Byron Katz headshot

Byron Katz

Senior software developer / Test automation expert / 14 years experience / full-stack

I apply a user-oriented risk-based approach to development. Emphasis is placed on maintainability, success, lowered stress, and less expense for the whole lifecycle.

I have experience at software firms ranging from start-ups to large enterprises to government projects. My primary experience has been as a full-stack developer in Java and .Net.

Location: Sterling, Virginia

Mission statement

  • Prioritize delivering value to users
  • Mentor staff in world-class quality-oriented development techniques
  • Contribute to building reputation for company as bright beacon for innovation and excellence
  • Explore innovative approaches
  • Build a culture of psychological safety and joy

My perspective

  • I have written hundreds of thousands of lines of code.
  • I am committed to quality.
  • I love programming, and love to work with others who do.
  • I believe pair programming with test-driven development is the best practice
  • I believe deep understanding makes it possible to explain complex ideas in simple terms.
  • I believe that software development is more a function of social aspects than technical concepts

Portfolio of work

Minum - a port of R3z to Java, built using TDD/BDD

Memoria - a family tree web application

R3z - A corporate timekeeping application, built using TDD/BDD

Demo - a demonstration of good development practices - including TDD, BDD, and quality

Github - Personal work

Questions on which I have proposed some answers

Personal ramblings

A discussion I held on agile:

... and on minimum viable product:

... and on how I teach/present:

How Git bisect works


Property Product Suite, CoStar
A web portal providing brokers and vendors access to a large commercial real estate database.

Reporting system, CoStar
A feature provided by Property Product Suite that provides reports on real-estate data.

Deal Maker Digital, Invision Inc.
A web application to help Dish and DirecTV salespeople sell advertising.

Secret Server, Thycotic
A privileged-access management (PAM) solution.

Password Reset Server, Thycotic
Enables resetting passwords without needing to involve help desk.

Group Management Server, Thycotic
Provides restricted self-serve functionality for Active Directory

REAP, Renaissance Nomad Software
An Android app to analyze residential real estate investments.

Favrcafe, Renaissance Nomad Software
A website to trade favors and build reputation points.

Tools and languages

  • Bash script
  • C# .Net
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • TypeScript
  • Kotlin
  • Python
  • SQL
  • Docker
  • JUnit
  • Selenium
  • Playwright
  • Cypress
  • Intellij
  • Eclipse
  • Gradle
  • Maven
  • Linux/Unix
  • Terraform
  • Cucumber
  • Postman
  • Active Directory
  • Jenkins
  • Microservices
  • React
  • CI/CD
  • Cloud
  • Azure
  • AWS
  • Swagger
  • RESTful API
  • Kafka
  • Spring Boot
  • ECS
  • Kubernetes
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JQuery
  • Agile, XP
  • IIS
  • Tomcat
  • NodeJS

Industry history

Obscurity Labs March 2023 - present, Cybersecurity firm
Title: Senior Software Engineer

  • Improvements to team culture through mentoring and presentations:
    • Risk-based design
    • Code review best practices
    • System thinking
    • Software engineering best practices
  • Demonstration of practical improvements for unit, integration, and system UI testing.
  • Improved documentation throughout codebase to improve on-ramping new devs and reminding existing devs of context: for example, a useful README was written for a key system, greatly lowering difficulty.
  • Picking up responsibilities for team agile ceremonies, helping to convey underlying value behind agile
  • Several features implemented, including new data quality metrics, including Sonarqube in the branch CI workflow, feedback to user after certain API calls, and UI-driven end-to-end tests.
  • Developed benchmark version of "repo pattern" refactoring to demonstrate and explore key improvements to team process: testing with mocks, improved interface documentation, trunk-based development.
  • Promoted and improved team culture around meaningfulness expectations of sprint stories.
  • Consistent advocate for quality, simplicity, lowered risk and lowered stress.
  • Technology: Python, FastAPI, TypeScript, NextJS, NodeJS, Jest, Playwright, MongoDb, Kubernetes, Argo CD, Argo Workflows, Argo Events, Terraform, Docker, AWS, Bitbucket, React, HTML, CSS, Swagger, RESTful API, Jira, Containerization

