Software Education Holdings Ltd / JUL 2018 - Current
Group CIO, Agile Coach & Facilitator - New Zealand/Australia/USA
SoftEd is among the world leaders in delivering IC Agile accredited training and is passionate about partnering with organisations during their journey towards agility.
I am passionate about Agile methods and creating highly functional and efficient teams, in every area of business.
My role as Group CIO has involved all facets including budgeting, planning for and managing the day to day technical needs of the company across the board. This has included rapidly adapting to the needs of the company to transition most of its training online due to COVID, and deploying large scale changes to our delivery methods, technology and adapting to the new requirements of our clients.
I have also spearheaded and facilitated many technical projects and new developments for all the Agile coaches, trainers and staff within the company.
In my role as Agile coach and facilitator, I have led workshops across Australasia, Africa, and the USA, training and coaching people from many different organisations in various Agile disciplines and practices.
Entities I have delivered training to or coached while at SoftEd.
RADFORD SOFTWARE LTD. / SEP 2014 - JUL 2018
DEVOPS MANAGER & AGILE COACH IN TAURANGA, NZ
Radford Software is a software development company with 40 employees based in Tauranga who create inventory and supply chain software for the horticulture industry. They have clients in Oceania, Europe and Asia. All of Zespri's New Zealand Kiwifruit inventory is initially created using Radford software.
I was hired as Client Services Manager but quickly moved into a varied role as Agile Coach and DevOps Manager. I have been responsible for the Agile processes across the company and also look after a team of people who manage internal systems, CI/CD, training & documentation and mobile apps.
ISO LTD. / SEP 2013 - SEP 2014
APPLICATION SPECIALIST & DEPLOYMENT & DELIVERY TEAM LEAD IN TAURANGA, NZ
ISO Ltd. is one of the largest stevedoring and marshalling operations in New Zealand.
I first was hired as an application specialist for the in-house developed Resource Management System for which I acted as Product Owner, trainer and roll-out project manager. After completing the roll-out across NZ, I was moved to the role of Deployment & Delivery Team leader. In this position, I looked after the support team and was responsible for service delivery, IT procurement and application deployment.
DB SCHENKER SCHWEIZ AG / JUN 2010 - SEP 2013
PROJECT AND APPLICATION MANAGER IN ZURICH, CH
DB Schenker is one of the largest logistics companies in the world with 95000 employees globally.
In my role as project manager and application specialist, I was responsible for the roll-out of a third-party warehouse management system to all Swiss branches of DB Schenker. This included training internal staff, working closely with the Contract Logistics team to customize the software for each existing and new customer as well as managing all enhancement requests with the vendor of the software.
SELF EMPLOYED / JUL 2008 - JUN 2010
TECHNICAL DOCUMENTATION & PROCESS ENGINEERING IN ST. GALLEN, CH
I ran my own small business - VDG Solutions and worked together with my brother-in-law providing technical documentation services to the machine building industry across Switzerland.
CAPITAL GROUP COMPANIES / JAN 2005 - JUN 2008
INVESTMENT SUPPORT SPECIALIST II IN GENEVA, CH
Capital Group Companies ranks among the oldest and largest privately held financial management companies in the world.
2nd level Desktop Support Role (ITIL). In this role I was providing direct 2nd level support to the Legal, Funds Management, Funds Services and Sales departments at Capital Groups Geneva office.
HONDA SUISSE SA / SEP 2004 - DEC 2004
DEPLOYMENT SPECIALIST CONTRACTOR IN GENEVA, CH:
Honda's Swiss headquarters were looking for a contractor to roll out Windows XP on all their computers located in their branches across Switzerland. My job was to travel to the branches and upgrade all their computers to Windows XP. I also took support calls from German-speaking branches and upgraded their parts management software at the same time.
UNIVERSITY OF THE NATIONS / MARCH 2002 - SEP 2004
IT INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION IN VAUD, CH
After graduating school, I spent some time travelling, doing a graphic design/web development internship and then did a few communication courses with the University of the Nations.
I ended up taking on the role of IT Administrator for the local University campus and was involved in supporting the International Provost office.
During this time I also freelanced with a local training company facilitating courses on presentation / public speaking and negotiation skills.
THE EARLY YEARS / 1990 - 2000
WEB DEVELOPMENT & IT SUPPORT - Germany
I was fortunate enough to be handed a Commodore 64 and shortly thereafter my first 286 PC when I was about 10 years old and a few years later we added the first 9600 baud modem. My parents had several companies and I would get the hand-me-downs.
I started taking them apart, putting them back together, writing small batch scripts and mostly getting them to run faster so I could play games on them. However, this quickly turned into taking care of all the computers at my parent's businesses and in my early teens setting up my first server and network together with my uncle who at the time worked for a large Swiss IT company.
As modems got faster and the internet more accessible I started developing and hosting websites while in school and had my own little business making money on the side. None of them are around anymore and even if they were I would not link them - those were the early days of the internet when we all thought Compuserve and AOL were still cool!
