Trinity Mirror plc
Program Manager/Agile Coach
2006 November - 2007 January
I was brought onto the team at TMGC to lead a small development department. They had limited resources and hadn't really begun to set up their infrastructure.
They ran online skill gaming sites (ie: making bets to win at games such as pacman, asteroids or pool). While there I built and commissioned an internal development server, a code repository which was then used to version code, image and media assets and all company documents.
I also made some fundamental changes to the way they developed, introducing project planning and the concept of PHP frameworks for Rapid Application Development. I also mentored younger team members hungry for progression.
I spent some time screening and recruiting new developers as well as coaching and training. I presented business cases for anything I thought necessary for the company to introduce technically and was involved with on- and off-site client meetings as a technical liaison.
People Engineer, Tech
The MOO People Engineer, Tech, is responsible for the continual improvement of the technology department at MOO. This is done through the facilitation of ceremonies, tools and process, maintaining and improving organisational health, creating and maintaining an objective setting framework and recruitment framework, leadership, progression and management coaching and ensuring that MOO maintains a process of improvement through continued agile practices and processes.
- Act as the departmental facilitator, seeking out impediments to efficiency and effectiveness, including those around process, tools, personal development, interdepartmental collaboration and clarity of objectives, and working to fix these where they can.
- T?ake an active role in improving and maintaining, the tech department’s organisational health, monitoring clarity of communication, commitment to common goals and adherence to values. Watching for conflict, confusion, concerns and maintaining alignment to vision and mission.
- B?uild and maintain a useful and integrated objective setting framework that allows for both performance measurement and departmental, platform and personal improvement. Work with line managers to set a consistent, cohesive and valuable set of objectives that align with the MOO and department visions and help achieve personal growth.
- P?rovide coaching on leadership, progression and management as well as agile values. Provide strong leadership and seniorlevel advocacy for the delivery of better process, management and coaching skills.
- Redesigned tech recruitment process to make it less subjective and inconsistent and reduce time from contact to hire.
- Created 'rubrics' to better define department job roles and provide framework for promotions and hiring.
At MOO I am the Development Manager for the e-commerce team. This team is responsible for everything that happens on MOO.com. As a dev manager, I get to wear three hats; the first is that of a line manager. The developers in my team look to me for coaching and guidance on many aspects of their jobs, such as career progressions, skills acquisition and general hygiene factors.
The second hat is that of a scrum master or agile coach, this hat holds me responsible for facilitating the team meetings (such as retrospectives, planning or grooming), as well as working magic with the velocity and backlog and helping the team the team improve their processes and performance. This hat also involves tackling any misunderstanding or training about the processes we follow to the wider company, for example, working with the product team to create INVESTed stories or understanding the value of their requirements.
The final hat is that of a developer. As part of the team responsible for delivering the MOO.com features and new products, I work on the PHP codebase. Pair programming and peer reviewing others' code. Unit and Behaviour testing are also core to what we do.
Things I've been part of achieving at MOO:
- A brand new checkout and payment process
- Cross selling products
- Both native and web mobile applications
- Updated customer emails
- Brand refresh
Things I've done at MOO:
- Facilitated retrospectives and end-of-period off-site meetings for departments across the country
- Designed and delivered training on the Agile values and principles and scrum
- Various recruitment bits and pieces.
Jellyfish Online Marketing
2007 January - 2010 April
Jellyfish is the leading Paid Search Marketing agency in the UK, using unique bid management methods on a proprietary online application. Working at Jellyfish has given me the opportunity to manage a large team of developers.
Not only do I fill the position of technical lead, I am also responsible for some elements of recruitment, coaching developers, presenting and pitching ideas to the business, demonstrating prototypes and meeting with clients as a technical consultant. I am also a confident speaker and often deliver technical or process oriented presentations regularly.
Jellyfish use the Agile methodology and more specifically, the Scrum framework.
I'm a Certified Scrum Master and this involves facilitating and arbitrating between the business and the development team in order to deliver. I have also been involved with managing a product backlog and I frequently write and edit user stories with and on behalf of the business.
