James (Jim) Holmes
Accomplished Executive Technology professional leading organizational change; internationally recognized influencer in test automation communities; passionate about continual improvement, processes, and teams; well-organized with top-notch public speaking and writing skills.
MOST RECENT PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
Construct Connect: November 2021 - Present
Director, Quality Assurance and Performance Engineering
Responsible for modernizing software delivery practices at ConstructConnect to improve quality. Works with multiple groups including software engineering, operations support, product ownership, and others. Constantly collaborates with executives across the entire organization.
- Part of a team driving cultural and procedural change through company transformation using Scaled Agile Framework for enterprise (SAFe), tenets of Extreme Ownership, and adoption of modern testing practices.
- Manages 19 full-time staff software testers and 30 additional external testing consultants.
- In first six months was directly responsible for reducing post-code freeze regression testing from multiple weeks to three days by focusing testers on risk-based analysis as well as eliminating duplicate and outdated manual test cases.
- Drove coverage of critical production systems from a handful of monitors to 100% coverage across over 200 monitors. Oversaw creation of dashboards and notification systems to provide self-service for in-house trainers, sales, and support staff. The monitors and dashboards dramatically reduced workloads on the already-overburdened Ops staff.
- Works directly with software engineers to raise software craftsmanship and quality capabilities through mentoring, workshops, and building communities of learning.
- Deeply involved as a mentor with ConstructConnect's internal mentoring program.
- Collaborated with Infosec team to bring security scanning into release process, blocking releases with high-level vulnerabilities.
- Created a career path ladder for testers with well-defined criteria tied to explicit learning plans. This plan was adopted by other organizational groups within ConstructConnect.
- Mentored and raised up two senior testers into managerial positions.
- Oversaw implementation of pairwise testing approaches via Hexawise to dramatically reduce test cases while improving overall quality coverage.
- Drafted and drove adoption of Non-Functional Requirements addressing specific business impacts to support operations and Site Reliability Engineers.
- Oversaw stability improvements in functional automation suites, increasing pass rates, with a goal of 95% or better.
- Led adoption of modern testing practices in effective collaboration and coverage, reducing test case bloat by 50% among most teams while improving effectiveness of testing.
- Implemented twice-weekly mentoring sessions with entire onshore team to train on basic software coding capabilities using C# and XUnit.
Centric Consulting (Modern Software Delivery Practice): September 2020 - November 2021
Modernization Strategist / Coach
Led client organizations to improve their software delivery practices. Helped clients improve their realization of driving business value by working with them through executive consulting, coaching, and hands-on software delivery practices.
- Collaborated with Columbus, Ohio client to create a long-term software engineering improvement plan. Built specific recommendations and plans for client to adopt practices such as Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery and Test Driven Development.
- Led a performance engineering assessment engagement for a Chicago-based client who needed a quick assessment of whether their current system would support current and future sales goals. Oversaw and managed effort to provide explicit, targeted remediation recommendations regarding coding practices and architectural design.
- Worked with the eCommerce division of a global Fortune 500 equipment manufacturer to improve their overall software quality practices. Identified specific improvements to production-monitoring infrastructure, drafted and drove adoption of results-oriented Non-Functional Requirements, created guidance for software engineering practice changes.
- Created a test strategy and test plan for a data modernization effort at a US nation-wide financial services company.
- Mentored testers at Centric's MSD practice to help them establish and execute career growth plans.
Pillar Technology (Now part of Accenture): March 2015 - July 2020
Led Fortune 500, 100, and 10 engagements, driving improved software value via hands-on delivery practices, training programs and workshops, and strategic planning with executive stakeholders. Helped clients modernize testing, quality, and overall delivery practices.
- Specialized in helping move organizations from stove-piped, centralized work centers to whole-teams working on feature versus component disciplines
- Responsible for transforming Fortune 10 organization 100+ member delivery team from waterfall to agile
- Created and provided training and coaching to move non-coding testers into software automation
- Main consultant integrating contract and delivery risk analysis processes between Accenture and Pillar during Pillar's acquisition transition. Responsible for advising opportunity pursuit teams on over $30M of business proposals.
