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Sarah Gruneisen

Engineering Manager, Leadership and Talent Development Leader, Trainer, & Facilitator

Hi! I’m Sarah.  I was born and raised in California, USA, and I’ve always loved psychology, science, and exploring other cultures.  Shortly after graduating, I moved to Switzerland and spent most of my twenties traveling and exploring other cultures.  In my thirties, I started a family and am now a mother of three living in The Netherlands.  Though I’m grounded now, I’ll have a forever adventurous soul!


"I worked together with Sarah at Sarah truly understands how genuine, honest, and sometimes even confrontational interest and coaching are essential in bringing out the best in every individual that makes up a team. And the wonder of it all, Sarah can do this at scale"

– Lean van Tegelen, Manager IT at

“Sarah is an exceptional leader and facilitator. She introduced me to Liberating Structures, a powerful approach that has enhanced my ability to collaborate and communicate effectively.  Her warm and elaborate approach to training creates an inviting environment for participants, fostering a positive and empowering experience.  Sarah's leadership skills are outstanding, and she inspires others to do their best.”


– Umut Cetin, Software Engineer at Microsoft

“Sarah is a person who wants to make a positive change in her environment by igniting fires within the people she works with. She is an incredible asset to any company, and I believe she can transform organizations.”

– Vasilis Kelempekis, Software Engineer at

“Sarah is a seasoned manager who brings a lot of energy, trust, and empowerment to the teams she manages.  She knows how to balance directing, mentoring, and coaching very well, helping her teams to find fulfilling and stretching goals.  I was lucky to have Sarah as my engineering manager, and I can say that her leadership and coaching sessions were invaluable; they led me to tremendous personal growth and brought the culture and way of working of our innovation teams to the next level.”


– João Martinelli, Software Engineer at

“Having a technical background and good soft skills really gives an advantage in leading a team in a technical company.  Sarah has both of these qualities, which is rare. With her extensive Agile/Scrum knowledge, she helped transition the entire company into an agile way of working, increasing happiness.  With her management skills and liberating structures, she made meetings for the company as a whole much more fun and effective.”


– Douwe Tammer, Medior Java Developer at Onetrail

"Sarah is a highly skilled scrum coach and liberation structure evangelist, knowing the Agile methodology inside out, not only the theory but especially on how to implement and change the whole organization (not just development) to become agile.

Sarah is a team leader with high empathy and is very good at managing a team with developers. She was able to change our development team, especially junior developers, into a self-steering team, that is not only able to set boundaries and continuously improve itself but also reaches out to the organization to help."

–Cor Zijlstra, CTO at Onetrail

See more testimonials on LinkedIn and here:

See my blog here:

  • Trust

  • Autonomy

  • Authenticity

  • Reliability

  • Empathy

  • The Influential Communication Programme

  • Liberating Structures Immersion Workshop

  • Stretch to Fit

  • Dare to Lead™

  • Leaders Who Coach

  • TSS Public Academy Advanced + Insights Coaching

  • Leadership & Coaching

  • Team Leadership & Building

  • Courageous Conversations

  • Empowerment & Liberation

  • Diversity & Inclusion

  • Mindful Facilitation

  • Product Development

  • Liberating Structures

  • Holacracy

  • Agile Methodologies

  • Communication Skills

  • Preparing Trainings

  • Innovation Development

  • Organizational Development

  • Problem-Solving

  • Community Development

  • Business Development

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Sarah Gruneisen

Engineering Manager, Leadership and Talent Development Leader, Trainer, & Facilitator

20 years+ Full Stack Software Engineering & Agile Coaching Experience.  Highly experienced in creating empowered engineering teams that deliver results.  Successful track record of establishing Agile teams, launching products, and integrating new organizational processes.  Leading teams with compassion, creativity, and authenticity.  Highly organized and comfortable in dynamic, complex environments.


BS in Computer Science and Engineering, 2000: University of California, Davis


Leadership, Leader Who Coaches, DevOps, DevEx, Consulting, Agile Coaching, Software Engineering, Change Management, Integration Projects, Design Architecture, Database Development, Backend & Frontend Development


Cloud & Container Technologies (Introduction to Kubernetes, Introduction to Docker), Configuration Management & Automation (Chef Basic/Intermediate), Programming Languages & Frameworks (Introduction to Scala, Java for C++ Developers, Getting Started with JavaScript, J2EE Programming with EJBs: Bea WebLogic Server 8.1), Microsoft Technologies (Configuring MS Office SharePoint Server 2007), Network & System Administration (Netcool/OMNIbus, Alcatel IPTV), Billing & Customer Management Systems (Infranet 6.5 sp2, Infranet 6.1: Developer 1, Technical Foundation, Functional Foundation), Network Monitoring & Management (Proviso 4.3), Web Development (E-Commerce)

Leadership Coach and Facilitator | Avagasso Coaching
Jan 2022 - current (~2.5+ years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Developed leadership programs and a companion app, leading community initiatives.

  • Leadership Abilities: Visionary strategy implementation, community building.

  • Skills: Leadership Coaching, Group Coaching, Flutter, Liberating Structures, Strategic Content Creation.

Director of Engineering | Novoda

Sep 2022 - May 2024 (~2 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Integral in steering company strategy, fostering business growth, career growth & performance management tool, and engineering excellence.

  • Leadership Abilities: Holacratic leadership transformation, team empowerment.

  • Skills: Strategic Leadership, Business Development, Holacracy, Engineering Practices.

Engineering Manager  (Fintech Payments & Collection) |

Jan 2021 - Aug 2022 (~1.5 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Directed IT innovation, Agile training, and diversity programs, enhancing team performance and collaboration.

