Manager Readme

What is this?

Mostly, an extended introduction, and a general explanation on how I like to do things.  This is largely based on the idea of from the Software Lead Weekly newsletter, which I highly recommend.


Some personal info

My wife Stefanie is a fellow Spartan, and we have a 2 year old daughter Violet and 4 year old Great Pyrenees Lucy. I’m a big coffee drinker, podcast listener, pun maker, and traveler.

My professional path

I have had a pretty broad experience in technology. While in the US Army, I maintained electronics systems with a focus on hardware. After my enlistment, I worked for MSU in the help desk call center. During the past 5 years, I have been doing software development for USAA in San Antonio. There I worked for the mortgage department and a real estate brokerage, led teams in a Java Websphere and JavaScript React/Redux stack, and specialized in REST API design.

I almost have an Associate’s Degree in Electronics from a community college in Arizona, and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from MSU, with an additional major in Criminal Justice, and a Science/Technology Policy Specialization. I also had the opportunity to take a certificate from the University of Texas at Austin called Innovation, Creativity, and Capital (IC2).

My job

My job at MSUFCU is to do 3 things:

  1. Hire, develop, and retain an excellent software development team (that’s you).
  2. Provide context for business and technical decisions.
  3. Remove obstacles between us and getting quality software in production.

There are other things that I will do throughout the day, but these will come first.

Contacting me

I’ll be following the same guidelines as Ben for reaching out.  Please use the channel that matches the level of urgency and your preference.

  • Phone – If it is something particularly urgent (and I don’t answer on the first try), call a second time right away.  I’ll take this as a sign to step out of meetings, etc to pick up.  If it is not urgent, please avoid calling between midnight – 6am.
  • Text – This may be the best way to get info to me quickly.  This is also a great channel to point out an email or slack message that I need to see.  Again, if not urgent, please try to avoid texting between midnight and 6am.
  • Email – I’ll answer emails nearly 24×7, but not immediately after you send them.  If there is an urgent email, follow up with a text or call.  I am going to try not to send emails outside of normal working hours.  If I do, I don’t expect you to answer outside of business hours.  If it is urgent, I’ll follow up with a call or text.  I’m also really bad about seeing an email and taking action without acknowledging that I’m on it – I’m working on this.
  • Slack – this is new to me.  We had something similar in my last job, but without the mobile access.  I’m going to treat this a little lower than email, unless you tag me in a message, then I’ll treat it more like a text.
  • In-person – please stop by my office or grab me in the hall if you need me.
  • Sticky note on my door/messenger pigeon/etc – I suppose you can try, but no guarantees.

How I approach my job

  • Autonomy by default – I expect that you are able to complete your work as needed.  I don’t want to micromanage anyone.  If you need assistance, please reach out to other members of the team or me.
  • People, not resources – I will always seek to treat people as individuals, not replaceable parts.  I’ll describe CPU and memory as a resource.  I might even describe a person as “a good resource for X”.  But if I ever use resource as shorthand for person, please let me know so I can correct it.
  • I am successful only by making you successful.  I won’t throw anyone under any busses here.


  • I prefer to receive feedback that is prompt, actionable, and in private.
  • I try to give feedback however you prefer to receive it.  If I fail at this, please see above.

Personal Quirks

  • I love learning about things.  The StrengthsFinder assessment consistently lists “input” for me.  To this, I will ask a lot of questions about how we do things or how we are planning to do them in the future.  I assure you, these are questions!  A pet peeve of mine are managers who make statements by asking questions.  For me, I really try to ensure that questions are questions, and statements are statements.
  • My hearing isn’t 100% – the result of being young & stupid, and not wearing hearing protection while in the Army.  If I ask you to repeat a question, I apologize in advance.  Please don’t take it as a sign of uninterest.
  • I drink a lot of coffee, and can be a bit of a foodie generally.

StrengthsFinder strengths:

  1. Input
  2. Ideation
  3. Intellection
  4. Futuristic
  5. Strategic

Myers-Briggs Type

ENTJ/INTJ (I’m very close to the middle between introversion and extroversion, and can test as either depending on the day)

Tech loyalties

  • I’m bought in to the iOS ecosystem
  • I have a chromebook at home, and intend to build a new desktop that will be either Windows or a Linux distro.
  • I only buy ultra-premium, double-dipped gold HDMI cables.