The Most Important Product of Your Life - Your Career

Creating value and remaining relevant over your lifetime is more important than ever.


James Gray has amassed over three decades of experience across various disciplines in the technology sector. He is most respected for his product management and leadership in software and data science. Over his ten-year career at Microsoft as an IT leader, he built and operated large scale data platforms for major lines of business and led the Enterprise Data Warehouse program. His last assignment was serving as a Principal Data Scientist within an engineering team responsible for optimizing customer engagement channels includes web, chat, and online services. At Phunware, Gray envisioned and built a massive scale knowledge graph that was used to derive mobile insights and power a blockchain-enabled data exchange.

In 2006, he authored the Career Strategy Framework, a playbook for holistically managing a professional career. Gray gained recognition as a leading career strategist and coach that included leading workshops and speaking events throughout Microsoft. In 2019, he formed Graymatter Strategy LLC in Austin, TX to continue his practice of helping people reach their true career potential through strategy and mindset.

Earlier in his career at Aspen Technology, he built the data model and data integration platform for what was at the time the largest integrated supply chain optimization solution in the world at BP Chemicals. He had roles at AspenTech running a professional services organization and leading enterprise integration products as a product manager.

In the 1990s, Gray gained experience in software, control systems, and enterprise systems at the Research and Technology Center within Chevron. He held various assignments across the upstream, refining, and chemical businesses. Gray led the technology strategy and deployment of advanced safety systems across Chevron including a project assignment in Perth, Australia that developed the software for Chevron’s North West Shelf Project.

He holds a Master of Information and Data Science from the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering from Union College.

Gray has traveled the world and lived in the top tech cities including Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and now Austin.

See his LinkedIn profile for a full summary of his experience and achievements.

James Gray


In 2007, I was selected as a top 3% candidate for Microsoft’s High Potential Career Development program. While gaining valuable experience in developing my career, I often thought about the potential impact at stake by tapping into the creative talent and spirit of the 97% that did not have the same opportunity. As a leader, I learned that developing talent and aligning it with the needs of the organization had an incredible multiplier effect. I authored a career methodology called the “Career Strategy Framework” after not finding a holistic blueprint for my work and personal life. Over many years, I was allowed to run career workshops and speak at events using this career framework.

As a father of five, one of the most important gifts I can give my children is the perspective and tools to shape their work-life. This includes choosing a career where they can excel and lessons I learned over 30 years of my career and personal life. This wisdom, together with the philosophies of Stoicism, Minimalism, and Essentialism, form the mental model through which I write. It will serve as their guidebook as they navigate their career and life.

The last number of years have tested my resolve – the death of my parents within three weeks of each other, a cross-country relocation, grad school, a divorce, kids that now live in different cities, depression, anxiety, and job loss. What I can confidently say is that these are times that accelerate personal growth and self-awareness. During the struggle, it’s hard to imagine it but it does produce a better version of yourself when you reach the other side. It does not happen overnight but with the right mindset and consistent focus, anything is possible. Each obstacle or setback presents a golden nugget of goodness waiting to be found. It’s there – you just need to have the mindset and spirit to find it.

If you are someone that relates to any of those life’s challenges, then I may be a valuable resource to you. Given my deep experience in the software and data fields, I would be an optimal fit for people in the technology sector. Although I have worked with dentists, lawyers, law enforcement, musicians, and college students!

See the full origin story of why the gift of giving to others unconditionally can be life-changing.

See my testimonials – get a perspective from other people that have attended my workshops, events, and coaching sessions!

I look forward to hearing from you!

– James