19 Jan

My first week is in the books

Like coming home

At the end of my first week with LaunchDarkly, not one but two teammates separately remarked that it felt like I had been with LaunchDarkly for a year now. In a way, that was true since I had been a customer and internal champion for at least that long. But I had only just arrived last Monday to find a shiny new laptop and desk with my very own LaunchDarkly t-shirt. On the previous Friday, I received notes from Edith and John about how excited they were for me to start. I had never felt so welcomed on my first day at a new job as I did here!

The team is still small enough that I met the entire company in a couple minutes and felt like I clicked with everyone instantly. I can tell everyone is seasoned and fully engaged in the company, wearing at least two hats at all times — yet we also find plenty of occasions to laugh. I know I’ll need to step up my comedy game to keep pace. Like a family, we have lunch together every day and share what’s going on in our lives, but unlike a family, there’s no drama and dysfunction.

Our space at Heavybit is great — lots of natural light, a cozy feel on even a cool winter morning, and plenty of warm woodwork. The quirky yet stylish decor makes me feel at home, even though I come here to work. I also love that there’s a communal feel to the space, a community among startups.

ABC: Always Be Coding

My first week included a tremendous amount of pairing to get my development environment up and running, but by the end of the week, I also managed to fix a few bugs, review some code, and deploy to production. They even let me get my feet wet with a few support tickets! I love how fiercely agile the team and all our processes are. We’re using new tools and services I’ve never even heard of before. If it might possibly help us, we try it. I’m looking forward to shipping new features in LaunchDarkly and exploring how these third-party services can help us move even faster.

Right time, right place

I joined LaunchDarkly as employee #12, the fourth new hire in about a month. For me it’s an exciting time to be here, having an opportunity to help shape our values and culture and witness the realization of our future home. This rocket ship is about to lift off, and I’m psyched to be aboard for the ride.

10 Jan

My first week at LaunchDarkly was surreal.

The Space
LaunchDarkly’s office space is located inside Heavybit. The building has an industrial theme and feel with metal and wood everywhere. I’m surrounded by three walls of windows that provides natural light on an open floor plan. So warm and beautiful…but that’s just the start. Heavybit provides many interesting amenities such as meetup space, workshops, not to mention a kitchen full of drinks and snacks, and lunch served everyday. The service has been amazing, keep up the great work Heavybit!

Day One?
I joined on the company’s first day of the new year. Everyone’s back from the holidays, telling stories, exchanging ideas, working, having lunch together and going to a few meetings. The team and leadership were very welcoming and helpful to get me up and running. It felt like a “low key” day compared to a day at my past startups. However, as the days go on I realized that this kind of day is EVERY day at LaunchDarkly. Every day leadership is there to guide and support the team, and vice versa. Everyone is at arm’s reach and easy to talk to. Which I love because it keeps meetings to a minimum and allows autonomy to GSD. Working with this intelligent, colorful and compassionate group has exceeded my expectations of what startup culture can be.

I am One with the Force…
At the end of the week, I felt I was contributing to a great team building an awesome product that is helping companies produce more awesome products and services. As a business operations person, this is music to my ears – be a force multiplier!

In weeks to come, I look forward to taking on challenges and growing the team. I’m excited to learn from and contribute to the LaunchDarkly community.

19 Dec

A new beginning

Today marks the end of my first week at LaunchDarkly where I’ve been hired on as a DevOps engineer and employee #10.

The current office is great. We’re up on the third floor of the Heavybit building. There’s windows everywhere and so much to see outside. The insides of this office are pretty sweet too. There’s lots of snacks, lots of drinks and the lunches have been pretty good too.

I’ve spent most of the week getting up to speed with the ins and outs of the LaunchDarkly product itself – how it’s developed, deployed and maintained. Also, learning how to use a lot of new tools made by other startups has been pretty interesting.

So far it’s been awesome – I’m surrounded by awesome people who work on an awesome product for an awesome company. I have no doubts that I made the right decision to join and I am excited for all of the opportunities that lay ahead.

12 Dec

My first week at LaunchDarkly

During my career I’ve had the good fortune to work at some amazing companies with incredible people. What these companies had in common was their value of the employees, along with the ability to address the right market and build the best product. After one week on the job, here’s how I think LaunchDarkly stacks up:

People

A software company is only as good as their people, and LaunchDarkly stands out. The first aspect I noticed is that everyone is down-to-earth and friendly. I felt this on my first day when I was put right into a stand-up: it didn’t feel weird at all, but more like a team that I have been working with for years. I’m also impressed with how the team collaborates and works together. The style is honest and direct with no hidden agendas. It is comforting to see that this internal approach extends into how we work with our customers as well.

Market

The way software is being built and delivered is changing: it is improving in quality and being released faster. LaunchDarkly is key to enabling this, and I am so excited that it is just getting started. I learned more about this trend listening in on many customer calls in my first week. The customers explained that LaunchDarkly is at the forefront of better software delivery. In addition, as I prepared to write this post, I asked people to define the trend. Everyone had a different take on it. That shows me the importance of this change, and I can’t wait to be part of educating and evangelizing this to the market.

Product

I’m amazed by the architecture of the LaunchDarkly product. From the beginning, it is built with Enterprise class in mind in terms of scalability and security. My conversations with great customers have already confirmed this. This is an important detail for me because a good salesperson can only be as good as the product. I’m looking forward to building a team that will educate and guide all our potential customers.

With all of this said I am happy to share that after my first week on the job LaunchDarkly has already exceeded my expectations. I look forward to all the learning and growth to come.

18 Jul

LaunchDarkly Turns Two!

Wow, two years goes by in the blink of an eye.

John Kodumal and I started LaunchDarkly with a firm belief that feature flags could help software product teams (product managers and engineers) iterate faster, with less risk. The beginning was exciting but hard. As founders of a two-person company you LaunchDarklyTurnsTwohave to decide the battle plan, then run around to the front to execute on the plan.  Feature flags were a relatively new technique arising from the convergence of continuous delivery, agile, DevOps and lean. Feature flags as a service was something completely new – the alternative was to build in-house, something not all teams could resource, or do without.

After two years, I’m thrilled that we’ve established “feature flags as a service” as a crucial piece of cloud infrastructure, with happy customers like CircleCI, Atlassian and AppDirect. Creating a category meant generating awareness and proving our value proposition. Our advisor Sean Byrnes (Flurry founder) said about his own days of mobile analytics “If you’re not out there in the water when the wave comes, it’s too late to get out there. But there’s a long time when you’re way out in the water.” Now, two years later, feature flags as a service is not so “out-there”. Our customers see that it helps them move faster with less risk.

Recently, Justin Darby, LaunchDarkly Sales Director, and I went to a new customer who’d just started using us. We had a forty developer kickoff, as we walked them through use cases and answered their questions about how best to use LaunchDarkly. At the end – the

LaunchDarklyTeam

LaunchDarkly Team

developers applauded, as they were so excited about how LaunchDarkly would help them iterate quicker ! I’ve been both a software vendor and a purchaser, and it is very, very seldom that a vendor gets applause. I’m incredibly gratified that we’ve assembled a team to build a product that is transforming software development.

14 Jun

DevOps West – DevOps goes international!

DevOpsWest

DevOpsWest is run concurrently with AgileWest and had a good mix of international and domestic attendees, who wanted to get better at software. As one attendee from Florida said “I’m not working at Google or Facebook because I want to be in Florida, but I still want to be as sharp and nimble as them.” And the fact that it allowed people from London and India to visit Las Vegas seemed to be a selling point too. Continue reading “DevOps West – DevOps goes international!” »