Jon Kern

Jon Kern

Agile Product Development at Intelliquip, LLC

Greater Philadelphia Area
Computer Software

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Jon Kern's Overview

  • Agile Product Development at Intelliquip, LLC
  • Chief Architect at Fire Planning Associates
  • Agile Software Development Consultant at Independent
  • VP Engineering at Axial Exchange Inc.
  • Software Architect and Agile Development Coach at Immuexa
  • Agile/Pragmatic MDA Evangelist at Compuware
  • Director Quality Assurance at TogetherSoft
  • VP Internet Products at TogetherSoft
  • VP Professional Services at TogetherSoft
  • President, Co-founder at Lightship, Inc
  • Aero Systems Program Manager, et al at Veda, Incorporated
  • Project Engineer (GS-12) at Naval Air Propulsion Center

500+ connections


Jon Kern's Summary

Jon is passionate about helping clients succeed in delivering business value through software. He works with (typically distributed) teams to articulate, design, architect, and deliver software that solve challenging business problems. From analysis to helping provide solutions, to mentoring teams, and all points in between, Jon routinely has significant impact on the projects he works on. Either working with the client’s team, and/or pulling together a team of experts from around the world—Jon creates a quick-hit ability to solve problems and deliver results. Projects routinely see high quality solutions in less time, and leave the local team mentored on object-oriented and agile techniques, and excited. (Often more valuable than the technical improvements ;-)

Jon has a knack for taking the long view, seeing the big picture—yet knowing the details, and driving business success at every turn. Folks interested in truly establishing a best of breed solution, an enduring sense of quality and process, a desire to deliver business value, and having fun while doing it, love Jon.

His varied career has spanned jet engine R&D, flight simulators, to being an object-oriented and lightweight process evangelist through the 90s, authoring books with Peter Coad, helping to form TogetherSoft, and his work co-authoring the Agile Manifesto for Software Development in 2001. Many credit Jon with much of the stellar success that TogetherSoft enjoyed with the UML modeling/IDE product and with the professional mentor group he formed.

Jon constantly seeks better ways for teams to accomplish their goals, from a technology perspective; and from a people and methodology perspective. Jon likes to help teams build an environment that enables effective practices, solid architecture, agile development, quality-by-design (not accident), and laser-like focus on delivering business value through strategic use of the IT group.


agile development, agile coach, domain modeling, architectural solutions that meet business needs, leading distributed teams, highly varied domain expertise, leadership by example

Jon Kern's Experience

Agile Product Development

Intelliquip, LLC

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Computer Software industry

April 2013Present (1 year 7 months) Bethlehem, PA

Working with good friends (formerly my 2nd ever clients at Lightship) to help grow the business and develop a world-class development shop.

Chief Architect

Fire Planning Associates

2003Present (11 years)

Product design and implementation, working on latest version.

Agile Software Development Consultant


October 2012March 2013 (6 months)

Worked with LeanDog coaches to help an old-school, matrixed organization, produce a new flagship product to help their manufacturing facilities (and eventually automotive locations) sell "color" (in the guise of paint, stain, etc.). This product will eventually replace 6 existing systems.

Soup-to-nuts transition for a team of about 12. Hard-core agile. C# MVC stack (their area of expertise). A spectacular group of folks to work with, they made amazing progress in the short time I was there. I wish them well!

VP Engineering

Axial Exchange Inc.

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Computer Software industry

January 2011September 2012 (1 year 9 months)

Translate vision into a working product through advanced use of technology to meet customer needs in the healthcare space.

Building event-driven architecture to mine the nuggets of gold in the dark, dank, hills of healthcare IT. Cobbled together an approach based on MuleSoft's ESB, RabbitMQ, Event Machine, Ruleby Engine, MongoDB, Ruby, Rails, Ajax.

Currently processing ~30K HL7 messages/day. Also receiving nasty-ass NEMSIS XML, a horrid schema that makes HL7 look modern (IMHO).

