Byron Katz headshot

CV/Résumé for Byron Katz

email: byronka@msn.com
phone: 240-463-0643

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

I have been in love with computers since my father bought the family a Commodore 64 in the eighties. I have diverse experience, having been an architect, an entrepreneur, a software tester, a trainer, and a developer.

Mission statement

  • 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

I have experience at software firms ranging from start-ups to large enterprises to government projects. My primary project experience has been as a full-stack developer of multi-tier web projects in Java and .Net, but most recently I have had the opportunity to teach best practices in software development and testing. I enjoy making valuable concepts accessible to a larger audience, and I want to persuade others that the costs of quality, simplicity, and beauty pay for themselves in the long run.

My characteristics

  • 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

Current location: Virginia suburbs near Washington, D.C.

Portfolio of work

Demo - a demonstration of good development practices - including TDD, BDD, and quality
https://github.com/7ep/demo

R3z - A corporate timekeeping application, built using TDD/BDD
https://github.com/7ep/r3z

Github - Personal work
https://github.com/byronka

Questions on which I have proposed some answers
https://stackoverflow.com/users/713809/byron-katz

Personal ramblings
http://renomad.com/

A discussion I held on agile:
https://youtu.be/FsW8LWwtpcM

... and on minimum viable product:
https://youtu.be/dR6RLkcMGHs

... and on how I teach/present:
https://youtu.be/69ncONUSZf0

A pair-programming session in Kotlin using TDD and BDD
Pair programming session 1 (TDD/BDD/Kotlin)

How Git bisect works
https://youtu.be/QSh4Ble37yk

Projects

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 web application that manages account access information such as passwords and usernames.

Password Reset Server, Thycotic
A web application that provides capability to reset passwords without needing to involve help desk.

Group Management Server, Thycotic
A web application that provides restricted functionality over Active Directory groups, such as moving users between groups.

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.

Courses I teach

I teach many classes. Here are some of my favorites

  • Software Testing Fundamentals, certified by ISTQB
  • Introduction to Agile, certified by ICAgile
  • Foundations of DevOps, certified by ICAgile
  • Behavior-Driven Development
  • Performance and Load Testing
  • Agile testing
  • Engineering Agility Workshop

Programming languages I have played with

(in alphabetical order)
  • Ada *
  • (x86) Assembly
  • Basic - Apple ][e (or is it //e?) and Commodore 64 flavors
  • C
  • C++
  • C# **
  • Haskell
  • Java **
  • JavaScript **
  • Kotlin **
  • Lisps (Scheme and Common Lisp) *
  • Pascal
  • Python *
  • Rust *
  • SQL (multiple flavors - TL-SQL, PostgreSQL, MySql (MariaDB)) **
Note: Zero stars means scant use or several years since last use. One star indicates beginner comfort and recent use. Two stars indicates professional use.

Companies I have worked for

Coveros 2017-present, a software consultancy in Virginia suburbs outside Washington D.C.

  • Taught and coached in modern software development practices to groups ranging from private individuals to some of the largest international organizations. Topics included: modern agile engineering, test-driven development, behavior-driven development, test automation and proper testing practices.
  • Developed software used as a teaching material and reference for best practices, found at https://github.com/7ep/demo
  • Ran an internal teaching initiative to improve the abilities of the consultants in innovative software development techniques
  • Demonstrated value of careful refactoring, addition of unit tests, and comments on legacy code. Doing so uncovered multitudes of long-standing defects.
  • Rewrote portion of code in Healthcare.gov that generated data for reports. While doing so, took the time to become familiar with the domain, thereby discovering undefined requirements which led to greater precision from stakeholders.
  • Involved with first development efforts on a new healthcare provider registration system for Medicare, called PECOS 2.0. Provided considerable technical guidance and mentoring in the subject areas of team process, data modeling, code quality, and devops.
  • Refactored the data provisioning system to be independent of the main application, to allow greater versatility in different stages, as well as during the development cycle.

