Pleased to meet you

At a first glance, my resume looks quite non-linear. Here is what keeps it all together:

  •  I am an engineer at heart, and I love to ‘make things work’
  • I am curious, I love to learn and embrace change
  •  I have a passion for great products and solutions

Software Development

I have broad experience in the development of software, firmware and FPGAs. This is what I started my career with, and I have never stopped tinkering with software, be it part of the job or as a hobby. My recent career moves are an expression of my re-ignited passion for hands-on software development.

Hardware Development

I have delivered dozens of hardware products in mostly managerial roles. I have made significant contributions to product concepts and system architecture, developed excellent skills for estimating costs in early stages, and I have gained deep knowledge of far-east manufacturing and quality control. The skills I have acquired here have broadened my horizon in many ways, and I would never want to miss that.

Leadership Roles

My career has progressed from individual contributor roles via team lead roles to top management. Here I have learned valuable lessons about the economic requirements of a company, and working with people. But ultimately this is not where my passion is, which sparked my decision to return to performing tangible work.

Professional Experience

Bertram Enterprises, Seattle, Washington
February 2016 – Present
Bertram Enterprises, Los Angeles, California
February 2015 – February 2016

CTO, owner
After many years in management, I actively decided to go back to chopping wood. I am still an engineer at heart and enjoy leaving a dent with tangible work. I am splitting my time between contract assignments and exploration of my own ideas.

  • Software development for financial applications
    • Development of a real-time auto-trading strategy, based on MultiCharts platform. The strategy performs automatic portfolio selection from the 200 most liquid stocks, volatility-based equity allocation and maintains a live broker connection.
    • Development of notification system, sending email alerts for intended and unintended trading events.
    • Development of reliable hardware environment, including UPS and backup systems with local and off-site storage.
  • Software development for industrial applications (contract assignment)
    • Application development in C++ using Visual Studio, Xcode and Qt Creator, targeting Windows and Mac OS X. Application is multi-threaded and real-time, communicating with a distributed hardware system over network sockets.
    • Design and implementation of build environment. Based on Jenkins, the build server launches virtual machines for various build environments.
    • Design and implementation of regression environment. Based on Jenkins, the test server launches virtual machines for various test platforms and communicates with a dedicated hardware environment.
    • Implementation of revision control server, based on Gitolite and Docker.
Native Instruments, Berlin, Germany
November 2013 – February 2015
Native Instruments, Los Angeles, California
December 2012 – February 2015

Vice President Engineering
Lead global hardware and software development team to deliver world-class premium products. Instrumental in reaching a new level of professionalism from planning via execution to delivery of deeply integrated hardware and software systems.

  • Established hardware processes
    • Formalized process to improve tracking to schedule and risk management
    • Release processes including ECOs, deviation waivers and CARs
    • Cost-estimation methods to allow early cost vs. feature trade-offs
  • Established OEM development processes
    • Developed guidelines to clearly assign roles and responsibilities, and empower 3rd parties without losing control
  • Introduced agile software processes
    • Improve task-orientation, prioritization and awareness of all team activities
    • Define roles of disciplinary and technical leaderships
  • Managed cross-functional R&D team
    • Total team size about 100 in engineering and QA
Audyssey Laboratories, Los Angeles, California
August 2010 – November 2012

Vice President, Hardware Engineering and Global Operations
Instrumental in expanding the company's scope from a pure licensing business into a consumer-electronics product company. Delivered highly regarded premium products. Established processes and infrastructure from ground-up and implemented innovative QA methodologies for global manufacturing operations.

  • Established processes
    • Formalized NPI process to improve tracking to schedule and risk management
    • Release processes including ECOs, deviation waivers and CARs
  • Introduced infrastructure
    • Global logistics including 3PLs, freight-forwarders and international RMAs
    • Engineering database to manage components and BOMs, to improve cost consciousness and accuracy of early estimates, to improve leverage when negotiating cost with suppliers
  • Re-defined inter-departmental touch points
    • Tight interaction between Operations and Sales to reduce inventory and improve lead times
    • Tight interaction between Engineering and Product Management for the benefit of more successful products
  • Managed cross-functional team
    • Introduced agile methods to improve task-orientation, prioritization and awareness of all team activities
    • Focused team on core competencies, outsourced non value-add activities to 3rd parties
    • Total team size 15, including 6 in Engineering, 6 in Operations and 3 in QA
Avid Technology, Irwindale, California
June 2007 – August 2010
M-Audio, Hamburg, Germany
September 2006 – June 2007

Director, Hardware Development
Served as multi-disciplined engineering manager for M-Audio and Digidesign-branded product development. Delivered aggressively-priced quality products on fast-paced schedules and drove continuous improvement of program execution and cost reductions. Advanced products for prosumer customers.

