16 May

My Newest Adventure

After spending the past 9 years at Box, I’m excited to be part of the talented LaunchDarkly team. We’re addressing a huge opportunity to transform how companies manage software releases. Having completed my first week meeting with team members, learning about the product, and joining customer calls, I can see there’s clear value resonating across the market – and we’re just getting started!

I’ve been getting up to speed to educate and guide our customers, learning about the market, product, and long-term vision of the team. We held our first offsite in San Francisco at the DFJ office to discuss our mission and strategy to provide a feature management platform. It’s great to see how many companies of all sizes and across all industries want to partner with us and how our focused efforts ensure their success. I’m quickly learning just how fast we’re moving to fulfill customer demand.

Edith and John have assembled a great team delivering a solid product, and I’m looking forward to growing the LaunchDarkly footprint by partnering with companies to drive innovation and eliminate risk.

19 Apr

Starting a new chapter and my message to prospective LD designers

Wow, what a journey.

I joined LaunchDarkly in 2015 as employee #3 and first design hire. Every day since then, I learned something new about the product, the team, and myself. I learned from the best and brightest: from John and Edith’s unparalleled enthusiasm and leadership – to the engineering prowess of Alexis, Patrick, and Dan – to the marketing wizardry of Andrea.

For me, success is not how much money you can make… or your job title… or how many people you can manage… Success is the ability to be proud of what you have accomplished, to have helped others along the way, and to take care of your loved ones. It is also the ability to learn every day, to have a sense of wonder at the possibility of advancement, and to make a positive impact through your work.

Every single team member at LaunchDarkly is a genuinely good person. They are not here to play the Silicon Valley game, they are here to solve a problem with software releases and truly help companies deliver better software, faster. They envision a world where the LaunchDarkly product enables companies to accelerate innovation, spur new technology, and deliver more reliable software.

Though I love the team and I’m thrilled with the product, I’ve made the tough decision to start a new chapter in Southern California, home to my family and friends, at Ten-X (a happy LaunchDarkly customer!). I will miss LaunchDarkly dearly, but I know I did the best I could during my tenure.

Design at LaunchDarkly

If you’re a designer interested in LaunchDarkly, let me give you some insight into what it’s like to work here.

Imagine a team of engineers who are brilliant, humble, supportive, and funny (gifs upon gifs!). Working with this team day after day has been a privilege and a whirlwind of a learning experience. They do not cut corners when it comes to code quality and product. You will absolutely learn best practices, innovative strategies, and work with a state-of-the-art stack. You will 100% become a better, smarter designer and make an immediate impact on the product. I guarantee you will be truly proud of what you design and the quality of its programmatic execution.

Your job will not be to push pixels. You will be a systemic thinker – someone who takes ownership of the design process from start to finish. You will learn to love our customers and take a personal interest in their happiness by building a world-class user experience.

Not only that, but every team member at LaunchDarkly is a designer in their own right. While you will be the one who will take ownership of design, the team enjoys contributing feedback and ideas, making the entire process collaborative and company-wide.

To infinity… and beyond!

And on this note, I say goodbye to my second family as I make my transition from proud employee to happy customer. LaunchDarkly will continue to be the industry leader in feature flag management – a true disruptor and unicorn in the software development space. If you’re a designer and you’re thinking about LaunchDarkly, just do it.

21 Mar

A new chapter

A new chapter

Having spent the past two plus years in the consumer space at Good Eggs, my first week at LaunchDarkly has been an absolute whirlwind experience. From getting acquainted with the development process to meeting our amazing team, the on-boarding process has been, albeit daunting, very warm and welcoming.

Getting up to speed

As part of getting up to up to speed in my first week, I’ve been diving in to the stack. John has been a fantastic pair and resource for not only the current lay of the land, but also providing valuable historical context around the product’s evolution. I still have a lot to learn, but am feeling better equipped every day.

Back and the future

Before joining the team at LaunchDarkly, I was particularly impressed with the product and its evolution. Feature flagging, to me, permeates beyond a software development process to defining how organizations—really people within organizations—work together to deliver the best possible experience to the end user. After seeing how LaunchDarkly works from inside and with its customers, I’m happy to report that I was not only right, but there is so much more to it!

I’m looking forward working on this empowering, impactful product with our incredible team and can’t wait to be a part of LaunchDarkly’s future.

