed hierarchical firewall from idea to demo in 8 weeks (as SW design engr).
- Architected and led development of a credit card processing integrated into Adobe’s SAP implementation (as profession services consultant/engineer).
What do I love to do? Listen to the customer describe their problem(s). Develop a proposal for phased development with the minimum viable product as phase I. Build fast, build often, stay flexible, don’t be afraid to change.
My most recent professional work has been as a technical writer. This combines my desire to improve my writing skills in support of my quest to become a published novelist with my professional experience creating documentation for the new products I have developed over the years.
My technical writer résumé can be found here.
User Interface Developer
My last software development job was working on the user interface for the management of a high availability cluster product. While most of my career has been focussed on the back-end and core internals of product, I have done a smattering of other user interface work. This last project and my subsequent experience as a technical writer working on the UI specification for a web 2.0 application has brought me into this arena which is now of great interest to me.
My user interface developer résumé can be found here.
I am an excellent project manager. My style has been to be as technical as need be to understand the internals of the product being developed, to know that the engineers understand and agree on the interfaces between their modules, and to know enough about the scope of the work to develop milestones and a bottoms-up schedule. Where the top-down schedule and the bottoms up schedule clash (as they often do), I lead the team to re-scope and reschedule the work in phases to ensure critical requirements are completed on time while the optional embellishments are deferred to a later date. It’s always important to have the big picture in mind – lest one make some bad technical decisions and paint oneself into a corner – but it’s almost never necessary to implement the complete and ideal solution for the first deliverable.
Beyond that, I stay out of their hair and leave the details to them as long as milestones are being met and quality standards are upheld.
I then turn my attention outward (not that one eye hasn’t been peeking there all the time) to remove obstacles and to make sure that external dependencies are fulfilled before they impact my teams progress.
My project manager résumé can be found here.
It has been my pleasure to spend the bulk of my career doing new product development. I love diving into a problem, working with others to determine the requirements and the architecture to solve the problem, and then stepping up to implement the hardest piece, the beating heart if you will, of a complex software system.
I also work well with others, both locally and remotely. On two occasions I have had the opportunity to work with engineers in India on round-the-clock development cycles. In both cases, my interactions were smooth and productive.
My software developer résumé can be found here.