CoStar 2015-2017, the world's leading database of commercial real estate data
title: Senior Developer

  • One of the pages was taking up to a minute to render using old, sluggish XML-XSLT technology. Rewrote using KnockoutJS and MVC RESTful endpoints, causing average page loads to take less than a second, and for client-side sorting actions to be near instantaneous.
  • In a series of lectures and workshops, taught Git to team.
  • Researched techniques for rewriting our client-controlled report generator. After thoughtful vetting of many alternatives, suggested using HTML-to-PDF rendering for templated HTML. This is now used on all new reports.
  • Assisted systems team in starting to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • One of the tools that we use for performance analysis indicated that there were many opportunities for improvements in our SQL queries. Two of us analyzed a variety of queries, taking them apart and rebuilding, to see where we could find optimizations for speed while maintaining correctness. We sped up the system 33%.
  • Demonstrated the benefits of adding thoughtful comments throughout the code base to illuminate the way for maintenance programmers.

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

  • Provided full-stack maintenance and development of new functionality

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

  • Designed, implemented, revised, and refactored much of the business logic layer using pair programming, test-driven development, and other XP practices
  • Realized there was a need for storing secure web account information and made the case to the product owner successfully.
  • Responsible for demonstrating products to potential customers.
  • Developed algorithm to search large encrypted text. This was quite involved. Since the encrypted text could be very large, the outcome was an algorithm that searched using a small window.
  • Rewrote main CSV parser - code was simplified and corrected, and only half the lines of code turned out to be necessary.
  • Brought to the fore several previously unconsidered critical security concerns.
  • Corrected bugs in existing native applications for iPhone and Android.

Ekagra Software 2010-2012
title: QA Lead, contractor to National Cancer Institute at the Center for Bio-informatics

  • 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.
  • Rose to team lead after four months, due to my communication and technical skills, and my passion for quality software. Became responsible for tasking 5 QA engineers.
  • Developed a variety of software tools to support work, such as one to analyze differences between Java property files.
  • Built security-hardened Linux nodes on virtual machines for environment testing.

Katz and Sons, architects 2009-2010
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 2005-2009
title: staff architect

Architectural design and assistant project manager during design and construction of $300 million Hilton Bayfront 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
  • Design types: 1200 room convention hotel, university library, podium levels of high rise tower.

During the San Diego Hilton project, I developed an excellent rapport with all consultants and the Contractor and Owner, resulting in 1) a greater number of successful actions between all parties 2) improved efficiency in the Request For Information (RFI) process 3) timelier responses from all parties 4) greater effort from all associated parties to assist as a team, resulting in less effort and time required by the Architect. This greater efficiency led to less time required for all tasks and increased quality of work.
Developed unusual details, taking into account multiple avenues of research and consultation. Emphasized low-maintenance, longevity, and durability in design. For example, I detailed the steam room in the spa. This required intensive research in tile details, waterproofing details, and steam machine details, as well as reviewing the specifications and consulting with a waterproofing consultant. The result was a set of drawings which included all necessary provisions to build a steam room which would work for a long time with low maintenance. In another instance, I designed a "hidden" door behind the front reception desk which had unusual constraints: It was curved, was on a smoke and fire barrier, had to have electronic security, and was intended to conceal itself by blending in with the rest of the wall.. This required research and consultation with the General Contractor and sub-contractors, our door consultant, security consultant, and electrical consultant, as well as the Owner. In the end, we had built a door which successfully blended in with its surroundings and solved all of the problems within budget

Tunnell, Spangler, Walsh 2004-2005
title: Architectural 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 2003-2004
title: designer

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

Commendations

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

Certifications

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)

Education

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Bachelor of Architecture, 2002

Barcelona study-abroad program, 2001

Company details

Coveros, Inc.
    coveros.com
    4000 Legato Road
    Suite 1100
    Fairfax, Virginia 22033
    +1 929.341.0139
    info@coveros.com

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

Invision
    defunct.

Thycotic Software
    thycotic.com
    https://thycotic.com/about-us/contact/
    Washington, DC

Portman Architects
  https://portmanarchitects.com/
  Atlanta, GA

Tunnell, Spangler, Walsh
  https://www.tsw-design.com/
  Atlanta, GA

Peacock Partnership
  https://www.peacockpartnership.com/
  Atlanta, GA

Current references available on request.

Contact me at byronka (at) msn.com