James (Jim) Holmes


Well-organized, motivated engineer passionate about continual improvement for skills, processes, and teams. Internationally recognized influencer in test automation communities. Exceptional writing and speaking skills.


Development: C#, Java, C++, SGML/XML/HTML, CSS, Ruby

Tools: Visual Studio, Team Foundation Server, MSTest, NUnit, MBUnit, JustMock, Rhino Mocks, Subversion, Git, PowerShell, *nix shell, Cucumber, Selenium/WebDriver, Watir/FireWatir, Telerik Test Studio, TestComplete


March 2015 - Present: Pillar Technology

Executive Consultant

  • Engages with clients in Fortune 500, 100, and 10 tiers to improve their software quality

  • Part of team responsible for transforming 100+ member delivery team from waterfall to agile

  • Provides guidance and implementation assistance on all aspects of software quality

  • Creates and provides training and coaching to move non-coding testers into software automation

  • Specializes in moving testers from stove-piped, centralized work into embedded members of delivery teams

December 2014 - Present: Guidepost Systems

Owner, Principle Consultant

  • Works with clients to assess and transform organizational culture and delivery practices

  • Delivers workshops on software quality, business value streams, and communication

  • Provides assessments detailing actionable items for organizational transformations

  • Recognized influencer and mentor in Leadership development, particularly for IT teams

March 2014 - December 2014: Falafel Software

VP, ALM and Testing

  • Responsible for growing ALM and Testing division.

  • Created new offerings for training and coaching concepts.

  • Executed on over $130K of new business in Q2/Q3.

  • Built strategic relationships with product vendors.

  • Delivered online and in-person training.

  • Assisted product vendor partners with pre- and post-sales support.

July 2012 - March 2014: Telerik

Evangelist, Director of Engineering, Evangelist: Test Studio

  • Responsible for increasing awareness of products to global audience.

  • Created webinars, white papers, blog posts, and videos to increase market recognition.

  • Spoke regularly at industry conferences on a broad range of software quality topics.

  • As Director, lead global team of 30 engineers creating multiple testing products.

  • Managed prioritization and expectations around release feature sets and release dates.

  • Interfaced with marketing, business development, and sales to prioritize and publicize features.

  • Broke location-specific component teams into divisional feature teams, boosting communication between geographic locations and increasing division’s flexibility.

  • Changed post-development testing to collaborative in-process testing, decreasing code freeze time.

  • Delivered online training to hundreds of attendees, and numerous different organizations through multi-day onsite coaching engagements.

April 2005 - January 2014: CodeMash Conference

President, Board of Directors

  • Oversaw growth of conference from 250 attendees in 2006 to 2,000+ in 2014.

  • Direct management of all budgetary issues—nearly $750,000 in 2014.

  • Directly responsible for all venue coordination, IT planning, and catering.

  • Directly responsible for sponsorship revenue through 2013. Achieved $150K in sales for 2013 event.

Nov 2008 - July 2011: Telligent Systems

Director of Quality, previously Project Manager

  • Envisioned and built Telligent’s entire QA department from zero members to seven in 18 months.

  • Managed Telligent staff and offshore personnel through all aspects of quality lifecycle.

  • Directly responsible for quality-related aspects of business relationship with key global customers.

  • Drove automated test cases from zero to over 15,000 in 18 months.

  • Implemented and managed pre-release test passes of products each iteration by entire development team. Reduced show-stopping bugs from four per release to zero for eight consecutive releases.

  • Implemented a point-based estimation/velocity system for software development, eliminating two to four hours of wasted estimation time per developer per two week iteration.

  • Doubled developer velocity, in part, by implementing a pull-based single-task workflow.

April 2007 - Nov 2008: Quick Solutions, Inc. (QSI)

Studio Lead, Information Worker Studio; Project Engineer

  • Led a team of technologists to successfully deliver software and systems solutions to clients. Managed relationships with partners and clients. Managed business plan for IW studio.

