Application Modernization is a show where Software Leaders discuss the challenges and successes in modernizing applications and infrastructure at high-growth software companies. We bring amazing stories and interesting leaders together to help you understand how growing software companies are modernizing for scale, speed, and cost savings. Learn new strategies and tactics to help you scale applications, accelerate time to market, and identify cost savings. Produced by Shadow-Soft in partnership with Red Hat.

Episode 28: Inheriting Kubernetes Day 1

A lifelong developer that discovers the power of Kubernetes, that’s how Robert Kozak, DevOps Architect at Emburse, the story begins. Today, Robert is the Kubernetes expert at Emburse, an expense and invoice management SaaS company.

What happens when a career developer discovers the power of Kubernetes? Robert Kozak has been living that story for the last 3 years. This journey, which is an overwhelming success, has significant forks in the road and requires significant time and care. The transformation at Emburse is highlighted by training investments, road map decisions, and the curiosity to make Kubernetes a part of the solution.

Episode 27: Feature flags and toggle management reduce developer stress and increase productivity

Code changes are inevitable, but what if deployments could be performed without significant stress to the development team? Feature flags and toggle management make this dream a reality.

In this episode, we speak to Sara Mazer, the Federal CTO of LaunchDarkly.
LaunchDarkly is the leader in feature flag and toggle management helping federal government customers make changes to code deployments as dictated by public services.

We discuss the feature flag and toggle management benefits, the impact on the developer experience, and how feature flag and toggle management have impacted federal agencies’ ability to provide citizen services.

Episode 26: Monolithic To Microservices

Technology modernization requires patience and time. Without appropriate planning, thoughtful deployments, and a measured approach, customer experience can suffer when the inevitable occurs. The goal is to avoid that experience altogether.

Peter Mourfield, Chief Technology Officer at TaxSlayer, LLC, has the answer. Peter’s team has worked to create a system for testing to consistently ensure their applications are seamless both at a security level and a functional level. Because it has to – even when there are millions of users accessing it.

In this episode, we discuss how to be disciplined in the tech hype cycle, leveraging modern approaches at the right speed, and testing practices for the enterprise.

Episode 25: Innovation Series Part 3 – Viability

You’ve done the hard work, analyzed the statistics, garnered the support necessary to implement a big vision, and then…

“I really appreciate you pushing the envelope, but… do we even know that this is a problem?”

No worries! You’re prepared because you have implemented a viable strategy that incorporates a tried and true approach to company wide buy-in.
Kurt Baumberger, EVP, Strategy & Innovation at Shadow-Soft, and Nick chat about bringing that good idea to fruition and out the door in the last part of this special 3-parter.

Episode 24: Innovation Series Part 2 – Feasibility

In order to determine feasibility, you need to have the right people at the table. In this episode, we discuss selecting the right people for your innovation session and potential pitfalls to avoid.

Most importantly, what should you do about the hippo in the room? Kurt Baumberger, EVP, Strategy & Innovation at Shadow-Soft, is back with the answers in part 2 of this 3-part series in Innovation.

Episode 23: Innovation Series Part 1 – Desirability

The most accurate way to find what you want is to define what you don’t want.

The first step of driving innovation is desirability, according to Kurt Baumberger, EVP, Strategy & Innovation at Shadow-Soft, LLC. The blueprint to innovation can be achieved leveraging a logical framework for moving fast and delivering a minimum viable product to test in the market.

This is Part 1 of 3 with Kurt discussing how innovation can be developed in your company strategy.

Reference material: Innovation Navigation: How To Get From Idea To Reality In 90 Days

Episode 22: Custom Automation For Your Business

Do you remember when George Jetson pushed a button and a salad came out of a box? Believe it or not, that future might be closer than you think.

Born out of demand during the COVID pandemic to automate and digitize food supply, this manufacturing company has created an automated food delivery system that sounds like it belongs in a science fiction film. But it’s not just that it’s as fast as you think it is. Abram Simon, VP of Software Engineering at Hyphen, shares not only how close this technology is to become a staple of commercial kitchens, but also what it will do for order accuracy, labor flexibility, and what comes next.

