Jim Harrer


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Thanks for stopping by.

You'll find my blog as diverse as my technology career. As a founder of two startups and President of three corporate turnarounds, including past CEO of two NASDAQ companies, and a VP of Development for a $2 billion enterprise, I've had the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills through the various challenges I've faced. Bootstrapping a startup with highly motivated teammates is different than modernizing a legacy application with IT professionals. Doesn't make one group better than the other, just different.  Taking a company public and becoming its chairman is different than walking into a public company, that is in trouble, named as their new CEO.  I draw on these experiences as I write this blog.

I use this website to stay in touch with people I have come in contact with through the years and meet new friends with similar interests.  I hope it also gives you a glimpse into some of the topics that have been on my mind at that time in my life. I leave the old articles up because it's fun to see how far my predictions were off or in the case of suggesting we hold on to our Facebook IPO shares, the right call.  I write because it is something I enjoy, though I'm not great at it - so please excuse any typos and grammatical errors you'll likely find.  The topics vary, based on my interest throughout the years, so don't really look for a trend.  From time to time I also write about personal events in my life, like my loss of my dog in 2015, as I know most of my family and friends appreciate those more personal articles.

As an inventor, I love ideation, creating, wire framing, customer development and the thrill of Alpha/Beta testing. My teams have created three franchises: Wildcat! BBS Suite, Mustang Message Center and EventMingle. If you're a past user of Wildcat!, Mustang Message Center, Mustang FileCenter, Mustang ListCaster or EventMingle, I'd love to hear from you. I also welcome those of you I worked with at Starbase Corporation (on StarTeam and CaliberRM), Web Associates, Alchemy Solutions (NeoKicks, NeoBatch & NeoData) and TrueBlue (ELLIS & Work Alert), please use the contact us form to say hello.

A lot of you are developers and most of you know, I'm a self taught programmer and author of the Wildcat! BBS Suite. I enjoy discussing the pros and cons of Waterfall versus Agile, and some of the latest thoughts around Bimodal IT and the need for Application Development teams to have the skills to develop in Bimodal mode 1 and mode 2. I'm also a certified Scrum Master and have championed agile development methodologies in companies large and small. I intimately understand the challenges enterprises face when moving from a 100% waterfall, PMO driven culture, to agile. 

I enjoy topics on organizational and team development, culture and leadership.  I believe, teach and endorse Blanchard's Situational Leadership II principles. I find working with people fascinating and believe you can create happy, healthy, high performing software development teams - but it takes work and some very tough choices for leaders. Leadership and culture is critical in our software application development and IT organizations, but because of the makeup of these teams, it is extremely difficult to find a leadership tone that will speak to everyone on the team.  Finding this tone has become my life long quest.

Today, I'm living in Gig Harbor, Washington, where I recently concluded an opportunity to lead an IT application modernization and innovation program for a large $2bn enterprise. I'm looking to join a great team, create some kick ass products and make a difference every single day.  Please use the contact us page to reach out to me if you know of any opportunities in the Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Washington area.

I hope you enjoy the blog, I haven't had the time to write the past two years, I hope to start writing again soon. Thanks for visiting.



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Jim's Latest Tweets

Scott Hunter (@coolcsh) Introducing https://t.co/O7C1LU6Y5I 5 and Web Tooling (Channel 9) https://t.co/9WWrFfb4FN via @ch9

Nice to see Hunter @coolcsh and Hanselman @shanselman on stage. You're not "lesser" in my book! https://t.co/ODPS8x66oo #connect2015

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services adds continuous integration and improved release management capabilities. #connect2015

Enjoying the live stream of the @microsoft Visual Studio NYC event https://t.co/xjvuCKCQrz #connect2015

Congrats to the Redfin team! "We used to ship major releases every three weeks, minor releases every week, and unpla…https://t.co/nde5H61mOO

"A great API is built atop a great developer experience." I'll second that! https://t.co/fh2IjglhR0

The story behind "Once a Marine, always a Marine. https://t.co/t589huRO74 Happy Birthday @WarVeteranUSMC @USMC #USMCBirthday #USMC240

Happy Birthday to the #MarineCorp on 240 years of humble service to our country. @USMC @USMCBirthday @USMarineCorps https://t.co/i7JtMWkH2O

I believe this book will stand the test of time as one of best reads today & for the generations of leaders to come. https://t.co/oZt2mX2ojc

I totally relate to this post, especially.. "work only with fundamentally nice people." Good read! https://t.co/32jfVLf8pW
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