I know it may seem like this happens all the time, but I’ve left Camunda and started a new position. (I’ll get to where in a minute.) Though it may seem from this, and this that I change jobs all the time, that’s not entirely true.

Earlier in my career, things were very different. I worked at Sun Microsystems (a moment of silence, as always) for 15 years and, had Oracle not bought them, I’d likely still be there. But times were different then. The industry has changed quite a bit, and so has the way we work.

I was at InfluxData for almost 3 years, then a short stay at QuestDB, and then almost 2 years at Camunda.

What’s next?

This is probably old news to some of you, but I left Camunda back in early July. I had been planning a 3-week road trip with my daughter (I’ll post about that adventure another time) so the timing could not have been better. I was able to take the entire month of July off to relax, recharge, and get some true downtime. It. Was. Glorious.

But I’m back now (it’s been a month, really) and I was ready to get back to work after the month off.

One of the things I had been aiming to do for quite some time was actually take on building and managing a team of Developer Advocates. It had been in my long-term goals for a while and this spring there was a huge amount of opportunity to do that. I spent most of March, April, May and June interviewing like crazy, and I turned down probably 10-times as many interview opportunities as I took (it’s a great time to be working in Developer Relations! If you’re interested in this career, email me and I can work with you to get you started).

Anyway, by the time I had left Camunda I had 2 offers on the table and a third about to come in. Hard choices had to be made!

How to decide?

The 2 most promising offers were, while not exactly the same, similar. One was “Director of Developer Relations” and the other was “Head of Developer Advocacy”. If you’re not familiar with Developer Relations (DevRel) these 2 roles may sound identical, but they are far from it. The Director of DevRel is the person who is responsible for the overall direction of the entire DevRel program. That typically encompasses most, if not all, of the following functions:

  • Developer Advocacy
  • Developer Experience
  • Documentation
  • Community
  • Events So the Director has a lot of responsibility, and a large team of individual contributors and managers. The Head of Developer Advocacy is typically the manager of the Developer Advocates within the larger DevRel team, reporting to the Director of DevRel.

Clearly the Director job would have been a bigger undertaking, but it would have given me the opportunity to build, from the ground up, a complete DevRel program, soup to nuts. Could I have done that? Yes, probably. Would I be able to do a great job of it? No idea.

The Head of Developer Advocacy role was smaller in scope, but still with a lot of responsibility. So I had to seriously take stock of what my skills were, what my current abilities were, and where I wanted to go. Someday I’d love to be able to step in and build and run an entire DevRel organization. Crawl, walk run.

Where did I go?

In the end, I accepted the Head of Developer Advocacy position at StarTree. It’s a small startup, but it’s also back in a space I know and love: data and analytics. In case you’re unfamiliar, StarTree is a company built around Apache Pinot, an OLAP data store for real time analytics.

I started August 1, so I’m coming up on a month in the job and I have to say that I truly love it. The company is full of fantastically smart, kind, and genuinely nice people. The technology is truly stunning in what it enables businesses to do. The team I have is amazing. I could not be happier. Plus, I feel, for the first time in a long time, that I’m actually providing real value to an organization. And they repeatedly express that to me. I’m in the right job, at the right company.