Def Method Sep. 2021 - Feb. 2023, software consultancy
Title: Senior Software Engineer

  • At Upstack, improved maintainability by modularizing and documenting Github Action pipelines, DataDog monitoring, and Terraform infrastructure automation on AWS.
  • At Dick's Sporting Goods
    • Contributed to development on in-store services scheduler. Kotlin backend, React frontend, Postgresql database, running on Pivotal Cloud Foundry environment.
    • Demonstrated value of stateful integration tests running in Github Actions.
    • Greenfield project for custom golf club ordering. React / Angular front-end, Kotlin / Java back-end. Postgresql database. Data flow in Kafka. Database infrastructure scripting with Terraform.
  • Technology: Kotlin, Java, TypeScript, NodeJS, Jest, Cypress, Microservices, Postgresql, Spring Boot, Docker, AWS, ECS, Terraform, EC2, S3, Github Actions, Angular, React, Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Kafka, Confluence, Ruby, HTML, CSS, RESTful API, Jira, Containerization, Flyway

Coveros May 2017 - Sep. 2021, software consultancy
Title: Senior Consultant

  • Taught and coached in modern software development practices, performance, security, testing, automation. Companies included: John Deere, Army, Navy, Southwest Airlines, Tax Act, Labster, Bain & Company, Ernst & Young Global Limited, Appian, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Verizon
  • Developed demo software for training: Demo and R3z
  • Lead engineer on team to revise registration system for Medicaid payments. Built with Java Spring Boot and Postgresql.
  • Redesign of report generator for healthcare website in Java
  • Technology: C# .Net, (Java 6, 8, 11, 13), Python, Gradle, Maven, Linux, Cucumber, Eclipse, Visual Studio, Intellij, TypeScript, Kotlin, SQL, SQL Server, Postgresql, Docker, Docker-compose, Kubernetes, Openshift, JUnit, Selenium, Cypress, Powermock, Mockito, Moq, LINQ, Sed, Awk, Perl, Bash, Microservices, Jenkins, CircleCI, Devops, CI/CD, Cloud, Azure, Swagger, RESTful API, Spring Boot, HTML, CSS, Agile, Scrum, NodeJS, Jest, Tomcat, Postman, OWASP Zap, OWASP Dependency Check, JMeter, JavaScript, Behave, H2, Flyway, Gretty, Git, Github, Github actions, Jira, Containerization

CoStar May 2015 - May 2017, commercial real estate data
Title: Senior Developer

  • UI improvements to company's flagship application. Typescript, React and Redux.
  • Conversion of slow legacy XML/XSLT API to performant modern RESTful approach in C# .Net WCF.
  • Built report generator using templated HTML, C# and .Net.
  • Technology: JavaScript, TypeScript, ReactJS, Redux, C#, Asp.Net 4, SQL Server, AppDynamics, NodeJS, Express, Gulp, Babel, Mocha, FlowType, Webpack, NPM, ES6, Cookies, Rapid prototyping, Android, OpenID Connect, OAUTH 2.0, Git, Github, Fiddler, Vim, Sed, Awk, Bash, Python, MFA, Agile, Scrum, RESTful API, TFS

Invision June 2014 - Apr 2015, provided software for ad sales at Dish and DirecTV
Title: Senior Developer

  • Provided full-stack development in C# .Net on SQL Server.
  • Technology: C# .Net, ASP.Net 4, Microsoft MVC 3, LINQ, SQL Server, JavaScript, JSON, NUnit, NHibernate, Chocolatey, StructureMap, Automapper, MSMQ, NServiceBus, KnockoutJS, Powershell, ELmah, RavenDB, SlickGrid, T4, JQuery-templates, Roundhouse, Moq, Git, Sed, Awk, Bash, Python, Vim, IOC, Agile, Scrum, HTML, CSS, SASS, RESTful API, Jira