Episode 21: Making the Internet More Human

The emergence of digital spaces augmenting social interactions is taking over the planet. Avatars represent the true identity of the most important contributor to the internet. What happened to learn about the actual human being behind the keyboard or smartphone?

But what if we could make the internet more human? What if it felt like stepping into someone’s front door? Where you see their pictures, their books, and their records, and get a good feel for who they are as a HUMAN, not an avatar.

Matt Shackleford is doing just that. Matt is a co-founder at Abode, and was a guest on the latest episode of Application Modernization.

In this episode, Matt talked to us all about the startup he’s launching aimed at bridging the gap between Web 2 and Web 3, Why he’s aiming to make the internet more human, and how we can break free from being “content curators” and be “humans” online again.

Episode 20: How Suited Leverages AI to Improve the Hiring Process

Traditional hiring processes often place a lot of undue emphasis on GPA and alma mater, data points that, generally, aren’t very predictive of future performance.

Aaron Myers, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, and the team at Suited have built a company around a better way to hire—using AI to measure personality traits, experiences, cognitive data, and other metadata so that companies and job candidates find the most suitable match.

Aaron discusses how Suited works, how the company helps customers implement better hiring data practices, and what the future holds for technology like AI and ML.

Episode 19: Tech Modernization in the Healthcare Space

Many industries were forced to accelerate their digital transformation plans at the onset of the pandemic—none more so than the healthcare space.

Emily Carlson, Vice President of Technology at Divurgent, shares how her company supported large healthcare organizations in making the transition. Plus, she also talks about the steps the industry needs to take to bring more women into technology.

Episode 18: How Hazelcast Delivers Real-Time Data Processing

Hazelcast is a real-time data platform that can run anywhere—from the edge to the data center to the cloud. In other words, it brings the computation to the data rather than moving the data to the computation.

That enables the ability to connect insights to the real-time actions of the customer.

Want to hear more about it?

John DesJardins, Chief Technology Officer, and Mark Santos, Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, join the show to discuss how Hazelcast can accelerate business decisions, the role that Kubernetes plays in modern data processing, and why it’s important to have a good partner ecosystem.

Previous Episodes

Episode 17: Decision Time w/ Tony Stafford: Effectiveness in an API-Driven Economy (Part 1)

Tony Stafford is a lifelong technologist.

He got his first job in technology in high school. From there, he had stints in the military, government contracting, the Department of Defense, and at our company, Shadow-Soft. Currently, he’s a technology executive working with DOD customers.

It’s that breadth of experience with technology that makes him the perfect person to talk with about technology trends. And that’s exactly what we do in this episode. We discuss how cloud is evolving into an API-driven economy, Overcoming the challenges of the Kubernetes transformation, 3 things to know about crypto, (in Part 2) the collision between physical and digital Words in the metaverse, the world-changing potential of quantum computing, and qualities to look out for when building out a tech team.

Episode 17: Explained with Tony Stafford: Crypto, Metaverse, & Quantum Computing (Part 2)

Episode 16: The Benefits of Building Quality Software from the Start

Today’s guest, Sean Coates, Director of Software Engineering at KUDO, takes pride in doing software engineering the right way.

It’s the reason he became a boss. Before that, he had managers that were perfectly fine with rush jobs and cutting corners to meet a deadline.

Not Sean.

In this episode, he explains why using engineering best practices – design patterns, test-driven deployment, and pair programming, for example – enables you to scale faster and build stronger applications.

Episode 15: Improving Software Development & Overcoming Modernization Challenges (Part 1)

Though the platforms have changed, many of the same application challenges still exist. Namely, finding alignment between the people who build the applications and the people who own and operate the platforms.

In this episode, Michael McCormick, Vice President of Technology at Artium, shares his perspective on these age-old challenges and provides advice on how to make modernization projects more effective.

