Today I earn my Master’s in Business Administration! I could not have succeeded in this program with the support of my wife Candy and my family. And I thank God for the opportunities this degree program gave me and for blessing me with the strength to see it through.
To celebrate, I wanted to share with you a vignette I found on my hard drive while doing some maintenance. I wrote this in June 2013, when I had just decided to get an MBA. I didn’t post it then, but it seemed apropos.
Early in my journey as a software engineer, I was put in charge of maintaining my first enterprise application. It was a web application used by remote sales personnel to sell custom-built houses. I partnered with a talented product manager, who was supportive of the product’s technical needs while advancing the product in the marketplace. Together, we took a defect-ridden product that was hard to modify and nail-biting to deploy and turned it into the envy of the department: no known defects and features were turned around in a matter of days.
This early success gave me a passion for craftsmanship. I studied design patterns, enterprise architecture, and began working on larger and more complicated projects in a number of vertical markets. At one point, I was principal architect over a large application with several teams looking to me for direction. And while I’ve become a respected software engineer in the Denver community, I also learned that there’s more needed than just technical excellence to building software.
As a result, I studied software delivery processes. I became very interested in effective ways to orchestrate different job roles to make software happen. I led agile delivery teams. I got a certification in Scrum project management. And in the process, I found another passion, for process. I started volunteering for the local community organization Agile Denver. I became the registration director for their annual conferences as well as the technical and quality track manager. This year, I spoke at the Mile High Agile conference about how software design patterns can be found in everyday life.
I think a Master’s of Business Administration is a logical next step for my career. As an individual contributor, my ability to affect change is limited to my ability to influence the managers, directors and executives in charge of both technology and product direction. Like my discovery before with craftsmanship, I find now that there’s more to business than efficient delivery. By learning the business of running a business, I will be in an excellent position to marry my passions for craftsmanship and delivery process to help companies achieve their full potential. Degree in hand, I see myself developing a personal consulting firm or pursuing a leadership position with an established company.