Thycotic Software June 2012 - June 2014, provides secure account management software
Title: Senior .Net Consultant

  • Developed software for privileged-access management (PAM) using WebForms .Net C# on IIS and Active Directory, using a SQL Server database.
  • Utilized Test-Driven Development (TDD) and pair programming for all work.
  • Spearheaded design for web secret functionality, built with sophisticated JS bootstrapping.
  • Developed search algorithms in C# over encrypted data.
  • Technology: C#, .Net, Javascript, KnockoutJS, JQuery, WebForms, Asp.Net, Visual Basic, Windows, Active Directory, LDAP, Twilio, SQL Server, Putty, SSH, Openssl, X.509 certificates, Powershell, Iphone, Android, Linux, CI/CD, cloud, Jenkins, Visual Studio, LINQ, NUnit, Windows Server, VMWare, Cloud, Full stack, HTML, CSS, XP, Agile, Tomcat, IIS, Encryption, Security, PAM, XML, JSON, PetaPoco, MVC, Ajax, Less, Nant, YouTrack, Git, Subversion, MFA, RESTful API

Ekagra Software May 2010 - June 2012
Title: QA Lead

  • Reported project status on weekly stakeholder meeting.
  • Prepared monthly process reports on project and QA activity.
  • Reviewed target goals, priorities, and QA standards with stakeholders.
  • Promoted to team lead after four months.
  • Developed software tools for QA in Java.
  • Built security-hardened CentOS Linux nodes.
  • Technology: Microsoft Word, Java, Linux, Tomcat, Excel, HP Quality Center, Perl, VBScript, Selenium, SoapUI, Soap, GForge, Security, XML, Eclipse, Documentation

Katz and Sons, Architects Sep. 2009 - May 2010
Title: entrepreneur, architect, sales, marketing, accounting

  • Marketing
  • Financial and accounting
  • Architectural design, drafting, and specifications
  • IT and website management
  • Networking
  • Communication with vendors, clients, and consultants
  • Design types: residential and remodeling

Portman Architects May 2005 - Sep. 2009
Title: architect

Design for Hilton Bayfront Convention Center Hotel in San Diego

  • Coordination with consultants and contractors
  • Point of contact for all requests for information
  • Code analysis
  • Creation and drafting of functional and aesthetic design and detailing
  • Site review
  • Permit process assistance to developer

Tunnell, Spangler, Walsh May 2004 - May 2005
Title: designer and draftsman

  • Coordination with consultants and contractors
  • Code analysis
  • Functional and aesthetic design and detailing
  • Design types: 250-unit condominium, community pavilion, detached residences, mixed-use development

Peacock Partnership May 2003 - May 2004
Title: designer

  • Coordination with consultants and contractors
  • Code analysis
  • Functional and aesthetic design and detailing
  • Design types: Hospital and medical build-out

Hodge Engineering May 15, 2002 - Nov 14, 2002
Title: designer

Stephen B. Jacobs Group, P.C. Summer 2001
Title: designer

Eisenman Architects Summer 2001
Title: designer

Goodstein Architects, Inc. Feb 2, 2000 - June 12, 2000
Title: designer

Thomas Caldwell, Architect May 15, 1999 - Nov 12, 1999
Title: designer


You’ve brought the Common Purpose to life by improving teammates’ and athletes’ experiences ordering custom golf equipment through the delivery of TeeBox. ... we have seen a positive reduction in the number of custom orders cancellations and have made teammates’ jobs easier. Additionally, you have been a foundational pillar for the positive onboarding of the entire engineering team in the custom products space. Your actions and contributions have not gone unnoticed. Thank you again for all you’ve done for our team and company. You are a valued teammate!

- Jason Guttman, technical manager at Dick's Sporting Goods

The instructor (Byron) really knew his stuff, and did an excellent job explaining it while keeping us interested and engaged. It was great to see the light bulbs going off above people's heads (including my own) that "hey, this is actually something that's possible and we can start doing right now!" The positive effects will be magnified many times over as we spread this throughout our organization.

