Recommendations

Below are copies of the Recommendations from colleagues and friends as they appear on my LinkedIn Profile, with some added information that puts them in context. Such as the company and role they worked in, and our working relationship at the time we worked together.

Chris Andrew
Senior Director of Software Engineering / Ivanti - Heat Software

Ken is a very strong Agile process engineer with great insights on how to scale agile across a large software development environment. He ran our regular program and scrum master meetings all year and provided lots of useful mentoring and guidance to the teams. Enjoyed working with him!

Kashif Mirza
Senior Managing Consultant / IBM

Ken had consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the client and as the Technical Lead established a solid foundation for our project. He was focused on ensuring the client was successful and the larger team meet their commitments. ... I often resolved new issues by thinking about them from Ken’s perspective – “What would Ken do in this situation ?”

Scott Davis
Director of Engineering QA / Ivanti - Heat Software

I enjoyed working with Ken because he is practical in his approaches, and realistic about setting expectations and driving them towards delivery. I also worked extensively with Ken in transforming our cloud testing capabilities, and implementing a Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery [CI/CD - DevOps] ... Ken’s role in that major transformation was vital to our success. Ken was a key driver in implementing and executing our QA and testing strategies and training our teams how to execute ...

Kevin Davis
Application Engineering Manager / Adobe

When Ken started, the scrum teams were not operating very effectively, and were very resistant to following best practices. ... By the end of his 6-month contract, the teams had made significant progress toward agile adoption, and were seeing many of the benefits, including better work estimation and better predictability in delivery. I recommend Ken to any team looking to transition to agile processes, or struggling with lack of predictability in delivery.

Erica Webber
Associate Partner / IBM

Ken ... was instrumental in making it a huge success for us.  Ken was a great asset to me because he could quickly anticipate future issues/options and articulate them to support our decision-making.

Prajval Parthasarathy
Chief Product Officer / Ivanti - Heat Software

Ken has the deepest passion for “all things agile” and was a great partner to the engineering leadership through the agile transformation at HEAT. He is an expert at development tooling and metrics and quickly established a strong foundation with a new devops toolchain. He brings a strong work ethic and discipline to get things done. I would highly recommend Ken to any development organization looking for leadership to get to the next level of agility.

James DonFrancesco
Group Program Manager / Apple

Ken is a thoughtful, highly motivated individual. His professionalism and drive were two things that led me to bring him on board. I would recommend Ken to any team that is looking for someone who really understands Agile, and how to execute it, showing real value to the business.

Ken Folsom
Director of QA & Shared Services / Ivanti - Heat Software

... we worked together to on-board and/or up-skill teams of engineers in the principles of agile and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery [CI/CD - DevOps]. ... Ken was essential to the projects’ successes. Ken has great knowledge of agile, Scrum, CI/CD ... What also impressed me was how passionate Ken was about ensuring the teams he worked with succeeded ... if someone on the team didn’t understand the objective or importance, Ken would take the time to explain it clearly so that all understood. ... Ken is a true agile practitioner who embodies the spirit of individuals and interactions over those processes and tools.

Larry Apke
Agile Coach / Apple

When I think about Ken, the first thing that comes to my mind is his passion for Agile.  ...his desire to bring the benefits of Agile to those he works with sets him apart. I am thankful to have had him as a colleague and enjoy our many spirited discussions on Agile and how to successfully transform organizations.

Joshua Wong
Senior Engineering Manager / Apple

Ken’s judgment and expertise was a good fit ... he is caring and passionate, and such personality showed through in his team work and ability to work with a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds. I valued his partnership, and look forward to greater things from him.

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Apple

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Larry Apke
Agile Coach

2015

We worked together on Agile transformation of Scrum teams to help them improve.

I had the pleasure of working with Ken recently. When I think about Ken, the first thing that comes to my mind is his passion for Agile. Of course he has the knowledge of Agile necessary, but his desire to bring the benefits of Agile to those he works with sets him apart. Agile transformations can be difficult. Many times it is the drive, the desire to be successful that separates one who is successful. Ken brings that drive to his work, never giving up on his vision, even when things get tough.

I am thankful to have had him as a colleague and enjoy our many spirited discussions on Agile and how to successfully transform organizations.

James DonFrancesco
Group Program Manager

2015

He recruited me to Apple and I reported to him.

Ken is a thoughtful, highly motivated individual. His professionalism and drive were two things that led me to bring him on board. I would recommend Ken to any team that is looking for someone who really understands Agile, and how to execute it, showing real value to the business.

