Alexander Sereda, Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada
Alexander Sereda

Project Manager in Toronto, ON, Canada

Member since April 9, 2021
Alexander is a proven technical leader and software product development manager with over ten years in the field. He has built and launched multiple software products supporting tens of millions in annual recurring revenue. He founded a company that built software products for clients with combined annual recurring revenues of over $20 million. Alexander excels in architecting modern software solutions, agile product development, and management of diverse and technical teams.
Alexander is now available for hire

Project Highlights

  • Built a proprietary combined ERP-and-client portal for an insurance company, which comprehensively handled the entire business process, from dynamic policy generation and automated document delivery to fully-digital claims resolution.
  • Architected, developed, and evolved a full-scale, end-to-end ERP solution for the cybersecurity industry over a seven year period.
  • Built a scenario-modeling platform for a boutique consultancy that caters to F500 businesses. Software performs sophisticated cost-benefit analyses of marketing opportunities using rich data and proprietary mathematical models.

Employment

  • Founder | Principle Consultant | Technical Team Lead

    2009 - PRESENT
    North Star Software
    • Founded a boutique consulting firm providing technical consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses, specializing in software product development and cloud infrastructure.
    • Architected, built, and supported multiple concurrent software products for clients, with combined annual recurring revenues of over $20 million.
    • Hired, managed, and led a remote team of 10+ senior software engineers and other technical talent.
    • Negotiated both Waterfall and Agile contracts with business owners and executives.
    • Oversaw all aspects of the business, including technical direction, strategy, team development, and customer account management.
    • Led simultaneous client projects as scrum master and product owner, with scrumban methodology, code reviews, and tightly-integrated continuous integration and deployment processes.
  • CTO

    2019 - 2020
    Rhino Security Labs
    • Defined and drove technical vision, strategy, and implementation for a portfolio of internal and open-source software products.
    • Oversaw all technical development projects at the company, setting strategy and direction based on in-depth business analysis and stakeholder interviews.
    • Transitioned company to full-remote and moved the organization's entire IT infrastructure to highly-secure cloud environments. Architected comprehensive organization-wide security policies, such as SSO/SAML across all SaaS and in-house applications.
    • Leveraged AWS Lambda and Zapier to automate key business processes, improving overall velocity by ~50% and saving hundreds of person-hours per week.
    • Defined and implemented technical best-practices and processes for multiple teams and projects. Refined and automated hiring processes, enabling rapid team growth.
    • Interviewed, onboarded, and trained new employees. Refined hiring processes, improving onboarding time by 100%.
    • Managed, mentored, and developed engineering talent (some of whom went on to work for Uber and Amazon).
  • Technical Product Manager | Product Owner | Team Lead

    2014 - 2019
    Rhino Security Labs
    • Architected and drove development of a proprietary ERP platform which performed automated threat-recognition and dynamic PDF generation, enabling cybersecurity assessments to exceed industry competition’s capability by orders of magnitude.
    • Developed Pacu, an open-source AWS Exploitation Framework, CloudGoat, an open-source AWS red-team Cyber Threat Framework (CTF), and multiple other cybersecurity R&D projects that created practical, cutting-edge tools for use in red-team engagements.
    • Hired, managed, and led a team of engineers and cybersecurity experts working on multiple technical projects simultaneously, using agile management and software development methodologies.
    • Owned and maintained development roadmaps and led teams of engineers to build, improve, and maintain multiple software products using Agile methodologies.
    • Played a key role in growing the company's revenue by 600% and team size by 250% over five years by driving continuous improvement in processes, technological solutions, and lean principles.

Project History

  • Propriety ERP - Automative Insurance
    Built a proprietary combined ERP-and-client portal for an insurance company, which comprehensively handled the entire business process, from dynamic policy generation and automated document delivery to fully-digital claims resolution.

    This was a mature business with a large number of long-term customers and well-established processes, all of which were highly manual and largely based on traditional infrastructures such as paper forms and direct emails.

    My goal from the start was to transform the business into a fully digital, online-first organization by building an ERP to handle all internal processes and a client-facing portal that would handle customer needs.

    I helped the company's leadership develop their vision and long-term strategy, then developed a technical project plan and detailed solution architecture. From there, I took on the role of product owner and technical team lead, assembling a development team and working closely with the company leadership as we built and launched the product.

    The initial release of the ERP was a tremendous success, but it also provided a platform for further iterations. In concert with key stakeholders, we gathered feedback and refined the user experience, and even make modifications to the business process. Over the next few years, we were able to dramatically improve efficiency, allowing the business to triple its volume without increasing staff.

  • Propriety ERP - Cybersecurity
    Architected, developed, and evolved a full-scale, end-to-end ERP solution for the cybersecurity industry over a seven year period.

    This proprietary ERP platform performed automated threat recognition, dynamic PDF generation, and fully integrated workflow automation from initial sales outreach to final deliverables.

