My professional career of a software developer started back in 2006.
(That said, I fell in love with coding at my age of 10.) I have worked mostly for larger companies
on enterprise-level software and have experienced various roles from testing to analysis,
architecture, project management and of course, writing code. Regardless of a label
I have always felt as a software developer contributing with my skills
(i.e. doing whatever was necessary) to the ultimate goal:
making a customer happy with a useful working software.
My journey of an agile coach started in 2010 in GE Money in pursuit of better code quality and,
in the first place, faster response time to new requirements. I started
to promote agile programming techniques within my team and later in a 25+ people department.
We have adopted many agile practices, vastly improved automation of our development and deployment
infrastructure and successfully implemented Scrum process on a pilot project.
Ever since I've helped companies of various sizes deliver software cheaper and faster
in a more efficient and reliable way.
I believe three things are necessary
to be successful in our industry these days:
empowered and motivated teams,
strong technical skills, and
a simple and transparent process.
I have 6 year experience of agile coaching, mostly in complex environments of larger companies (like AVG or GE Money).
I still actively code. I've found my technical skills largely beneficial while coaching.
I am a proponent of Software Craftsmanship movement. I organize regular events for programmers to sharpen their coding skills.
What I do
Full-time on-site coaching
For larger companies going agile is challenging. An introductory training gets you excited but hardly gets you ready. Becoming agile takes embracing new habits and getting rid of some old ones and it takes time. I will help you overcome the initial hurdles and guide you through the change by being around and actually working on your projects with you.
Get hands dirty
If needed I may become a part time developer on your project and start coding the real stuff. Agile is not only about a process, it's also about profound engineering practices. Rather than just talking about them, showing by doing makes the real difference.
Help manage Product Backlog
Agile process is not about chopping a big project on small two-weeks mini projects. It's about focusing on the most important and most risky, getting it done first and learning. You'd be surprised how little needs to be done to make for your business case and how much is often wasted on unimportant stuff. I will not do your business but I can slim your projects down to be on the marker rather sooner.
To understand your process I need to understand your company's culture, history (and politics). Don't expect me to learn about them by reading your project management documentation and meeting your staff a couple of times. While process audit may sound sexy, it's likely to result mostly in superficial changes which won't help you much.
I met a guy who seemed extremely lazy. When started doing Scrum something woke up in him. It wasn't me, it was the newly acquired responsibility to make a difference. (It was an eye-opening experience for me.) I met another. Starting with Scrum only made apparent how incompetent he was. (He got relocated later on.) Agile moves a lot of responsibility down to your people. Unfortunately, not everyone is interested.
Agile is hard. Really hard. The usual obstacles: some people not ready for new responsibilities, other people happy for being invisible, ill-conceived bonus schemes, and technical debt. I will help you overcome these but the real change is up to you. The result—strong empowered teams able to consistently deliver value and quality early and often—is definitely worth it.
Schedule a free consultation
I offer a one-hour free consultation to learn about your organization, your problems and expectations and suggest next steps. Give me a call or leave me a message, I'll get back to you as soon as possible.
Thank you very much for contacting me. I'll get back to you very soon.
Introduction to Agile & Scrum
Introductory 1-2 days interactive training covering core Agile principles and basic topics like:
Agile product management
Techniques of estimating and planning
How to start
and much more
The training is highly customizable to your particular needs and audience.
You can choose topics of your interest and total training length.
Full-time on-site agile coaching of internal development team, POs and SMs.
Tackled dependencies on external vendors.
Transformed governance process.
IT Systems Architect & IT Development Team Lead
"Karel has successfully introduced Scrum into the organization and has been the influential force that enabled the quick forming of our team(s). In Karel we had a top quality Scrum Master, resilient and enthusiastic supporter of agile approach and a highly knowledgeable advisor on both the development and integration topics. I highly recommend Karel to any organization decided to embark on the Agile train."
Timeframe Apr 2014—Aug 2014, 1-2x a month Brno, CZ
Initial training and subsequent regular agile coaching of a Scrum team and top management creating world class communication solution.
Co-Owner & CEO
"Karel's experience in agile development is really rich. We saw noticeable changes after three months. We are substantially more flexible. What our sales promises to our customers is developed real time. Good mood dominates the team, customers are happy. The success was determined by Karel's friendly conflict-free nature and ability to reach a consensus."
Timeframe Jan 2014—Apr 2014, full-time Prague, CZ, Presov, SK
Agile coaching of several distributed teams working for foreign customers. Helped set up agile contracts.
Set up improvement communities to tame technical debt.
"Working with Karel was both fun and productive time. As our agile coach, he came with great and innovative ideas which are still working here these days, so we think about him quite often. He says that he helps to remove old carpets. Yes, that's what he really does. In a playful and easy-to-understand way."
Timeframe Jun 2013—Dec 2013, full-time Prague, CZ
Scrum Master of two international teams working on a high-profile e-commerce project.
Helped ease start of the agile transition of the whole 50+ developers department.
Timeframe Dec 2012—Apr 2014, 1x a month Prague, CZ
Regular once in 1-2 months Scala trainings for developers.
"Karel prepared a series of workshops that were tailored to our needs and helped us familiarize our developers with Scala and related libraries, frameworks and tools. We especially appreciate his didactic skills and his ability to explain advanced concepts using well-chosen practical examples."