Resume – Jim Irwin

PictureOfJimNoBackgroundWhere I have been:  Over 30 years of applying technical and cultural change to the inception, initiation, development, sales, and delivery of client-centered strategies and solutions as products, consulting services, or C-Level advisory functions.   

Where I’d like to be:   To apply that experience in a leadership role for a growing company building products and organizations that incorporate innovative technologies to provide client-driven solutions that are constructed based on open principles such as Agile, open source, technical and domain standards, and open architectures. 

Resume – James Irwin (download .doc file)


·         Innovative development of new solutions leveraging existing company assets and industry trends resulting in new portfolio, products and intellectual property (patents).

·         Application of all phases of Software Development Lifecycle including strategic planning, development, test, delivery, sales, pre-sales, and marketing

·         Technical transitions from mainframes, networking, object-oriented, client-server, web applications, service-oriented architecture, and disruptive trends such as cloud/XaaS

·         Cultural transitions of development approaches evolving from ad hoc, Rational Unified Process (RUP), Rapid Application Development (RAD) through Agile and open approaches

·         Creation of solutions for general computing, commercial, retail, and government agencies

·         Application of emerging technologies such as Speech, Natural Language Processing (NLP), SOA, and analytics.

Professional Experience:

Varied Consulting and Independent Development

Over my career, I’ve driven numerous entrepreneurial initiatives including development and marketing of PASA (a spousal support calculator for PA lawyers), development for doctor/patient heuristics (NLP analysis of patient interaction transcripts), web-site human factors for an e-commerce startup, setup and hand-coded development of (my wife’s freelance art business), and currently, development of WordPress-based (a family-run bricks and mortar gift store)

Unisys Corporation(since January, 1985)

Chief Architect USPTO Account, Unisys Federal Systems

Accomplishments:  Set strategy, completed proposal, and gave winning orals presentation to win $535 Million IDIQ contract.  Established vision, team, and processes to respond to individual task orders.   As TO wins accumulated, set up delivery organization including O&M, feature enhancements, and Next Generation (development and integration); this continues to scale.   Now leveraging Unisys’ newly established position and relationships to compete for additional contracts in this account. 

Details:  initiated strategy to win USPTO contract (where Unisys had minimal position) and after study of client, supporting development of a team of partners and vendors, drove proposal completion and lead Orals presentation.  After win of this SDI contract, established task order response process, reacting to client changes and ramping up both response and delivery teams.  Continuous role to ensure quality in responses, delivery, and to leverage these positions for additional business development.  Engaged in delivery as architect or other roles as needed to ensure success.  Provide limited “consulting” support to existing or target accounts with similar profiles and challenges.

Solutions Architect, Federal Systems

Accomplishments:  Produced technical strategy and proposals for variety of Federal Agencies, introducing open solutions and innovative delivery and contracting processes

Details: Creating and defining innovative Enterprise-scope solutions for proposals for numerous government entities including GSA, USPTO, USDA, NOAA/NWS, and FAA.  Working directly with a variety of governmental processes and frameworks (e.g. FEAF, DODAF, FSAM, numerous agency SDLCs) as well as their non-governmental counterparts (e.g. ITIL, CMMI, TOGAF).  Delivery of SOA transition at GSA focusing on Enterprise Architecture definition, planning, and transition which added SOA governance to Unisys’ portfolio.  

Chief Architect, Strategic Program Office

Accomplishments:  Defined portfolio for CTO office for Open Source that span all business units and geographies helping to close $500 million in new net revenue over a two-year period.  

Details:  Corporate level position developing strategy around open architectures, open standards, and open source.  Focus areas include J2EE, SOA, and open source solutions for application servers, CRM, ETL and Data Transformations, Reporting, CMS, and many other solution areas.  I was responsible for strategic planning, marketing, delivery, training, and development of technical alliances.  I routinely presented Open Source and SOA strategies to CxO and Senior IT staff to clients in numerous industries.  As an early architect for SOA, I focused maturity and adoption trends, following standards such as JBI, SCA, frameworks such as TOGAF, business modeling tools, commercial and open source development environments, and impending paradigm shifts in business, development, and enterprise IT.   With a highly collaborative team, I developed market-driven approach across many corporate entities including CTO, Sales, Marketing, Delivery, and 12-15 active Open Source Partners.  Development of the portfolio required heavy involvement with our information management solutions to communicate solutions in a variety of forms including technical solution, value proposition, general and targeted marketing plans.  These activities included development of prototypes of integration of various open source solutions, benchmarking, and other marketing support.

Solution Architect

Accomplishments:  Led, as chief architect, highly complex, distributed, spoken and natural language systems engagements consulting with clients in the development of their multi-year technical and business strategies.   Solutions were driven by $1B revenue from telecomm industry clients. 

Details: Design of “enterprise class solutions” for client engagements, typically with a complex multimodal user interface presentation layer, implemented and deployed as multilayered J2EE application suites.  I developed reference architectures to create repeatable patterns and facilitate integration with existing customer assets.  These architectures integrated many vendors of niche solutions in an emerging technology area with the extremely high enterprise attributes demanded by the telecomm industry (e.g. 99,999 availability, highly scalable, rapid service deployment).  These designs and implementations were reused across multiple properties within each client account, across multiple accounts, and as a foundation for future sales in this area.  