Guidepost Systems: December 2014 - Present
Owner, Principle Consultant
Leads clients in assessing and transforming organizational and delivery practices
- Delivers workshops on software quality, business value streams, communication
- Provides assessments detailing actionable items for organizational transformations
- Recognized global influencer and mentor in Leadership development, particularly for IT teams
Development Platforms: C#, Java, C++, SGML/XML/HTML, CSS, Ruby
Tools: Visual Studio (Windows, Mac, and VS Code), Eclipse, Team Foundation Server, MSTest, NUnit, MBUnit, JustMock, Rhino Mocks, Subversion, Git, PowerShell, *nix shell, Cucumber, Selenium/WebDriver, Watir/FireWatir, Telerik Test Studio, TestComplete, Jira, Rally, AzureDevOps
COMMUNITY / NON-PROFIT ENGAGEMENT
CodeMash Conference: April 2005 - January 2014
President, Board of Directors
- Oversaw growth of conference from 250 attendees in 2006 to 2,000+ in 2014.
- Direct management of all budgetary issues—nearly $750,000 in 2014.
- Directly responsible for all venue coordination, IT planning,and catering.
- Directly responsible for sponsorship revenue through 2013. Achieved $150K in sales for 2013 event.
Uniting for Ukraine Rogue Valley: May 2022 - Present
Member, Steering Committee
- Plans and executes fundraisers in support of relocating Ukrainian refugees to southern Oregon.
- Assists in drafting operational procedures supporting refugees.
- Provides IT support for the organization.
PRIOR PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Falafel Software: March 2014 - December 2014
VP, ALM and Testing
- Responsible for growing ALM and Testing division.
- Created new offerings for training and coaching concepts.
- Executed on over $130K of new business in Q2/Q3.
- Built strategic relationships with product vendors.
- Delivered online and in-person training.
- Assisted product vendor partners with pre- and post-sales support.
Telerik: July 2011 - March 2014
Evangelist, Director of Engineering : Test Studio
- Responsible for increasing awareness of products to global audience.
- Created webinars, white papers, blog posts, and videos to increase market recognition.
- Spoke regularly at industry conferences on a broad range of software quality topics.
- As Director, led global team of 30 engineers creating multiple testing products.
- Managed prioritization and expectations around release feature sets and release dates.
- Interfaced with marketing, business development, and sales to prioritize and publicize features.
- Broke location-specific component teams into divisional feature teams, boosting communication between geographic locations and increasing division’s flexibility.
- Changed post-development testing to collaborative in-process testing, decreasing code freeze time.
- Delivered online training to hundreds of attendees, and numerous different organizations through multi-day onsite coaching engagements.
Telligent Systems: Nov 2008 - July 2011
Director of Quality, previously Project Manager
- Envisioned and built Telligent’s entire QA department from zero members to seven in 18 months.
- Managed Telligent staff and offshore personnel through all aspects of quality lifecycle.
- Directly responsible for quality-related aspects of business relationship with key global customers.
- Drove automated test cases from zero to over 15,000 in 18 months.
- Implemented and managed pre-release test passes of products each iteration by entire development team. Reduced show-stopping bugs from four per release to zero for eight consecutive releases.
- Implemented a point-based estimation/velocity system for software development, eliminating two to four hours of wasted estimation time per developer per two week iteration.
- Doubled developer velocity, in part, by implementing a pull-based single-task workflow.
Quick Solutions, Inc. (QSI): April 2007 - Nov 2008
Studio Lead, Information Worker Studio; Project Engineer
- Led a team of technologists to successfully deliver software and systems solutions to clients. Managed relationships with partners and clients. Managed business plan for IW studio.
- Implemented iteration retrospectives throughout QSI’s Solutions division, resulting in improved team communication on all Solutions projects.
- Implemented Kanban processes at several project sites, cutting wasted development time.
- Technical lead on Windows Forms client-server application hosting technical manual content in HTML coupled with schematics viewers in BMP and DWF graphics formats.
- Awarded company’s Outstanding Contributor award for leading team delivering cutting-edge training materials to Microsoft’s Developer Platform Evangelism division.
