Work Experience

I have had many jobs and professions over the years. Best known as a distinguished system and software engineer, I am an internationally recognized subject-matter expert in requirements engineering, system and software architecting, project management, development methods (agile and object-oriented), and testing. I am also a prize-winning author of four novels, seven technical books, and nearly 300 technical articles, reports, and preferences. According to Google Scholar, my work has been cited over 3,500 times. I have been a consultant, trainer, mentor, and public speaker at numerous conferences around the world. Being fluent in German, I have worked overseas in both Germany and Switzerland.

Donald Firesmith – Author, January 2012 – Present

As a Novelist, I write science fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and horror novels and books.

Software Engineering Institute (SEI), March 2003 – 2020

As a Senior Member Of Technical Staff, I helped the US Government program offices acquire large, complex software-intensive systems. I review requirements, system and software architectures, and testing efforts. I provided consulting in safety and security. I wrote technical reports, technical notes, SEI blog posts, and give tutorials at customer locations and conferences.

Firesmith Consulting, December 2000 – March 2003

As President, Methodologist, and Webmaster, I provided short-term, high-impact consulting in development processes including:

  • Producing and using an organization process framework based on the OPEN Process Framework.
  • Producing and using an endeavor-specific process framework using the OPEN Process Framework.
  • Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) of ongoing projects and process development efforts.

I provided training in the OPEN Process Framework and all associated aspects of systems development. Working with Brian Henderson-Sellers of the OPEN Consortium, I updated and extended the OPEN Process Framework, especially in the areas of metamodel, work products, producers, and web development. I architected, designed, implemented, and tested the initial version of my company website.

Cambridge Technology Partners, March 2001 – November 2001

As Senior Architect for North American Business Unit, I contributed to Cambridge’s company-specific process framework, the Integrated Solutions Framework. I led the technology effort to produce a set of reusable reference architectures for Web-based applications.

Lante Corporation, May 1999 – December 2000

As Senior Architect and Chief Methodologist, I was the lead technical architect on a major e-Commerce Web application for a startup. This high-security, highly-scalable website with continuous operational availability allows customers to buy from merchants without letting the merchants have access to the customer private information such as credit card numbers. I helped several projects get started properly by taking part in initial client meetings, leading their initial requirements engineering efforts, evaluating architectures, and mentoring and advising the project architects. As chief methodologist, I was responsible for providing technology input to the corporate delivery process framework during which I developed numerous process standards, procedures, templates, and checklists as well as a large initial internal website for it. I provided company internal consulting and training in requirements engineering, systems and software architecting, design, testing, and modern project management.

Sun StorageTek, Jul 1997 – May 1999

As a Senior Advisory Software Engineer, I was chief OO technologist (the top technical position) on a multiyear 50+ person project to produce a distributed, embedded application to control large robotic tape libraries.
The application was written in server-side Java (EJB with RMI) and persisted data in the Versant object database. As technical leader, I fought numerous fires at various times during the project by leading several teams including the software requirements engineering team, the architecture team, the process team, the project estimation team, the quality assurance team, and three software package development teams.
I led a top-level team that evaluated a project in trouble and made recommendations to bring the project back on schedule.

SIGS Books, July 1994 – September 1997

As Editor-in-Chief of SIGS Reference Books, I solicited authors and computer book proposals. I administered the technical review process.
I aided the Editorial Director. I performed technical reviewing and editing tasks. As Editor at Large, I reviewed book proposals. I performed technical reviewing and editing tasks.

Knowledge Systems Corporation, March 1995 – July 1997

As Senior Member of the Technical Staff, I provided top-level consulting, training, and mentoring in project management, requirements engineering, application architecting, and object-oriented development methods. I helped companies estimate the size and duration of future applications. I authored books and technical articles. I spoke at international technology conferences.

Semaphore, January 1994 – March 1995

As Senior Consultant, I provided training in object-oriented requirements analysis, design, and testing. I provided project-level mentoring and consulting.

Advanced Software Technology Specialists (ASTS), September 1988 – March 1995

As President, I developed new and improved software development methods. I provided training in project management, object-oriented requirements analysis, architecting, design, testing, and DoD standards compliance. I provided executive and high-level technical consulting. I performed independent verification and validation (IV&V) of projects in trouble. I developed IV&V evaluation approaches to evaluate contractor capabilities in software development and object technology. I authored books, technical articles, and a column in the journal, Report on Object Analysis and Design (ROAD). I spoke at international technology conferences.

Magnavox Electronic Systems Company, November 1984 – September 1988

As Software Methodologist, I ran the object-orientation help desk and organized training on a large distributed command and control system project that eventually employed 120 software engineers. I developed, maintained, and implemented the project object-oriented development method including its associated manual of standards and procedures. I supported multiple projects by providing company-internal management and technical consulting as an Ada language and object-oriented technology “guru.” I helped develop Magnavox’s corporate object-oriented software development standards and procedures. I spoke at international technology conferences.

Computer Sciences Corporation Systems Division, November 1983 – November 1984

As Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer, I developed and implemented various division-wide and project-specific software development and SQA standards and procedures. I reviewed design specifications and code. I served on several teams evaluating and making recommendations regarding projects in trouble.

Computer Sciences Corporation of Europe, August 1983 – October 1983

As Documentation and Data Manager, I developed the System Structure Guide for a large database of broadcast frequencies for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Computer Sciences Corporation of Switzerland, February 1982 – July 1983

As Software Configuration Management (SCM) Engineer, I developed and implemented configuration identification and change control procedures for a 1000 person year development project for the Swiss Post Telephone and Telegraph (PTT). I also managed the daily operation of the project SCM office.

Computer Sciences Corporation of Germany, October 1981 – January 1982

As Systems Analyst, I reviewed client documentation (in German) and worked on the proposal team for a Federal Railway project.

Quinault Indian Nation, August 1981 – October 1981

As Director of Administrative Data Processing, I led a small team developing an application to maintain all of the tribe’s property.

Milliman and Robertson, July 1978 – August 1981

As Actuarial Assistant, I developed a software programs in various programming languages to print out retirement benefits letters based on actuarial tables.

Arizona State University, September 1975 – June 1978

As Teaching Assistant, I taught undergraduate mathematics courses.

Cascade Steel Rolling Mill – June 1974 – August 1974

As Shift Chemist, was responsible for chemically analyzing the molten steel and testing the tensile strength of the finished rebar.

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