I've been heavily involved in re-designing the development environment, introducing separate development, test and UAT servers as well as live.
I introduced and setup SVN source code control and I conduct regular team code review. I introduced peer reviews and perform risk assessment on various new proposals when required and am able to provide detailed technical explanations of our work to the Technical Director and Development Manager, as well as being able to provide less technical descriptions and diagrams to the Account Management teams to ensure they understand what we're doing and any impact it may have on them.
Jellyfish's client list boasts some big names, including Skype, the BBC and Dennis Publishing.
2003 January - 2009 January
Freelance web designer/developer and photographer. Have undertaken contracts for many different clients, including hotels in spain, greetings cards manufacturers and market research companies in the City. All projects including web design, system architecture, development and photography.
2007 January - 2007 March
My role at Jellyfish is leading a small development team in the creation of internal applications that allow the account managers to better analyse and manage their campaigns on a day to day basis. I am also a member of the team which runs the servers and databases on a day to day basis. Since I started, I have been closely involved with rebuiling the web side of the hardware architecture, development platform and the staging and live environments.
2011 December - 2013 June
Head of Development
As the head of a department comprised of four teams totaling 25 developers, designers and testers, I’m always honing my role as a leader. I’m completely results/goal focussed and have successfully introduced a Results Only Work Environment using Objectives and Key Results Planning as a measure. I lead from the front, so get my hands dirty whenever I can, recently introducing Behaviour Driven Development to the department to increase both the quality of our software and engagement with our stakeholders.
Reporting to the senior management, I am actively involved in all levels of decision making, from architecture and platform, to vision and purpose, however I take a pragmatic view of leadership and understand that hiring good people and getting out of their way is key to getting the results I need.
? Successfully introduced a Results Only culture.
? Introduced three month OKRPs to the department.
? Formed an architecture team to oversee the platform.
? Lead the formation of a UX team and user testing practices.
? Liaise with parent company in Berlin to align co-development teams.
? Recruitment, budgeting/forecasting
? Department and company training on agile, scrum and lean
? Ran two successful Fedex Days
2010 December - 2011 December
With the company rapidly growing and recruiting a lot of new development teams to work on the flagship web application, Darwin, I was given the role of Agile Coach in order to help the teams craft and continually approve their processes and methods for delivering valuable, high quality software. I train the teams and the wider company, facilitate communication and ensure that Affiliate Window is known as one of the premier development companies in the world (which it is!).
The role of an Agile Coach is varied and difficult to define. It works on three levels:
As a coach, I help the teams to deliver high quality software, by teaching the ideas behind agile, the rules of Scrum/XP/Kanban/etc and helping to guide their continual improvement by empowering the team members to change their process and inspect and adapt. Also by researching new techniques, tools and methods to overcome any challenges we face as a team. Helping the teams to integrate Extreme Programming techniques into their development cycle and ensuring constant feedback, not only from their customers but also from each other.
As a coach, I help my company transition to an agile methodology, by teaching the four core values and 12 principles of agile, helping to apply these to the work my peers undertake and helping to understand why we're becoming agile and it's benefits. Empowering my colleagues to view their process and make changes to their workflow in order to increase quality and value at every facet of their working lives. Helping the product teams with their roadmaps so as to have a clearer vision and strategy.
As a coach, I help the agile community by putting into practice what I preach and feeding this information back to other members in order that we may learn as a collective, increase our knowledge of agile and be awesome.
2010 August - 2010 December
Working as part of a sprint team tasked with delivering frequent, valuable updates to the flagship web application, Darwin, which connects affiliate marketers, with the merchants who want to use them.
Infinity Call Tracking
Senior Software Engineer
With moving goal posts and very light requirements, the team practiced agile development with a just-in-time responsibility, coupled with a very modular, serviced based architecture, meant we could be very flexible with what we delivered and when. We rebuilt a prototype call tracking solution designed to be spread across multiple data centres by using stateless front end servers, using DNS round robin load balancing to reverse proxied loadbalancers. I also filled the two roles of both scrum master and proxy product owner, which wasn't easy!
2004 April - 2006 November