Joshua Wong
Senior Engineering Manager

2015

We worked on projects together that included his engineers.

Ecommerce is a challenging space, similar technology-wise to a distributed operating system. It requires experienced project management to understand the domain in depth, manage project progress accurately and drive resolution of all kinds in a timely manner.

Ken partnered with my team on several large, key initiatives that were critical to the company’s success. In his role, he defined agile best practices and drove process and delivery. He unblocked key dependencies across departments, kept a firm grasp on goals, and determined how to execute them with the team. Key dependencies are critical decision axes for our launches, given the lean timelines, technical complexity and dynamic scale at which Apple operates. Ken’s judgment and expertise was a good fit for the above. In addition to his skill, he is caring and passionate, and such personality showed through in his team work and ability to work with a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds.

I valued his partnership, and look forward to greater things from him.

Adobe

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Kevin Davis
Application Engineering Manager

2019

We worked together to transform and improve engineering team practices using Scrum.

Ken was an agile coach & scrum master for two teams on which I participated. When Ken started, the scrum teams were not operating very effectively, and were very resistant to following best practices. Despite the resistance, Ken was persistent in highlighting the value of the process, and ensuring the team was trending toward scrum maturity. By the end of his 6-month contract, the teams had made significant progress toward agile adoption, and were seeing many of the benefits, including better work estimation and better predictability in delivery. His significant experience was helpful in navigating the varying challenges that our scrums team faced.

I recommend Ken to any team looking to transition to agile processes, or struggling with lack of predictability in delivery.

Ivanti – Heat Software

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Prajval Parthasarathy
Chief Product Officer

2018

He recruited me and I reported to him.

Ken has the deepest passion for “all things agile” and was a great partner to the engineering leadership through the agile transformation at HEAT. He is an expert at development tooling and metrics and quickly established a strong foundation with a new devops toolchain. He brings a strong work ethic and discipline to get things done.

I would highly recommend Ken to any development organization looking for leadership to get to the next level of agility.

Chris Andrew
Senior Director of Software Engineering

2018

We worked closely together on leading and managing our large global SaaS / cloud product development efforts with up to 24 Scrum teams on 4 continents.

Ken is a very strong Agile process engineer with great insights on how to scale agile across a large software development environment. He ran our regular program and scrum master meetings all year and provided lots of useful mentoring and guidance to the teams. Enjoyed working with him!

Scott Davis
Director of Engineering QA

2018

We worked closely on advanced QA strategy and enablement of Scrum teams.

I worked directly with Ken on a large global project involving multiple development teams. I found Ken to be very knowledgeable, approachable, and organized. Ken was key in spinning up the project, and keeping our teams focused on delivering for our customers.

I enjoyed working with Ken because he is practical in his approaches, and realistic about setting expectations and driving them towards delivery.

I also worked extensively with Ken in transforming our cloud testing capabilities, and implementing a Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery model in our engineering group. Ken’s role in that major transformation was vital to our success. Ken was a key driver in implementing and executing our QA and testing strategies and training our teams how to execute in that model, and successfully deliver product to the cloud for customers.

Ken’s knowledge of CI/CD and how to integrate it into our agile model was key to our ability to transform the teams to a Saas based product line.

Ken Folsom
Director of QA & Shared Services

2018

We worked very closely together on CI/CD, DevOps and advanced QA automation.

I had the privilege of working with Ken for 2 years on several large software projects with 10-24 teams across the globe. In each case we worked together to on-board and/or up-skill teams of engineers in the principles of agile and Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery. As the Global Program Manager/Agile Coach, and my team’s Scrum Master, Ken was essential to the projects’ successes. Ken has great knowledge of agile, Scrum, CI/CD, and software development processes. Especially valuable was his depth of experience on using Agile metrics to encourage teams to adopt agile and CI/CD processes.

What also impressed me was how passionate Ken was about ensuring the teams he worked with succeeded. It wasn’t about doing “a good job,” it was “nailing it” to ensure maximum impact towards the stated goal. Additionally, if someone on the team didn’t understand the objective or importance, Ken would take the time to explain it clearly so that all understood.

Many engineering groups live and die by the tools and processes they create. Ken is a true agile practitioner who embodies the spirit of individuals and interactions over those processes and tools. That said, regardless of your selection of tool-sets and processes, he will quickly become an expert and shape them to enable your organization.

IBM

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Erica Webber
Associate Partner

2009

Manager of a team I was on, at an IBM client.

