Sam Kass
Location: Zürich Area, Switzerland (C Permit)
Mobile: (available upon request)

Introduction

I am a software systems development leader, practitioner, and enthusiast. With over two decades of experience, I have been a part of many successes and failures in building solutions and can apply those lessons to avoid the pitfalls and blind alleys that so many projects find. I have built several fault-tolerant and high-availability systems at scale, and have a broad range of industry experience. For the last decade I have been focusing on Banking IT systems, especially in the areas of data management, developer practice improvement, and architectural governance.

Experience

Senior Vice President
October 2018-
Present
I am currently a Senior Vice President with the Citi Private Bank's Data, Reporting, and Analytics team. I initially built and led the Demographics team, successfully moving the system to a modern, scalable architecture available via easy-to-digest containerized APIs. Recently I have been leading the Platform Engineering and Architecture group for Citi Private Bank as it transitions to a new organization within Citi's new "Personal Banking and Wealth Management" initiative, setting up the Architecture Review Board and working with the teams to ensure sound engineering principles are applied. In addition, I am a graduate and now faculty of Citi's "Engineering Excellence" E4 program, which aims to inspire and grow the next generation of technologists at Citi.
  • Delivery of a new Demographics service based on a Graph database
  • Delivery of a global real-time message bus for fast intra-day data transfer
  • Handling of EMEA- and Switzerland-specific data security and regulatory issues
  • Containerization of data platform APIs
  • Lead architect for the Citi Private Bank
Vice President
November 2014-
September 2018
During my last two years of work at Credit Suisse, I was a delivery lead for two Chief Compliance and Regulatory Office (CCRO) top initiatives, creating innovative solutions to enable compliant growth for the firm. I coordinate the technical team, approach, and integration for Negative News Screening (NNS) and Client Risk Scoring (CRS). In NNS, we are partnering with a vendor to bring Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to a formerly manual task, increasing consistency, efficiency, and precision. In Client Risk Scoring, we are improving our ability to evaluate client risk by applying statistical models back-tested against our big data platform. To support these initiatives at the Credit Suisse headquarters, in late 2016 I relocated to Zürich, Switzerland, and am currently learning German. Before that, I was tech lead for Credit Suisse's Digital Private Banking initiative for the Americas.
  • Delivery lead for new Negative News Screening and Client Risk Scoring initiatives
  • Tech lead, solution architect, scrum master for Digital Private Banking Americas
  • Partnered with global DevOps and Architecture teams to increase the quality and ease of deployment
  • Connected global teams to enhance cooperation and collaboration across regions
  • Led the agile transformation for the platform team, to reduce ambiguity and increase transparency for stakeholders
  • Defined the Americas deployment system blueprint
  • Evaluated and adopted regional security approach, including acceptable two-factor authentication
Vice President
January 2011-
October 2014
I was co-lead of the Goldman Sachs Institutional Portal team, working to uplift the solution to a modern web infrastructure. My job was to ensure information got from our research, securities, banking, and asset management divisions to our clients quickly, securely, reliably, and in a manner consistent with all regulatory and promised requirements.
  • Collaborated across teams with Goldman Sachs Securities, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and Global Investment Research teams to understand their information dissemination needs and ensure developing systems meet their performance, regulatory, and functionality requirements
  • Led a group and contributed code to evaluate and prototype firmwide publishing, indexing, and alerting solutions
  • Designed and implemented a distributed system to create a hot-standby for high availability processing engines
  • Developed onboarding solution using in-house "Securities Language" (slang) and "Securities Viewer" (SecDB) environments for Goldman Sachs Securities Division
Software Engineer (Contractor)
December 2010-
January 2011
I briefly worked at Solomon Page LLC as a software engineering contractor assigned to Bloomberg LP's Equities Options group.
  • Implemented feed management system for equities options daily feeds
  • Learned to use the Bloomberg terminal for equities options data and basic communications
Senior Staff Software Engineer
November 2004-
December 2010
I was employed in an innovative General Dynamics business area known as GD Viz. Initially part of the core systems development team developing large-scale distributed collaboration and information visualization software based on a distributed database, I later transitioned to a customer-facing "prototyping" role with the Command Post of the Future (CPOF) program, aiming to widen the product's applicability and make the system more open and standard. In the end I proposed a research project with the Army's CERDEC Command and Control Directorate's "COBRA" initiative, becoming Principal Investigator and exploring how to develop information systems for touch-sensitive devices on the battlefield.
  • Principal Investigator for battlefield information visualization research contract with US Army CERDEC C2 directorate
