This page highlights my learning and personal development path for my self-directed education into leadership. I certainly don't know it all, however, I have a strong desire to be the best leader and mentor I can where ever I am at. Leadership and I mean real leadership is something earned over years of hard work and character building and is easily lost through the misuse of that leadership.
In August of 2020, I came back to work for the LDS Church's ICS department, however, this time it is in the Education division. When I came back, I started off as an SDET Quality Assurance Contract Engineer and an opportunity opened for me to work full time as the Engineering Manager for the portfolio. I decided to apply for the position and then went through the interview process and was chosen to lead about thirty plus engineers of great talent and ability and of varying skill and seniority. I am still learning a great deal and helping to drive direction and standards for the various teams that I lead.
More to come as I learn more!
Quality Assurance Lead / Manager
During my second contract working for the LDS Church's ICS department in their Content and Media division I had the choice opportunity to mentor and train an intern, that had been attending classes at Weber State, in the art and skills of Software Quality Assurance and Automation Testing. I provided training in testing fundamentals including filing defects, creating test cases and test suites, and lastly assisted and guided in the development of automated API tests.
After the contract concluded I hired on at Academy Mortgage Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. After about a year I decided that I wanted to go into leadership and go into management. From there I briefly was the team lead for the one of the development teams but quickly was asked to take over responsibilities for DevOps and the ServiceNow team. However, this was short, and I was transitioned over to managing the DevOps and Quality Assurance Team.
As the manager for the Quality Assurance (QA) team, I helped mentor and guide team members in better management of Test Cases and Test Suites within Azure DevOps. Some testing strategies and in improving the approach for using the Page Object Model for our development of automated User Interface testing. One of the tools that we use as Academy for Automation is a product called Ranorex. This tool as a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool that is designed for test engineers to both created click and record-based tests but also has the power to manage and create test automation suites that are dynamic.
Though the tool was designed for automating tests for web it was decided that using Selenium Web Driver was the better route. From there I created a Selenium Web Test Example using C# and Visual Studio as the IDE. This provided a framework to highlight different Development technologies and techniques in the QA Automation and Engineering discipline. I then provided this example project to my team members to illustrate an example of the design patterns that I wanted us to adopt at Academy Mortgage.
Lastly, I had the distinct privilege of updating the Definition of the QA Engineering Role and organized and conducted interviews and made the final decision for hiring for our fourth Quality Assurance team member. This included a three round interview process where I performed the initial interview and then coordinated with both my team and then management for the final round. I also created a QA challenge questionnaire that requested from the candidates to perform some development work and other QA tasks that they would be asked to conduct on a day-to-day basis. Once I complete my hiring process, I am looking forward to working with the Human Resources department to separate and update the QA role between a functional test engineer and an automation test engineer creating the role within academy as a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET).
While working for Academy Mortgage Corporation I became the DevOps Manager. One of the key directives I was provided was helping to drive automation adoption throughout Academy's IT department. This included Development, Operations, Information Security, and Support. One of the key projects that I championed was that of the adoption of SaltStack. With the key efforts of my primary DevOps Engineer SaltStack Enterprise was purchased and deployed within our environment. Before that we used SaltOpen. This open-source stack-based solution helped us to begin the process of automating infrastructure as code, automatic deployments of web and server Certs and automatic remediation of systems or services based on alerting and notifications.
The primary tool that we managed as a part of our day-to-day processes was Azure DevOps from Microsoft where we managed projects, source code repositories, and the building and deployment of code through Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) process pipelines. We created pipelines for several deployment scenarios and depending upon the specified branch we would have an automatic build begin to build that particular branch's code. Once the build was complete, and the artifacts were stored on the build server the next job would begin, deployment. From there the deployment job would be initiated and would grab the newly created artifacts and push it out to the target deployment server.
Production build and deployments were handled slightly differently. Anyone could start a build for the production master branch. However, deployments would need to go through an approval process. This was handled through our Change Advisory Board, which I was a member of. Change requests would be created detailing the change item, when it was to be deployed, risk assessment, rollback plans, tests, business approval, and most importantly impact communication plan.
At Academy Mortgage Corporation I was originally hired on as one of their Senior Software Engineers to provide value to the many loan officers that made up the various satellite offices all over the United States. After about a year I applied and then was promoted as a Working / Dev Manager for the Encompass Development Team. I later was reassigned to manage the DevOps and the Service Now Development Teams. Before leaving Academy Mortgage, I was assigned as the lead manager for internal automation services and handed the Service Now team to another manager and took on the Quality Assurance team.
I have had the opportunity to work in various agile companies since 2009. My first experience with Agile started while working for Microsoft.
Since then, I each company that I have worked for has utilized one form or another of the Agile methodologies. While working for Swipeclock they
decided to invest in our team by training all of us in Agile. We each received our Scrum Master certification through the Platinum Edge training
program. Since then, I have assisted in maintaining and keeping Agile practices whereever I have been. While at Academy Mortgage I was asked to
be one of their Scrum Master’s and create training for our teams and Scrum Masters.
My Scrum Master Deck >>
As I have grown in my experience as a Software Engineer, I have sought opportunities to be a leader among my peers. As a part of that career path, I have been able to function in the capacity as a development lead. It has been a wonderful introduction into the area of leadership and team management, and I look forward for further opportunities as I grow in my career.
Two Year Service Mission
I spent two years, on a service mission serving and helping people in the Tempe and Mesa Arizona area. I also had the choice opportunity to work and serve among the Native American people on the Glia River Reservation. I followed a regular daily morning and evening routine. There were numerus service projects, opportunities of meeting and working with people on the street, and in their homes. It was hard work and well worth the time and lessons learned in completing it.
Personality and Leadership Profile
- Color Profile: Yellow / Red / Blue / White
- Greek Profile: Sanguine / Choleric / Melancholy / Phlegmatic
- Strategic - People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternate ways to proceeded. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
- Arranger - People who are especially talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity.
- Intellection - People who are especially talented in the intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.
- Responsibility - People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
- Futuristic - People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Seminars, Trainings, Audios
- 3 Key Elements - Master your Influence
- 3 Key Elements - Present Yourself
- 3 Key Elements - The Art of Mentoring
- 3 Key Elements - The Launch
- 3 Key Elements - Energy Rich Life
- 3 Key Elements - My Life Coach
- 3 Key Elements - The Elite
- Platinum Edge - Scrum Master Certification
- Ditch Rider by Oliver DeMille
My Book List
- Books I've Read or Listened To
- The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford
- The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition by Bob Burg, John David Mann
- Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, et al.
- The Outward Mindset by The Arbinger Institute, Oliver Wyman, et al.
- Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, et al.
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves
- The First 90 Days by Michael Watkins
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Jack Rabbit Factor by Leslie Householder
- Books In Process of being Read
- Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
- You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor
- Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline, Jim Fay
- Apology by Plato
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surpising Secrets of America's Wealthy by William D. Danko, Thomas J. Stanley
- Books I've not yet Read
- The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, et al.
- Be Our Guest by The Disney Institute by Theodore Kinni
- The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
- Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
- Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills by Jane Nelsen EdD
- The Liberty Amendments by Mark R. Levin
- The Child Whisperer by Carol Tuttle
- Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore
- Side Hustle by Chris Guillebeau
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
- The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential by John C. Maxwell
- Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time by Rory Vaden
- A Practical Guid to Mindful Meditation by Michael Bunting with Patrick Kearney
- The Mindful Leader by Michael Bunting