For Hire

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Hi. You’re going to like working with me. I’m fun, I’m creative, and I get stuff done.

This post is all about letting you know I’m currently available, explain what I’m looking for, and to tell you a little more about me. Want to skip to a great summary? Download my “Philosophy of Work” (pdf) document and let me know what you think!

I’m looking for a permanent position, with a company I can add value to and grow with over the next several years. More about what I’m looking for and who I am below.

TLDR;

Feel free to contact me, download my resume, philosophy of work and connect on LinkedIn.
Thanks for stopping by!

Update 11.11.2016 – 4 weeks in and added a list of additional questions

Things I value (in a job).

These are the lenses I evaluate all opportunities through. While I don’t expect any one company or position to hit on all of these 100%, I weigh and balance each position I consider by these values.

image1. Close to Home / No Travel

This is my first criteria is any position I look at. Why? I’ve traveled for jobs in the past.. spent plenty of time on the road, it’s not good for me or my family. I like to be close to home, short commute, not travel. Any exceptions? Not really. If I have to get up early, and can be home that night. I might be ok with that. Otherwise, let’s settle this right now. No travel.

How close to home? I live in north Ft. Worth (Keller, TX) – that basically means that for anything farther away than Las Colinas/Coppell or north of I-30/35 .. we need to talk about some WFH flexibility. This may seem harsh, I’ve just been on the road too much, and my family will always be first. If you can accept that, then let’s keep talking.

image2. Culture

imageI’m an agilist. I prefer an agile process.. but more than that, I prefer a culture of collaboration. Smart people working together to build great things. Smart people, no egos. That’s what I like. It’s not who’s right, but what’s right. Let’s work together. No single person’s idea is the right idea, but if we come together – I bet we can do something amazing.

image3. Microsoft Stack

I’m not married to Microsoft. I’ve worked for and with teams that were building products in Java, PHP and plenty of other platforms. Recently I worked at a company called Linux Academy. That being said, I like where Microsoft is going with .NET. I like the open sourcing of the language, the compilers, that .NET core is now cross-platform and open source. I spent the last year really focusing on and specializing in Azure and the last 17 years (including a stent working for Microsoft directly) building deep Microsoft stack experience and expertise.

Microsoft is doing some amazing things right now, and I want to be part of it. At a minimum, I’m not ready to spend the next 3 – 5 years out of this space. Technology is moving to quickly to not be involved.

image4. Salary

This isn’t first on my list – I’m flexible here. It is in my top 5 since I have a family of 6 to take care of ;-). At the end of the day, base pay is taken in to account along with things like equity, bonuses, vacation, health insurance; it’s also weighed in comparison to the other values on this list.

Think you’re hitting on 3 out of 4 of these values – let’s talk. Think you can hit all 4 – let’s definitely talk! 2 out of 4, let’s talk about how off target those two are, and if the other 2 will off set that. I recently took a near 30k / year hit to work a lot closer to home. So I have some wiggle room here.

Are there more things on my "value" list?

Well yes. Most of the other things I care about are a lot farther down on this list. I find that if we’re hitting the first 4, the rest tend to get taken care of – things like, health insurance, vacation, type of hardware I’ll be working on, MSDN level, flexibility to speak at community events and sponsoring travel to related technical conferences. I find that if we’re locked in on things like culture and values, then the rest of the items that I care about tend to work themselves out.

Yes, but what do I want to do?

Notice my list of filters don’t include anything about what I’ll be doing.. yes, I noticed that too. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s more about, I like wearing different hats, doing different things, and I’m not really locked into what thing I want to do next. I care much more about finding a company/culture/group of people that I can add value to and build meaningful stuff with than about my specific role.

 

Things I do well.

My background in 3 broad strokes: .NET/Azure | Agile Process | UX & People Leadership

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.NET / Technical

Feel free to take a look at my resume for a more complete picture of my background. I’ve been building software for over 17 years, mostly on the Microsoft stack. After spending some time at Microsoft as a Developer Evangelist, I’ve consulted and led at some of Microsoft’s largest customers in north Texas. I’ve worked as an enterprise architect, developer mentor and coach, lead… you name it, I’ve probably worked on it.

Evidence of technical awesomeness…

I’ve received the Microsoft MVP award for ASP.NET 6 years in a row and am still a member of Microsoft’s ASP.NET Insiders group. Both of these programs are where I interface directly with the Microsoft Product teams. While I’ve had my MCSD certification for a while, and have been a Microsoft Certified Technical Trainer (MCT) at various times in my career, recently, I added the latest Azure certification to that list – Microsoft Specialist for Implementing Azure Solutions. I am a hands on architect and coach. I commit code every day. I code, I develop, I lead – shipping code and helping others do the same.

I have been privileged to work on two different technical books for Wrox press and have spoken internationally in Israel as well as keynote multiple times at technical conferences and events here in the United States. The amazing thing about speaking at technical events is that they keep inviting me back!  I love architecting and building solutions that meet and exceed business needs.

Agile Process / Team Dynamics

With a few exceptions, I’ve worked exclusively on agile projects for the last 12 years. Most of that time was in development, but then I spent 2 years as a agile coach at Sabre, working with various global teams of all shapes and sizes. We mostly implemented Scrum, pulling from Kanban and XP as appropriate. I’ve worked with and led various agile initiatives since then.

