Resumé – Robert Black
Technical director / senior manager with talents for problem solving, strategic thinking and managing people to deliver business value.
- Over twelve years experience managing successful teams and departments.
- Five years experience directing multi-million dollar projects.
- Managed development of new generation of television ratings measurement software from conception in R&D through becoming one of the top three technologies in the global market.
- Current APMG PRINCE2 practitioner certification (http://www.apmg-international.com/prince2).
- Initiated and led cross-departmental development of a five year product and technology roadmap.
- Managed technology pilot based on big-data analytical techniques.
- Co-founded Causality Limited, an OS development company that was profitable within six months.
Management style focussed on teams of high-performance individuals solving challenging technical problems. Ideally suited to managing programming and IT. For software development, typically favour an agile approach while recognising that many business solutions must be delivered in a non-agile way at the point of delivery. Core values:
- Empowerment: many heads are better than one; strong staff solve problems.
- Alignment: of team, objectives, mission, and vision.
- Motivation: we want to be here; we want to work hard; we believe.
- Quality: both products and people.
Structure and communication are the keys to unlocking a department’s potential.
Web & Small Business Consultant (Present)
Sharon Krossa Consulting; Los
Altos, CA, USA (Sep
2013 – Present)
Self-Employed; London, UK (Jan
2013 – Apr 2013)
Provided business analysis, developed Drupal modules, and built Drupal web sites through Sharon Krossa Consulting. Advised and assisted artists in London setting up businesses and establishing web-presences.
Technologies/Skills: business analysis, consultancy, agile software development, testing, site building, art, Drupal, PHP.
Taylor Nelson Sofres / TNS / Kantar Media; London, UK (2003-2012)
Systems Strategy Director (May
2011 – Dec 2012)
Comtel Development Manager (Oct 2003 – Apr 2011)
Senior Programmer (Feb
2003 – Sep 2003)
Promoted to managing the sector’s data production software development department eight months after being hired as a C++ programmer (to work on software for a new technique for electronic measurement of television ratings). Grew a department of five people reporting directly to me on two niche products to one of around forty people with layers of management working on a suite of more than a dozen products used to generate broadcast-media ratings for a significant fraction of the world. In 2011, role expanded to include coordination of product strategy while handing off responsibility for client customization of products to a newly created programme management function. Key accomplishments included:
- Brought together sales and development teams to work together on a unified product strategy, resulting in a plan for revolutionary change to our products through agile evolution of the software.
- Championed increasing the department’s level of software engineering maturity, including introducing agile methodologies and supporting developers who wanted to try different approaches. Most dramatic resulting benefit was to cut release cycle for one product from six months to three weeks.
- Introduced use of PRINCE2 to improve governance of multi-million dollar projects.
- Developed financial models to give CFO clear picture of how resources were being used across projects.
- Initiated and managed R&D into big-data processing techniques evaluating technologies including Hadoop and Cassandra. Advised other groups on their use of big data.
Technologies/Skills: department management, strategy, department structure, project direction, project management, agile software development (SCRUM/XP hybrid), PRINCE2, C++, Linux, Oracle, big data, technology evaluation.
Entrepreneur; London, UK (2002)
Spent a year trying to set up companies with various business partners.
Senior Systems Consultant, Internet Vision; London, UK (2000-2001)
Systems programming consultant and member of the business development team for Internet Vision, a web consulting company. Set up management structures, started and initially managed systems and help-desk departments, coordinated technical troubleshooting teams, and established data-centre procedures for various client companies.
Technologies/Skills: Management, consultancy, strategy, troubleshooting, web, PHP, Linux, web-hosting, security, workflow.
Board Member, Causality Ltd; London, UK (1997-1998)
Co-founded company to develop operating systems for network computers and digital TV STBs, including working with Oracle to develop NCOS2 for DEC’s network computer reference platform. Profitable enough to pay founders market salaries within six months. Generated a return on investment in excess of 1000%. Founders decided to close company and take profits after hardware provider pulled out of flagship project.
Technologies/Skills: Entrepreneur, board member, strategy, open source.
Other Technical Experience
Systems Administrator, Computational Dynamics; London, UK (1997-2000)
Systems administration and systems programming for a computational fluid dynamics company. Taught programmers software engineering best practices.
Technologies/Skills: C, C++, Perl, Solaris, IRIX, Linux, Oracle, Clearcase, Exim, security, distributed parallelism, training.
UNIX Systems Administrator, Imperial College; London, UK (1994-1998)
Systems administration and technology training for a computational fluid dynamics research group.
Technologies/Skills: C, C++, Perl, IRIX, Solaris, UNICOS, Exim, security.
Education and Professional Certification
- PRINCE2 Practitioner (Project Methodology), APMG. Certification valid until Sept 2016.
- BA (Honours) Physics, Oxford University, UK