I am a product-oriented engineering manager. My multifaceted career has been driven by the desire to close the distance between my engineering work and the customer experience. From my time as a sysadmin starting 25 years ago, during my web operations experience at e-commerce and fintech companies, while designing systems to operate reliably at scale, through crafting engineering teams and processes to deliver software and systems I have learned to combine people management, knowledge of scalable infrastructure, and product development into one clear mission statement: engineering is the product.
Whether shepherding a complete rewrite of the frontend and backend for a 1-million user (MAU) web consumer app, designing a new SaaS product’s operational footprint to scale from day one, or shipping enhanced testing solutions to streamline developer experience I distill business strategy into engineering direction and deliver delightful products for customers.
Lumos Labs - Engineering Director
10/2020 - Present
- Developed an execution strategy using personas and user story mapping, that
improved the engineers’ delivery capability as they rewrote our core consumer
web app. We shipped an early version of the web app to India and the
- Working in 1-week cycles, the team increased velocity from 1 feature per month to 2 features delivered roughly every 2 weeks.
- Shipped important medical and research products that served our
long-term strategy to expand into
more markets, including:
- A fully-documented backend for an 18-month FDA-reviewed clinical trial to validate a potential ADHD digital therapeutic.
- A web application for an active double-blind study of 10,000 participants to detect biomarkers that might support early diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
- Reshaped the interview process to extract stronger signal from candidates in fewer cycles, growing the web and platform teams from 2 engineers to 8 in an extremely competitive talent market.
- Managed, coached, and promoted 15 engineers across a breadth of specialties including data engineering, infrastructure, web and backend development, and Corp IT.
- Created and staffed a security and compliance function to manage our bug bounty program, provide regular training, and to shape early controls ahead of bringing a digital therapeutic product to market.
Jeli, Inc. - Co-founder and CTO
8/2019 - 9/2020
- Laid the technical foundation for cloud-first development of a product that aids teams learning from their software incidents. Combined 12-factor application principles, containerized workloads, and AWS services like ECS in a strategy to minimize operational overhead and focus on delivering valuable features.
- Established an early security and compliance program to position the company for a SOC 2 Type 2 attestation that would appeal to early customers.
Bloomberg, L.P. - Senior Software Engineer
3/2017 - 8/2019
- Managed projects, provided architectural guidance, and engineering expertise to develop a storage automation project that reduced a request backlog from 1 week to 1 day and eliminated a $1M service contract.
- Designed and implemented a CI platform supporting 4 operating systems, configuration management solutions (Chef, Salt) and multiple projects written in Python, Ruby, and Go. After onboarding 100 repos in 3 months, engineers and management were more confident in their updates, detecting common/recurring bugs, and following consistent testing practices.
Etsy, Inc. - Staff Operations Engineer
1/2013 - 3/2017
- Partnered with product teams to help them focus operational effort in support of their work including preparing feature launches and honing reliability practices. By describing a minimum set of required outcomes and training to realize them, I provided a clear roadmap to teams that enabled them to consistently deliver reliable features.
- Led architecture reviews, operational readiness efforts, and facilitated incident debriefings to drive an holistic approach to systems thinking and continuous learning.
- Contributed open source tooling in the monitoring space and encouraged the industry to think differently about alert design and the on-call experience.
Conifer Health Solutions (Tenet Healthcare) - Technical Services Director
1/2004 - 1/2013
- Established and grew an Engineering team (0 to 10) to build and operate the
infrastructure powering healthcare products such as:
- Online enrollment for dental, medical, and vision plans.
- Third-party administration of dental, medical, and vision claims via LuminX.
- Data warehousing and ETL processing for predictive analysis of plan costs.
- Medical case management and care coordination delivered by clinicians (RNs) nationwide.
- Collaborated with facilities management to build and expand on-premises data center operations.
- Provided all telecommunications management including bundling T1s, PSTN lines, and a VoIP-based unified messaging platform to deliver both our online presence and toll-free based services for over 100 customers.
- Drafted, performed, and audited all necessary technical controls to maintain HIPAA compliance on an annual basis.
Ebix Health - Senior System Administrator
10/1998 - 1/2004
- As a value-added reseller, we bundled our medical claims-processing software (LuminX) with nearly every version of proprietary UNIX (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Tru64), Linux, and Windows.
- Provided post-sales engineering design, implementation, and ongoing support to
customers. The scope of this work included:
- Integrating with their existing backend infrastructure.
- Rolling out front office workstations (Windows NT and 2000) and scanning stations to generate OCR images of paper claims.
- Implementing short- and long-term storage (disk and WORM media, respectively) that satisfied regulatory requirements.
I am fascinated by the prospect of people using computers to augment their activities during incidents. I’ve given several presentations on tooling I’ve built to support on-call engineers, alert design, and how we might apply concepts from Cognitive Systems Engineering to improve the state of the art.
- Designing Alerts to Direct Attention describes Cognitive Systems Engineering concepts and their application in designing alerts.
- It’s 3AM, Do You Know Why You Got Paged? dives into alert design and ways we can aid on-call engineers’ ability to orient themselves. I introduce nagios-herald and illustrate how it applies these ideas.
- In Mean Time to Sleep, a colleague and I discuss quantifying the on-call experience and tooling we’ve built to aid engineers.
I write occasionally. These are some samples of my posts.
- Engineering Ownership
- Complexity is a By-product of Success
- Incident Analysis and Chaos Engineering: Complementary Practices
- Remote Incident Response
- When Does an Investigation End?
- I’ve also collected thoughts on software engineering that I occasionally update.
Open Source Software
I’ve open-sourced a few tools I hoped might be useful to others.