It’s been a few weeks since my last Weekly Piano Miniature and I don’t feel bad about it. That’s a strong signal.

Why don’t I feel bad? Because Weekly Piano Miniatures lasted an entire year (and Daily Piano Miniatures for five months before that — all told, nearly 500 minutes of music). Because my 100-year-old piano finally sounds rough enough that it’s been hard to want to play. Because my energy is needed for family, health, and finding work. Because I’m not worried I’ll stop making music. Because if the last few pieces will have to keep reverberating for a while, I’m pleased that they’re three consecutive Medtners.

I hadn’t intended to pause the music project, but it’s intentional now. Recording will resume once I’m employed and have a more enjoyable instrument. Let’s all look forward to that.

Posted November 9, 2023 at 11:18:24 AM EST Tags:

I’m looking for my next full-time role in engineering leadership (such as Director, VP, CTO) and/or senior engineering (such as Principal or Staff).

I love people, want them to succeed, and have fairly reliably made myself helpful.

You may already know me from Agile in 3 Minutes, my Coding Tour, my PubMob, meetups I’ve run, talks I’ve given, approximately a zillion podcasts I’ve guested on, or most recently my Daily and Weekly Piano Miniatures. I’m happy to say my track record of being an effective influencer extends beyond social media.

Some core competencies

  • Coaching (technical and otherwise, all levels of the org)
  • Managing (risks, products, and people)
  • Contributing (tests, code, relentless improvements to developer UX, you name it)
  • Inviting and supporting meaningful conversations
  • Making and supporting effective decisions
  • Orienting myself — and helping others orient themselves — in new problem spaces
  • Seeking out and attending to unmet needs
  • Rooting practical daily choices in values and principles, and vice versa
  • Making workplaces more humane
  • Supporting people as the whole human beings they are
  • Giving, always and constructively, a shit

People saying nice things about my…

A sampling of people saying nice things on the LinkedIn copy of this very post

A wonderful leader and leading practitioner. Here is a great opportunity for a software engineering organization that wants happy teams and happy customers.
— Lisa Crispin

A thoughtful and competent person. I highly recommend bringing him in to help your organization achieve better success.
— George Dinwiddie

One of the most talented people I’ve met in my Agile journey. He’d be great for your company.
— Colleen Esposito

A great technical leader. Get him and save yourselves years!
— Ewan O’Leary

I cannot say enough great things about Amitai. You should definitely hire him.
— Kristen Belcher

Excellent addition to any team. And an all around great human too.
— Doc Norton

Opportunity!! Amitai is an awesome engineering leader!
— Ruth Malan

A pleasure to work with: walks the talk and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty. I wish we could hire him.
— Jeeva Nadarajah

An absolute wizard at helping software delivery folks get the most out of themselves and their organizations. I’ve seen first-hand his engineering expertise, and I’ve seen first-hand how great he is at helping others learn and improve. He’s one of the few engineering leaders who’s expert at true collaboration across the business-engineering chasm.
— Jim Holmes

I’m gonna be so jealous of whoever gets to hire Amitai, that’s all I’ll say.
— Dragan Stepanovi�

If you’re a hiring manager involved in software development, there are two questions to focus on:

  1. Why haven’t we hired Amitai yet?
  2. When is the soonest moment on my calendar I can talk with Amitai?

— Zach Bonaker


  • For employers in the USA, I am a permanent resident and do not require a work permit
  • For locations across the USA and Europe, my US/Eastern timezone ensures some synchronous working hours every day
  • My résumé

Get in touch

Posted August 5, 2023 at 07:46:12 AM EDT Tags:

Since May, I’ve been posting a new video just about every day. What’s in the videos? A short piano piece, played as well as I can quickly learn it. “Short” means, based on a sample size of 72 videos, two and a half minutes on average. (You’ll probably agree, coming from the Agile in 3 Minutes guy, that tracks.) Don’t like what you’re hearing? No problem, the next piece is short too. Here’s the full YouTube playlist, totaling over 3 hours of music so far.

