Zach Nies brings over 20 years of engineering and product development experience to Rally. Prior to joining Rally, Zach served as Principal Architect and Director of Systems Architecture for Level 3 Communications where he focused on new technology and process adoption for their 550-person development organization. Prior to Level 3, Zach was co-founder of a startup that used web technologies to change how creative professionals managed projects. His company was acquired by publicly traded Creo, Inc. now a division of Kodak. He also served as Chief Software Architect at Quark, where he provided the overarching technological vision for the company. Zach’s product vision has won numerous industry awards, including Jolt Product Excellence awards, Seybold HotPicks and the prized MacWorld Best of Show. Zach has served on standards bodies such as the W3C's HTML working group.
At the age of 13, Zach began commercially publishing software and, at age 16, started a successful consulting business. A Boettcher Scholar, Zach received his BS with distinction in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He spends his spare time tuning his golf swing and spending time with his family.
In his book, The Lean Startup, Eric Ries talks about the Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop as the primary way of executing in environments of uncertainty. The goal of this feedback loop is to turn assumptions, risks, and unknowns into knowledge. Knowledge guides teams and companies to progress effectively through uncertain environments, and this leads to a more stable path to innovation.
Have you ever been part of a company where your value to the organization seems to diminish as the company grows? Each time I have worked for a growing company, it reaches a point where the early employees leave (or are asked to leave) because no one seems to perceive their value anymore.
My story about a great company and its growing pains
Video by Rally Software Chief Technologist, Zach Nies, providing in-depth answers to 8 questions about establishing a common definition of done. A common definition of done lays the foundation for focusing on business value while avoiding technical debt.
In his blog post Opening Space at RallyOn, Ken Clyne introduced the Open Space Technology that will be drawing from during day two of the RallyOn conference. Our Founder and CTO Ryan Martens has a topic to propose during the Open Space. He wants to explore in-depth the experience of attendees in steering agile teams and programs. We sometimes refer to this as strategic use of agile, as opposed to just using agile techniques to execute.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences and trade shows in my career. Over the years, some of them have faded into oblivion, some of them blur together and hold no distinction in my mind whatsoever, and then – there are the few, the rare events that really stand out. I wasn’t planning to write a blog post about last week’s Mile High Agile Conference in Denver. But, I was truly inspired and wanted to share a bit about why it ranked among the one of the top conferences I’ve ever attended – a regional conference that (in my book) outranks many large-scale, national shows.
Rally Software Chief Technologist, Zach Nies, addresses the barriers to whole team ownership of Agile quality using Christopher Avery's Responsibility Process. The process outlines how by paying attention to the ways everyone naturally avoids responsibility, you will be able to move past the barriers that contribute to poor quality. According to the Responsibility Process, the three keys to taking responsibility are: 1) intention, 2) awareness, and 3) confront.