Vaco team

Mary Thorn

Mary Thorn

“Vaco simply has the best coaches.”

About Mary

During her more than 20 years of experience with financial, healthcare, and SaaS-based products, Mary has held VP, director, and manager level positions in various software development organizations.

A seasoned leader and coach in Agile and testing methodologies, Mary has direct experience building and leading teams through large scale Agile transformations. Mary’s expertise is a combination of Agile scaling, Agile testing, and DevOps that her clients find incredibly valuable.

She is also Chief storyteller of the book The Three Pillars of Agile Testing and Quality, and avid keynote and conference speaker on all things Agile and Agile testing.

What is your role? Agile Practices Lead

Why did you say yes to coming here? It’s simple, I have three reasons: There is no “I” in team, and after spending a year by myself, I was lonely and missed being on a team and leading a team. Second, I wanted to work somewhere that could support all the back-end processes and let me do the coaching. Third, Vaco has great reach in this community. I could work to help the businesses in my own community improve; that was really important to me.

What are you most excited about? I am just so excited about being on a team again and the continued learning opportunities it provides.

What do you bring that is different from… Jim? Kim? I’ve led several mid-sized Agile transformations (10-100 scrum teams), so I have seen many different scaling issues. Some days I would coach at the team level, some days manager level, and some days I’m coaching at C-level. I can juggle being a leader in each different environment. I like to “keep my hands dirty”—keep my skill set up and keep my stories current. The other major difference about me, is I am an avid author, keynote and conference speaker on all things Agile.

How will this group make a difference? This team consists of the area experts to go and get Agile advice and coaching. Vaco simply has the best coaches. With that said they are also pretty awesome people to be around.

If I retired tomorrow I would…. Sightsee all over Europe.

Favorite people or pets to spend time with my wife and kids

Favorite book or movie Movies are my escapism—I’m a hopeless romantic, Pretty Woman is a favorite. I also read books on Agile. Right now, I’m reading Scrum in Hardware.

People don’t know this about me I used to referee Division I college basketball

College or professional team? I played basketball at ECU, but as a referee, I changed my allegiance to whoever is nice to officials. My favorites are UNC for men’s basketball, Duke for women’s and State for football. In the NFL, I like the Panthers.

View Mary’s Agile Certifications