About

I am a user experience manager working at Sun Microsystems’ Prague engineering office since July 2000. As a manager, technical lead and individual contributor I have acquired a deep knowledge of both User Centered Design methodology and various software development models (closed source and open source). I have extensive experience managing the complex relationships between local and remote (US) teams, with a particular focus on remote management, cooperation on product definition/development and building relationships with executives and other product stakeholders.

My management style is focused on building working teams and long-term relationships, as well as on delivering high-quality results in both the short term and long term perspectives. I am also a strong people manager, who has experience in hiring, establishing new teams, mentoring, coaching, force reduction and performance evaluation.

These skills have helped me take a leading role in growing the local site, managing remote site issues, and building relationships with local universities and with the growing Czech Human Computer Interaction community.

I live in Prague, Czech Republic, with my wife and a son.

Details:

I strengthened the position and influence of Sun’s Prague site by building and managing a team of user experience professionals. Since User Experience Design was a nascent field in the Czech Republic, this meant hiring talented individuals and training/mentoring them. The User Experience team started off supporting only NetBeans; it has grown to support all of Sun’s developer products worldwide and later we’ve been working on other high profile projects as, for example, Java FX. This required building (and sometimes repairing) relationships between the User Experience team and other teams, both local and remote. It also required creating a dual design process, one that would work both for open source development and one for closed source development. The team has had a significant impact on Sun’s Tools’ “rebirth”. Significant part of the job was dealing with challenges related to difficult financial situation of the company so there was a lot of cooperation with the top management on setting of priorities and appropriate assignment of resources.

My team was involved in several important projects:

  • The UI Design of Matisse: a world class, advanced Java GUI builder for NetBeans. Sun currently has pending patents on the UI concepts. Furthermore, Matisse is now part of MyEclipse.
  • Redesign of www.netbeans.org (aligned with NetBeans 5.5).
  • NetBeans 6.0: integration of former Java Studio Creator and Enterprise products into NetBeans.
  • Java FX user research and early prototyping of its concepts for designers.

I extended the range of Sun’s activities by building a relationship with the Czech Technical University. This provided Sun’s User Experience team members with access to cutting-edge computer science research and also opened the door for the integration of Sun technologies (Java, NetBeans and Solaris) into the university curriculum. There have been joint projects between the university and Sun since 2004. The relationship has proven beneficial in a number of ways.  It has given Sun the access to a pool of talented candidates, and has resulted in the development of unique things like the a11y plugin.

Of particular note are my efforts to strengthen Sun’s industry position and visibility by driving the creation of Sun’s usability lab at the Czech Technical University. This lab, which opened in November 2004, is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic—as well as Sun’s first usability lab outside of the United States. The opening was attended by the Czech Minister of IT and a representative of Czech Invest (a governmental agency). The lab has proven to be a fertile touch-point between Sun and the Czech Technical University. Sun has benefited from the contact with the students and the faculty; the students have benefited from the chance to use a state-of-the-art lab. The lab, along with the contribution of Sun’s usability and user interface design expertise, has led the Czech Technical University to found the Czech Republic’s first curriculum in Computer Human Interaction.

I moved Sun into the local usability vanguard by working to build up the Czech Human Computer Interaction community. The first step was organizing a local event on World Usability Day (November 3, 2005), in cooperation with the Czech Technical University. It was a resounding success, garnering substantial media attention: radio interviews, press releases, and magazine articles. Since then, we have organized WUD every year. Based on this achievement, we agreed to run public meetings of the Czech ACM SIGCHI. Our first meeting, on March 23, 2006, had more than 80 participants. The Czech SIGCHI has been an officially registered non-profit organization since April 2008, I have been a chair of it since then.

I have given several talks, for example on optimal processes for doing UI design in open source projects. This includes presentations at LinuxWorld, the KDE conference and CHI.

See details about these projects and several others on this dedicated page.

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