Starting my Harness Journey
Crossing the Chasm
The most exciting parts of my career always centered around helping individuals and organizations navigate paradigm shifts in technology. I started to experience this as a Solutions Architect at Red Hat helping organizations realize the early benefits of a Platform-as-a-Service. The irony at Red Hat is that we were “selling free software”. This included expertise, certifications, services, and putting better release cadence on projects to name some of the main benefits. Fast forward a few firms, I was very fortunate marching towards and at Principal that my focus would be on emerging items. When looking at marketing strategy e.g Crossing the Chasm, the most exciting sales are the innovators and early adopter sales. Though from a money standpoint you want to be in one of the majority portions [e.g early to late mainstream]. Building a company’s foundation before the Chasm is my calling and a core job function of being an evangelist.
Selling the “Free”
Spending years in my career as a sales engineer, I really enjoy the enterprise software sales cycle [I must be a glutton for punishment or Meddic]. Though working at earlier and earlier stage startups, the innovator / early adopter sales process is risky. There is a duality today; the popularity of an open source project(s) and paid usage. In industry there is a 10:1 ratio, for every 10 unpaid users, 10% will covert e.g one will purchase some sort of paid version. Working as a sales engineer at earlier firms, you are trying to build the funnel anyway you can. Though unfortunately usually your compensation plan, you do not get paid for the unpaid. Thus, there is a breed of folk named Developer Advocates who focus on the unpaid. The great part about being a Dev Advocate is getting to share the technology with the masses. Not having to worry about the technical buying / acquisition process. The barrier to entry to use the technology is lower and I personally love helping people experience the paradigm shifts.
Minus that there is currently a lot of momentum behind Harness, as software engineers we are facing every increasing pressure to deliver and working on more complex systems. Something that I write about in detail is the Fog of Development, which no one person even team has the entire end-to-end situational awareness of systems. Where the rubber meets the road, I was participating in an AppDynamics Hackathon back in February cranking out some Spring Boot applications. Though was not the JAVA piece that got me, was the entire environment that was crushing. We were testing out some new automation for a developer tooling team. This was a lot of effort and the three of us on the team were at least at the manger level for engineering. What Harness helps focus on is making the CI/CD automation and all of the ancillary workflows / steps seamless.
Will be starting Harness in a few weeks from this post. In between will be spending some time at home and in Switzerland visiting some good friends I have not seen face to face in a while. Onwards Harness!