Product/Engineering Manager

Accomplishments:  Conceived of, designed, and delivered a model-based dialog-flow application IDE and runtime, leading the team responsible for complete product lifecycle.  The product supported the world-wide telco LOB by enabling development of multimodal  User Interface (speech, text, web) services assets (see patents below). 

Details:  Product Development Architect and Manager supervising 15-20 engineers and writers defining requirements, design, implementation, testing, documentation, packaging, and support of a variety of product streams.  The integrated suite of tools captures abstract design of speech and natural language applications then generate, package, deploy, test, and manage J2EE applications that render those specifications.  My role included presales, marketing programs, full documentation, alliance management, and involvement in standards communities (W3C working groups).  The IDE is constructed using Visual Basic, C/C++, COM, ActiveX, and extensive SQL and relational database support.  It generates, tests, packages, and deploys a model expressed as XML with a runtime renders this model in interface markup such as VoiceXML, xHTML, mpXHTML.  This program generated a number of significant patents.

Software Support Engineer

Accomplishments:  While exceeding my support requirements, I conceived of, prototyped, and promoted a solution that seamlessly exposed mainframe assets to the emerging desktop/windows environment.   This initiative established technical direction for a suite of products adding longevity to the mainframe LOB (see patent below). 

Details:  I was responsible to provide support for a variety of software products closing significantly higher number of trouble tickets than required.  I developed a lab by recycling PCs which had been discarded for newer versions.   I used this lab for testing and extending numerous support processes to respond to changing product lines and customer requests.   While performing my support duties, I also used this lab to reverse engineer Microsoft client and then identified the standards the industry was pursuing in this area, I developed a prototype of a product that enabled PCs in emerging Microsoft networks to access mainframe resources (files, printers, pipes, etc.).  The solution included PC booting from the mainframe creating a class of “diskless” workstations for which I was awarded a patent.  This prototype became the  basis for a product line that significantly extended the sales life of the mainframe LOB as PCs emerged as the “window” to mainframe systems.

Software Engineer (Networking)

Accomplishments:  As an intern I developed a configuration tool, contributed to a multiple layers in the mainframe network solution and then was asked to become permanent prior to graduation to support an complimentary Intel-based networking product.

Details:  I was initially hired to support development of a mainframe-based tool for configuration of a complex and adaptable OSI model networking solution that included numerous terminal and networking protocols.  I created a build utility that generated code to be included into that tool that enabled engineers to declare attributes from which a UI would be produced.  This reduced time and tedious alignment while increasing the fidelity of the implementation.  I later moved to implementation of the networking software for the mainframe.  Here there was a tight coupling of libraries included in the solution that were developed by different facilities.  This made version control of a released product extremely complex and often resulted in systems with mismatched components.   I decoupled the libraries by developing a message exchange protocol to replace the tight linkage that was common practice at the time.  This messaging approach enabled releases to occur on the schedule driven by each facility with a feature set that was determined by the combination of the libraries.  Finally, I was asked to work on the Intel-based systems which involved development of a multi-tasking Operating Systems which hosted various networking protocols and physical interfaces.  Development at this level involved high level languages (Pascal) as well as In Circuit Emulators.

Community Residential Rehabilitation Inc. (June 1981 to October 1984)

Assistant Program Manager/Senior Advisor

Accomplishments: Initiated pilot programs for highly customized private sector services in the mental health system, developing funding process with county agencies, streamlining services for clients through targeted needs.  Results included reduced cost to county, higher quality services to clients, and increased revenue to the company.

Details:   Mental Health Professional leading to position of Assistant Program Manager.  Primary experiences included Direct Intervention and Counseling as well as supervision of 15+ staff across four residential facilities and a base office. Responsibilities included Interpretation of Government Regulations, Personnel Management, Facilities Management, Coordination with Outside Agencies, Crisis Management, and Program Expansion.

Additional Work Experiences (Prior to 1981)

Prior to and throughout college, I worked in all roles in the hospitality industry from bell hop, front desk, dishwasher, short order cook, bus boy, waiter, and banquet manager.  I worked in a variety of manufacturing environments and supplemented my income playing in bands and tutoring students. 


Management and Business Support Skills

Identifying need-driven solutions, development of the market for those solutions, and driving creation of the products and services that fills those needs


Strategic Planning Business Development Product Development
Portfolio Development Market Development Product and Portfolio-driven Services
Market Trends and Research Client Development SDLC – Agile, RUP, RAD
Technical Trends and Adoption Presales Support Business Alignment (Product Owner proxy)
Product Concept and Launch Bid Response and  Proposal Development TeamBuilding (Certified Scrum Master)
Strategic Alliance Development Trusted Advisor role Staff Selection and Development
Staff Planning Customer-facing C-Level Presentations Sizing and Pricing 
Open Source Business Model Orals Presentations User Help, Rollout, and Training
Product/Company Evaluations Development of Marketing Materials Service Personnel Training

 Abstract Technical Skills

Applying experience from years of Information Technology evolution that now represent industry best practices.


