Geoff Mendal, ACC

Leadership Coach | Leadership Development Facilitator | Author | Speaker | Chef

1374 Robnick Ct.

Campbell, CA 95008-5833

(408) 796-7710

mendal@ftowl.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-mendal

OBJECTIVE

Give back to others by helping make them great: build, mentor, grow, and disrupt software engineering organizations to make them high performing.

ABOUT

 

LEADERSHIP COACHING AND MENTORING: Leadership coach (ICF ACC accredited), mentor, and confidant for mid- and senior-level software engineering managers and ICs.

 

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT FACILITATION: facilitator of a number of adaptive leadership and case-in-point intensives, able to perform in-person and online, delivered to both intact teams and open enrollment cohorts.

 

ENGINEERING EXPERTISE: CI/CD automation/scale, developer tools, source code management systems.

 

CHEF: Professionally trained and in-demand in the workplace, at home, and for charity events. Ask me about my unique recipes and signature dishes.

EXPERIENCE

Leadership Coach and Leadership Development Facilitator, 8/2019 to present

I help make leaders great. I bring my leadership development skills and decades of experience from the tech industry to help those in leadership roles mobilize change in their organizations. I work 1:1 with talented managers and senior ICs who want to strengthen their leadership muscle. Leaders who feel stuck, are struggling to find their purpose, or have work/life balance issues can benefit by working with me. I also work with companies, am available for short- and long-term contracts, and relish working with intact teams.

Pandora Media, Director Software Engineering, 9/2017 to 8/2019

My unstated role in the company was as a deep thinker, disrupter and change agent for Software Infrastructure Engineering, challenging the status quo by not settling for incremental progress or adhering to company norms. Outside my defined/expected role, I was a member of a SWAT team charged with making significant progress on diversity and inclusion within Engineering. Similarly, I helped to seed leadership and culture with the company's new Atlanta-based engineering team.

After being promoted to this role, I spun up a new Oakland and Atlanta based team that owned both mobile and backend/server infrastructure tools for internal customers (Dev and Quality Engineering). Initial goals for this team were to completely automate the CI/CD pipeline, migrating its workflow from on-prem to self-service in the cloud (hosted on MacStadium, GCP and AWS) to support daily or more frequent hands-off automated deployments, evaluating cloud test automation providers (Sauce Labs, Perfecto, Browser Stack, pCloudy, etc.) against an in-house solution, migrating legacy services from Perforce to git (with full history), removing roadblocks to enable migration of the primary/DR data centers to active-active, wholesale replacement of Tableau based dashboards with Hygieia powered ones, and providing auto-provisioned, on-demand production-like sandboxes to Dev and QE in under 5 minutes per instance.

Additionally, I helped define long-term strategic initiatives for Pandora's newly formed SRE team.

Pandora Media, Manager Production Engineering, Infrastructure Team, 7/2016 to 9/2017

I led multiple teams comprising release engineers, DBAs, and platform engineers who owned the build and deployment of Pandora's server, web, and mobile (Android and iOS) client apps and back-end services, maintain the internal test and staging environments, and initiated migrations of Engineering's SCM from Perforce to git.

Google, Senior Release Engineer, 3/2013 to 7/2016

I was an individual contributor on the Android Build and Release team working to help improve the quality and velocity of Android OS platform and unbundled app releases, and to improve the existing automation/infrastructure to accomplish these aims.

I also facilitated two internal People Dev leadership programs: one was a 3-day immersion for the next generation of Google engineering leaders and the other was an Adaptive Leadership 3-day experiential course for more senior leaders. I also performed on-demand leadership coaching for alumni of these programs.

Periodically I taught cooking classes at the Google Teaching Kitchen, and occasionally cooked with the Google culinary team including offsite catering and charity events.

Google, Senior Engineering Manager, 1/2007 to 3/2013

I managed a basket of teams in the Developer Infrastructure group that operated and helped architect massive performance and scalability improvements to the SCM systems used internally by every engineer in the company, world-wide, plus release platforms and automation. I also sat on a hiring committee, served as the 24x7 on-call escalation point for all infrastructure teams that I managed, coordinated with Legal on urgent SCM court-ordered discovery requests, helped drive the annual company-wide disaster readiness exercise, and served as the SOX POC for a subset of SCM/RE services.

 

Google, Senior Tools Strategist, 10/2005 to 1/2007

 

I began my Google career as an individual contributor in the Eng Infrastructure Build & Tools team. My primary responsibilities were to be a change agent for core Google infrastructure and create runway with existing infrastructure to allow long-term disruptive changes to take hold.

Microsoft, Senior Tools Strategist, 5/2000 to 9/2005

I was a build/release and developer tools front-line manager in the MSTV and MSN TV divisions.

EDUCATION

B.S. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Computer and Communication Sciences.

Kansas Leadership Center, Leadership Coach certification, June 2020.  ICF ACC credential obtained 11/30/2020.

Kansas Leadership Center, Case-In-Point leadership development certification, June 2016.

Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  Executive Education Program.  Art and Practice of Leadership Development, May 2012.

Essential Professional Culinary Skills in the Culinary Arts at the Professional Culinary Institute, May 2010.

VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE

Leadership Facilitator, Kansas Leadership Center, September 2018 August 2020

Engineering Career Advisor, LinkedIn, January 2017 October 2020

Chef Instructor, San Jose Ballet School (The New Ballet), March 2018 present

Volunteer Chef, Water to Wine Charity Event (Water Hope), September 2013 – September 2016

HOBBIES

Investing, wine collecting, gourmet cooking, and tax planning/automation tools.

HONORS AND AWARDS

Google, Founders Award, April 30, 2010.  China Hacking Incident Response.

Recognized by Donald Knuth in July 1996 as being the first to find an error in the Straight Selection Sort’s stability property noted in the table on page 381 of The Art of Computer Programming, Sorting and Searching (Volume 3), first edition 1973.  Awarded $5.11 ($2.56 plus interest), paid by personal check (never cashed, still in my possession).  Originally communicated to Professor Knuth in November 1985.

PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Finding New Purpose: An Advance Scout’s Glimpse of the Road Ahead, published on LinkedIn and Medium.com, March 2020.

Engaging Unusual Voices in Building High Performing Teams, published on LinkedIn and Medium.com, October 2019.

The Book of Philemon Through the Lens of Leadership, published on LinkedIn and Medium.com, September 2019.

Exercising Leadership in the Moment: Focusing on the Here and Now, published on LinkedIn and Medium.com, August 2019.

Chekmate.  Original jazz composition.  Wrote, arranged, and performed this musical piece for the New Trier West Recording Jazz Ensemble.   Recorded live as the title track of the album Chekmate.  March 1979.

Rocky’s Theme: Gonna Fly.  Jazz composition arrangement.  Arranged and performed this musical piece for the New Trier West Recording Jazz Ensemble.  March 1978.

References available upon request