HI! My name is Geoff Wagner. I am a lifelong learner specifically focused on the technology space. My career started as a software developer in the PHP ecosystem. I was building search indexes and website scraping tools where timing and performance were very important. As I have grown in my career my focus shifted from pure software development to software delivery. Some people will consider this a move into "DevOps". I have helped businesses shift from legacy human-based deployment models into models which combine configuration management, infrastructure as code, event orchestration, and day 2 operations bringing flexibility and stability into their ecosystems.
Over the last few years, my career has taken a shift away from being purely technology-focused transitioning into a management role. I am now empowered to work with engineers and architects on developing automated delivery pipelines for the future. This blog is meant to be a representation of that journey.
I am very opinionated when it comes to well-developed and well-run technology. It is easy for technology to take center stage when people are heads down and churning things worked products. This means that the human element of being on a delivery team gets marginalized and ignored. My interests are centered around bringing humans and technology together in a way that enables people to expand their horizons.
I currently work for ICF International as a Partner of Technology focused on Hosting. This position has allowed me to develop and utilize skills in project delivery, technology delivery, and application deployments. I have also had the privilege of working with, advising, and coaching many very talented teams across a multitude of industries at ICF who are passionate about their work and passionate about their customers being successful.
Early on in my career, I worked as a software developer for a few different organizations. Each company I worked for was a stepping stone to a future career moving closer to helping teams on their DevOps and Agile adoption journeys. While I very much enjoyed my time doing software development, I was exposed to a series of different methods of delivering technology and they all felt disjointed and far too complicated.
Please note, this is not a condemnation of anyone I have worked for in the past and I thank all of them for the opportunities that they provided me to both do good work and grow in my career.
Most of the exposure that I had pushed my never ending curiosity about how to smooth out delivery, reduce failures, and increase quality of the work my teams and I were performing. I believe that everyone deserves a quality product that reflects the passionate work everyone puts into it.
All of this has lead me to exploring Agile project management and DevOps delivery methodologies.
I have over a decade of experience working with different companies, internal organizations, and managing teams helping them transform their software delivery practices from disjointed manual processes into well oiled Agile delivery pipelines utilizing the DevOps methodology. These transformations have reduced overall IT technology burden, increased customer satisfaction, and created happier and healthier delivery teams.
The primary goal of any transformation is to reduce aspirational velocity and increase realistic expectation setting early on. A major gap in delivery is generally mismatched expectations from realistic delivery capabilities. By building more focused alignment in these areas, everyone involved can have more focused dialog rooted in solving real problems which turn into valuable results.
After realistic expectations are set, we move on to technology transformations through either IT or digital transformation and modernization. This processes requires full participation from both technical and non-technical resources to merge together project management methodology and delivery methodology. The goal is to have a well oiled machine delivering technology in unison rather than multiple parties building near each other without empathy.
Technology transformations generally start through training in specific areas or Agile and Devops to help broaden perspectives. From there goals are set, automation introduced, and the transformation can begin. The end result is a group that can push changes and have them running in production on the same day. In my experience, this transformation is lengthy with lots of twists and turns, but the results have long lasting positive impact to any of the businesses I have worked with.