- student from software testing class

Technically: this project has been a joy to work on. Fearless experimentation and inquisition has led us in unexpected directions, not always fruitful to the source code but always helpful to my understanding. This has been a great experience for both learning Kotlin and internalizing the norms of test-driven development.
Interpersonally: Ideas lead. Never once have I felt pressured by the authority of seniority or expertise, and the result has been a welcoming and safe atmosphere that makes me feel more confident in my skills as a coder and a learner. Speaking personally, your confidence (Byron) that we can create something truly excellent is infectious, and something I didn’t know I was missing before.

- Mitch Hardee, junior developer at Coveros, speaking about work on the "Lab" initiative

Byron seems to be able to strike the delicate balance of listening, thinking, and suggesting smart solutions to problems. He seems to be intent on leveling up our team members. Whether it’s introducing new development tools such as Vi or other *nix commands, or going deep on Git and then teaching the rest of us what he learned, he seems to want to share his knowledge for the betterment of his peers. This philosophy is infectious and I would expect that other team members will be following his lead in learning a topic and teaching others.
He successfully delivered the rework of the Property survey page. As simple as that page may seem, it has a large set of small features that needed to be re-worked. The rework of the survey page had a dramatic effect on a number of user’s experiences as previously, this page took minutes to render for clients with large survey lists. Now it takes a couple of seconds at most.
I would like to see Byron contribute to a large effort such as the reconceptualization of our web application structure. I’m not sure if Byron could lead this effort or simply contribute, but his way of thinking would guarantee a positive contribution.
Byron uses probably the most diverse set of tools on the team. Understands multiple tool chains including *nix based and leverages those as needed to optimize his workflow. Probably, if given time and given the opportunity, he would vastly improve the core product workflow.

- Joel Rumerman, manager at CoStar Group

I highly recommend Byron Katz as a candidate for employment. Byron and I worked on the same team at the NCI Center for Bioinformatics. Byron’s technical ability and contribution was very strong and coupled with his resourcefulness and unwavering persistence he set himself apart from all of his peers. He was not only affable, but extremely reliable and was adept with working with all levels - from technical colleagues to senior leadership. Byron would be a tremendous asset to any organization and has my highest recommendation.

- Steve Young, colleague at NCI

Byron has excellent communication skills, has solid working relationships and is extremely organized and detail oriented. I was able to rely on him in completing his assignments from typical to complex technical issues in a timely manner using good judgment with sound decisions and recommendations. He takes great pride in his work.

- Greg Botsch, manager while at John Portman and Associates


ICAgile Certified Professional
ICAgile Certified Professional - Agile Testing
ICAgile Certified Professional - Agile Test Automation
ICAgile Certified Professional - Agile Programming
ICAgile Certified Professional - Foundations of Devops
ISTQB - Certified Foundation Level
ASTQB - Mobile Application Tester
ISTQB - Certified Advanced Level Test Manager
ISTQB - Certified Advanced Level Test Analyst
NCARB Licensed architect in Georgia (expired)

Company details

Obscurity Labs
    44921 George Washington Blvd 
    Suites 200 and 205
    Ashburn, VA 20147
    (877) 421-0822

Def Method, Inc.
    336 W 37th St. 
    Suite #335
    New York, NY 10018
    (212) 256-1460

Coveros, Inc.
    4000 Legato Road
    Suite 1100
    Fairfax, Virginia 22033
    +1 929.341.0139

CoStar Group
    Headquarters Telephone: 800-204-5960
    Washington, DC


Thycotic Software
    Washington, DC

Portman Architects
  Atlanta, GA

Tunnell, Spangler, Walsh
  Atlanta, GA

Peacock Partnership
  Atlanta, GA


University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bachelor of Architecture, 2002

“I'm not a great programmer; I'm just a good programmer with great habits.”
- Kent Beck