NuSoft Solutions: July 2006 - April 2007
- Responsible for pre-sales client support, design and execution of client solutions.
- Assisted with design and implementation of several proof of concept workflows on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server platform.
Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Kettering, Ohio: August 2003 - March 2005
Lead Engineer for Air Force Common Viewer (AFCV) program. Assisted with contract proposals and project schedules. Created solutions for a wide range of customers such as Ogden Air Logistics Center.
Veridian Systems (now General Dynamics - Advanced Information Systems), Arlington, Virginia: June 1998 - July 2003
System Engineer/Customer Relations Manager
Managed customer relations and provided engineering support for Veridian’s AFCV program, including roles as interface to prime contractor/USAF customers. Served as primary test engineer.
Designed and implemented software and database components for projects in C++, Java, Oracle, and Sybase. Dealt with National Imagery and Mapping Agency products. Lead for Veridian’s effort in the E-3’s Integrated Technical Display System. Managed networks at Veridian’s Virginia work centers.
Ingram Micro, Munich, Germany: January 1997 - July 1998
Led three-person team supporting network operations in three countries. Planned, tested and migrated work center network from Token Ring to Ethernet during a weekend relocation of the entire work center.
Stream International, Munich, Germany: 1995 - 1996
Telephone Hotline Technician
Handled new user support for major international online service. Resolved problems with modem and computer configuration. Created online help files detailing workflows for techs.
United States Air Force, various locations: 1982 - 1993
Instructor Airborne Radar Technician
Operated and repaired radar systems during flight on E-3 aircraft. Instructed a wide range of students. Also managed and supported numerous small computer systems.
Woodland High School, Woodland, CA (National Honor Society)
BS in Computer Information Systems, Chapman University, Orange, CA. (Cum Laude)
Past President/Founder, CodeMash Conference: http://www.CodeMash.org.
Founder, Dayton .NET Developers Group: http://www.daytondevgroup.net.
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Visual C# (awarded first in 2005), then Application Lifecycle Management. One of fewer than 300 Microsoft ALM professionals in the world recognized for their contributions to the .NET development community.
Voted “C# MVP of 2011” by fellow C# MVPs for leadership of CodeMash Conference.
SPEAKING (Selected Listing)
Coding for Non-Coders Top-rated all-day workshop at Romania Testing Conference 2019
Public Speaking Workshop Romania Testing Conference 2019, THAT Conference 2019
Leadership 101 Workshop Numerous times 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019
Four Tips to Improve Your Web Automated Testing: Numerous times 2011, 2012, 2013
Effective Distributed Teams: Cincinnati & Philadelphia Days of Agile 2011, QUEST 2012, StarEast 2012
Introduction to Unit Testing: Dayton .NET DevGroup, MIGANG, others, 2010
Leadership 101: Numerous times in 2009, 2010, 2011
Utilizing Avionics Bus Data for Increasing Pilot Situational Awareness: A-10 World Wide Conference, Las Vegas, 2004
Various slide decks from presentations hosted online at my SpeakerDeck.com account
"More Better Quality Coverage" Breakout session at DevReach 2018
“It’s Not About You” KalamazooX 2013 Conference talk
"Why?" Keynote at ISTA Conference 2016
"You Got This!" Keynote at DevSpace Technical Conference 2018. Note: This is an intense talk and openly speaks to mental health and extraordinarily traumatic events.
Coding for Non-Coders 6.5 hour course targeting non-coding testers, program managers, and other software delivery team members.
PUBLICATIONS (Selected listing)
Blogger at http://frazzleddad.com
The Leadership Journey, LeanPub, July, 2017 Practical, concise, relevant information and exercises on becoming an effective leader.
Windows Developer Power Tools, O’Reilly, October, 2006. (Co-author) Exhaustive discussion of open source tools for Windows developers covering the entire development lifecycle.
Extensive number of articles, white papers, and content for numerous publications and sites including
- Tea Time With Testers (Oct ’13 – Feb ’14)
- Gurock Quality Hub
Extensive number of product and educational videos at http://tv.telerik.com.