Tahir Çakmak, PMP, Project Manager in Istanbul, Turkey
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Tahir Çakmak, PMP

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Toptal Member Since
December 7, 2021

Tahir is a PMP-certified project manager with deep software engineering expertise and experience at Ericcson, Trilogy, and Ford. From setting up an educational startup to delivering bulletproof software products with $40 million in ARR, he empowers teams to achieve excellence. In addition to managing technical projects, he helps companies leverage AWS and Google Cloud. Tahir promotes best practices, such as CI/CD and unit and integration testing to drive business agility and fast change.

Project Highlights

Astrakid.co English Tutoring Mobile App
Managed the project in Jira via Scrum. Owned the product backlog and hired and assisted the team through Figma designs, technology evaluation, Flutter, Node.js development, GitHub Actions CI/CD, and Google Cloud deployment.
Bridgestone Turkey (Brisa) Tire Manufacturing Spec System
Redesigned sophisticated COBOL and AS400-based engineering software with 1,000+ screens and developed it in C# and Oracle. This involved remodeling data structures and algorithms and replacing a 25-year-old application while leading a team of ten.
Avolin Vision Mobile App
Managed a mobile project for inventory and supply chain management for Morrisons UK. The goal was to manage the inventory and ordering of movie and game DVDs and books so that employees in the retail shops could easily oversee processes.

Expertise

Work Experience

Senior Technical Program Manager

2022 - 2024
Refactory Labs OU - Self Employed
  • Served my client as a senior TPgM and led AI-driven projects, enhancing IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) treatment through precision medicine, orchestrating cross-functional team collaboration, and managing product delivery.
  • Ensured, as the primary technical liaison, a smooth collaboration across Engineering and ML teams with DataOps and Customer Success, aligning project objectives with strategic company goals and steering milestones to successful completion.
  • Authored detailed product briefs and requirements documents, establishing a clear roadmap for project execution and ensuring alignment with the company vision.
  • Demonstrated innovation and leadership. Developed an MVP for a Data Annotator Performance Monitoring tool, integrating Encord (a data annotation tool) performance data to derive actionable insights, boosting annotator efficiency and data quality.
  • Managed vendor relations and prepared sample case studies to help vendors understand business needs. Assessed more than 25 candidates technically with take-home coding challenges and interviewed them in the Python back-end or React front-end stack.
  • Contributed to operational excellence. Developed several Quickbase projects, empowering the DataOps and Customer Success teams to effectively analyze EHR data and prioritize patients, resulting in streamlined operations and enhanced patient outcomes.
  • Resolved complex issues within AWS services, including Step Functions, Lambda, CloudWatch, and Kubernetes, safeguarding project infrastructure and ensuring uninterrupted project progress.

Co-founder

2020 - 2022
Astrakid Online Language School
  • Co-founded the company and executed every aspect of the business plan by hiring and managing 15 people in a 100% remote environment. Grew from zero to 250 customers in six months.
  • Developed a new homeschooling methodology with innovative educational concepts that allowed families to empower their kids to reach their potential, regardless of where they live. Transformed this methodology into a business plan and executed it.
  • Managed the student platform project using Agile principles. Delivered a Flutter-based hybrid mobile app and web application with a Node.js back end. Served customers via Google Cloud's scalability and high-availability services with four developers.
  • Hired 15 employees and subcontractors, including English teachers, parent advisors, call center representatives, social media managers, and IT support professionals. Managed them via Asana, Jira, and Google Docs and Sheets in a 100% remote structure.
  • Evaluated the best educational applications. Worked through all purchasing processes, from budgeting to price negotiation and onboarding, with companies like Lexia Learning, Oxford University Press, Discovery Education, and Rosetta Stone.
  • Established a sales funnel process. Created the audience from social media marketing via influencers, then converted them to leads by collecting their contact information and offering free webinars. Acquired customers via email and phone marketing.
  • Set up a customer support process by implementing a 3rd-party VoIP-based phone system. Trained and tracked call center representatives with a customer support system for interacting with clients and leads via phone, WhatsApp, Instagram, and email.
  • Projected a basic financial plan and adjusted it to conform with growth. Kept books with pre-accounting software for tax planning, billing, returns and refunds, and salary and subcontractor payments.
  • Developed integrations with multiple banks and payment gateways to support specific requirements, such as installment payments. Used PHP on the WooCommerce platform.