  • Leadership Abilities: Cultivating high-performing teams, Agile coaching.

  • Skills: Agile Methodologies, Liberating Structures, Diversity & Inclusion, Leadership Coaching, Team Building, Performance Management.

R&D Team Lead / Agile Coach | Onetrail

Jan 2019 - Dec 2020 (~2 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Led R&D initiatives and agile transformation projects, developing project management automation tools.

  • Leadership Abilities: Agile transformation leadership, project, and team leadership.

  • Skills: Agile Coaching, Scrum, Project Management Automation, SharePoint, MS PowerApps, Trello Development, Jira API, Angular, Service-Driven Architecture.


I'm a reformer who focuses on guiding companies and teams during a transformative journey.


I devote my time to tackling your biggest challenges. I'm set on making the needed impact, which will remain after I complete the project scope.


When I feel I can leave without the risk of teams returning to their old ways, I know I've made the impact I wanted without making them dependent on my presence.


That's when I know I have truly succeeded as a leader!


Co-organizer DevOpsDays Amsterdam & Eindhoven

Jun 2018 - Jan 2022


Mission Critical Software Engineer | Schuberg Philis
Aug 2016 - Dec 2018 (~2.5 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Developed key automation frameworks and solutions, contributing to agile and engineering practices.

  • Leadership Abilities: Technical innovation, agile community facilitation.

  • Skills: Automation, Agile Methodologies, Chef, Ruby, Java, Spring Kubernetes, Liberating Structures, Service-Driven Architecture, MS PowerApps & Flow, Office 365, MS Graph, SharePoint, slack API, PowerShell, Chef 12-13, Ruby, Perl, Gitlab CI, Selenium, SOAP, Jenkins.


Senior Software Engineer | Woodwing Software
Oct 2015 - Jul 2016 (~9 months)

  • Roles & Solutions: Backend development for a major digital asset management product, leveraging AWS and Kafka.

  • Leadership Abilities: Technical problem solving, cross-functional collaboration.

  • Skills: AWS EC2/S3/kinesis/CLI, Kafka, Java, Scala, Elasticsearch, Big Data,, Swagger, Bash, jQuery, Javascript, Angular, Linux, ANT, Maven, Gradle, Event-Driven Architecture.

CEO & Software Engineer | Avagasso GmbH
Apr 2010 - Oct 2015 (~5.5 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Founding and managing all aspects of the business, delivering comprehensive software solutions.

  • Leadership Abilities: Entrepreneurial leadership, strategic planning, and execution.

  • Skills: Business Management, Scrum, SharePoint, AWS EC2/Route 53/Elastic Beanstalk, Java, JavaScript, PHP, HTML, CSS, XSL, XML, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, Software Lifecycle Management, Service-Driven Architecture.

Head of Software Engineering | Smarcom AG
Jan 2009 - Dec 2010 (~2 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Led software development and process innovation, crafting a highly professional remote coordination framework.

  • Leadership Abilities: Process innovation, team leadership, strategic execution.

  • Skills: Software Development Leadership, Scrum, Event-Driven Architecture, Process Design, Java (Servlet, Spring, JSP, Apache Ant), EVA-DTS Vending Machine Interface, Assembly, JavaScript, PHP, DHTML, XML, XSL, CSS, PL/SQL, MySQL


Senior Software Architect | MondayCoffee
Oct 2007 - Nov 2008 (~1 year)

  • Roles & Solutions: Architected SharePoint solutions, enhancing customer and super-user site management.

  • Leadership Abilities: Architectural innovation, solution design, and implementation.

  • Skills: SharePoint & MOSS, Solution Architecture, C#, SQL Server, Perl, Active Directory, STSADM, MS IIS, ASPX

Product Life Cycle Manager | Sunrise Communications
Oct 2005 - Sep 2007 (~2 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Managed product life cycle, driving technical improvements and stakeholder satisfaction.

  • Leadership Abilities: Product roadmap management, stakeholder engagement.

  • Skills: Product Management, Change Management, Technical Leadership, Netcool/Proviso, PHP, Oracle, Perl, SNMP, MySQL, PL/SQL, JavaScript.


Application and System Engineer | Alcatel CH
Apr 2001 - Oct 2006 (~5.5 years)

  • Roles & Solutions: Versatile roles in software development, project management, and client engagement.

  • Leadership Abilities: Adaptive leadership across varied projects and customer needs.

  • Skills: Software Development, Project Management, Customer Relations, Service-Driven Architecture, Extreme Programming, Netcool/Proviso, Silverstream Server, Oracle, Perl, Bourne/Korn Shell, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, Portal 7.0, Infranet 6.1-6.5 (BMR), TIBCO Bus, Perl, Rational Unified Process, XML, XSL, CSS, Apache Ant, Java (Swing, SOAP), C/C++, PL/SQL.


Software Engineer Consultant | Cambridge Tech Partners
Jun 2000 - Oct 2000

  • Front-end design leadership. Skills: Design Patterns, Client Engagement.


Software Engineer Internship | Alcatel USA
Jun 1999 -Sep 1999

  • Automation tool development. Skills: Oracle, PL/SQL, JavaScript, Perl.

Civil Engineering Department Webmaster | University of California, Davis - USA
Apr 1998 - Jul 1999

  • Website development, CGI.


Additional roles provided foundational experiences in customer service and team support:

Office Assistant | University of California,

Davis - USA

Jan 1997 - Dec 1997

Conference Assistant | University of California,

Davis - USA

Jun 1997 - Sep 1997

Lab Assistant | University of California,

Davis - USA

Oct 1995 - Jun 1996

Cashier (Checker) | Holiday Quality Foods,

Redding - USA

Apr 1994 - Sep 1995

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