Bryan Finster

Value Stream Architect

An experienced Value Stream Architect and technical leader with over two decades of experience developing solutions for large enterprises, I have a proven record for building product teams and delivering solutions that allow enterprises to improve organizational outcomes at scale. I am a contributor to the Enterprise Dojo Consortium, a DevOps Institute Ambassador, and a board advisor to the Value Stream Management Consortium. I am a frequent writer, speaker, and evangelist for everything related to improving the flow of value delivery.

Primary Skills/Tools

  • React
  • Node
  • JavaScript
  • C
  • Informix 4GL
  • Golang

Work Experience

Defense Unicorns

Defense Unicorns helps solve the most difficult software supply chain challenges in the industry

2021 - Current : Distinquished Engineer
USAF Platform One, Value Stream Architect

Recruited to help Platform One transform into a scalable software delivery platform for the US Department of Defense

Walmart Technology

Walmart is a global retail with over 11,000 stores worldwide online presence.

2018 - 2021 : Value Stream Architect
Developer Enablement, DevOps Dojo Lead

One of the technical product owners responsible for delivering a centralized opinionated delivery platform with the goal of broad adoption of continuous delivery workflows across all of Walmart Tech

  • Founded the Walmart DevOps Dojo. Responsible for defining the immersive learning techniques for helping every Walmart product team learn the principles and practices of continuous delivery in their context and to address knowledge gaps in teamwork, work decomposition, test architecture, and every other aspect of value stream improvement.
  • Collaborated with other product owners to reinforce good practices with the platform, to improve security and compliance guardrails, and enhance the developer experience.
  • Developed a strategy for scaling delivery improvement that focused on growing the number of Value Stream Architects in the organization rather than growing the size of the Dojo. This enabled senior engineers to partner with the Dojo team to leverage proven techniques to remove delivery constraints in their area"s context.
  • Led the design and implementation of an application that used realtime delivery metrics to suggest learning paths based on improvement playbooks developed by the Dojo.
  • Built and supported enterprise communities of interest to improve cross-organizational sharing of techniques for all aspects of development.
  • Delivery metrics were being used in wildly different ways in each org, sometimes resulting in very poor outcomes. I led an effort to create an internal standards group to standardize metrics definitions and how they should be used across the enterprise. This enabled a common approach to effectively measure efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of software delivery for the enterprise.
  • To improve sharing of testing practices, I helped form a coalition of Sr. developers to define standard terms for testing patterns and good practices for how to use them. This enabled the scaling of testing knowledge and techniques globally.

2017 - 2018 : Staff Software Engineer
Developer Enablement, Metrics Product Owner

Responsible for realtime metrics collection and designing views to help make metrics actionable

  • Led the effort to expose realtime software delivery metrics with gamification to encourage continuous integration and continuous delivery team behaviors. This led to early adopters asking for help to find better ways to improve delivery. The direct result of these requests for help was the decision to create a Dojo at Walmart.

2014 - 2017 :
Continuous Delivery Tiger Team

Member of the tiger team responsible for implementing continuous delivery in the first Walmart teams.

  • Logistics Systems management challenged us to find ways to accelerate delivery cadence from once per quarter to once every two weeks. I was responsible for discovering the workflow practices and coding techniques teams needed to use the new delivery platform effectively. This resulted in growing a typical team into a high performing, highly collaborative team with the ability to deliver changes within hours or days of a business request. The team was also able to accelerate the rate of change from quarterly to multiple times per day. This exceeded the challenge from management by several orders of magnitude over a 9 month period.
  • Led the effort to use Domain Driven Design to define the new team and product domain structure to enable a loosly coupled architecture and enable teams to deliver asynchronously.

2013 - 2014 : Senior Software Engineer
Source Management, Tech Lead

Responsible for integrating over 400 feature branches for the quarterly release of Walmart's global warehouse management system with the mandate to develop better processes that would make the team unnecessary.

  • Built automation to reduce the effort required for creating branches and build configurations for the 800+ components of the logistics system. This resulted in large cost savings as the effort reduced from two people for two days to fully automated with one command and 90 minutes.
  • Worked with team management and developers to move from ad hoc long lived branches to a process that moved the area very close to trunk based development. These operating changes reduced the number of permanant branches from over 400 to 3 and enabled us to disband the Scm team.

2011 - 2013 : Systems Analyst
Global eCommerce Project

Led one of the teams implementing changes required to enable Walmart DC"s to handle eCommerce order filling in addition to store order filling in the same facility. This allowed Walmart to more efficiently use its distribution centers.

2006 - 2011 : Systems Analyst
Global WMS Project, Tech Lead

One of the 3 team leads on the a project to merge four different warehouse management systems into a single set of global capabilities with responsibility for recommending the contracting vendor and leading the sumsequent development.

  • There were multiple unrelated systems running in distribution centers worldwide. To improve the ability to implement changes while reducing duplication, it was decided to take four of the most used systems and merge their capabilities. I was responsible for working with business stakeholders to define requirements for the common modules, reviewing designs, defining coding standards, mapping data models between four systems to a common model, and code review. The result was a system that was able to grow to meet the needs of an omni-channel supply chain and remove the duplication of efforts in each market.

2001 - 2006 : Sr. Programmer Analyst
International Grocery Distribution System, Tech Lead

Technical lead for the team responsible for delivering warehouse management solutions to Walmart's distribution centers in the UK, Mexico, and Japan.

  • Implemented voice order filling for ASDA Stores in the UK to improve the speed and accuracy of filling store orders.
  • Implemented the first application logging and source formatting solutions for the system. This enabled faster issue resolution, application performance monitoring, and reduced technical debt and was adopted by other teams.
  • Implemented automated version leveling to ensure all distribution centers were running the same versions of the WMS applications.

EXE Technologies, inc.

EXE was a leading supplier of supply chain solutions for large enterprises

1996 - 2000 : Software Engineer

  • Lead developer for integrating our system with Whole Foods' ordering system and overseeing the initial pilot to their San Francisco distribution center.
  • Lead developer responsible for supporting Sun Microsystems' warehouse management needs
  • Frequently sent onsite to troubled installs to work with customers and rapidly resolve the issues they were having.