About

Howdy Folks!

My name is Steve Feldman. You may or may not know me. Somehow you stumbled across my blog because most likely I didn’t tell you it exists. I am married to a beautiful young woman named Jenny. I have two adventurous and fearless daughters named Caroline and Molly.

The main purpose of my blog is to write about my professional career. Let me tell you a little bit about my career below:

I am an engineer, mentor, author, speaker, and technology executive. I specialize building high-performance technology teams that share my passion for end-to-end software/system design and deployment. At present, I oversee five development practices within Blackboard’s largest business unit and most successful product, Blackboard Learn. These practices are distributed across full-lifecycle development and deployment in the areas of exploratory research and development, performance engineering and testing, data science and design, security engineering and testing, as well as release engineering and data center infrastructure. My team is a global organization represented in the United States and Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Czech Republic and India.

I came to Blackboard in 2003 at the request of our founder and CEO to help a young start-up scale and transform to a world-class software organization. My initial responsibilities were to build a Software Performance Engineering practice from the ground-up. I made it my personal mission to inspire a culture of high-performance development and shared accountability assisting our customers achieve success deploying and scaling a low-latency, high-traffic learning management system.

In my early years at Blackboard I focused specifically in the science of software performance forensics, behavioral analytics, continuous integration, benchmarking/testing and performance-oriented design. While my role has expanded, these activities were and continue this day to be an area of passion that hold a special place in my heart. Along the way, I’ve been fortunate enough to extend into other disciplines of software engineering and management. For quite some time now, I’ve been able to expand my forensic and design skills into the practice of Software and Information Security. My rich background in data analysis and forensic mining was quite influential in directing many of the initiatives I’ve lead in the are of data science, collection and visualizations. The opportunities I relished to refactor our product for greater performance and scale have yielded ample opportunities to introduce entire frameworks and development practices to our core functional development practice.

The business experience I’ve achieved at Blackboard is worthy of several careers, This experience consists, but is not limited to:

  • Assisting Blackboard transform from an EdTech startup to a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ (BBBB) back to private under the direction of Private Equity.
  • Contributing to the diligence and integration of several mergers and acquisitions.
  • Establishing and growing business development relationships with key strategic technology partners.
  • Building several high-performance global development teams organically through local and International staff hires, team offshoring and professional services outsourcing.
  • Publishing multiple customer facing papers and studies.
  • Co-chairing our global development conference BlackboardWorld and DevCon.

Over the last three years I’ve shifted my focus to developer productivity and lean engineering practices. I’ve been leading several teams and initiatives in the area of continuous improvement and feedback as part of the development lifecycle. I’ve been driving organizational change to implement the practice of Continuous Delivery, complete with Continuous Integration value chains and deployment pipelines taking ideas from inception to coding to testing all of the way to deployment. These pipelines have been critical in providing immediate synchronous feedback loops to our development organization saving Blackboard valuable time and money delivering an industry leading product.

Prior to Blackboard, I spent some of my greatest memories as a software engineer and performance expert working for Manugistics in the Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Transportation field. As a consultant I was fortunate enough to successfully lead and execute multi-million dollar projects at prestigious companies such as Harley-Davidson, Staples, Kohls, Johnson and Johnson and Texas Instruments. As a member of the development organization, I was able evangelize software performance practices through pair profiling, development refactoring, high-performance design and competitive performance benchmarking.

I achieved my Masters of Science degree in Systems Engineering from the Applied Physics Laboratory program at The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. I did this while starting my Performance Engineering practice at Blackboard and also starting a family with my highly supportive wife. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgetown University. Feel free to ask how I ascended into the ranks of software development with an English degree. It’s definitely an interesting story of perseverance and passion for technology. My undergraduate degree has been critical supporting my path to success in becoming a better engineer and software executive.

Specialties: Agile Software Development, Software Performance Forensics, Web Performance, Continuous Delivery, Continuous Integration, Cloud Operations, High-Availability Application Design and Development, Real User Monitoring, Business Strategy,Behavioral Modeling, Data Analytics, Quality Engineering, Framework Development, Managing Global Teams, Deployment Architectures, Negotiation, Mergers/Acquisitions, Global Distributed Teams, Offshoring, Outsourcing, Continuous Improvement, Writing, Public Speaking and my personal favorite is growing a multi-million dollar budget from nothing.

Feel free to leave a comment or send a note my way. Enjoy!

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