What's Next in 2022

Some Context

There hasn't been a whole lot of contact (here) throughout most of this year. This was due to me moving on from Glossier at the end of last year. There was a lot of writing on the wall that led to layoffs and it was almost blatently obvious. Where did I go you might be asking?

I officially, in December 2021, started at a wonderful startup named Orbit. They are focused on quantifying how impactful development relation teams are to their corresponding tech organization. Think GitHub or Salesforce. They need to attract developers to their platforms so they hire a group of developer advocates to talk about how awesome they are. These people, like most jobs, require metrics to work against and define success in the role. These metrics tend to showcase how effective the entire team is when it comes to the greater community. Orbit provides the platform to both collect and interact with metrics around these developer relation teams.

Fast forward to August of 2022 and the world of venture funded startups is much different now than at the end of 2021. Although consumer spending hasn't eased, there is a cooling of readily available venture funds at the moment for some sectors. Basically, we missed the boat when it came to working towards our Series B funding. As of August, 15th I was technically a 'free agent' once more (will report in on how long that lasts)!

A Few Things Learned

With 9 or so months under my belt, at a much smaller startup than the Glossier I left, what are the biggest 'things' learned?

  1. Smaller startups don't always move faster. Glossier way back when (2017), moved very fast for a startup. It always surprised me how quickly we developed new features and fixed bugs early on. However, this isn't always the case. There's definitely a space between moving fast/focusing on quality and moving fast and breaking the world. Startups (really at any stage) should be focused on opening doors that allow team members to move fast. Again, this isn't always the truth.
  2. Backend web development is, without question: 'squishy'. Full stack developers and front end developers have a much more specific and focused role. Backend developers though? Not so much.
  3. Backend developers these days need to know know how to effectively fetch data. However, they also need to have a good handle on Site Reliability Engineering as well as be able to go deep on DevOps. And the kicker? There isn't a single job description out there that mentions these requirements. This leads to engineers being blindsided on day one when they need to tweak a metric alarm in Terraform, rebuild a broken setup script, or build a container to be able to encapsulate a new micro service... It's intense to say the least.
  4. The apetite for change in most orgs is small (at best). Teams are used to tackling problems. Sometimes those problems define the team and other times these problems are inconcequential at best. However, it's the way teams tackle solving these problems that matters. Most teams (not all), solve them with half-measures, tradeoffs, and generally lackluster solutions that are unlikely to scale with the growing business. Mainly due to the fact that the team is resilient to choosing different technology that better solves the problem at hand. This fear can be thought of like a roadblock for an organization's ability to move fast.

What's Next?

Orbit was just a few weeks or perhaps a month ago, Glossier was almost a year ago... The next is rather inevitable but, what is next?

Honestly, it's... Pretty squishy. It looks like a mixture of small and large organizations, open and closed source work, and it all revolves around the fact that my career tragectory has me being a principle architect in 5 years time.

This means rounding out my knowledge of site reliability engineering and being more open to learning other areas within the realm of devOps. All while continuing to push my knowledge of services, monoliths and serverless engineering.

If those set of skills seem interesting to you and perhaps to your organization, feel free to get in touch. My DM's are always open.