Seasoned Engineering Leader focused on execution and innovation
University of California, Davis
San Francisco Bay Area
Solid track record of leading high caliber teams to deliver innovative solutions at scale.
- Hands-on technical leader who gets things done. Sums up what needs to be done and drives hard to get there. Inspired architect who enjoys innovating and the accomplishment of achieving objectives under adverse conditions.
- Builder of world-class technical teams. Self-confident, decisive leader who inspires confidence in others. Recruits, trains and manages global teams to produce and support compelling user experiences on high-traffic web sites. Translates company objectives into a compelling vision that mobilizes the troops to do their best work. Mentors team members to remedy skill gaps and advance high-potential performers.
- Expert problem-solver who grounds decisions in data. Big picture thinker who balances quick decision-making with focus on root cause and long-term impact of decisions. Uses keen analytical skills to study metrics and narrow down the best options. Sees what needs to be done almost immediately.
Director Of Engineering
Company NameVeeva Systems
Dates EmployedMar 2017 – Present
Employment Duration5 mos
LocationPleasanton, CA, USALeading and growing development teams pursuing innovation in Veeva Vault, a true cloud enterprise content management platform and suite of applications specifically built for life sciences.
Dates EmployedSep 2015 – Nov 2016
Employment Duration1 yr 3 mos
LocationSan Francisco Bay AreaScaled and led a global Engineering/Ops team delivering a large scale hosted infrastructure service. Bolstered product development in a dynamic and fast moving environment. Drove system improvements to maximize service reliability and achieve high satisfaction by Enterprise customers.
- Scaled the Engineering/Ops team (San Francisco + Eastern Europe) to expand our capability to execute. Put in place strong leads and managers through hiring and grooming within. Established new teams including OpenStack and Open Source. Achieved high collaboration and morale across this globally distributed team, uniting people with strong opinions and driving buy-in on execution plans. Recruited top talent and achieved exceptional retention.
- Transformed a release process consisting of frequent rollbacks to one of detailed upfront planning, deliberate testing and carefully staged deployments. Replaced a culture of “produce PR in a cave” to one of upfront architecture, team-wide collaboration, and smooth rollout. Fostered a focus on architecture and reliability.
- Addressed a cultural acceptance of legacy architectural problems that manifested chronic bugs. Inspired the team to dig deeper and get at the true root. Championed a transition from band-aids to self healing. Drove efforts to implement architectural fixes, particularly relating to issues of running Docker at scale.
- Delivered web-scale infrastructure on public clouds including AWS and Rackspace. Established operations processes to reach very high service levels, including a feedback loop to learn from incidents and prevent a recurrence.
- Drove execution on the product roadmap, delivering a stream of innovative products meeting customer requirements. Implemented enterprise-friendly features including org support, granular roles and privileges, and customer-facing analytics. Delivered support for on-premise full stack installation in customer data centers with OpenStack integration.
Dates EmployedOct 2010 – Sep 2015
Employment Duration5 yrs
LocationSan Francisco Bay AreaDictionary.com is the world’s leading, definitive digital resource for everything word-related. Dictionary.com is a top 75 US website with 60M active users (NASDAQ: IACI).
Built and led a world-class, global Engineering organization in company’s quest to deliver compelling user experiences, compete in a challenging landscape and accomplish significant revenue growth. Delivered a modernized service and a platform for innovation. Did amazing things on a tight budget.
- Transformed a low-performing team with a “no” culture into a thriving, collaborative team that is an engine of modernization and innovation. Built a crack team of onsite developers in California along with a powerhouse dedicated team in Eastern Europe, together providing high capability, strong retention and knowledge maintenance.
- Revamped a culture of one-off solutions to one of scalable platform investment and reliable high-quality execution. Profoundly expanded the company’s ability to execute and innovate by building a scalable and high-performing platform for delivering web and mobile products.
- Led effort culminating in Dictionary.com regaining the #1 position for the “Dictionary” keyword, resulting in substantial traffic boost and revenue gain. Innovated a high-performance A/B testing solution on the Akamai Edge, enabling rigorous feature testing within a best-of-class page load delivery system and enterprise-grade analytics.
- Reinvented Content Engineering into a world-class operation, personally architecting a new ingestion and data storage schema and then mentoring a superstar engineer to evolve the system into a robust and innovative engine powering the core function of the company.
- Unified web and mobile web into a single responsive site that supports desktop, tablet and mobile usage. Led the effort to transform Dictionary.com’s stale and out-of-step mobile website into a compelling responsive experience that meets changing standards within the mobile industry.
Senior Software Engineer
Dates EmployedNov 2009 – Sep 2010
Employment Duration11 mos
LocationSan Francisco Bay AreaScribd was a hot SOMA startup and the world's most popular open platform for publishing and sharing documents; now building a premier book membership service.
Developed user-facing functionality as part of a team of bright and talented software developers, immersed in the latest technologies and techniques, including Ruby on Rails and Continuous Deployment.
Company NamePiczo, Inc.
Dates EmployedOct 2003 – May 2009
Employment Duration5 yrs 8 mos
LocationSan Francisco Bay AreaPiczo was a teen-focused social network that empowered teens to express themselves, build communities and share experiences. Once one of the top teen social sites worldwide, with 14M monthly unique visitors (according to Comscore), Piczo saw extraordinary growth in the UK, growing 9669% in 2005 and besting Facebook’s traffic there until May 2007. The company was backed by Sierra Ventures, US Venture Partners, and Catamount Ventures.
Took an idea sketched on a napkin to a viral product with millions of users. Used personal experience sharing photos on a customized site as inspiration to create a tool to make it super-easy to do so. Teenagers were captivated by the product and signed up in droves, sharing expressive customized photo pages with each other. Wrote initial version of the code in a spare bedroom, built a sweat equity team to scale it, and achieved millions of users in advance of taking VC funding (Series A-C, total $17M), then scaled the service to 14M monthly uniques.
- Turned 100 emails into 10M monthly unique visitors without any formal marketing. Emailed 100 avid users of the predecessor service on the day of Piczo’s launch, making no other mention of it anywhere. Those 100 users grew virally, a hockey stick curve that eventually grew to 10M monthly unique visitors (according to Comscore) before formal marketing began. Product was viral by definition and an extraordinarily cheap way to assemble a critical mass audience.
- Scaled the web application to support 2.5B monthly pageviews and 2.5M daily image uploads. Initial scaling efforts utilized memcached to take read load off of the databases, later scaling efforts were based on segmenting users into pods and building out more pods horizontally.
- Scaled the company to 40 people, including a high caliber team of 20 engineers and QA. Served on the Board of Directors through four rounds of funding – key insight into the startup lifecycle.
Featured Skills & Endorsements
- Agile Methodologies See 44 endorsements for Agile MethodologiesAgile Methodologies
- Software Development See 41 endorsements for Software DevelopmentSoftware Development
Jim and I started in Iron.io at the same day. He has a very constructive management style, and I managed to thrive in Engineering team as a direct result of Jim's work. He heard and valued what I had to say, and always provided me with great challenges and opportunities. I would work with him again at any time.
Jim single-handedly transformed Dictionary.com Engineering into a high functioning and professional web development organization. While doing so he managed to maintain a nimble and super-productive approach to developing and delivering technology. If you looked at the size of our team, you would be amazed at how much we accomplish.
A capable and thorough technologist and architect, Jim has stayed in-touch and is deeply aware of our specific implementation details. Jim never says “No” to the business. He knows when to invest deeply on a problem. He knows when to take the lighter solution. Jim excels at asking the right questions to determine which path is appropriate.