Software Engineering Manager

2017 - 2020
Trilogy
  • Managed product-oriented software engineering teams to ensure customer satisfaction by executing product roadmaps through high-quality software increments delivered weekly in a metrics-oriented, highly demanding company culture.
  • Spearheaded product software engineering teams for SaaS and on-premise products for Aurea Energy Solutions, Aurea Insurance Solutions, Avolin Trade Beam, Knova, Vision Mobile, Saratoga, Verdiem, and Core Trac.
  • Participated in Aptean's vertical business acquisition, working with both teams to transform into Avolin. Managed knowledge transfer and planned and executed the transition of the development environments from a local data center to AWS.
  • Empowered teams to implement a state-of-the-art production line using best practices, including CI/CD; unit, integration, and automation testing; and code coverage monitoring. Assisted teams in automating tasks to eliminate manual interventions.
  • Planned budgets every quarter in coordination with the product leadership team to reach long-term product goals and sustainable profitability. Executed the plan and ensured high-quality internal and external releases.
  • Monitored individual performance metrics and assisted teams to maintain high-quality output. Analyzed Jira and time-tracker data via Google Sheets and Google Apps Script. Leveraged KPIs for firing and hiring decisions.
  • Hired 35 QA testers and established a QA team for feature verification. Defined processes for project assignments, test writing standards, test verification checklists, and performance indicators to ensure sustainable quality of the team's output.
  • Collected a time-motion productivity study with 30 developers from the code refactoring team. Figured out that task updates in Jira were taking 15% of the time and guided the team to develop an integration with GitHub, improving performance by 15%.

Senior Software Developer

2015 - 2017
Ericsson
  • Participated in developing software for the Ericsson Telecom CRM product built on top of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM and contributed to better performance by refactoring code to improve its quality and writing unit tests.
  • Developed a reusable client caching library by imitating Microsoft Dynamics CRM's static file versioning for custom HTML files, huge JavaScript files, and improved performance. IIS responded to 400% more simultaneous requests on the same server.
  • Integrated and customized the Ericsson Telecom CRM product to Jawwal, the lead Palestinian telecom operator. Developed the architecture in C# and led the 10-member team to deliver the solution on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ASP.NET Web API.
  • Built an architectural design to reuse the same code in a Dynamics CRM plugin and ASP.NET Web API with a Castle Windsor IoC container and implemented a comprehensive domain model to cover client requirements and customizations.
  • Created a quality-oriented code refactoring backlog with SonarQube code analysis and test coverage reports produced by dotCover. Executed refactoring and integration tests to achieve cleaner code and maintainability.

Senior Lecturer | Software Engineering

2011 - 2017
BT Akademi (Part-time)
  • Trained 700+ junior and senior developers and architects in beginner to advanced topics of the Microsoft technology stack with C#, ASP.NET MVC, and SQL Server, including Gang of Four (GoF) and enterprise design patterns in C#.
  • Lectured on enterprise architecture patterns based on Martin Fowler's book and designing and coding libraries, such as an inversion of control (IoC) container, an object-relational map (ORM), a logging library, and an aspect library with CIL.
  • Taught SOLID principles and GoF design patterns in C#, implementing wrong object-oriented design, then driving the requirements to a pattern. Compared C++ and C# implementation details to point out how multiple inheritances affect it.
  • Taught ASP.NET Web Forms, MVC, and Web API from beginner to advanced level. Explained web development from ideas behind Jakarata Servlets to ASP.NET and its evolution to MVC, including testability, model binders, and AOP ideas compared to Spring MVC.
  • Lectured on basic and advanced C#, starting from historical relations with C++ and Java and JVM versus CLR. Concepts included loops, reflection, multithreading, and DB transaction levels.

