Our Software Craftsmen
We've built a team of individuals who excel in their craft, communicate well, and work with integrity.
Ken Auer - CTO, Master Craftsman
If you know anything about the current state of the software world, you'll know that object-oriented programming and thought has become the state of the art. Ken is one of the few people in the world that has been building systems with object-oriented tools since the mid 1980s. He has mentored hundreds of software developers in the use of object-oriented thought and practice and has been a pioneer in many of the movements that has advanced the craft. He spends a lot of his time as the interface to potential clients, helping clients figure out the best approach to their needs, putting together the teams to meet client needs, making sure projects are running smoothly, and overseeing the development of the members of the team. His hands have heavily been in dozens of projects, and he still gets his hands dirty on a semi-regular basis to stay in touch with the craft and the other craftsmen.
Though he spends most of his energy in the practice of the craft, he has been known to speak, write an occasional article or chapter contribution to leading edge books, and even author a couple of books. He was asked to give the opening keynote at the first Software Craftsmanship North America conference on August 26, 2009 in Chicago. They liked him so much he was invited to speak again at the 2nd annual SCNA conference in October, 2010, and sit on a panel of experts on apprenticeship in 2011, too.
Ken's first book (co-authored with colleague Roy Miller), "Extreme Programming Applied: Playing to Win!" received excellent reviews as he explained how to practically apply the principles of Extreme Programming in the real world by relating his own thoughts and experiences as well as contributions from other pioneers. After many years, he is exploring co-authoring a new book based on his experience mentoring developers who were taught some programming but never learned the craft of building object-oriented systems with the working title, "The Craft of Object-Oriented Software Development (Make it run! Make it right!)".
What domains has Ken worked in? Network management, graphical manipulation, education, report creation, software developer tools, manufacturing process consulting support, financial trading, object-relational database mapping, order management systems, semiconductor manufacturing control, statistical analysis, lab data management, process configuration, administrative tools, automotive diagnostic tools, electronic medical records, e-commerce, member management, agricultural, and more.
Outside of software and entrepreneurship, Ken has interest and experience in history, family and church reformation, musical theatre, audio/video production of live events, construction, education, coaching, and maybe a few other things that he's not thinking about right now. Since he also feels the need to sleep, he has learned to focus on each of these other interests a season at a time. This diversity of interests and experience has enhanced his ability to quickly grasp the needs of his clients' business and help coach them in cultivating their innovative concepts.
Ken's been married to his wonderful wife, Carol, since 1985, and has three children in very different stages of life. As a homeschooling family, they all help in various ways to enhance the business.
Walt Briley - President
As President of RoleModel Software, Walt leads and manages business development, internal operations, and customer relations. He plays an integral role on the Agile project management team by collaborating directly with the customer to assist in the concept and product development process. Walt interacts with the software development team throughout the project life-cycle helping to transform customer ideas into working software. Open communication, quality assurance, and customer satisfaction are of utmost importance to Walt.
Walt brings a wide-range of experience as a business leader, IT manager, and project manager in the public, private, and government sectors. For 25 years, he has mastered the art of team building, customer service, and operations management excellence, supporting both internal and external customers. Integrity, honesty, and building authentic relationships are true assets to his character that have allowed him to hold Top Security clearances with the FBI and to serve as lead pastor of operations at a local church.
Walt enjoys cycling, coaching football, family time, and serving his community as a disciple of Christ.
Tim Irwin - Sr. Craftsman
Tim cut his teeth on medical software in the early-90s and had some great mentors. In addition to being a software developer, he served as a database administrator for several years, so he is the rare breed of person who knows just about anything you need to know about relational databases in theory and practice. He learned about object-oriented software early in his career and then plunged in deeply when he started working with RoleModel in 2004. You won't find a more dedicated individual than Tim, and you'll rarely find a software developer who is more well-rounded.
Tim has used databases of every scale:
- Access and FileMakerPro,
- MySql, SqlServer and Oracle,
- Teradata and Data Warehouses
Tim has used more languages than most on a professional level
- C, C++
- Visual Basic
- Java w/ Struts, Sails, Tapestry,
- Ruby w/ Rails
He has been involved in software related to group management, curriculum management, program scheduling, drug database management, clinical analysis, drug discovery research, cattle auctions, ...
Outside of software, Tim is an outdoorsman and has a small family farm, has served on the board of North Carolinians for Home Education, and as a deacon at Southwest Wake Christian Assembly. He has been married to his dear wife, Heather, since 1996 and has five active and growing children.
Caleb Woods - Web Developer
He joined RoleModel in 2012 and married his wife, Kimberly, that December.
