The Projects That Have Brought Me Here

I have known I wanted to work in technology since I started writing software on my calculator that solved my math homework without me having to Calculus.  This has led to a wide variety of projects and jobs throughout a 20 year career.  Many of the old projects aren’t interesting at all anymore (the website for my Dad’s car dealership, the social network planning site I built with a friend, my specialty in rolling out good ITSM practices when switching to VMWare ESX), but I thought a few of them might provide some context to my current role as an advisor to companies looking to transform their technology.

Delta Airlines – Cloud Transformation

This was a project I started as an IBM employee and continued as a Kyndryl.  I was one of the leaders who helped sell the massive transformation program and then I stayed on to lead the first year plus of implementation of Delta’s Secure Cloud Foundations on AWS (one of 5 pillars of the whole program).  I’m particularly proud of several of the outcomes of this project:

  1. My team and Delta recognized early on the need to provide different, fit-for-purpose environments for different types of applications depending on whether they were being rewritten to take advantage of cloud native services or simply migrating on to EC2s.
  2. Delta recognized the need to build in security to the very foundations of the cloud. This was accomplished by incorporating team members and executive sponsors from both security and the infrastructure team.
  3. The project was completed using a modified SAFe Agile approach that included team members from both Delta and IBM. This “co-creation” model allowed us to enable the Delta workforce while also helping to transform their IT.

We measured our outcomes of the whole program based on business results for Delta.

IBM – Associate Partner, Cloud Advisory Services

Obviously, this role eventually led to me being part of the Kyndryl spinoff, but my role at IBM pre-Spin was different to my current role at Kyndryl.  In the nearly two years I spent (back) at IBM, I was instrumental in building and expanding the Cloud Advisory Services team. My team was the Cloud Engineering team and I was responsible for creating service offerings, hiring/developing teams of engineers that could work with IBM sellers to sell and deliver projects in infrastructure automation, containerization, and DevOps..

  • My most rewarding project at IBM was both selling and delivering a project at Delta Airlines. I was one of the top team members that sold the 9 figure deal and I stayed on it for a year to lead the implementation of their Secure Cloud Foundations on AWS.
  • In my two years my team grew from just a handful of people to 23 engineers, architects, and managers.
  • We delivered over two dozen engagements around Kubernetes, Cloud Foundations, and Automation.
  • We accounted directly for ~$15M in revenue and helped sell tens of millions more in related engagements delivered by other parts of IBM.

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) – Director, Technology

In my time at RBC, I oversaw three primary projects/teams:

  • The first one was the Infrastructure Organizations DevOps Initiative. As part of this initiative we worked to evolve simple infrastructure automation into powerful DevOps tooling. We do this by exposing the infrastructure to developers and application teams as APIs so that they can use it in their CI/CD pipelines or to scale their application at runtime.
  • In mid-2018 I began overseeing RBC’s rollout of a Kubernetes cluster designed to be used by Application Development teams. My team has gone through the MANY ways that Kubernetes can be used and attempted to prioritize the most valuable ones, while building CI/CD pipelines, security scanning, and other tools to ease adoption.
  • From early 2017 to mid 2018 I oversaw the development, maintenance, and testing of RBC’s internal service catalog. With the service catalog we provide innovative ways to connect the business to IT by applying similar UX principles to e-commerce. We also implemented agile development methodologies in an infrastructure ops team. Finally, we focused on providing advanced metrics to our service providers so they can get valuable feedback on when/where/how customers find their services valuable.

Fannie Mae – Software Development Manager

I held a number of roles at Fannie Mae, but the most rewarding was creating a piece of software that helped Fannie transform after the financial crisis by moving their actual securitization from being an internal function to Common Securitization Solutions.  Obviously, this required a major transformation of Fannie’s internal Securitization applications.  My team built a new piece of software that became the “Gateway” between Fannie’s existing securitization processes and Common Securitization Solutions.

I built the team from scratch at Fannie Mae and incorporated the latest DevOps, Agile, and Testing techniques.  The program ran across three agile teams and delivered 5 components in Java, Javascript, Axway Decision Insight, and Tibco Businessworks. We successfully implemented agile and CI/CD practices to get these teams delivering integrated, tested, working software every 2 weeks. From the time I began managing the project to when I left it was gained more than 30% in efficiency (from a productivity per dollar perspective) and became far more reliable about meeting our release commitments.  

Adaptivity – Produce Manager

It was at Adaptivity that I first made my transition from working on pure infrastructure to software development.  We had started as a niche infrastructure consultancy designing platforms for banks.  We eventually realized that many of the patterns we saw could be coded into software.  Beginning in July 2011 I stopped consulting on infrastructure and took on the role of Product Manager for two of Adaptivity’s most critical products.

In this capacity I was responsible for understanding and sizing the market for new features and additions to these products, recommending which features should make up a new version, working with the design and development teams to implement the new versions effectively and promoting the new features to both our internal sales and services teams and our customers. In the time I managed Visualization Studio it transformed from an underused feature of Adaptivity’s Design Studio Product in to our top-selling tool.

Adaptivity went on to sell to EMC shortly after I left the company.