Senior Consultant

2010 - 2015
Cronom
  • Served as a solution architect for clients, covering initiation, execution, and hand-off phases of software development and system integration projects. Gathered requirements, set up teams, proposed architecture, and led teams to deliver solutions.
  • Onboarded projects by defining processes, proposing software architecture, and setting up project management tools. Empowered teams via coaching and provided technical support with frameworks, libraries, and code generation tools.
  • Built a distributed session and user authentication mechanism in C# with Redis to support legacy ASP.NET and WCF applications and share session data via SOA. Ensured quality through 100% integration test coverage.
  • Planned and developed new features, fixed bugs, and supported customers for Cronom’s Otto framework product—a rapid application development platform and an integrated workflow management system.
  • Developed an internal role change web application for a call center company. Integrated an Angular and ASP.NET front end with an SAP HR module, using a SOAP protocol to define the new and old roles' salaries, benefits, and transfers after interviews.
  • Worked for an e-store project for LC Waikiki, a billion-dollar clothing company. Integrated the system with several third-party logistic providers for stock planning, delivery between warehouses, and order shipment to customers.

Software Developer

2008 - 2009
Ford Otosan (Ford Motor Company)
  • Developed reusable ASP.NET, HTML, and JavaScript UI components, including numeric and date text boxes. Customized DataGrid to empower software development teams and simplify the process.
  • Customized SharePoint and developed components to deliver an intranet portal for all 5,000 employees to share information and collaborate through an interdepartmental communication channel.
  • Built pages and components for an in-house ERP solution with Oracle PL/SQL and ASP.NET.

Astrakid.co English Tutoring Mobile App

Managed the project in Jira via Scrum. Owned the product backlog and hired and assisted the team through Figma designs, technology evaluation, Flutter, Node.js development, GitHub Actions CI/CD, and Google Cloud deployment.

Astrakid.co is a comprehensive online English tutoring platform. It was initially supported by third-party applications like Zoom, Calend.ly, and Google Forms and Sheets with simple PHP pages. Customer demands made it compulsory to invest in an integrated software platform for students.

I gathered requirements by communicating with internal team members and existing customers, modeled mind maps, developed a system design for high-availability capabilities, and transformed those inputs into a product backlog. I also evaluated the requirements, designed the system from top to bottom, and hired and managed the designer who created the UX in Figma.

We implemented the project with Flutter via Firebase, developed the back end with Node.js, stored the data in Firebase and PostgreSQL. I managed the project in Jira with Scrum methodology, including weekly sprints.

Additional Technologies
• Used Zoom Client SDKs for live communication and to avoid complexity.
• Used GitHub Actions for CI/CD to ensure quality.
• Deployed the UI to the App Store, Google Play, and Firebase Web Hosting.
• Deployed the back end on Google Cloud Run in a Docker container for serverless architecture.

Bridgestone Turkey (Brisa) Tire Manufacturing Spec System

Redesigned sophisticated COBOL and AS400-based engineering software with 1,000+ screens and developed it in C# and Oracle. This involved remodeling data structures and algorithms and replacing a 25-year-old application while leading a team of ten.

I gathered requirements and analyzed legacy data structures, business rules, and algorithms from a 25-year-old COBOL and AS400 application that collected production specification data for producing tires through several sophisticated manufacturing machines. I redesigned the data model to accommodate complex business rules and simplified some of them by implementing the constraints in Oracle. I architectured the solution in C# with a domain model, guided the team to implement it, and refactored it for clean code whenever necessary to ensure quality by covering the business code with integrations tests.

I participated in Agile project management through the Kanban method and successfully delivered and replaced the existing application that was in place for 20 years with two failed attempts to replace it.

Avolin Vision Mobile App

Managed a mobile project for inventory and supply chain management for Morrisons UK. The goal was to manage the inventory and ordering of movie and game DVDs and books so that employees in the retail shops could easily oversee processes.

Morrisons UK is a long-term customer of Avolin Vision, using the platform to manage inventory and supplies for movie and game DVDs and books through several distributors, such as Universal Studios.

I managed the development of a React Native mobile application that integrates with the Avolin Vision inventory management product and allows clients to verify their inventory with a mobile device using their cameras as barcode readers. Customers can see the incoming goods and plan their next supply order.

I spearheaded the work of two developers, two testers, DevOps professionals, and 20 stakeholders through Scrum. I also took an active role in collecting requirements from product owners and project sponsors and designing a highly available AWS system.

We developed unique stakeholder management capabilities in the mobile application using Avolin's Vision Inventory Management product, making proper integration architecture and communication crucial. The mobile application was developed with React Native and delivered to the Google Play and App Store.

Jawwal Telecom CRM Project

Integrated the Ericsson Telecom CRM product with a leading mobile operator by developing customizations in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, using the ASP.NET Web API, providing architectural guidance, and leading the team to a robust delivery.

Ericsson executed the Jawwal OSS/BSS transformation project. Jawwal had a legacy Siebel CRM and old charging and billing applications. Ericsson proposed a program to upgrade to Ericsson Charging and Billing in One (CBiO) and replace the Siebel CRM with the Ericsson Telecom CRM product based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016.

Our 10-member team was responsible for integrating the Telecom CRM to CBiO, developing new pages, and customizing out-of-the-box features for the client.

My role:
• Led the team in designing the C# architecture for the back end and the Dynamics CRM Plugin development
• Developed a testable architecture based on the ASP.NET Web API using the Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK and a domain-driven design model
• Built an architectural design to re-use the same code in the Dynamics CRM Plugin along with the ASP.NET Web API with a Castle Windsor IoC container
• Coached the team regularly to write cleaner code, supported them in writing testable, dependency-inverted code, and encouraged them to write unit and integration tests
• Performed recurring code reviews and refactored the code to improve code coverage or reduce duplicates
• Deployed SonarQube and dotCover to monitor code quality and maintain the technical debt

eCommerce Project for LC Waikiki

Delivered and launched the first eCommerce project of LC Waikiki, a billion-dollar clothing company based in Turkey in the 2010s. Developed a solution for customers and between-warehouses deliveries for both eCommerce and 3PL logistics integration.

I managed a team of five while developing a brand-oriented eCommerce solution for LC Waikiki with ASP.NET, WCF, and SQL Server. For this project, I built a complete system for inventory management to enable items to be added to the basket and assigned to the closest warehouse upon order completion. The company set up several warehouses across the country exclusively for this and signed contracts with 3PL companies.

As for the eCommerce development team, we provided two separate ways for 3PL companies:

• The first solution is a "bidding portal" for bulk transfers between warehouses. 3PL companies are registered to the portal and bid on proposals. Inventory managers accept one of the bids, and the winner initiates the transfer. The destination warehouse team confirms the delivery after the shipment is done.

• The second system was for order deliveries and worked through SOAP. The eCommerce system orders a customer shipment automatically through a SOAP service from the selected shipment provider for that warehouse. Every day, the selected 3PL company sends a shipment truck to collect each package to deliver to individual customers.
2004 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering

Sakarya University - Sakarya, Turkey

JANUARY 2022 - PRESENT

Gain Experience with SAP S/4HANA – Logistics (s4h26)

openSAP

JULY 2016 - PRESENT

Oracle Certified Associate, Java SE 8 Programmer

Oracle

NOVEMBER 2015 - PRESENT

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)

APRIL 2013 - PRESENT

Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): Web Applications

Microsoft

Tools

Google Sheets, SQL, Confluence, Jira, Asana, GitHub, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Git, Microsoft Team Foundation Server, Zoom, Slack, Skype, C#.NET WinForms, Google Docs, Jenkins, TestRail, TeamCity, SonarQube, Grafana, ELK (Elastic Stack), Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), Firebase Authentication, Toad, Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), ETL, Figma, Apache, SAP Production Planning (PP), Atlassian, Microsoft Dynamics, AWS Step Functions, Atlassian Suite

Paradigms

Scrum, Agile Project Management, Agile, Web Architecture, Continuous Delivery (CD), Management, Agile Leadership, DevOps, Unit Testing, SysOps, Requirements Analysis, Kanban, Gang of Four (GOF) Design Patterns, Test-driven Development (TDD), Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Asynchronous Development, Object-oriented Design (OOD), Object-oriented Programming (OOP), Agile Product Management, Waterfall Delivery, Microservices Architecture, Agile Delivery, HIPAA Compliance

