About 20 months ago, I joined DigitalOcean in their New York City headquarters. As I wrote about in a blog post, it was a super exciting opportunity. After so many years building infrastructure for products, I would be joining a small company where infrastructure is the product.
And it was no small challenge. Dave Smith and I joined at about the same time and co-led the software engineering department, growing it from forty-something engineers to more than one hundred people over 2016. In just twenty months we were able to deliver an incredible number of new products and features, including Block Storage, Load Balancers, Firewalls, Monitoring & Alerting, a whole new datacentre in India, the upcoming Object Storage, and many others to be announced throughout the year. DigitalOcean went from having a single product, the mighty Droplet, to a growing portfolio of offerings that secures the company a seat on the table.
Similarly to what we’ve done at SoundCloud (and many ex-SoundClouders joined us at DigitalOcean), we were able to unleash velocity deploying a strategy that changed both our technology and organisation strategies. On the technology front, we have done the usual thing of moving away from monoliths to microservices, which is something much harder to do when you work with slow-moving infrastructure products. On the organisation side, we changed our hiring and our ownership models, moving away from front-end/back-end teams towards an organisation where teams owned a whole product, as close to end-to-end as possible.
I am very proud of what we were able to achieve in such short time span and heartbroken to leave an amazing team.
But it’s time for me to move on. After building Product Engineering teams and technology for many ThoughtWorks clients, for SoundCloud, and now for DigitalOcean, I am looking forward to a new type of challenge. Several moving pieces need to come into place before I announce anything more concrete, but for now, I can say that I will stay in New York City and remain in the infrastructure/microservices space.
I am working regularly for DigitalOcean until the end of August and will keep you all posted.