  • Managed delivery of several dozen products
    • Active involvement to solve complex technical or operational problems
  • Made countless tangible improvements to processes, work-flows, productivity and quality
    • Re-use of solutions, platform development and sharing of results
    • Cost consciousness, cost control and accuracy of early engineering estimates
    • Document control and traceability
    • Development and release processes
    • Product definition and interaction between Product Management and Engineering
    • Risk management and delivery to schedule
    • Production-line QA procedures
  • Integrated M-Audio HW Engineering team into Avid
    • Re-defined touch-points to purchasing, manufacturing engineering, Operations and QA
  • Managed cross-functional team
    • Total team size up to 29, including 11 EEs, 8 firmware developers, 4 PCB designers, lab technicians, mechanical engineers and industrial designers
    • Team distributed across multiple sites in California, Florida, Germany and home offices
    • Mentoring staff on technical issues
    • Focus team on core competencies, outsourced non-value add activities to partners in Asia
    • Transitioned team during difficult economy; reduced head-count while maintaining productivity
Apple Computer, Rellingen, Germany
July 2002 – July 2006
Emagic, Rellingen, Germany
July 1995 – July 2002

Chief Hardware Architect, shareholder
Innovation to the max with new-to-the-world products and features that set the standard for the industry. Progressed from technical to leadership roles as Emagic tripled in size. Company was acquired by Apple in 2002.

  • Contributed significantly to company's success
    • Joined the company when it had 35 employees and US$ 6 million in sales
    • Convinced the founders of the feasibility to enter the hardware business
    • Championed the company's first activities in hardware development
    • Accepted offer to become shareholder in 1997
    • Further contributed to the company's growth to 120 employees and US$ 18 million in sales
  • Key developer of peripherals for professional music production, most importantly Audiowerk8 and EMI 2|6
    • Designed system architecture, including hardware, firmware and drivers
    • Implemented audio data processing in FPGAs
    • Owned definition of all processes relevant to development, manufacturing and QA
    • Evaluated and contracted manufacturers in Europe
    • Continuously improved cost structure
    • Brought products to market, with up to 45,000 units sold
  • Key developer of Logic Audio, a software suite for professional music production
    • Led the development of the Windows-version of the software
    • Developed software architecture for real-time audio processing
Trenz Electronic, Bünde, Germany
October 1999 – June 2002

Intellectual Property Manager, shareholder
Drove expansion into ready-to-use intellectual property products for FPGA and ASIC implementation, in order to augment and accelerate contract development services. Tight, collaborative team. High-tech industry customers.

  • Created complex Intellectual Property
    • USB function controller
    • 8051 processor
    • Support material, application notes, sample designs
  • Defined business model for IP
  • Created and managed customer relationships
    • Acquired customers based in Europe and Far East
    • Liaised with and supported customers through design-in phases
  • Completed numerous projects to develop custom solutions for high-tech industry customers
Philips Semiconductors, Desktop Video, Hamburg, Germany
July 1993 – July 1995

Project Lead Driver and Verification Software
I learned invaluable lessons here about development cycles, stakeholder satisfaction and participation, and defining roles and responsibilities. This is also where I learned about the need for thorough validation and the cost of oversights, mistakes or failures.

  • Developed software platform for ASIC validation
    • Enabled first-silicon validation of ASICs for desktop video applications
    • Used by FAEs to demonstrate chip capabilities to customers

2005 – 2008

Graduated from Europäische Fernhochschule, Hamburg.

MSEE (Dipl.-Ing. Elektrotechnik/ Technische Informatik)
1987 – 1993

Graduated from Technische Universität Braunschweig (BSEE) and Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg with strong emphasis on computer science, signal processing and image processing.

Additional Information

  • Authorized to work for any employer in the US and Europe.
  • Able to do business in both English and German, and travel internationally.
  • References and compensation history upon request.
© Felix Bertram 2002-2015. Last update September 2016.