Rick Evans - Sr. UX Consultant
Rick is a Sr. Consultant and a member of the core team at RoleModel Software where he works alongside the other software craftsmen who use Agile techniques to build excellent custom software. Designing is Rick's passion; Prototyping & Usability testing is a close second; Implementing the best solutions for customers is his #1 priority. Rick is one of those rare individuals who can both design a user experience and help implement it. He attended one of Ken Auer's Object-Oriented Thinking & Techniques Workshops in 1999 and learned not only better approaches to thinking about software, but the entire development process. This and other factors led him into focusing on User Experience where we dove in with a passion. A few years later, when he had the opportunity to work with RoleModel Software on a project, he saw the importance of merging Ux with Agile development and eventually became part of the Core Team at RoleModel.
Rick has used all sorts of front end tools to prototype or implement great user experiences depending on context,
- Flex, Flash
- Windows Forms
- Adobe Creative Suite
But Rick is far more than a technician and designer. He is an incredible ability to go from vague concept to actionable work through his expertise in areas such as:
- Usability Testing
- Contextual Analysis
- Task Flow Analysis
- User Research
And in case that is not enough, he has years of experience in implementation using languages and environments such as:
- C, Objective-C
Rick has experience in the fields of oil exploration, automation engineering, telecommunications, banking, retail, finance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and more
Outside of software, Rick is an avid reader and handyman. He has been married to his wife, Sarah, since 1983 and has five mostly grown children.
Graham Langdon - UI Design
Graham is passionate about designing applications that people love to use, and he works closely with project owners, end users, and developers to ensure an excellent final product. He carefully leverages text, color, line, whitespace, and iconography to make applications easy to understand and navigate, and to empower users to confidently complete actions. Behind the scenes, he meticulously crafts and organizes design-related code to promote a high-degree of performance across all targeted devices and browsers, and to allow stylistic changes to be made without side-effects.
The design process
Rather than drawing something in photoshop and "throwing it over the fence," Graham embraces an agile design process that fits hand-in-glove with the development style at RoleModel. Graham's designs begin with research- thorough conversations with the client, interviews with users or potential users, and surveying the best practices and design patterns being used elsewhere to solve similar problems. The designs themselves start out as semi-functional wireframes usually in-browser and usually in grey scale. This focusses the attention on getting the user interface right rather than prematurely getting concerned with embellishments. As the project progresses and concepts are proven, the designs take on a higher and higher level of fidelity.
More and more, the world relies on mobile devices where it once relied on desktops. The mobile revolution has brought with it a lot of exciting innovations in interface design. Graham loves designing for mobile and stays on top of all the latest innovations often buying apps just to experience the interface. As with web application design, Graham holds to an agile process when designing mobile apps beginning with research and letting form follow function.
Graham is passionate about learning and takes time most days to read the latest news in the tech world as well as books and articles on design. Graham believes cultivating a diversity of interests and experiences helps to provide valuable insights into one's own life and work. Graham's side activities include playing music, reading the classics, painting, woodworking, metalwork, and homesteading.
Graham received his bachelor's in IT Security with a minor in Graphic Design at Campbell University. He and his wife, Sarah, are stewards of the family farm in Four Oaks, NC.
Thomas Ingram - Web Developer
Thomas began his software development career as a self-taught web developer who started programming to create websites more efficiently. He is fanatic about following open web standards. Beginning programming professionally at a .NET shop, he quickly became disillusioned by anything Microsoft and started looking at Ruby. As a continuous learner, he came to RoleModel to take him to the next level and has grown immensely.
Thomas stays on top of leading edge web technologies such as Node.js and is constantly on the look out for the next great thing. He likes to experiment with promising new technologies in his spare time. He has released and contributed to several open source projects. Thomas is crafting a new programming language and finishing an awesome static site generator.
Thomas is married, owns two ferrets and has three nephews and one niece.
Ben Einwechter - Web Dev.
Ben is a deep and insightful thinker with a passion to continuously grow and serve. He started out serving in an IT position in a small business, and his desire for continuous improvement and problem solving led him down a path to become a Software Craftsman. After a variety of opportunities at PHP web development, he found himself seeking a better way to architect systems and a place to grow. That led him to Ruby/Rails and RoleModel Software where he has quickly become a solid developer and silent leader on RoleModel's Core Team.
Jay Shepherd - Web Dev.
Jay is a Senior Software and Platform Architect specializing in design and development with agile project management style, advanced software development and data analysis skills.