SDLC Architecture Adoption
Principles of Agile Manifesto Business Requirements Alignment Business Transformation & incremental change
Requirements Gathering, Decomposition, Backlog Management Enterprise Architecture and Frameworks (e.g. FEAF, TOGAF, DODAF) User Centered Approaches (UxD)
Non-functional Requirements and SLAs Enterprise Integration (EIPs) and Design Patterns SOA Adoption and Governance
Multi-perspective Design Documentation SOA and Principles of SOA Manifesto Operations and Management Support
Code Development, Quality and Code Sifting Leveraging Open Source Business and Technical Service Taxonomies
Continuous Build and Test Human Interfaces and Design Principles Documentation / Training
Requirements-driven Testing, Op Readiness Leveraging and Applying Standards Participation on Standards Bodies
Source Control & Configuration Management Management and Monitoring Leveraging disruptive trends (Cloud, “as a service”, analytics)
Deployment Best Practices Environment and Compatibility Management Separation of Concerns

 Technologies and Product Skills

I deeply enjoy direct participation in product development and experience provides me with a broad foundation to do so.  My hands-on experience varies, but I can quickly get up to speed at a depth necessary to accomplish any task.


User Story, Use Case development Requirements Mngmt Tools (home-grown, Req Pro, Rally) User Centered Design Principles
Workflow and Modeling (Provision) Eclipse-based IDEs, Java/JEE (JBoss, Tomcat) HTML and markup (e.g. other device-specific), CSS, transformations
Externalization of Properties, Rules (e.g. Drools) and Workflow (BPEL) Microsoft (VB6/C++/COM) Javascript, Working knowledge of Dojo, JQuery
Unit and Integration Testing (e.g. JUnit, DBUnit) Web Services (SOAP, REST, standards – W3C, OASIS, WS-I) GUI Frameworks (JSP, JSF, Struts, other MVC-based, portals)
Function, Performance Test (e.g. JMeter, Grinder, SOAPUI) Messaging, ESB,  Registry and Service Taxonomies Open Source Solutions (e.g. Apache, JBoss, BIRT)
Continuous Build/Test (Maven, Hudson, ANT) Working Knowledge LAMP (Perl, PHP) Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Power User Word, Powerpoint WordPress, CMS solutions and standards (e.g. CMIS) Speech Recognition, Text to Speech, Audio

 Patent Awards and Filings

Dialogue Flow Interpreter Development ToolUS Patent –  7,389,213

Dialogue Flow Interpreter Development ToolUS Patent7,024,348

Dynamic generation of voice application information from a web server – US Patent – 20050028085

Systems and Methods for Managing and Building Directed Dialogue Portal Applications – US Patent – 7,395,206

Apparatus for Design and Simulation of DialogueUS Patent6,321,198

System and Method for Remote Program LoadUS Patent5,404,527

TN236 – Testing Techniques (filed August 2002)

TN307 – Managed Services (filed Apr 2005)


·         Unisys Innovation Badge (2014)

·         Three Achievement Awards for Excellence [from managers]; highest cash bonus recipient [judged by peers] for Apollo Bonus Award Program;

·         Numerous Unisys Short Term Awards;

·         Recipient of multiple Customer Comes First Awards.

·         Product (Speech Application Development) featured in VoiceXML Introduction to Developing Speech Applications, (James A. Larson, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 07548 ISBN: 0-13-009262-2, ©2003).

·         Coauthored SOA World Byline: 


·         Intersection of Psychology and Computer Science

·         The open movement including implications to industry, government, and culture

·         Computer’s role in education, communication, overcoming disabilities, and free thought

·         Man-Machine Interfaces (Natural Language, Speech, GUI design, innovative interfaces)

·         Semantic Web and broad implications of  “smart machines” and “machines that learn”

·         Blogging (

·         Active Music Combos, Piano/keyboards, Bass Guitar

·         Analog and digital recording (music)

·         East Cocalico Township Recreation Board (former chairman)



Recent Certifications 

  • Agile Certified Scrum Master (8/2010, renewed 2012)
  • JBoss Advanced J2EE Developer (Aug 2006);
  • JBoss for Hibernate (Aug 2006).


M.S.Computer Engineering  Kennedy Western University (graduated 7/00). Courses include Computer Science Theory (Formal Languages and Automata), Artificial Intelligence, User Interface Design; Thesis in Natural Language Understanding. 

B.S.  Computer Science (Cum Laude) Millersville University of Pennsylvania (graduated 12/85). Included paid position in Campus Computer Labs, Consulting for ConestogaSchool District, and Beta Testing of Concept 3 Software.

B.A.  Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) Millersville State College (graduated 5/81 with double the major requirements). Six graduate credits in Clinical Psychology.

 Educational Honors include being selected to participate in the ACM Scholastic Programming Contest; Math and Computer Science Chairman’s List for Academic Achievement; and Math and Computer Science Departmental Honors for three separate classes. 

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