    As the technical team lead, I assembled and managed a remote team of engineers and other technical talent using agile project management methodologies (including extreme programming principles).

    This application was a cornerstone of the business from day one. Working closely with leadership for seven years, I served as product owner, working constantly to define and execute the product vision as the company grew and expanded into new markets. I worked closely with key stakeholders, leadership, and subject matter experts to refine, evolve, and expand the product's capabilities.

    Over several years, we tackled some incredible technical challenges, such as:
    + Direct integration with Zapier and other third-party APIs.
    + Developed our own Zapier integration.
    + Built our own in-browser image editor.
    + Fully dynamic generation of complex, data-rich PDF documents.
    + OAuth authentication and authorization with 2FA.

  • Propriety ERP - Advertising
    Built a scenario-modeling platform for a boutique consultancy that caters to F500 businesses. Software performs sophisticated cost-benefit analyses of marketing opportunities using rich data and proprietary mathematical models.

    Initially, I served as a technical consultant, working with a business process analyst and an internal team of executives and key stakeholders to architect an integrated, web-based application to act as a secure and effective ERP solution to evolve the existing business process and infrastructure. As the deliverable for this phase, my team and I created detailed specifications and a technical project plan to be used as the basis for an RFP process.

    Following this design phase, my consulting company won the bid to build the product. From that point, acting as product owner and technical project manager, I led a team of engineers and other technical talent using scrum to deliver the project on time and on budget. We worked with the client's MSP to deploy the project on Microsoft Azure.

    This was a unique and challenging project, but some of the stand-out achievements are below:

    + Worked closely with business analysts and management consultants to develop a technical project plan and scope based on extensive business process documentation.
    + Created a sophisticated and fully dynamic equation builder, enabling users to carry out complex modeling and cost-benefit simulations within the application.

  • CloudGoat
    I architected, built, and launched a brand-new open-source AWS Exploitation Framework.

    CloudGoat is a penetration testing tool that allows red-team cybersecurity professionals to hone their cloud cybersecurity skills by creating and completing several "capture-the-flag" style scenarios. Each scenario is composed of multiple AWS resources arranged together to create a structured learning experience.

    I managed a diverse team of engineers and cybersecurity researchers to design and develop this open-source software product. I was personally responsible for developing the product vision and architecting the solution from both the technical and product perspectives.

    + Cloudgoat offered a focused, curated, and high-quality learning experience. Each of CloudGoat’s scenarios provided the opportunity for experimentation, exploration, and building hands-on cloud security skills.

    CloudGoat’s scenarios were well-documented and easy to understand in terms of difficulty, content, structure, and skills required. CloudGoat’s core components were easy to use and to work with, driving adoption and enhancement both within Rhino Security Labs and the community. Cloudgoat received rave reviews and was quite popular in the community, with industry experts and influencers posting their scenario walkthroughs.

  • Pacu
    As project lead, I collaborated with leadership, marketing, and a technical team of software engineers and cybersecurity experts to develop and launch a popular open-source cybersecurity framework.

    Pacu is an open-source AWS exploitation framework, designed for offensive security testing against cloud environments. Pacu allows penetration testers to exploit configuration flaws within an AWS account, using modules to easily expand its functionality.

    As a product owner and technical team lead, I worked closely with leadership, marketing, a technical team of software engineers, and cybersecurity experts to develop a product vision, scope, and solution architecture.

    I coordinated a closed beta with industry experts, insiders, and influencers in cybersecurity and cloud-based IT, keeping beta users involved in the ongoing development of the product. We leveraged their feedback to refine the product into a cutting-edge cybersecurity tool that exceeded user expectations and garnered substantial praise.

    The success of the project was ultimately measurable on multiple fronts: Internal use of the tool for cloud infrastructure assessments, the uptake and use of the project across the cybersecurity community, and even in the increased traffic to the website following key terms related to the project.

  • Proprietary Web App - Product Review and Recommendation Platform
    Built a smart, high-performance product review-and-recommendation application that integrated with Amazon’s APIs and served 600,000 hits per month.

    For this project, my consulting agency was retained to architect, implement, and launch a new product for a popular online product review publication. After working with leadership to establish the project's vision, I designed the technical architecture and defined the project scope.

    Serving as product owner and technical team lead, and using agile development and project management principles, my team built and deployed the product. Some interesting highlights from the project:

    Due to the popularity of the tool, we had to perform pre-launch load testing and performance optimization, using New Relic and LoadImpact. With data-rich, intelligent product recommendations as to the core function of the app performance as a priority, we had to use Redis and Memcached to maintain performance under load - MySQL just couldn't keep up!

    We used Amazon's native store API to keep the client's database of price, availability, and product info in sync with Amazon's. At launch, this product served more than 600,000 views/month and we kept average page load times under three seconds even with dynamic data!

Education

  • Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems
    2008 - 2013
    Athabasca University - Ontario, Canada
  • Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts
    2006 - 2007
    University of Chicago - Chicago, Illinois, USA

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