John O'Duinn, Founder, Release Mechanix, LLC
As a software developer, systems architect, director and founder, I enjoy designing and helping build release engineering infrastructure that is practical, reliable, cross-platform, scalable and efficient. I'm comfortable in ill-defined, high-pressure situations, writing code and leading teams in organizations ranging from fast-growth startups to non-profits to multinationals - including in the US government, as part of the U.S. Digital Service. In addition to technology, I love growing a culture where distributed teams work seamlessly together no matter where they are physically in the world. So far, every company I've worked in, and most teams I've led, have been distributed. The most extreme was a team I grew and led at Mozilla - a tightly knit team of 18 humans in 14 cities, in 4 non-adjacent timezones working with the geo-distributed Mozilla open source project. At pre-IPO Hortonworks, the team was in 4 cities, in 3 non-adjacent time zones, working closely with the geo-distributed Apache Hadoop open source project. I enjoy mentoring fast-growing distributed teams and am currently writing a book on leading distributed teams. The combination of these technical and cultural improvements are force multipliers - improving productivity and retention of developers, while also shipping better software in a more predictable, timely manner are competitive advantages to organizations. In some cases, these improvements also created new strategically important and profitable revenue streams.