Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer of Telerik, a leading vendor of developer and team productivity tools. Stephen is also a Certified Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Professional. Involved in several startups, he was the co-founder of Triton Works, which was acquired by UBM (London: UBM.L) in 2010 and was he Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Corzen, Inc., which was acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN) in 2007. Stephen also speaks regularly at industry conferences around the world. He has written several books on application and database development including Programming SQL Server 2008 (MS Press). Prior to Corzen, Stephen served as the CTO of Zagat Survey in New York City (acquired by Gogle in 2011) and also was co-founder of the New York-based software consulting firm The Aurora Development Group. He currently is a Microsoft MVP award recipient, INETA speaker, and is the co-moderator and founder of the NYC .NET Developer User Group. Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York. An avid mountain climber, Stephen leads a trek in the Mt. Everest region every fall to raise money for charity. Stephen lives in Hong Kong with his wife.
Scrum Alliance Board Candidate Summary Statement:
I am honored to stand for election as a board member of the Scrum Alliance. If elevated, I feel that my education (MBA) and past industry experience as a developer, venture-backed entrepreneur, consultant, CIO, and senior management at an ISV will bring a unique perspective to the board.
Having managed both a P&L at an established fir as well as my own self-funded startup, I think my business experience will contribute to the financial and legal health of the Scrum Alliance. I understand what it is like to sit on a board of a high profile industry organization: I have served on the board of similar organizations and take the role very seriously. During the “.com” era, I was on the board of the New York Software Industry Association (NYSIA) from 1998-2004, and served as vice-chairman from 2001-2004. (NYSIA has now merged wih the NY Tech Council.)
I am motivated to serve on the Scrum Alliance board since as a professional, I have implemented Agile and Scrum at the places I have worked. I would consider my experience very diverse. For example, I have implemented XP at Zagat (venture backed consumer site) during the “.com” era, as well as Scrum at Telerik (an ISV) in the post- “Lehman” economy. I have also implemented Scrum at my startup that was acquired by a larger non-Agile company and had o re-implement it as part of the merger. Additionally, I visit several Telerik customers in Asia who are bumping into some of the limits of Scrum and are implementing some of the “Lean” practices such as Kanban and “Software Kaizen.”
While my experience with Agile and Scrum comes as a practitioner, not a trainer, I do speak on Agile and Scrum at several industry events a year worldwide, so understand the educational and certification side of the organization. In 2011, I hve spoken about Agile several times in many countries, reaching thousands of practitioners.
As a Certified Scrum Master (#37679) and member of the Scrum Alliance’s insiders “Agile Leaders” Google email group, I feel that I know the organization well and can contribute to its mission. I am familiar with the Scrum Alliance’s 2010-11 Strategic Plan and Certified Scrum Professional Program (I volunteered as a beta tester of the exam and passed, so I am now a CSP a well). I also feel that the Scrum Alliance’s goal of larger community outreach fits in with my experience as a conference speaker and user group leader.
While based in Asia, I am a New Yorker, and am an executive at a European company, so I have a truly global reach. I speak about Agile, Scrum, Lean, and Kanban all over the world. My company, Telerik, makes Agile tools and also has a global reach. (This year I helped Telerik open offices and launch new business in th UK, India, and Australia.) I’ll bring a global perspective, and if desired, I can also help the Scrum Alliance expand outside of its core markets.
I have a long history of volunteering and giving back to the community. I have been running user group events since 1996 and have been awarded an “MVP” award from Microsoft for my community outreach. I also am heavily involved with charity, helping raise money and organize a charity, Education Elevated, dedicated to building shools in remote villages. I lead treks to Mt. Everest Base Camp each year to raise money for the school.
I can wear jeans and a tee shirt (preferred) and speak to developers about deep technical and process issues and then turn around and put on a suit and talk to a CEO about business models, strategy, and macroeconomics. It would be an honor to bring my experience and creativity to the board of the Scrum Alliance. I have a passion for Agile and Scrum since they truly have changed the way do business, and I want to help spread the word and adoption of Scrum worldwide. Lastly, I want to “give back” to Scrum by volunteering my time on the board since I feel Scrum has given me so much over the course of my career.
Thank you for considering me; it is an honor to even be considered for the board of directors.