Episode 15: Improving Software Development & Overcoming Modernization Challenges (Part 2)

Episode 14: Open Source Revolution: A Conversation w/ Carvel Baus

Open source is used in way more things than people realize.

After all, with so much open source code available to power basic functionalities, it’s easier for developers to just plug it iRn and move on to other things that are more core to their business.

In an open source world, you can really do anything you want as long as the code is there.

In this episode, Carvel Baus, Senior Consultant & Architect at Shadow-Soft, explains the value of open source technology and the interesting ways it’s being used in the industry today.

Episode 13: Red Hat & the Proliferation of the Open Development Model

Building proprietary software is an outdated business model. Open platforms, open API’s, open public clouds, open partnerships, and even open ecosystems are the wave of the future.

After all, when 99% of innovation happens outside of your organization, your best bet for survival is to tap into the innovation of the community.

In this episode, Chung Kim, Chief Architect at Red Hat, joins the show to talk about the advantages of the open development model and how it helps developers co-create while fostering inclusion, diversity, and teamwork across the industry.

Episode 12: Red Hat Executive Briefing on OpenShift Plus with Derrick Sutherland

Derrick Sutherland, Senior Practice Manager at Shadow-Soft, joins the show to provide his take on breaking down major announcements from the Red Hat Summit.

In this episode, Ross and Derrick give us a point of view of how Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus and Red Hat OpenShift Data Science will impact customers, and what customers should understand about Red Hat Edge

Episode 11: Taking the Busy Work Out of Building Data Pipelines at Scale with Chris White

Within a year of the first prototype, Prefect had their first paying customer — a Fortune 100 company. Their SaaS offering was not even publicly available yet. That was partly because they were developing a platform that allowed companies to build, run, and monitor data pipelines at scale, a problem no one else had tackled in quite the same way. Another reason was their commitment to the iteration cycle during development. By releasing the MVP early, they were able to gather feedback immediately and improve the product with incredible speed.

In this episode, Chris White, CTO at Prefect, share the challenges they encountered and lessons they learned along the way.

Episode 10: Getting to Actionable Insights with Speed & Scale with David Wolfe

Organizations across the world encounter the same issue with their data — speed to insight. Even with a team made up of the best and brightest statisticians, you still have to run correlations and regressions to get to that actionable insight, and that takes time.

In this episode, we talk with David Wolfe, CEO at, about the platform his team has built that can discover and visualize actual causality within your data and help you get to actionable insights quicker.

Episode 09: Software Development: How ISV Acquisitions Speed Things Up with Martin Randolph

Software development takes time and resources. One way to bypass that and achieve speed, scale, and savings quickly is to acquire pieces of architecture that have already been used and tested and integrate it into what you’re creating.

In this episode, Martin Randolph, Chief Executive Officer at Osmond, shares how acquisitions have transformed the way in which his company develops software, how his company help their clients keep track of all existing security investments, and why flexibility is important when building a tech product.

Episode 08: Public Cloud: The Bullet Train to Growth & Scalability with Frank Wander

Public cloud has changed everything. Not only does it help companies get data centers up and running quickly, but it also means people with deep expertise can take the lead in setting up, managing, and maintaining what can be an extremely complex environment. Gone are the days when you have to acquire servers, bring in equipment, and configure your data center. The days of speed, scale, and savings are here.

In this episode, Frank Wander, CEO, and Founder of PeopleProductive, shares why he’s passionate about the public cloud and how it was integral to his company’s success.

Episode 07: Meet Nick Marcarelli: The New Host of Application Modernization

In this episode, we introduce Nick Marcarelli, Vice President at Shadow-Soft, LLC, as the new primary host of the show. He will share why he was passionate to continue the show, who he hopes to reach through the podcast, and what topics the show will cover in the future!

Episode 06: Speed Matters: How Eventbrite Transitioned to Online Events with Matthew Himelstein

In software development, speed matters. The sooner you can get working software into end users’ hands, the sooner you can iterate and optimize your product.

