Welcome to JimHarrer.com
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, VP of Development for a $2 billion enterprise and now leading a Program Management Group at Microsoft, 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. Driving focus and execution excellence at Microsoft works a completely different muscle. 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 working at Microsoft as a Principal Group Program Manager where I have the honor to lead Program Management for Microsoft's Hybrid Integration Platform. These products include BizTalk Server 2016, Azure Logic Apps, Azure API Management and our Host Integration Server.
I hope you enjoy the blog. With my duties at Microsoft I haven't had the time to write the past couple of years. I hope you find some of the old articles insightful and humorous as I got some things right and others a miss. Thanks for visiting.