David Ashman VP, Chief Architect, Cloud Architecture at Blackboard



Technology leader with over 15 years of experience designing and building large-scale web application architectures and mobile software applications. Proficient in the full software development lifecycle from product strategy through release engineering.


08 / 2014 - Present
VP, Chief Architect, Cloud Architecture

As Chief Architect of Cloud Architecture at Blackboard, I am responsible for the technical vision and roadmap for Blackboard's cloud computing efforts. During the year prior to this role, I led Blackboard's cloud strategy for taking Blackboard Learn, our flagship teaching and learning platform, into the cloud. Based on the experience and lessons learned, I am leading a broader strategy to transition our hosting business to a true cloud platform.

dba Technologies, LLC
10 / 2009 - Present
Founder and Principal

I develop custom iOS software applications and provide software consulting services for iOS and the App Store. My primary project, LockInfo, has been installed on nearly four million unique iOS devices.

10 / 2012 - 08 / 2014
VP, Chief Architect, Blackboard Learn

As Chief Architect, I am the technical lead for the Blackboard Learn product teams in charge of designing and developing platform architectures for the continued evolution of the Learn product. I am responsible for the product technical roadmap, overall product architecture quality and best practices in quality software engineering. I recently led the charge to modularize the Learn platform, supporting a rapid release model.

As part of a broader team focused on DevOps, I rearchitected the build and deployment process to support the Blackboard Learn development team leveraging technologies like Gradle and Jenkins. I am currently focusing on new deployment models and automation to support continuous delivery and at some point, continuous deployment of the Learn platform.

Outside of product development, I am the technical expert for business strategy analysis and business development. I support business development with technical evaluation of products and organizations considered for partnering. Additionally, I support the legal team as the technical expert on the Learn product for patent cases.

07 / 2010 - 10 / 2012
Principal Architect

Technical lead for the Blackboard Learn product teams. Responsible for the short term technical roadmap, overall product architecture quality and best practices in quality software engineering. Worked with sales, support and consulting with client-facing issues. Supported business development with technical evaluation of products and organizations considered for partnering. Developed internal training material to help mentor the internal engineering staff.

Blackboard, Inc.
03 / 2008 - 08 / 2010
Director, Engineering

Directed a team of 25 engineers within product development. Helped define a new organizational structure in engineering to better serve the product development needs of Blackboard. Migrated the tier 3 support organization out of product development into the client support organization. Defined best practices and tools to make client support more efficient when diagnosing complex software issues.

Blackboard, Inc.
10 / 2006 - 03 / 2008
Engineering Manager

Managed a team of engineers and architects in the Product Development division of Blackboard. Helped define the role of engineering manager at Blackboard as the team grew from 25 to 50 engineers.

Blackboard, Inc.
09 / 2005 - 10 / 2006
Senior Software Architect

Designed and developed infrastructure to support the Outcomes product for Blackboard.

LeftBrain, Inc
07 / 2002 - 09 / 2005
Senior Software Architect

Refactored and developed the next generation of LeftBrain's supply chain management platform. Developed highly flexible supply sourcing integration architecture to support multiple supply vendors.

e-centives, Inc.
05 / 1999 - 07 / 2002
Senior Software Engineer

Developed features for the e-centives online coupon system, including front end web features and back end data architectures.


Washington University in St. Louis
1993 - 1997
BS , Computer Science


  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Software Engineering
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • Linux
  • SQL
  • Enterprise Software
  • REST
  • SaaS
  • Cloud Computing
  • Integration
  • DevOps
  • Git
  • Jenkins
  • Gradle


  • Java ( Full professional proficiency )
  • Objective-C ( Professional working proficiency )
  • Groovy ( Limited working proficiency )
  • SQL ( Professional working proficiency )
  • PHP ( Limited working proficiency )


iOS development, music, photography

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