Darren Harkness

Human-focused leadership

About Darren >

For the past twenty years, I’ve served as a bridge between technical contributors and non-technical stakeholders. I understand the agility and excitement of startup and enterprise work, the pressures and tenacity required for success in public organizations and, most of all, the type of leadership that’s needed to build confident working relationships with individuals, teams, and with the company itself.

Relationships — especially those with and mediated through technology — are often complex and challenging. When done right, they are deeply rewarding. My experience gives me the ability to move confidently among roles and facilitate communication when planning or managing technical projects, development work, or creative cycles. I will help your team feel supported, trusted, and invested in their (and your) growth.

Learn what it's like to work with me

Some things I've made >

Apache Essentials
The Full Stack Project Manager
Today> a Slack-based task manager.

Where I've been >

Director, Project Management

2018—2020

Redstamp brought me in to build a project management team to help scale their business. As director, I separated out the account and project management teams into discrete roles, so clients receive exceptional service from a team of focused, experienced professionals. As part of this work, I established a set of competency frameworks and salary bands to objectively measure and reward performance within the team and worked with the Operations team to build out revenue projections and metrics.

Manager, Developer Support

2016—2018

At Slack, I directly managed a team of 8 Developer Support agents across two continents (Vancouver, Toronto, and Dublin) and dotted line relationships with 4 additional staff in San Francisco and Melbourne. In this role I built and executed the overall vision for Developer Support at Slack and was involved in redefining our career pathing, quality review, and overall process within the Customer Experience team.

Slack has a core mission of making working lives simpler, more productive, and more pleasant. This is a core part of management at Slack, and is something I have taken to heart.

Senior Web Developer / Project Manager

2007—2016

This position was created to better facilitate communication between the institution’s technical services department and faculty and involves facilitating communication, proposal writing, and project management between these two groups.

In this role, I managed projects ranging from small-scale individual research proposals (< $50,000) to multi-year institutional efforts involving multiple stakeholder groups (> $500,000). I hired and managed interdisciplinary teams (5-10) of IT, creative, faculty, and contract staff, and built a reputation as being a reliable, collaborative bridge between technical and non-technical staff.

Help Developer Lead

2003—2007

My responsibility in this role was to create and maintain application and online help files for GE Fanuc’s industrial software solutions. I was assigned to write technical documentation for the iHistorian and Proficy products, but quickly expanded my role to provide infrastructure support for their help systems as a whole.

As part of the Help Development team, I reduced maintenance requirements for existing documentation models through automation and scripting. I also improved team documentation practices and communication through an ad-hoc intranet and wiki system.

In 2006, I led the transition from a closed multi-format authoring model to a single-source, XML-based authoring model that could output to several formats, including online and print. This allowed for more efficient maintenance of existing content and portability among formats and created potential for new models of technical documentation, including simple content reuse.

Please reach out for information on older positions held.