In 1994 I built my first home page using vi. In 2012 I’m doing it again using WordPress. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Here’s a brief bio for those interested, vastly updated since 1994.
For starters, I am a husband to my lovely wife Regan and a father for young son Indie and daughter Luna. We live in the historic Bellevue area of RVA along with our big newfoundland Cash who you can see me walking around the neighborhood most evenings.
I’ve spent most of my life in Virginia, calling Richmond home since 1999. I grew up near Roanoke and went to college in Fredericksburg. I spent about three years outside Atlanta during my early teens, but otherwise have always considered Virginia my home.
I earn my living as the Director of Technology with SingleStone where I lead a motley crew of engineers, designers and analysts building web and mobile apps. I mostly work with software product or service teams that range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. I enjoy the multitude of challenges associated with designing and building software products and am fortunate to have an opportunity to work with teams doing this in practice.
I started my career with an internship during my senior year at Mary Washington College. I was double-major in Computer Science and Business Administration and with the help of my advisor Ernie I landed a spot at an Internet startup company in the summer of 1995. I learned a lot but it didn’t last too long and I was laid off in 1997. The company reorganized and later become Zope, a leader in content publishing.
During my layoff I did a six-week backpacking trip to Europe with my friend Dave following Phish. My eyes were opened to whole new cultures and it was a big turning point for me. Once back in the states I moved back home to Roanoke and took at job with Norfolk Southern. On New Year’s Day 1999 as Dave and I sat in a diner in Brooklyn after the NYE Phish run, I had another turning point and decided to move to Richmond and live with Dave who was finishing his MFA at VCU. Arriving in the summer of 1999, I started consulting with Whitlockebs and by 2002 joined Dominion Digital, where I work to this day.
Live music has been an enjoyment ever since I did some touring with the Grateful Dead in 1994 and 1995. I continued on with Phish in 1997, 1999 and 2001. Aside from touring with these bands I saw lots of other live music and got into collecting recordings of live shows. At first this was on cassette, the DAT, then CD and now SHN.
Starting in 1996 I created the jerry site, an online catalog of live shows by Jerry Garcia. At the time I was a burgeoning tape collector and software developer who found tracking down live recordings of forgotten shows and sharing them with others. The site has been my muse ever since, helping me learn new technologies along the way and opening doors for me to meet interesting people connected to Jerry’s music. In 2013 I donated all of my data to Jerry’s official home at jerrygarcia.com and in 2014 quietly shut down the site.
In 2001 I had two major turning points, one personal and the other professional. The first was the meeting of my future wife through a friend. Regan and I hit it off immediately and on our first date saw a live concert (Blue Floyd). I realized quickly she was the girl for me and after a few years of dating we were married in 2005. Indie was born in 2009 and Luna in 2011. So 2001 was the beginning of what was to become my family.
The second was getting introduced to agile development. I read Kent Beck’s book on XP in 2001 and immediately put the practices into use on a B2B product I was developing. By 2003 I was helping companies use agile methods for their software delivery in addition to being the technical lead for product development.
From 2003 – 2007 I was both the agile transition coach and technical lead for a software product company creating their next-generation flagship product. Their enterprise software was the system of record for financial services companies who were in the loan and leasing business. We started with a team of 6 and by the end we had a team of 80+, all doing agile development and shipping updates every 6 weeks to customers. This engagement was my masters degree in software product development.
In 2003 I started giving talks at my local user group on agile topics like unit testing and pair programming. That same year I also took over as president of the local Java users group and found that I enjoyed finding and bringing new speakers into town to present at our meetings. In 2005 I did my first large presentation when I spoke on Scaling XP at the Agile Business Conference in London. Between 2005 and 2010 I went on to give lots of presentations at Agile and Lean conferences around the world primarily on topics related to value and engineering.
With the birth of my kids, I’ve cut my conference travel way back, preferring to write from home instead. From 2009-2010 I was the agile columnist for gantthead.com and in 2012 I joined as analyst for the Virtualization Practice writing on agile cloud development. In 2012 I also joined GigaOM Pro as an analyst for cloud computing.
Also staying close to home, after years of being on the board of Agile Richmond, I helped create the Innovate Virginia conference in 2011. Our first conference was a sell out and this year I’ll again be the program chair arranging the tracks and speakers.
So that’s it…a brief bio and window into my world.