Half a lifetime ago, I was already a musician and a technologist. I’d have believed the future existence of a video-hosting platform such as YouTube. Everything else, nope, no way that’s future-me.

1997 CWRU recital program

I’d given this recital hoping for a tuition grant. Having heard me play, the university accepted me as a music major. Problem is, I hadn’t wanted that. I wanted CS classes more than anything and my advisor from the music department couldn’t get me into those.

I frazzled out at that university, and almost certainly would have regardless of which courses I took.

8 years later I tried again at another university. At that point music was what I wanted to study. I graduated at 30 with a bachelor’s in it.

I also graduated with a changed belief.

My belief at the time of the pictured 1997 recital, and at the beginning of the fall 2005 semester: reading music is an aptitude, I lack it, and I compensate well enough by memorizing quickly.

My belief a few years later: sight-reading is a skill. By practicing it, I’ve gotten much better.

Obvious to me now, and surely obvious to you well before now. But young-musician-me had been resigned to playing only pieces that others could show me and help me with. I would never have believed a different experience were possible.

Lots of lessons in this: for me personally, for how I raise (and praise) my kids, for how I work in and with teams. Most of all: by changing a key belief, I changed how I relate to music. You can see and hear the fruits of that.

How did I get that belief to change? Well, that’s the magic, isn’t it. Lots of things had to change a little bit.

What else changed when I gave myself a more direct relationship to music-making? Another thing I never would have guessed: making more direct relationships with you. In conclusion, behavior, conditions, beliefs, mindset, behavior, and so on, forever. But mainly, thanks for listening. And I don’t mean about the music.

Posted August 15, 2022 at 02:12:30 PM EDT Tags:

Our third child arrived yesterday, on April 26, at 7 pounds. She was determined to make her debut in the car but instead came out moments after her mom got on the hospital bed. Meet Galila Yara Schleier:

Galila Yara Schleier with big eyes

She comes home tomorrow to meet her brothers. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, et al. will get to hold and smell her soon.

About the name:

Galila Yara honors Rebekka’s beloved aunt Judy and Amitai’s sweet uncle Rami.


From Hebrew Galil, the most mountainous region of Israel, the country where Uriel and Rami grew up.

  • It signifies Judy’s endless love of the mountains and embodies the meaning of Rami’s name: “high”
  • Taken on its own, the Gal portion of the name means “wave”, representing the love of the ocean that Judy and Rachel shared and experienced together
  • The initial G honors Dianne’s mother, Grace


From Hebrew and Arabic words for “small butterfly”, “forest”, or “honeycomb”, depending on how you read it.

  • It reflects the beauty and sweetness of nature, which Judy always celebrated and appreciated
  • The Y honors Yehudit (Judith) and the Ra honors Rami
  • Like Amitai’s own middle name, it represents Yaakov and Rivka, Uriel’s and Rami’s parents

Galila Yara

We chose the name “Galila Yara” to encompass our families’ rich memories and backgrounds and to celebrate Judy and Rami and their loving families. We invite you to join us in welcoming Galila into ours.

About the date

  • 4/26 is the day before Finias’s birthday (he’s 2 today!)

More nice properties observed after the fact

If you think of another reason this is a nice name, please pass it along.

More photos

Posted April 27, 2022 at 04:16:19 PM EDT Tags:

For the December meetup of Jersey City Java, Bob Allen presented Coaching Teams to Do the Impossible… as they see it, and, without straining their backs.

About the presentation:

As some of you likely have some appreciation for, what I and my fellow technical and product coaches do, when we are lucky, is a hard sell from the get-go. Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • We ask a whole team to do things they have never even contemplated doing,
  • For an extended period of time (4 to 6 weeks),
  • And to do it repeatedly,
  • All together,
  • With a WIP limit of ONE.

Keep in mind, the clients are typically very large companies, whose employees often experience ‘transformation fatigue’ (been there, done that, didn’t even get the dang t-shirt). Let me tell you some stories about how it is done, why and how it works, and why you might even want to do it yourself.


Posted December 8, 2021 at 03:50:51 PM EST Tags: