The Nielsen Company, Tech Lead/Scrum Master
May 1999 - Present, Lancaster, PA, United States
A continuous build process is in place that runs Junit tests to ensure quailty within our system.
After engineering for many years, I turned my focus more towards being a Scrum Master in 2004. I played a key role in getting Agile and Lean integrated into our local office and successfully improve the team's productivity, morale, and adaptation to Agile and Lean and improve their image with our customers through better quality products that were delivered consistently on time.
My title is now Technical Lead/Scrum Master. It is a unique role as a small portion of my time may be focused on technical work, while the rest of the time was doing the Scrum Master work. To me this is a benefit - I'm reminded of the phrase "Eat your own dogfood"; meaning, by being active within the team, I can also FEEL the pain or struggle points that the team may be experiencing. The experience is invaluable since I can then put on my "Scrum Master" cap and help to guide the team to resolve the issues they have. Empathy and hands on experience in a project are important to successfully lead it and to make better informed decisions.
Currently we are working in an offshore/distributed working model. This has caused me to need to be more impactful as a Scrum Master, but has also increased the need for my engineering work where we lost skilled labor.
I've had to :
1) Train and guide an entirely new set of employees in agile
2) Pick up and learn our technologies again after spending a larger portion of my time in Scrum Mastering.
3) Spend time outside of work relearning and practicing my skills that use our core technologies. This includes websites for a few clients, setting up and configuring technical infrastructure within my home such as build environments and source code control, and expanding my java experience by writing a Mobile App for the Android operating system.
Since we function as an Agile team, I've also been focusing my efforts in supporting our build infrastructure and researching and implementing automated testing such as Selenium or Behavior Driven Development.
As needed or when time allows, I dig into our system to help diagnose and fix issues within our Java based system and customizing and enhancing our planning tool XPlanner, an opensource project, to meet our unique needs. This includes database modifications, java and jsp code changes, and supporting struts configuration updates to support new functionality and reports.
EDS, Software Engineer
May 1995 - May 1999, York, PA, United States
EDS/Ampersand was a small company that focused on developing and delivering an automated banking software package.
My role there started as a Software Engineer providing support for the original DOS based applications written in C. In addition, my role was to provide phone support, custom coding solutions, bug fixes, and occasional onsite visits to diagnose and fix client issues.
Eventually I moved to new development and coding support for the Client Server version of the software wiritten with Visual Basic and Visual C++.