Director of Research & Design
Jesse Taggert leads research and design at Truss and is committed to collaboration and building healthy cross-functional teams.
Jesse is experienced in product strategy, user research, experience design, creative direction, content strategy and stakeholder/client relations. Before Truss, Jesse led design at CA Child Welfare Digital Services and was a lead strategist at 18F, an in-government consultancy bringing user centered design and agile software development to government agencies.
Before focusing on government work, she worked at Pivotal Labs, an international firm specializing in agile software development. She has a worked in a handful of startups, and as an experience designer for major art, science and history museums. She is based in San Francisco.
Chris's early career was in aerospace, working on both government and science projects. At NASA/JPL he worked on the Mars Rover Curiosity and built a system for driving the ATHLETE robot using a Nintendo Wii controller. He was also awarded a Space Act Award for his work building a database and tooling system for the JASON and GRACE satellite data.
He moved over to software almost a decade ago and since then has built everything from IoT systems for manufacturing robots to social websites for HBO. He has worked up and down the stack from writing the entire website stack to procurement and installation of datacenter hardware. He is most comfortable building and managing cloud infrastructure and writing application code.
In his spare time Chris likes to tinker on electronics projects and design 3D-printed toys for his kid.
Sally is from a military family and has moved around a lot, mostly growing up in Ohio. She got involved in environmental and international development work, leading her to continue her studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Professionally, Sally spent 8 years doing engineering and business consulting work in the clean energy industry, specializing in data analytics, GIS, automation and process improvement.
Sally enjoys traveling, getting down on the dance floor, writing poetry, tasting/making/listening to things, and generally pondering the universe. She especially loves all varieties of macaroni and cheese.
Donald is a software engineer that loves building web applications to provide solutions for people so they can have a better day.
He went into software engineering after taking a game development course in college where his team created a 2D platform game. His classmates loved the game, which showed him that building something can bring out a positive reaction for people.
After earning his B.S. in Computer Science at San Jose State University, Donald spent the last 5 years working in the payments industry, building web applications that help merchants manage their credit card transactions.
In his free time, he likes learning about blockchain technologies, investing in cryptocurrencies, lifting heavy weights and hanging out with his two pups.
Sales & Marketing
Jamie Kennedy is a jack of all trades hailing from the thick woods of upstate New York.
After graduating high school, Jamie worked as the Event Coordinator of one of the country's oldest tabletop game retailers, and as co-owner of a boutique high-end Yo-Yo company. In his free time Jamie loves to compete in all things nerdy from card game and video game tournaments to international yo-yo competitions. Otherwise, he spends his free time creating interactive industrial art and playing Disc Golf.
Prior to joining Truss, Kim applied her full stack engineering skills to building a healthcare logistics platform and supporting an app for victims of human trafficking. Kim cares deeply about promoting social justice and inclusivity whether that’s through an accessible user experience, a well-run staff meeting, or empowerment opportunities for underprivileged youth.
Before applying her problem-solving skills to fixing software bugs, she was utilizing them for squashing bugs on organic farms, managing youth programs, and teaching environmental education.
When not in front of a screen, she can be found chasing plastic discs, riding her bike, climbing rocks, hugging trees, or scheming the latest craft project.
Nic “Kayless” Wissman
Nic is a program manager with over 10 years of experience spanning a number of technical disciplines in both the government and commercial markets.
He was recruited into the heathcare.gov "Tech Surge" of 2013-2014 as a collaborative yet disruptive force within the existing government contracting space. During this time, Nic was instrumental in maintaining command and control over live site incidents as dozens of contractors worked toward resolution. He has deep understanding of government contracting and a passion for advocating agile and iterative development processes in any area he touches.
Nic is an avid consumer of stories in all forms and occasionally works at writing some. He enjoys growing vegetables and cooking them, being exposed to new music, and periodically questioning his beliefs.
MacRae moved to the bay area from the south after college. He quickly fell in love with the people, the food, and the mountains; though he still misses the East coast incarnation of all three. Backpacking is an easy way to combine them but he sure doesn’t go as much as he’d like. He’d love to go for a run with you.
Before Truss, MacRae worked at Apple for 7 years mostly building automation technology for testing on OS X. His last year there was spent making Interface Builder handle designing for large screens gracefully. He’s also pretty sure that before long we’ll look back on today’s software tools like they came from the stone age.
In his spare time, he likes making art with computers.
At Women 2.0 Founder Labs in 2011, Everett pitched an idea to make calendars more useful for executive assistants. That app, called Tetherpad, was the original DNA of Truss. With cofounders Mark & Jen, they grew the company with the same intent -- how to make technology responsive to our time, attention and energy. Everett's expertise is in customer development, a technique that combines customer behavior with ethnography to inform product and business development.
Everett was head of Customer Acquisition and Community for Linden Lab. He is a Webby Award Honoree as the product lead for Bottlenotes Mobile, a social wine app. He has an MBA and M.Ed in design & technology from Stanford, and BSEE in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering from Duke. He was a full-tuition AB Duke Scholar and won the NCAA National Championship in soccer, the first in any sport for Duke. He can be found making up sous-vide recipes with his favorite sous chef, his daughter.