In this episode, we discuss with Matthew Himelstein, the head of Product at Wonolo, how Eventbrite quickly pivoted to online events, how importance of end-user feedback in the development cycle, and why speed matters in development and in decision making.

Episode 05: Scaling Applications to Meet Increasing Customer Demand with Ahmed Farag

In this episode, we profile how FaceGraph, led by visionary founder & Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Farag, is helping schools, offices and retailers use AI and ML to engage customers in new and powerful ways.

Join Ross and Ahmed Farag as they discuss how FaceGraph is overcoming challenges in scaling its application, adapting quickly to meet new pandemic-related demands, and leveraging auto-scaling to improve application performance.

Episode 04: Scaling Infrastructure to Support 100X Growth with Dan Drew

Could you grow your product into 200 markets without needing hundreds of people to manage it? One company is on a mission to do just that. We’re joined by Dan Drew, CTO at Didja, which created a product that lets customers record local broadcast TV on their mobile phones, tablets, or TVs.

In this episode, Dan joins us to discuss how Didja partners with legacy broadcasters to monetize and leverage their content, the number one reason companies have trouble scaling, and insight on how to scale your software and your team without blowing out your costs.

Episode 03: Building & Managing a Multi-Cloud Platform Deployment with Nadim Habr

Building a multi-cloud platform is no easy feat. Learn how Nadim Habr, CEO at Designhubz, is partnering with large cloud providers to deliver its AR solution to some of the largest retailers in the world.

In this episode, we will discuss the impact of the pandemic on retail and e-commerce, and why focusing on partnerships, distribution, and the customer is the key to Designhubz’s success. Plus, learn how Designhubz tackled the challenges of multi-cloud platform deployment and how it has helped them deliver unique value to its customers. 

Episode 02: Innovating Fast To Meet Changing Customer Needs with Josh Bregman

Prior to 2020, Josh Bregman, Chief Operating Officer at Cyglass, and his team spent a large amount of time building out a SaaS multi-tenant architecture with containers, Kubernetes, and DevOps practices.

When COVID hit, that investment paid off in a big way because it allowed them to innovate quickly as the needs of their customers changed. 

In this episode, we talk about how CyGlass has adapted quickly to meet customer needs, how DevOps and Kubernetes help CyGlass enables speed and agility, and advice for software leaders looking to innovate faster. 

Episode 01: Building and Scaling Great Team with Vishal Sunak

One of the biggest frustrations at a high-growth software company can be the speed at which you’re releasing features and functionality. You’re a high-growth software company, so why does it seem like you’re moving so slow in this area? 

And how do you bring your teams together to meet product launch deadlines? 

In this episode of Application Modernization, we sit down with Vishal Sunak. Vishal is the Co-Founder and CEO of LinkSquares, the first AI-powered end-to-end contract life cycle management platform. 

We talked all about how to build great teams that release new features at a rapid pace, why you must align teams to focus on the “right” new features, and how to save costs by scaling infrastructure with AWS and serverless.

Introduction Episode

Episode 00: Learning From Successful High-Growth Software Companie‪s‬

All software companies have a similar story. They want to grow, but they run into the same challenges.

In this episode, host Ross Beard, Vice President at Shadow-Soft, discusses how the podcast will tap into the collective knowledge of successful high-growth software companies who have been there, done that so that you can learn how to navigate those challenges, too.

Your Host

Nick is passionate about helping customers innovate with new technologies and processes. He is responsible for Shadow-Soft’s service delivery teams and working closely with customers to achieve technology outcomes in support of business needs. Nick is an avid sports fan and seeks out the newest restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Sponsors and Supporters

Subscribe to get new episodes delivered to your inbox

This podcast is co-hosted in partnership with Shadow-Soft and Red Hat. As a result, both Red Hat and Shadow-Soft are collecting your personal data when you submit such information as part of the registration process above. For more information on each party’s privacy practices, please see:

Red Hat Privacy Statement

Shadow-Soft Privacy Policy