JF Unson


At a Glance

JF is a 30-year veteran of Silicon Valley with experience from tiny start-ups to large enterprises. He has mentored and led organizations to deliver products and effective outcomes continually. He connects product strategy, portfolio management, and execution by using various tools, methodologies, and frameworks. He has a holistic and unique view of the product development process, having “done it all” — test engineer, software developer, architect, engineering leader, and product manager.


Full Bio

JF is a very pragmatic learner, ardent practitioner, and seasoned coach of Agile methods and thinking. He didn’t start this way, though. 

JF was a very burnt out and tired software engineering lead in the late 1990s when he decided to use some of the new practices that he read about on netnews. He was spearheading a very aggressive new project. He decided to apply some of the radical concepts that he came across. “What’s there to lose?” he said to himself, considering that he was thinking hard about switching careers after being burned out continually, release after release each year. He was skeptical, but decided to give these new things a try with his latest – and possibly last – software project. 

Behold – the project succeeded immensely. JF was shocked at how successful his project went, with even just the small amount he had his team do. He embarked on his Agile journey from that point on.

Since then, JF has been in almost every possible role in a delivery team. In these roles, he learned how to apply Agile from the perspective of a test engineer, software developer, engineering manager, UI technical lead, engineering director, and product manager. He has asked most of the questions that people first ask when going through their Agile transformation since he has experienced what it’s like to be in these roles. His experiences had helped him go into coaching. He was one of the first coaches to do very early enterprise adoptions and rollout of Agile – which was at Yahoo back in 2005.

Throughout the years, JF has continued his learning and practical application of Agile to real company situations, ranging from tiny start-ups to large enterprises like LinkedIn and Google. Throughout the years, he has managed, or project managed multiple software delivery teams that deliver continuously. 

Nowadays, JF is more interested in asking the harder questions about Agility.  What’s the impact of the work you do? How does your contribution impact the outcomes and bottom line of the business? Where do you invest your efforts, given your constraint of budgets or people?

JF graduated with a double degree in Computer Engineering and Computational Mathematics from UC Santa Cruz. He specializes in team and organizational transformations,  portfolio management, and product management. In his spare time, JF is an avid gourmand and tries to indulge in his other passion, travel photography.

Team Outing Photo

Meeting with my remote team in Guadalajara, Mexico