Started here at this company about 5 years ago, a smallish technology startup (30 or so ppl) HQ’d in Paris founded by some really smart people that I wanted to work with.

I didn’t view myself as having the engineering skillset to go out for the engineering team, so when I saw a post for a Solutions Architect that fit my resume perfectly I applied. It was a move out of the “back of the house” programming toward the front of house, talking with customers, working with the Sales team to bring in new customers. This was all I knew at the time about the role.

Turns out I loved it. I loved talking to customers and solving problems and making sure that they knew exactly how to be successful when they got started here. I love looking at the big picture and solving problems.

The company at that time didn’t have much of a career ladder for that position and it got a bit boring after 2 years, so I asked for a role leading a small team whose manager had just been promoted. I was asking her to let me have her old role, basically. She said “yes” and we worked together fabulously for another 2 years, and built the team from 3 people up to 15 people and made all kinds of fun strategic moves that mostly worked out.

Last summer I started getting itchy again as the team had solidified to a point where I didn’t feel that good at what the role needed now, so I decided to ask to start a new team based around data, broadly. It was my POV that the next turn of the wheel here at would be enabled by data, and folks higher up had the same thought at the same time so they said “yes” when I asked if I could build this team.

This was really interesting, because I’d taken over a small team and built it but this was a blank canvas. Luckily, it was a blank canvas that I’d bee staring at for years by that point, so I had a pretty clear picture of what belonged on it. The work then was getting the plan out of my head and into a format that others could read it, disagree with it, and eventually settle on what we’re now doing.

It has been a long, 11 year road since I quit that band to start a tech career but here I am now. I’m a technical leader at a medium sized technology company (now 250 or so ppl), working on the for real technical problems and I think I’m pretty decent at it. I still need to work on organizing the pictures in my head into words that others can understand, and making sure that other know where those thoughts are, but I’m learning something new every single day.

thank you for reading <3