  • Investigated methods for the Army to switch to a "net-centric" service-oriented architecture
  • Created new geospatial information visualization system for improved mapping and situational awareness
  • Architect of initial 3rd Party Development Kit for Command and Control software, opening development up to a wider audience
  • Tech Lead and primary developer on custom version of our collaboration software for Joint Force Command in Norfolk, VA
  • Spent a year in charge of Java GUI rendering library that supports distributed collaboration and data visualization (used by US Army and several corporations)
  • Recipient of General Dynamics' "Scientific and Technical Society Award for Technical Excellence"
Senior Software Engineer/Development Manager
February 2000-
August 2004
Led design changes, implemented manufacturing solutions, and solved system bottlenecks across the organization for Align Technology, Inc., the maker of invisible plastic braces. Custom software is used in all segments of manufacturing, requiring significant custom solutions, and I was instrumental in designing, implementing, and/or managing the development of many key areas, from pre-IPO startup through to mass-customization at-scale manufacturing.
  • Led the manufacturing software team, reengineering the server into a distributed cluster, dramatically scaling the capacity of the 3D printing manufacturing line
  • Led the refactoring and redesigning of the C/C++ 3D OpenGL computer-assisted manufacturing software
  • Led a project to automate the cutting of aligners from molds along complex mathematical paths
  • Automated several manufacturing software systems in the company to transform them from manual steps to SQL-triggered automatic servers
  • Designed a SQL database and website to enable orthodontists to mentor general practitioner dentists while observing all applicable privacy and reporting requirements
  • Assisted in the redesign of the customer-facing applications, including a SQL database redesign that gave the Struts web site greater visibility into the manufacturing status
  • Worked with customers, marketing, and use-case scenarios to make significant changes to Align's 3D browser plug-in for better web-based orthodontic review
  • Ensured my projects met HIPAA, ISO 9001, FDA, and internal process requirements
  • Co-inventor of manufacturing patent # 6,976,627 assigned to Align Technology, Inc.
Senior Developer/Vice President of Engineering
1995-
February 2000
As a senior developer for the start-up Visus Technologies, Inc., I was hired as the first full-time software engineer to commercially productize an image recognition and processing framework based on my original implementation as an undergrad in Carnegie Mellon's Imaging Systems Laboratory. The company went on to implement various recognition, image processing, and document management systems for a variety of clients. I eventually held the position of Vice President of Engineering.
  • Designed and implemented re-usable C++ image processing framework
  • Developed and implemented algorithms to embed image authenticity data into images (Graphic Security Systems Corp)
  • Designed parts of e-commerce site for county land title record searches (TitleX.com)
  • Co-authored a Java middleware architecture using a SQL database with an HTML front end for internet document delivery
  • Created optical character recognition systems capable of new feature detection capabilities by intelligently combining existing, cheap off-the-shelf recognition engines
  • Using algorithms I helped investigate at the Imaging Laboratory at CMU, developed method to correlate page segments (such as tying a caption to its image) and scan and record large data sets for a Federal Image and Document Understanding Laboratory (FIDUL) contract
Research Programmer for Imaging Systems Laboratory
1994-1995
The Imaging Systems Laboratory in the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Department, where I worked as an undergraduate, was tasked with finding new industrially applicable recognition systems.
  • Implemented and enhanced the design of a system of component-based image recognition engines in a project called "Feature Center", (originally proposed in a paper by Dr. Robert Thibadeau)
  • Led research funded and used by Boeing Aircraft and the Federal Image and Document Understanding Laboratory (FIDUL)
  • Demonstrated Feature Center design could successfully combine off-the-shelf and custom C/C++ recognition engines, recombining them into more complex solutions than previously possible

Skills

Spoken Languages
English (native), German (intermediate: B1 certified, working on B2)
Learning
Can rapidly adapt to new environments, designs, and situations
Leadership
Led software teams, both domestic and off-shore, to successfully deliver products that made clients happy
Agile
Trained in agile scrum techniques and have applied it to reduce ambiguity, improve prioritization, and increase team communication
Software Practices
Common patterns in software and system design, Database design, CI/CD practices, Containerization
Software Languages
Java, Scala, C, C++, Python, Objective-C/Swift, SQL, Perl
Platforms
Windows, Linux, MacOS X, iOS
Communication
Able to express ideas and methods clearly and effectively in spoken and written communication

Education

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Math/Computer Science major, 3 years, no degree

Other

Robotics enthusiast and hardware tinkerer
Certificated Private Pilot
Hailed as "Internet Pioneer" on Big Bang Theory for creation of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock
Co-inventor of patents #6,976,627 (with continuations #7,306,152, #7,611,058), and #8,260,591