Software Architect and Agile Development Coach


Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Computer Software industry

October 2006December 2010 (4 years 3 months)

Work with distributed teams and organizations to promote and instill agile practices, pragmatic processes and tools. Helps teams to architect and implement well-engineered solutions that routinely beat expectations -- and always deliver tremendous business value.

Agile/Pragmatic MDA Evangelist


Public Company; 1001-5000 employees; CPWR; Computer Software industry

May 2003October 2006 (3 years 6 months)

Director-level position with varied roles to promote better software development through tools and practices: speaking at industry events and to technical groups, working with clients on OptimalJ projects and agile training, providing input for product direction, working on sales processes and collateral, writing monthly newsletters (6700+ opt-in subscribers) and blogging frequently (up to 34K views per month after one year).

Director Quality Assurance


Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

May 2002July 2002 (3 months)

While focusing on the 2nd product line, Ver 6.0 of the flagship product was being developed. It soon became clear to management that there were major quality issues. I was asked to jump in and work some miracles.
o Developed customer-centric “Quality Attributes” to guide the development and testing. This quickly showed its worth in improving the quality of product releases.
o Established a Quality Review Board cross-functional team to rapidly deal with critical customer issues.
o Established criteria and process for determining severity of bugs, and setting priority to more efficiently handle customer concerns and to effectively reduce the mountain of backlogged change requests.
o Ensured that development of the critical, next-generation Java platform was in right direction. Played a key role in fighting for this work to get the proper attention and schedule.
o Overall modernization or QA process and team

VP Internet Products


Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

September 2000May 2002 (1 year 9 months)

Developed a new product line that blended process, project management, workflow, versioning, and resource tasking (team support). Product was distributed, Java-based, rich-client, and with a server component.
o Had primary vision and “big picture” for ground-breaking new product expected to take TS to next level.
o Chief architect, designer, and product manager; led team of 25 (mostly in Russia).
o Created/gathered/confirmed requirements from potential clients.
o Used agile development process (blend of XP and FDD).
o Market/competitive research and analysis. Innovative product had no equal in the marketplace.
o Developed pilot program (external customers and internal usage).
o Product was on schedule, and had great customer feedback.
o Technologies: Java, XML, WebDAV, Servlets, HTTP, JSP, SVG.

VP Professional Services


Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Software industry

September 1999August 2000 (1 year)

Hired by Peter Coad to create the professional services organization and infrastructure. Instrumental in helping form TogetherSoft and to grow it from 35 in Sep 99 to over 400
o Instrumental to clinch major client deals (critical for our corporate image)
o Hired and trained top-flight mentors across the USA and UK
o Guided development of flagship product (Together ControlCenter)
o Created scheduling system and collaborative e-community to deliver $Ms in workshops
o Developed courseware, new courses, updates; created sales demo format for ControlCenter
o Developed training, growth, and promotion strategy for mentors
o Developed marketing techniques, sales process, FAQs, website content, etc
o Designed delivery and feedback process to ensure workshops met client’s needs
o Provided custom mentoring and workshops
o Extensive experience across varied problem domains
o Provided fresh, innovative ideas to provide tactical and strategic solutions

President, Co-founder

Lightship, Inc

Computer Software industry

July 1995December 1999 (4 years 6 months)

President. Founder, chief strategist, marketer, and leader of ~$1M/yr software development firm. Highlights include:
o Led dozens of on-site OO workshops, Java training, project start-up mentoring.
o Chief architect/modeler for IBM's next-gen Manufacturing Execution System (C++, thin-client, message-driven, fault-tolerant).
o Architected OO solution for developing an engineering rules-based product configurator and proposal generation system for Ingersoll-Dresser Pump’s complex product lines.
o Lead designer on a state-of-the-art embedded low-cost, Java-based, "video phone appliance," collaborative white board, & VoIP.
o Designed an in-home tele-health medicine system that linked to a remote office server, sending video and vital sign sensor signals (designed to work over dial-up).
o Developed a configurable solution to control a direct mail sorter system. Included real-time controls, integration with customer's order system, and “intelligent” multi-pass sorting.