Technology has always been a passion of mine and I never stop learning and growing, broadening my experience and understanding of both technological requirements and advancements as well as the client and interpersonal relationships and needs.
Agile (coach / Product owner / scrum master)
Be it as a Product Owner, Scrum Master or Agile Coach, I love working with high-performance Agile teams. It combines my strong technical background with my passion for building great teams.
I can help facilitate the process of iterative value delivery from top to bottom - or bottom to top - however you want to implement Agile. The principles of Agile are quite simple and easy to understand - however implementing a good agile process and creating self-managing, autonomous teams who take ownership of the value they deliver, takes time and effort as well as good facilitation, coaching and teaching skills.
Leading others towards self-leadership, creating a safe environment for people to make mistakes are all necessary to stay competitive and innovative in today's fast paced environment.
Project / program & portfolio management
I have worked on many IT projects in sectors across Education, Finance, Logistics and Software Development in large multinational organisations as well as small owner-operated businesses. I have made more Gantt charts in the past than I care to admit! They still have a place in this world - but in the last 5 years, I have shifted to an Agile value management driven approach.
Having high performing teams is no good if they are sprinting in the wrong direction! Good program and portfolio management ensure everyone is aligned and working towards the most valuable organisational goals.
Next to agile practices, I have been involved in projects using Lean, Six-Sigma, PMBOK & Prince2
Although the years of calling myself a web developer are long gone, I have a good understanding of TDD / BDD and these days mostly use those skills to facilitate and facilitate good coding practices with the use of technology for Linting / Code Quality, gated check-ins, code-review etc.
I am not a SecOps specialist but know how important it is for development teams to have a security mindset. I also have a good overview of vendors in that space due to coordinating security reviews of infrastructure and source code.
I would call myself a DevOps manager rather than an Engineer. I can jump in and set up a Ci/CD pipeline and do some test automation, but prefer to leave the real work to more skilled and faster engineers who will deliver infrastructure as code across cloud platforms. My skills are around understanding what's available and moving the organisation towards a solution that leverages DevOps practices across development teams.
I have overseen work with Chef, Puppet, Vagrant and Virtualbox and more recently have moved to PowerShell, DSC and ARM templates with VSTS to leverage Azure as a cloud platform.
I have a good grasp on containerization although my current challenge is more around componentization before the teams can move to containers. I am also familiar with testing platforms including Smartbear, Katalon Studio (Selenium) and Ncrunch.
Aplication lifecycle management
I have set up ALM environments using Axosoft's Ontime as well as more recently Atlassian's JIRA suite. Currently, we are using VSTS with TFVC and GIT repositories and have implemented Gitflow for newer applications. I have leveraged JIRAs release management coupled with a branching strategy that makes it easy to trace a code change back to individual work items and have integrated this with Confluence for release notes and customer facing documentation.
I leverage data to measure current sprint performance, value delivered, ROI and time spent so that management can make better data-driven decisions as well as give teams immediate feedback on where they are at.
I have integrated JIRA with PowerBI in order to show KPIs which our teams use during sprints and at retrospectives and company standups. It gives feedback on time spent vs. value created, adherence to implementation budgets and gives the finance department data for their spreadsheets.
I am very precision and detail oriented when it comes to getting the right data and getting the data right. It's not just about producing good data but facilitating a constructive and robust discussion about what the data says to ensure full understanding and implementation of the right strategies based on said data.
I now prefer to take a more managerial role in these areas, so leave the more direct work to network engineers. However, having worked directly in these areas in the past, here is a list of IT Infrastructure topics I have experience and confidence working in:
In addition to the Agile job-specific skills I use on a daily basis, I have a number of other skills that I have used in past roles, but I prefer to not make them my primary focus, as I now utilise them mostly for enjoyment and in a hobby capacity.
Here is a list of words various peers and managers have used to describe me in the past:
ic agile certified professional - 02/06/2016
icp - agile team facilitation - 29/08/2016
icp - agile coaching - 16/12/2016
ICP - Enterprise Product ownership - 02/09/2017
icp - Delivery at Scale - 02/09/2017
ICP - Agile Product Ownership - 25/07/2018
IC Agile Certified Instructor - 17/08/2018
ICP - Foundations of DevOps - 02/02/2018
ICP - IMPLEMENTING DEVOPS - 03/02/2019
My IC Agile Certifications - see full transcript here.
CPRE Certification - 22/05/2012
Certified Professional Requirements engineer Foundation level
master of business administration (Part) / mar 2018 - current
University of Waikato, NZ - MBA year 1
german diploma / 1997 - 2000
Eduard spranger schule, DE
I actively participate in various Agile and DevOps themed Meetups
agile alliance Member
Agile Tauranga Meetup Co-Founder
Agile Welly Meetup Facilitator
Agile Alliance New Zealand Board Member
IT Professionals New Zealand
Other community activites
I've gotten involved in community activities like Hour of Code & Codebright run by Venture Centre in Tauranga and have also mentored at the last Startup Weekend.
English - Mother tongue
German - Mother tongue
Swiss-German - Fluent
French - Confident business spoken level, intermediate written.