Industry Expertise

Childcare, Public Sector

Platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Docker, iOS, Android, Oracle Database, Software Design Patterns, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), SharePoint, WordPress

Other

C#, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Business Systems Analysis, Mind Mapping, Scrum Master, IT Project Management, System Integration, IT, Technical Project Management, Project Planning, Process Flows, Remote Team Leadership, Process Improvement, Planning, .NET, .NET 4, Project Scoping, Operations Management, Project Management Operations, Communication, Waterfall Methodology, Forecasting, IT Projects, Software Project Management, Web App Development, Certified Project Manager, Business Processes, Refactoring, Vendor Management, Business Analysis, Web Project Management, Requirements & Specifications, Client Management, Technical Business Analysis, Business Analysis, Data Analysis, Data Visualization, SQL, ASP.NET MVC, System Design, Java, SaaS Product Management, Entity Framework, Startups, PL/SQL, Performance Testing, Website Performance, Performance Analysis, Performance Tuning, Swagger, Microsoft SQL Server, Software as a Service (SaaS), Reporting, Business Models, Human Resources (HR), Business Process Management (BPM), Process Improvement Project Management, Agile Transformation, Release Management, Software Release Management, APIs, Backlog Grooming, Dashboards, Sprints, Sprint Retrospectives, User Stories, Risk Management, MySQL, VM, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Data Auditing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), PMO, Web Development, RDBMS, NoSQL, Java 8, ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), HTML5, JavaScript, Google Cloud, Spring, Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing (SMM), Hiring, Purchasing, Marketing, Customer Support, Payment APIs, Sales, Email Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Financials, People Management, K-12 Education, Innovation, Learning Management Systems (LMS), Flutter, Node.js, GitHub Actions, Sales Funnel, Telemarketing, Payment Gateways, Software Engineering, QA Leadership, CI/CD Pipelines, Integration Testing, Quarterly Reporting, Budgeting, Technical Hiring, Process Design, Product Roadmaps, Post-merger Integration, Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), Gantt Chart, Spring Boot, Kubernetes, Amazon EKS, Amazon S3 (AWS S3), React Native, Amazon DynamoDB, Web, C#.NET, Data Modeling, AS400, COBOL, Data Migration, Scripting, ASP.NET Web API, Enterprise Architecture, Domain-driven Design (DDD), REST APIs, ASP.NET Web Forms, MCSD, SQL Server 2014, Multithreading, Algorithms, SOLID Principles, Selenium WebDriver, jQuery, AngularJS, Team Management, Frameworks, Software Architecture, Back-end Performance, Distributed Systems, Oracle 11g, BSCS, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), eTOM, Kendo UI, M&A (Buy-side), M&A Reporting, Financial Modeling, Board of Directors, eCommerce, POS, Sprint Planning, CRM Systems, Sprint Ceremonies, Booking Systems, Cost Estimation, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), Early-stage Startups, IT Operations Management (ITOM), React, Payment Processing, PHP, Finance, Mobile, Supply Chain, SAP HR, Warehouse Operations, SAP, SOAP, Inventory Management, Backlog Management, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Python, Business Intelligence (BI), Team Leadership, Accounting, Project Finance, IT Business Analysis, Budget Controls, Cost Control, Feature Prioritization, Scope Management, Scope of Work, Hybrid Project Management, Education, Machine Learning, Program Management, Computer Vision, Image Processing, Product Management, QuickBase, AWS Lambda, Technical Program Management, Communication Management, Delivery Management, Stakeholder Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Serverless Architecture, Microsoft 365, Government Contracting, Cloud Platforms, Complex Program Management, IT Program Management, Cloud Migration, Multitenancy, Medical Devices, Jira Administrator, Jira REST API, Ticketing, Jira Administration, Clinical Trials, Data Analysis, Data Visualization, Electronic Health Records (EHR), Metabase

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