I’ve found great satisfaction working at the intersection between software technology and business. I thrive in an environment that offers variety, technical challenge, and opportunities to pioneer new products and technologies.

Most of my career has been in two areas:

  • Working with engineers at prospective customers to learn about their projects, help them understand highly technical product offerings, and earn their business. This role is often referred to as an application engineer and it is a fun combination of sales, engineering, public speaking, and think-on-your-feet creativity.
  • Working with product teams to define requirements, business cases, and create software products. As a product manager I’ve had to work as both a business and technical leader to help align engineering investment with customer need.

What I find most enjoyable is the opportunity to create new products. My professional goal is to create someday create a great product… a stunning product that is elegant, powerful, balanced, useful, and brings joy to those who work with it. A product that has intrinsic value to its users and provides profitable growth to the business.

Technical and Business Skills

Experienced

  • Product management: Working with customers, creating product business cases, crafting user stories and requirements, release definition, defining roadmaps in collaboration with engineering.
  • New product definition, positioning, pricing, and business model creation: The structured creative process to go from idea to product offering.
  • Technical sales and training application engineers: If selling a product takes an army then this is how we prepare them for battle.
  • Technical marketing: Creating collateral to tell the world why we have the best mousetrap. Examples include presentations, webinars, videos, papers and websites.
  • Linux: 10 years of daily Linux on the desktop… then I went Mac.
  • Embedded Linux: Building, booting, customizing, working with the suite of GNU tools and build environments such as OpenEmbedded and the Yocto Project.
  • Team Management: I’ve managed a small team of independently motivated and technical people in technical marketing, sales support, and product owner roles.
  • Working with distributed teams: For over 10 years I’ve worked in distributed teams. Not just teams with an offshore contingent but teams where every single person is somewhere else. I can’t recommend Zack Grossbart’s ebook ”The One Minute Commute” enough for insights into how to succeed as a self-driven remote worker.

In the repertoire

  • Product Owner: I use Agile techniques for product planning (backlogs) and even for managing non-engineering teams. I’ve also served as product owner for various efforts and worked closely with the team scrum master to run effective sprints.
  • Languages: From time to time I’ve worked in Perl, C, Python, Ruby, and Javascript.
  • Cloud (IaaS/PaaS/SaaS): I fell in love with Amazon Web Services early and had an opportunity to create a web application based on Ruby and Puppet that created on-the-fly VM’s to enable hosted product evaluations.

Learning

I’ve always got a few technologies that I’m tinkering with. Right now I’ve got an interest in learning how to create hybrid local and SaaS based web applications that break out of the browser’s sandbox to get work done with systems that aren’t web-native. The experience achieved by tools such as Cloud9 will become expected of many other currently native applications in the future, I predict.

  • Dynamic data driven web applications with Meteor, Javascript, and Node.JS.
  • Animated data driven graphics in the browser with D3.js
  • Creating customized maps with TileMill. This is a really interesting application because it is installed but is built with web technologies that run in a customized browser.

Favorite Books

I’ve always thought that you could learn a lot about a person from the books they read.

I’m a Ramblin Wreck!

I graduated from The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) with a degree in Computer Engineering.

Professional Bio

Should you have need for it:

Brad Dixon is the Director of Tools Solutions at Mentor Graphics responsible for Sourcery developer tools and probes solutions. Brad has been at the nexus of open source and embedded software as a developer, application engineer, and product manager since 2000.

Location and Contact

I live and work in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and travel frequently. You can contact me at blog.20.bdixon@xoxy.net or give me a ring at 404-201-2484.