  • Implemented iteration retrospectives throughout QSI’s Solutions division, resulting in improved team communication on all Solutions projects.

  • Implemented Kanban processes at several project sites, cutting wasted development time.

  • Technical lead on Windows Forms client-server application hosting technical manual content in HTML coupled with schematics viewers in BMP and DWF graphics formats.

  • Awarded company’s Outstanding Contributor award for leading team delivering cutting-edge training materials to Microsoft’s Developer Platform Evangelism division.

July 2006 - April 2007: NuSoft Solutions

Principal Consultant

  • Responsible for pre-sales client support, design and execution of client solutions.

  • Assisted with design and implementation of several proof of concept workflows on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server platform.

August 2003 - March 2005: Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Kettering, Ohio

Systems/Software Engineer

Lead Engineer for Air Force Common Viewer (AFCV) program. Assisted with contract proposals and project schedules. Created solutions for a wide range of customers such as Ogden Air Logistics Center.

June 1998 - July 2003: Veridian Systems (now General Dynamics - Advanced Information Systems), Arlington, Virginia

System Engineer/Customer Relations Manager

Managed customer relations and provided engineering support for Veridian’s AFCV program, including roles as interface to prime contractor/USAF customers. Served as primary test engineer.

Designed and implemented software and database components for projects in C++, Java, Oracle, and Sybase. Dealt with National Imagery and Mapping Agency products. Lead for Veridian’s effort in the E-3’s Integrated Technical Display System. Managed networks at Veridian’s Virginia work centers.

January 1997 - July 1998: Ingram Micro, Munich, Germany

Network Manager

Led three-person team supporting network operations in three countries. Planned, tested and migrated work center network from Token Ring to Ethernet during a weekend relocation of the entire work center.

1995 - 1996 Stream International, Munich, Germany

Telephone Hotline Technician

Handled new user support for major international online service. Resolved problems with modem and computer configuration. Created online help files detailing workflows for techs.

1982 - 1993: United States Air Force, various locations

Instructor Airborne Radar Technician

Operated and repaired radar systems during flight on E-3 aircraft. Instructed a wide range of students. Also managed and supported numerous small computer systems.


Woodland High School, Woodland, CA (National Honor Society)

BS in Computer Information Systems, Chapman University, Orange, CA. (Cum Laude)


Past President/Founder, CodeMash Conference:

Founder, Dayton .NET Developers Group:


Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Visual C# (awarded first in 2005), then Application Lifecycle Management. One of fewer than 300 Microsoft ALM professionals in the world recognized for their contributions to the .NET development community.

Voted “C# MVP of 2011” by fellow C# MVPs for leadership of CodeMash Conference.

SPEAKING (Selected Listing):

Leadership 101 Workshop Numerous times 2015, 2016, 2018

Four Tips to Improve Your Web Automated Testing: Numerous times 2011, 2012, 2013

Effective Distributed Teams: Cincinnati & Philadelphia Days of Agile 2011, QUEST 2012, StarEast 2012

Introduction to Unit Testing: Dayton .NET DevGroup, MIGANG, others, 2010

Leadership 101: Numerous times in 2009, 2010, 2011

Utilizing Avionics Bus Data for Increasing Pilot Situational Awareness: A-10 World Wide Conference, Las Vegas, 2004

Various slide decks from presentations hosted online at my account

Video of “It’s Not About You” KalamazooX 2013 Conference talk

PUBLICATIONS (Selected listing):

Blogger at

The Leadership Journey, LeanPub, July, 2017 Practical, concise, relevant information and exercises on becoming an effective leader.

Windows Developer Power Tools, O’Reilly, October, 2006. (Co-author) Exhaustive discussion of open source tools for Windows developers covering the entire development lifecycle.

Extensive number of articles, whitepapers, and content for numerous publications and sites including

Extensive number of product and educational videos at