Ken worked for me as Technical Team Lead on a multimillion dollar project at IBM. Ken managed about 14 people for over a year. He was instrumental in making it a huge success for us.

Ken was a great asset to me because he could quickly anticipate future issues/options and articulate them to support our decision-making. For a technical lead, Ken was exceptionally strong in project management, organizing teams, and managing people.

Kashif Mirza
Senior Managing Consultant

2009

Colleague on a team I was on, at an IBM client.

Ken had consistently demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the client and as the Technical Lead established a solid foundation for our project. He was focused on ensuring the client was successful and the larger team meet their commitments. His depth of technical experience and abilities demonstrated IBM’s claim to technical superiority across a number of software products and lines of business.

Shortly after his departure, I often resolved new issues by thinking about them from Ken’s perspective – “What would Ken do in this situation?”

Dennis Griess
Associate Partner

2009

Recruited me and I directly reported to him.

I had the privilege of hiring and managing Kenneth when we were a part of the IBM Knowledge and Collaboration practice. Ken showed himself to be a creative problem solver. He clearly understood our client’s requirements and crafted effective solutions working within the constraints of the Domino stack.

Cliff Kramer
Project Manager

2006

Manager of a team I was on, at an IBM client.

Relationship: I met and worked with Ken when I was at IBM. We worked together on a project for NYC Dept. of Education. I was the leader of the design team, I had 4-5 team leaders reporting to me and Ken was one of the leaders. He worked on security, password interface, web trends (for use of system) etc. He worked on his own, sometimes he had 2-3 people reporting to him. He was in a flexible role. That is the only time we worked together.

Length of time worked with Candidate: 6 months+

  1. What was the nature of his/her work (key skills):
    He was a Team Leader and his responsibilities included Project Management on a variety of different types of projects. He would map out tasks, coordinate people’s activities and report to me. He was a problem solver, he also brought technical skills to the table. Majority of his work was planning, managing and coordinating.
  2. How would you describe the candidate’s communication style?
    He has a very clear and forth right communication style. He gets issues resolved quickly and well. He is very reliable. I think he worked very well with various teams. He is someone who can get the work done. In short, I can say his communication is very direct and he is not a politician.
  3. How would you rate the candidate’s organizational skills?
    Very good. I did not think there were any issues with his ability to organize. He was one of the best team leaders I had.
  4. How did he/she get along with others? (Supervisors, Peers, Subordinates).
    Normally quite well. There were couple occasions where I had to intervene as there were sensitive political issues on the project as a whole, but in most cases there were excellent relationships and the client respected the fact that he was direct. He had good technical knowledge and sometimes he had better knowledge than the client so he was very well respected. He is a very productive employee so people would love to have him on their team.
  5. When you think of the candidate what strengths come to mind?
    Technical capability, clear communication, task oriented, very organized, problem solver, direct style, flexible (can take on multiple challenges and handle them), multi-tasker , self directed (needs very little oversight).
  6. Were there any problems that you were aware of that interfered with his/her work?
    Not with the quality of work. A lot of us came from all across the nation, he came from Santa Cruz, and he came and did his work and was very reliable.
  7. Would you want to work with this person again?
    Oh yes, I would be glad to.

Kohls.com

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Satya Pandey
Program Manager

2014

Colleague I worked with.

Ken and I worked together at Kohls.com. I must say that Ken was an exemplary delivery manager from Grid Dynamics. He worked tirelessly with the off-shore team to meet the commitments. The project would not have succeeded without his efforts.

Veena Halleppanavar
Project Manager

2014

Colleague I worked with.

I had a pleasure working with Ken on couple of projects as a client.His expertise in Agile, Scrum methodologies along with his strong technical background is a great combination for a leadership position and is instrumental in making projects successful. Ken is a passionate leader and will be a great asset for any company.

Murugavel Sambandan (Sam)
Project Manager

2014

Colleague I worked with.

Ken is a very passionate coach and provides the leadership to establish agile practices. I had the opportunity to work with Ken and interacted with his teams. Ken provides excellent guidance to get the project back on track and to stay the course. He has helped to implement agile practices in tough distributed team environments. He actively helps and mentors anyone asking his advice. His blogs are something which I look forward to reading.

Genentech

Who

Year

Work Relationship

Recommendation

Phillip Law
Client Technologies Analyst

2012

We worked together on a project.

I had the pleasure of working with Ken on a iOS roll out project. His use of Google Sites provided up to the minute information pertaining to the project in a simple to navigate site. Finding information regarding updates to projects can sometimes be frustrating, but Ken made it easy for someone to get up to speed within minutes.