Erin moved around various small southern towns as a child learning about the world through books. Learning about art and perception led Erin to take a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Studies from Tulane and then a Masters in Knowledge-Based Systems from University of Sussex.
Erin remains fascinated by how our models of the world shape our lives and the world itself. She sees software as a way to build a better understanding of the world and to create new ways of understanding and working together.
Erin has used modern agile techniques to create software systems that make sure couriers can deliver shipments on time, patients understand medical treatment options, and software teams organize and plan their work.
Sara got involved in the tech world when she was 15 as a Quality Assurance Analyst. She spent 2 years in high school testing insurance rating software (yawn) before moving to San Francisco to major in Sociology at the University of San Francisco.
After a few years dabbling in other industries, Sara realized that software development was her true calling. She quit her job, went through a web development bootcamp, and was soon working as a junior engineer. Fast forward a few years, and Sara still loves working as a software engineer. Her current passion is learning all things related to React, and she is a strong proponent of agile methodologies and test-driven development.
When not writing code, Sara enjoys cooking and tries to spend as much time sewing as she does ripping out stitches. She also has an unreasonable love for period British dramas and has seen every film incarnation of Sense and Sensibility.
Kara is a Bay Area native, who joined the tech industry after a short stint teaching and other child-based jobs. Prior to Truss, Kara honed her engineering skills at Heroku, working on the public facing REST api. She spent most of her time developing enterprise features like SSO, customizable app access controls and Heroku Teams.
Kara is passionate about giving back to the tech community and advocates
for equality in hiring and employment. Outside of work, Kara knits, cross stitches, enjoys difficult puzzles, and plays strategic tabletop games. Kara is definitely not a Cylon.
Reggie has been coding since popular personal computers included the TI-99/4A and Apple II. He wrote his first web application in 1996 and over the years has generated web-based solutions for the education, healthcare, and defense markets. In addition, Reggie led a team that developed one of the Army's largest serious games.
Reggie has BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina. A preacher's kid who lived in every corner of South Carolina growing up, he currently resides in Augusta, Georgia. When he's not on a computer, Reggie is often in his yard, striving to keep his landscaping worthy of being only a few miles from one of the most famously beautiful golf courses in the world.
Chris is a Software Engineer from sunny Southern California. In addition to building beautiful and vibrant user interfaces, Chris enjoys understanding the psychology of a user's experience and solving the problems that users face when using an application.
Before programming his career in software development, Chris completed a degree in Economics with a particular interest in personal finance. Whenever Chris is tasked with a decision to make, he begins by thinking about things in terms of their opportunity cost.
If Chris isn't in front of his computer, you might find him at the gym, your local craft brewery, or in front of the tv cheering on his favorite sports teams.
Mark was one of the engineers that helped fix Healthcare.gov in 2013-2014 during the "tech surge". Mark is one of the pioneers of Dev Ops as he built one of the first cloud computing teams for Linden Lab in 2006 and was Amazon Web Services largest customer. Mark's team also built the ecommerce platform for Linden Lab.
Mark graduated from UC Berkeley in Computer Science and is an avid cyclist, including raising money for the yearly AIDS ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Seamus has led teams and projects for decades in contexts ranging from tight, frenetic environments to intercontinental coordination.
Seamus holds a Law Degree and Masters in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Washington.
Andrea is inspired by systems that empower people to leverage their potential through user-centric, clarity-driven, collaboration-based design. She practices an interdisciplinary approach, by viewing software development through the lens of pyschological and linguistic methodology. This would seem to make sense, as she graduated with high honors from UC Berkeley with a degree in Psychology, before going on to teach English as a second language in Spain for over 6 years.
Before joining Truss, Andrea was at Nonchalance, a hybrid arts consultancy specializing in situational design. There, she had the opportunity of developing software to support a local community of creators, engaged in interactive experiential design and cultural curation.
In her free time, Andrea enjoys playing her acoustic guitar, writing and recording songs, and traveling.
Mike comes from Parse, a mobile backend as a service, where he worked with a small team to manage one of the largest and most complex MongoDB footprints in the world. While at Parse, Mike worked on getting the first production instances of MongoDB with RocksDB as the underlying storage engine. This doubled Parse’s write capacity and dropped storage utilization by 10x.
Mike was also part of the “Tech Surge” for healthcare.gov back when the initial rollout crumbled because there was no accountability, monitoring or communication.
Mike graduated from University of California Santa Barbara in Computer Science, and proudly represents the UCSB Gauchos roller hockey team.
Willow Brugh has worked with digital tools to enable coordination between response agencies and emergent response groups in areas affected by fast and slow crises. This often means ad hoc project management with hundreds of volunteers across multiple timezones and cultures.
bl00 looks at connections, systems, empowerment, and powerlessness and strives to both understand and improve whatever is found. Sometimes that’s with the Occupy Movement, sometimes it’s with the National Defense University. Willow successfully worked with the FEMA Field Innovation Team for Hurricane Sandy, and was awarded at a ceremony at the White House for the contribution.