Agile Leadership Summary:

  • Sabre Airline Solutions (2 years of hands on coaching at all levels of leadership)
  • Sabre GetThere (1 year working with teams from the UX/Business side integrating with Scrum Teams)
  • Improving Enterprises (3 years, helping development teams adopt agile practices – mostly technical)
  • Targetbase (Agile/Scrum Adoption, mixed with traditional SDLC Waterfall PMO/Delivery Teams)
  • MoneyGram Online (Agile/Scrum Adoption, mixed with traditional SDLC Waterfall PMO organization)

UX & People Leadership

Pin-animation_shortclipUX Leadership. One of my degrees is in digital design (though we called it Multi-Media then, remember when that was a phrase?), but with the exception of a few interactive animations and children’s CD’s that I worked on right out of school, I’ve been in development my whole career. In other words, I may know what good design is, how to get there, and how to blend UX people with agile processes, but you don’t want me being the one to do the designing. That’s not the area I’ve spent the last 15 years focusing. While I’ve spoken at the Big Design Conference in Dallas many times (a wonderful, industry leading design conference), it’s almost always on a more technical topics or on mixing UX and Agile processes.

UX Summary:

  • Design Degree
  • UX Manager for Product Design Team at GetThere / Sabre
  • Developer Designer Zen Training Videos featured on Adobe.TV
  • Multi-year presenter at the Big Design Conference + additional events with design focused talks

People. I find that people are what make technology interesting. Given a choice between focusing on technology (architecture) and the people that make it happen (leadership / team building), I tend to focus on the people. I’ve spent over 15 years leading teams (John Maxwell defines leadership as influence). At Sabre I spent a year leading a UX Product design team – I was the UX Manager. At Avaya I lead a group of 37 developers, BA’s and operations people that comprised teams spanning north America, Ireland and India. Feel free to take a look at my LinkedIn feedback from some of the people that I led and worked with.

People Leader Summary:

  • Lead multiple teams at Avaya (37 people) across north America, Ireland and India
  • Lead UX Design Team at Sabre
  • INETA Board Member and Group Mentor for Multiple Years
  • Bring IT (Innovation Council at Sabre) Co-Chair
  • Development Mentor across multiple projects / years

 

Need an agile coach? Looking for an architect or development leader? Need someone to lead your UX transformation for your team? I just might be your guy.
Seriously, let’s talk.

 

Update (11.11.2016)#:

I’ve actively been meeting with companies and various possible employers this whole month. I’ve confirmed, I definitely live on the wrong side of DFW if I want a shorter commute! Winking smile I keep getting asked some similar questions, so I thought I would update and address those here.

  1. Do you really not care what you’ll be doing? Correct, I want to add value wherever I am. So based on my past, Architect, Developer Coach, Agile Coach, People Leader (Manager/Director), and even hands on senior dev all make sense. As long as we’re as closely aligned on the first 4 values on my list as we can be, the role I play/position I hold is super flexible.
  2. You seem very leader focused, are you ok doing hands on work? I’ve always been hands on, in fact I spent the last year as a individual contributor in 2 different roles. While, I’ve lead teams for the last 15 years – up until 3 years ago, that was never formalized by a title or position.
  3. Are you only looking for permanent positons? Permanent is my first choice. I really do prefer being at places long term, and getting to enjoy the fruits of previous labors. That being said, I’m way more interested in not being unemployed Winking smile So while I look for the ideal permanent position, I am also looking at a few 3-6 month contract jobs.
  4. You’re sort of bigger than life! Seriously?! Ok, well thank you. To be honest, I’m about the most down-to-earth person you’ll ever work with. I have and love big ideas, but then they need to be implemented in practical and pragmatic ways. I put the work in because the work is important. At my last job we had an interview question: “Do you mind emptying your own office trash?”. This question was both practical (we each emptied our own trash), but also was about humility and willingness to do was was needed to keep things moving. I like that.
  5. Do you prefer start ups or big enterprises? I’ve worked at both and am happy with either – they have their tradeoffs! Recently I was at a 30 person company, I was employee 7 at the company I joined after leaving Microsoft. In addition to Microsoft I’ve done stints at Avaya, Sabre and consulted for several large companies, banks and airlines.
  6. Are you still only looking in a few places to work in DFW? My net has grown over the last 4 weeks.  For short term contracts – I’m looking at much loner commutes. For permanent positions, I’m trying to avoid hour+ commutes.
  7. What else do you look for in a company? Well, these are way farther down on the list and aren’t nearly as important to me, but all other things being considered:
    -  I prefer a permanent position
    – If it’s an enterprise company, I prefer being at the head quarters
    – Even if the group is local and co-located, having WFH options for some days is awesome (and much more common now days)
    – Hardware: i7, 16GB (or more) of RAM, SSD Hard drives is pretty much a minimum laptop specs. Bonus points: Mac Book Pro or Microsoft Surface Book
    – Equity is a plus (especially for small/start up companies)

OK, what about you? When you’re looking at job/companies, what are some of things you look for? What have I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Think we should work together, drop me a line.

 

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About Caleb Jenkins

Caleb Jenkins is an international speaker, author and 6 time Microsoft MVP award recipient, he currently works for Quicken Loans in Detroit (from his home in Texas). An entertaining and informative speaker who approaches software from a fresh perspective that spans UX, agile practices and technologies for enterprise customers from across the globe. Leading UX product design teams, coaching multi-team agile transformations and architecting and mentoring at some of the largest companies in the world, As a long time community leader and former Microsoft Developer Evangelist, Caleb is well known for his engaging speaking style, depth of knowledge and creative energy. Founder and Principal Mentor of Proaction Mentors, former UX Manager and Agile Coach, Senior Architect for Six Flags Corporation, Product Architect on a Cloud Marketing Platform, Caleb has made a career out of empowering others while building products and teams that delight customers and solve business needs. You can follow him on twitter (@calebjenkins) or his blog, DevelopingUX.com and if you're still reading this, then you could also subscribe to his blog RSS feed or sign up to receive updates by email