Darby O'Connor - I have spent my 20+ year career as an Information Technologist in a variety of technical and non-technical roles and industry verticals. My roles have spanned the entire software and product development life cycles, including vision and strategy conception, product road mapping, design, development, testing, implementation, maintenance, support, and training. Some of my roles include Product Manager, Program/Project Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, ScrumMaster/Coach, Scrum Product Owner, Agile Business Analyst, Software Developer, User Support Manager and Trainer. I have led and managed teams both on the technical and business side. My broad experience allows me to communicate and collaborate well across a wide range of disciplines at all levels in an organization.
I have been passionately practicing Agile since 2009 when I first obtained my Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certification. Since then I have also received the Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) certification and have attended Agile Business Intelligence, Agile Facilitator, Change Management, and Agile Business Analyst trainings. I am always working on expanding my knowledge, skills and capabilities as Agile coach, consultant and advocate.
Through my client engagements and work experience building mission critical applications, I have held the roles of Scrum Team Member (as an Agile BA and Product Owner) and ScrumMaster/Coach. I also have extensive experience in Program Management Offices as an Agile Change Agent, helping to introduce Agile methodologies into organizations that had been entrenched in waterfall software development practices, and formulating and formalizing new processes. In addition, I have used Scrum to execute and accomplish internal projects for companies for which I have been employed. (I have also used it for my home projects… Scrum board on the refrigerator!)
I have always been deeply passionate about creating innovative, high quality and useful software products. Moreover, collaborating with end users and customers has always been one of my favorite things to do. Agile practices emphasize all of these passions, so it has been a natural fit for me. I have been on projects where we have worked very closely with the user community, holding Joint Application Design (JAD) sessions to understand processes and needs and gather user stories, sharing prototypes and early progress with customers on a consistent basis, and educating customers on the Agile Scrum process. I also enjoy being in positions where I can shape and manage a product (as Product Owner) or help build a high-performing, collaborative team (as ScrumMaster/Coach).
A lifetime learner, I am active in my local Agile meetup community, and make it a point to keep abreast of the latest thought streams and information. I follow blogs, read numerous books, and attend workshops, events and trainings. I am passionate about continuous improvement – both for myself and for the teams and organizations with which I collaborate. “If I’m not learning, then I might as well be dead.” Working in Agile environments has provided me a wonderful opportunity to learn and apply my learnings on a daily basis and to share them with others. I also have a keen interest in applying Agile concepts to business areas other than software development.