Aero Systems Program Manager, et al

Veda, Incorporated

Privately Held; 501-1000 employees; Information Services industry

November 1986July 1995 (8 years 9 months)

As an aerospace engineer, Jon worked with software to help solve problems (like real-time data acquisition, control of hardware-in-the-loop, and flight simulation). He did research into fighter agility, HUD symbology, EKG/GLOC, and helmet-related technologies. By the late 80s, Jon was probing the new object-oriented paradigm, and he quickly adopted C++. By the early 90s, he was doing object modeling (with PowerPoint and Excel), following Peter Coad’s methods. As one of four PMs, he managed a group of ~10 engineers and a few $M in projects.

Project Engineer (GS-12)

Naval Air Propulsion Center

19811986 (5 years)

Project engineer, testing (R&D) the F107 & F112 Advanced Cruise Missile turbofans.

Jon Kern's Projects

  • Blazemark┬«

    • March 2010 to Present

    Pre Incident Planning software for first responders and corporate risk managers, and environmental health and safety professionals.

    Active participant on National Fire Protection Assoc., 1620 Committee, "Standard for Pre Incident Planning."

Jon Kern's Publications

  • Java Design

    • Prenctice Hall
    • December 1998
    Authors: Jon Kern, Peter Coad, Mark Mayfield

    A great primer on good OOD techniques (in Java) from my friend and mentor, Peter Coad. I helped a great deal on squaring away the 2nd Edition, so Pete graciously made me a co-author :-)

Jon Kern's Skills & Expertise

  1. Agile
  2. Domain Modeling
  3. Ruby
  4. Ruby on Rails
  5. MongoDB
  6. Software Engineering
  7. Application Architecture
  8. TDD
  9. BDD
  10. Start-ups
  11. Agile Methodologies
  12. Test Driven Development
  13. Software Development
  14. Architecture
  15. System Architecture
  16. UML
  17. SOA
  18. Scrum
  19. Object Oriented Design
  20. Subversion
  21. Agile Project Management
  22. Web Services
  23. Software Design
  24. Design Patterns
  25. Web Applications
  26. Java
  27. Continuous Integration
  28. XML
  29. JSP
  30. OOAD
  31. Distributed Systems
  32. Java Enterprise Edition
  33. OOP
  34. Testing
  35. AJAX
  36. Integration
  37. Enterprise Architecture
  38. REST
  39. Open Source
  40. Maven
  41. Architectures
  42. Tomcat
  43. MVC
  44. JUnit

View All (44) Skills View Fewer Skills

Jon Kern's Education

The Ohio State University

BS, Aeronautical Engineering

September 1977June 1981

Worked as a TA junior year, teaching ~60 sophmore-level aero labs, grading papers, etc. TA during senior year, teaching ~120 sophomores, and ~60 juniors). Also held part-time job cooking at a local restaurant.

Jon Kern's Additional Information


skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, traveling, wine, beer, conservatism

Groups and Associations:, Agile Alliance, International Association of Software Architects,

Honors and Awards:

*, February 2001.
* Contributed to "Java Modeling in Color with UML," Peter Coad, et al, 1998
* "Java Design, 2nd Edition," Peter Coad, Mark Mayfield, Jon Kern, Prentice Hall, 1998
* "Lotus Notes R5 Unleashed," D. Lynd, S. Kern, Jon Kern, et al, SAMS Publishing, 1999,
* "Lotus Notes and Domino 4.5 Developer's Guide," S. Kern, Jon Kern, et al, SAMS, 1997

* US Patent 6,938,240 "Methods and systems for improving a workflow based on data mined from plans created from the workflow."

UML Certification w00t!

Contact Jon for:

  • new ventures
  • job inquiries
  • expertise requests
  • business deals
  • reference requests
  • getting back in touch

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