To whom it may concern,
Please let me introduce myself. My name is Byron Katz, and I am steadfast to the concept that quality is worthwhile and self-supporting. I believe in sustainable long-term design, and in the capability of ordinary people to produce tremendous results.
I have worked in professional settings since 2003, and I have been fiercely dedicated to self-education and embracing challenges throughout that time. Here's a quick rundown of key moments in my career to date:
- 2002 - Graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Tennessee. Began work as an architect.
- 2008 - Obtained professional architect’s license
- 2009 - "Great Recession" - laid off, started a small architecture firm, started studying Scheme in MIT's OpenCourseware.
- 2010 - Found employment with National Cancer Institute as software tester. Four months later, became QA lead.
- 2011 - Started writing an application for Android in Java to analyze residential real estate prices. After publishing, it had more than a thousand users.
- 2012 - First position as professional software developer at Thycotic Software, writing C#. Followed "Extreme Programming" approach - high trust environment, high autonomy. Learned what agile was truly capable of (we were able to easily compete against firms ten times our size). My foundation and vision of agile stems from this time.
- 2015 - Began work as Developer at CoStar, a world-leader in commercial real estate data. Programming in C#.
- 2017 - Began as consultant, mentor, and trainer at Coveros, Inc., a consultancy in the northern Virginia suburbs. Most clients used Java and C#.
- 2021 - Began as consultant developer at Def Method, Inc., a consultancy in New York City
I regularly train clients on the values espoused by agile - of ideas like simplicity, technical excellence, and employee empowerment. This leads to both likelier success and much better software than the alternatives.
I have seen what an excellent leader can do for a team. A strong leader can create an environment built on paradigms that reward initiative and hard work, and make every day a joy. I believe it is a duty for a leader to do whatever it takes to make that for their team. I am committed to the idea of teams led by this joyful approach. Our time is precious - the hours we spend at work are among our very best - they should not be wasted. What are the qualities of such a leader?
Strong will, operating on principle, creating a trusting, psychologically safe environment.
- Strong will, because weak leaders don't take good care of their teams.
- Operating on principle, because people know the difference between leaders that merely advertise principles versus those that stand by them. Operating on principle allows passion, and passion drives some of the biggest ideas.
- A trusting environment, because you hire the best, why keep them from using their whole mind?
- A psychologically safe environment, because new ideas are fragile, and it's a lot easier to heckle or jeer new ideas and stick with old stable ideas than the kinds of ideas innovation is made of.