17 Feb

Day 1: Let’s get down to data

After five months of backpacking with my partner through Scandinavia, Southeast Asia, and Africa, I wasn’t confident I would be able to rejoin the crazy world of tech. I knew that being part of a dynamic startup with a product and team I believed in would help.  Coffee would too.

What drew me into LaunchDarkly were all the demographic ‘wins’ – a great product in a growing space, a strong, savvy team, and outstanding team of investors. Plus, as an audiophile, I love the To Be Continuous podcast, which features Paul Biggar of CircleCI and our very own Edith Harbaugh.

That was enough to start the conversation, but here’s why I signed on to LaunchDarkly:

  • Right time, right place: For me, LaunchDarkly is at its Goldilocks moment. With a 16-person team, a technology that developers love, and a growing list of happy customers, the startup appeared poised to (pardon the pun) launch. But as the gears click into place, it creates a huge amount of operational fun in order figure out how to get it all done. Is it time to bring on more sales reps? Are we ready to move out of our excellent home at HeavyBit? Most importantly, does it all scale? To all of the above, an emphatic ‘yes.’ The fun part is figuring out how it all comes together.
  • You know nothing Jon Snow: In startups and in coding, I’ve found the best way to build is through experimentation. You come in with a thesis for how you believe the world works, but the hard truth is that you can’t count on knowing anything about what your customers want. And when in doubt, you test. You set up experiments with a small set of customers to see what sticks and acknowledge when it doesn’t. In startup land, this build-and-test culture has become the norm. But even as development cycles contract, code deployments are often a nail-biting all-or-nothing push. Enter feature flagging, which enables developers and product managers to stage deployments as a series of manageable chunks. In short, feature flagging lets us course correct even as we race ahead, and I love that LaunchDarkly enables that.

So how did it turn out? As of day 1, my expectations on the team, product and customers were right on. The snacks, however, were even better.

10 Feb

LaunchDarkly Values

LaunchDarkly Team
  • Respect and integrity for our team, our customers, and our community.
  • We believe in teams, not fiefdoms. Leaders, not tyrants.
  • We’re building a place where you can learn and grow.
  • Work is not life.

When John & I started LaunchDarkly, we’d known each other for years, since being undergraduates at Harvey Mudd College. Part of why we started the company together is that we shared common values about the company that we wanted to work at. As a founder, you’re not only building a product – you’re building a culture.

As we got bigger, it was time to formalize our values from tribal “this is the way we work” knowledge to something more scalable. We surveyed our current team, and I was thrilled that, what I thought our values should be, the team already thought were in place. We reviewed our values at our last team meeting, and everyone gave an example of the time they’ve seen them practiced.

“Values are valuable when you have a hard decision to make,” is John’s and my view. By making our values public, we hope both our customers and our team can know who we are.

08 Feb

And so the adventure begins

It’s something of a LaunchDarkly tradition to write a blog post at the end of your first week. But here I sit, deep into week number two, and I haven’t written a thing. In my defense things move pretty fast around here, and I was just trying to keep my head above water. My second day on the job, having finally set everything up so I could start coding, they had me deploy production. By the time Friday rolled around, I had fixed 3 bugs, opened 6 pull requests, deployed production two more times — and written zero blog posts. Better late than never though, right?

A new chapter

I’m extremely thrilled to be part of this great company. I joined LaunchDarkly after nearly 10 years at Atlassian, where I spent most of my time doing front-end development and arguing about UX. I’m excited to take everything I learned there and continue to make LaunchDarkly a product people love to use.

I took the job because I believed in the people, the product, and the culture. If anything I underestimated all of those things and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.

An escape

The other day we went on a team outing to an escape room. If you’re not familiar, you basically solve a series of puzzles using items in a room in order to “escape” the room. I’ve never done one before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but this particular escape room required a lot of coordinated effort. We had 12 people participating (almost the whole team, which is at 15 now), but at any given time there were probably 3-5 puzzles being worked on.

The beginning was a little chaotic as everyone tried to figure out exactly what we’d gotten ourselves into and what in the world to do next. But pretty soon we settled down, started self-organizing, and talking through the problems. It was pretty amazing to see everyone working together so well — no arguments or drama, no jockeying for leadership, just good old-fashioned teamwork. I think that experience sums up my time at LaunchDarkly so far — fast and fun, with a great group of people working together towards a common goal.

Oh yeah, and we escaped the room (just barely).