Outside of work, Willow climbs on rocks, punches bags, thinks about digital estate planning, and rides two wheeled objects. Currently a Bianchi Axis and a ’15 Striple RX (both in blue and black) warm the cogs in bl00’s robot heart.
Jim grew up in the midwest and studied Interactive Multimedia at Columbia College Chicago. He has written software for record labels, online education, advertising agencies, startups, and large technology firms. He has a keen interest in understanding programming as a means of documenting and communicating human intent.
Jim enjoys walking through cities and nature, reading speculative fiction, learning about and cooking food, and staring longingly out of windows. He lives in Chicago, IL.
VP of Engineering,
Jen has doubled the performance of APIs operating at rates of over 10,000 requests per second and led petabyte-scale data analysis operations, saving millions of dollars per annum. Jen has experience at nearly every level of the stack from user-facing applications down to and including silicon.
Jen earned Highest Honors in her degree of BS in Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. In her free time she enjoys designing systems ranging from electronics for interactive fire art to thriving zero-water-use native gardens in the desert.
Patrick hails from the northeast, where he lived in the tri-state area and our nation’s capital before finding tech paradise in the bay area. He has a BS degree in physics from Rutgers University, where he wrote a thesis on graphene photovoltaics. A love of tech, problem solving, and building things from the ground up eventually led Patrick to leave academic research for a career in software engineering.
As a freelance developer, before joining Truss, Patrick had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects for web, desktop, and mobile, and looks to keep that list growing. When not furiously coding, Patrick enjoys making ice cream, racing motorcycles, and reading science fiction.
Alexi joined Truss after spending several years as an independent contractor, and then in the startup scene. His most recent company launched "Habit Monster," a social fitness game, on just $1M of investment capital. Shortly after, Nintendo was kind enough to show how it's done with the release of Pokémon Go. Live and learn!
Prior to that, Alexi has spent time in a variety of roles, spanning from systems, network, and release engineering, to engineering lead and account management. These experiences have led him to place a high value on organizational integrity, which at Truss is manifesting in leading a compensation transparency program.
Outside the office Alexi likes to whittle away the Bay Area's cycling challenges, tinker with robotics projects, and log countless hours in Kerbal Space Program.
Patrick is a Data Engineer and DevOps Engineer based in the DC area. Patrick has over 7 years experience helping organizations solve complex data management and sharing challenges in support of a variety of missions. He has provided geospatial & imagery support for response to complex emergencies, including Ebola, Syria, South Sudan, the Nepal Earthquake, and more. He has development expertise in Go and Python coupled with IT Operations experience extending from bare-metal to the cloud. Patrick is a passionate supporter of open source and open data projects.
At Truss, Patrick helps clients build reliable and scalable infrastructure using modern approaches and tools.
Patrick is originally from SoCal and has a BAS in Computer Science and Political Science from UC Davis and a MA in International Politics from American University.
Nick grew up in the UK where he took a BA in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge. Wondering what to do with this, he was delighted to find out that people would pay him to program their computers. In the UK, and on first moving to the US, he worked on application and OS development for early mobile devices, including a brief stint at Palm.
In 1999, like a lot of other people, he discovered the internet and has spent the time since working on a range of online systems from early stage companies to apps distributed over thousands of servers. Along the way he has developed a deep interest in why teams of smart people often have a hard time making smart decisions.
At home, he has recently renewed his acquaintance with embedded systems and electronics: current projects include a digital control system for an otherwise all analog tube amp and a modular synth based on the 1970's designs of the great Serge Tcherepnin.
Arianna grew up along the East Coast and attended Drexel University before migrating to California in pursuit of warmer weather.
At Truss, Arianna manages most of the organization's business operations and keeps everyone paid, fed, and otherwise happy. When not wrangling payroll or otherwise defeating the beast of inefficiency, she enjoys bouldering, building furniture, and making lists.
Rebecca is motivated by technology’s potential to exert a positive impact on society, specifically by increasing access to actionable information and communication capabilities. She became a software developer after encountering poor technology tools in her work for an immigration policy research NGO.
Rebecca graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a BA in linguistics and a minor in Germanic studies. Outside of work, Rebecca can be found with her nose in a New Yorker or accosting a stranger to pet their dog.
Jeremy's early background is in the science of complex adaptive systems (CAS) and system administration.
He joined Truss from Sauce Labs, a cloud provider of desktop browsers and mobile devices optimized for automated testing. Over his 6 years at Sauce, Jeremy architected and built their private cloud operating software (launching tens of millions of instances a month), created, led, and managed three engineering teams, and finally acted as principal architect across the engineering org.
Jeremy is interested in the relationship between distributed systems, safety engineering, complex systems, and the software engineer as system operator. He spends a lot of time brewing asian teas and enjoys rye and scotch whiskies.