His specialties include: Agile project management, systems architecture, database design and software development with skills including Ruby on Rails, C#, ASP.Net, and SQL Server database development.
Paul Nicholson - Development
Paul is a strange breed who has delved deeply into a lot of areas of computers. He is one of the first people we call when there is a server or system problem. He also is one of the first people we call when something doesn't look right in a particular web browser. Oh yeah, and he develops software that sits in between the two also. Paul has dabbled in just about everything, and does it well. He is basically our go to man for emerging technologies, and is all over the mobile space, having developed iOS, Android, and cross-platform mobile apps.
Paul started here as an apprentice in 2004 bringing a lot of self-learning with him and has gained a tremendous amount of skills. In addition to learning a lot about crafting software, he's been a utility player tackling all sorts of technology beyond programming (audio, video, network administration, software packaging, etc)
Paul has been involved in a variety of systems including conference management, automotive diagnostics, electronic medical records, preventative medical diagnostics, cattle auctions, online directory management, and more. Paul has used a lot of technologies to build web sites and has built a variety of tools for building and maintaining web sites. He has worked with Austin Taylor to create a true WYSIWYG editor and simple content management system to help greatly increase the flexibility and maintainability of web sites managed by a group of non-technical volunteers on a non-trivial web site. RoleModel has begun to leverage these open source tools in many of their web applications.
Paul is married to Sarah and has a beautiful child. He comes from a large, close-knit family whom he has helped with a variety of businesses including a small band.
John Young - Development
John is part of an entrepreneurial homeschool family who recently decided to pour his time into developing his experience in many freelance web development efforts to the next level. As participant in the first Software Craftsmanship Academy he quickly rose to the head of the class and has been drawn into the day to day life of RoleModel. You'll be hearing more from him.
Lui Bright - Administrative Assistant
Lui has the pleasure of supporting a wonderful team of leaders and talented software engineers as the office administrative assistance offering services such as:
- administering inbound phone calls
- receive and direct visitors and clients for meetings
- clerical duties; photocopying, fax and mailing
- maintain electronic and hard copy filing system
- prepare documents including correspondence, reports, drafts, memos and emails
- schedule and coordinate travel arrangements for team members and management
Lui also serves as the office accountant with duties ranging:
- check and verify source documents; invoices, receipts, computer printouts
- allocate and post financial transaction details to subsidiary books
- transfer data to general ledger
- reconcile and balance all accounts
- collate and analyze account data and generate financial reports
- prepare checks, payments and bank deposits
- prepare and process payroll
- maintain complete filing system to support financial records
Christian DiLorenzo - iOS Dev.
Christian is an up and coming iOS and web developer. Initially self-taught, Christian learned quickly and showed great promise. After participating in the first Software Craftsmanship Academy , Christian is now working with RoleModel as a Jr. Developer under the guidance of older Craftsmen.
In addition to his aptitude for writing code, Christian has strong visual design sensibilities.
Tony Ingraldi - iOS Dev.
A skilled developer in many languages and frameworks, Tony specializes in iOS application development at RoleModel Software. Tony is passionate about delivering quality work and mentoring others who are interested in doing the same.
- iPhone Development
- Cocoa Desktop Development
- Shell Scripting/Automation
- Mac OS X
- Web Technologies (Apache Web Server, JBoss, Tomcat, ...)
Greg Tarsa - Developer
Greg began his career in the 1980’s working for Digital Equipment Corporation’s first commercial Unix offering. His professional background includes over a decade working as an independent consultant and nine years with NetApp, where he worked on their Unix-like OS to develop a new file system, SAN host connectivity, and a flash memory accelerator.
In 2013, Greg joined RoleModel as a developer, bringing skills in Ruby, Spinach, bash scripting, and C. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also pursues an unusual hobby: running a pirate singing group, the Motley Tones, on weekends during pirate season.
Aaron Gray - Web Dev.
Braxton Plaxo - Web Dev.
Braxton began pursuing a degree in computer science from Henderson State University, then transferred to CollegePlus where he is finishing out his degree. Most of his programming knowledge is self-taught.
Braxton’s greatest passions in life are loving people and walking out his faith day-by-day. He enjoys the outdoors, hiking, camping, and anything adventurous. But he also likes to code as a hobby and finds coding an outlet for creativity.
Jeremy Walton - Web Dev.
Jeremy initially explored programming in java through multiple robotics competitions. After desiring to broaden his knowledge, he participated in the Software Craftsmanship Academy. This has worked to expand his experience in both programming and working for a software company. Jeremy is now working with RoleModel as a Jr. Developer under the guidance of older Craftsmen.