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Pete Turner


Development Manager/Scrum Master, Group Health Cooperative

Location: Seattle, WA


Certified ScrumMaster



Pete Turner

After moving to the USA in 1968, I completed high school and started at the University of Washington with no clear goals. In the meantime, I had fallen in love with music, especially jazz and jazz drumming. I realized that my heart was not in my studies at school and that I was wasting my parents' hard earned money. So, I left school and got very serious about drumming. After getting married and wanting to start a family, it became clear that, while I loved music, I did not care for the music business and I needed to find something else to do as a career. I'd always enjoyed math and problem solving and the computer industry was growing rapidly, so the choice was pretty obvious to me. I worked to put myself through school and earned my BsCS at the UW and entered the field as a C programmer. That led to C++, development in various industries, languages and environments, and eventually to management.

I started to pay attention to the Agile movement around 2003 and found that it made a lot of sense to me. Practices like TDD were similar to work habits I had developed as a "one man show" developer, only generalized to a larger group. And Scrum struck me as a common sense approach that provided a well defined framework for structuring the development process. That's a huge advantage when trying to sell an new approach to an existing organization that is probably afraid to let go of its traditional project management practices without a proven replacement, even when those practices have not worked well for them. And its also a good compromise for former "cowboys" - like me, I freely admit it - who fear a burdonsome process.

I started introducing some Scrum practices - daily standups and Sprints - with mixed results. I got my CSM training with Ken Shwaber and realized that I would need to make much broader changes than I had thus far, and required a management willing to support those changes. In new situations I was able to apply more of the full Scrum package, but was not able to apply the full practice until I joined SolutionsIQ. There I found a company that fully bought into Agile, including much more than just Scrum. I moved into a role as Agile Coach/Practitioner and had great success, while acting as Scrummaster, leading development teams at client companies to the effective application of Scrum wrapped around a number of other Agile practices. Coaching and mentoring are much of what I like to do and I expect them to be core to work for the foreseeable future.

I continued on this path at Group Health as an Agile Project Manager/Scrum Master, and now as a Development Manager. In these positions, I have taken the opportunity to apply more Lean techniques, using various Kanban board to make workflow and bottlenecks visible for teams using both Scrum and Continuous Flow models. Most recently, I have learned how to transfer those Kanban boards to Rally to great effect.

Work experience

Group Health Cooperative, IT Manager Digital Services
April 2009 - Present, Seattle, WA, United States
After 3.5 years as ScrumMaster/Agile Project Manager, I am excited to step into my departing manager's shoes as the interim IT Manager, managing the development, QA and Systems staff. I expect to also continue to play a role in defining and refining our processes.

SolutionsIQ, Delivery Manager/Scrum Master
July 2007 - March 2009, Redmond, WA, United States
SolutionsIQ is a leading provider of Agile development consulting and software development professional services. Led a large development effort on a internal legacy system used to manage cell phone tower/land leases for a major wireless telephone service company. Facilitated all regular Scrum meetings and planning sessions. Managed status reporting to and coordination with the client through 4 successful releases. Led a blended development team of client, professional services and contract staff through the first 6 months of a client’s largest development project to date.

Lot's of stuff, My whole early career
April 1984 - June 2007, Seattle, WA, United States
Many years of C/C++ development as both a direct and an independent contractor, a interesting visit to the deep end as a start up CTO, management, project management, self-motivated early forays into Agile...


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