In the movie Tron (I’m partial to the 1982 original, myself), Tron says, “I fight for the users.” Even though Tron was a computer program who fought against other programs and I’m a Developer Advocate at Redpanda, I sympathize with him.
Developers are the users that I fight for.
The role of a developer advocate
My job is to be the bridge that connects our community’s input with our engineering priorities and goals. My loyalty as a Developer Advocate is divided into both outward- and inward-facing priorities, but I don’t see these loyalties being in conflict with one another. They’re a unified interest in which I represent both sides of the relationship between Redpanda and our users.
It’s my job to communicate with Redpanda’s users through community discussions and content like webinars and blog posts about how they can succeed with our product. At the same time, I work with our production and engineering teams to ensure we’re building the features that our community needs most.
I’ve always found myself drawn to helping others learn skills that improve their lives. I have a YouTube channel mainly focused on helping people learn Kubernetes and best practices for using it. I upload new videos less frequently than I used to, but I still get messages on my Discord server from people who tell me they were struggling with Kubernetes, found one of my videos from years ago that answered a bunch of their questions, and now they have a better-paying job. That’s the kind of advocacy I want to provide for Redpanda’s users, too. Not only do I want to show you our really cool streaming data platform, but I also want to teach you how to succeed as a data streaming engineer so you can keep expanding your skill sets and ultimately make more money in a job that you love doing.
When I taught Krav Maga in the past, I saw over and over again just how impactful a skill boost can be in terms of improving someone’s confidence, and how that translates into every other aspect of one’s life. Whether it’s teaching martial arts, Kubernetes, or data streaming, when I’m able to show someone that something they’re trying to learn isn’t that hard and that they can do it, it changes the way they view themselves, how they interact with others, and what they can achieve.
In terms of Redpanda and data streaming, this chain of transformation is one of the reasons I was so excited to work on the launch of Redpanda University. By having an educational component relevant to not only Redpanda, but also to what people need to succeed with data streaming in general, our University courses and other forms of content will facilitate new skills and opportunities for a lot of people.
Enabling developers to overcome challenges
The software development and engineering industry is all about learning new things, learning them fast, and learning them well enough to use them practically in our jobs. Unfortunately, as soon as we’ve reached the summit of that mountain, almost like clockwork, the industry changes, technology becomes obsolete, and we have to start all over and learn something new.
Many engineers, especially those newer to the industry, don’t know the extent to which they’ll have to refine their skills and learn new technologies. If we don’t grow and adapt, we can quickly lose our value in the job market, and if we fall far enough behind, it’s difficult to catch up. The speed with which technology adapts and changes in the modern world is so fast that keeping up with it can seem almost insurmountable. As a Developer Advocate at Redpanda, I’m here to help devs and engineers learn to become streaming data experts and to help them achieve that in the simplest way possible.
We already know that our users love that Redpanda doesn’t need Zookeeper or a JVM. But there’s so much more to Redpanda than that. Developers who want to expand their skills and careers by gaining expertise in streaming data shouldn’t have to jump through burning hoops to do it. Distributed systems and data streaming are in the future of every industry in existence. Retail, manufacturing, game development, fintech… real-time data is coming to all of them, and the engineers and developers who know how to work with the relevant technologies are going to have the best vocational opportunities moving forward. Redpanda can help developers position themselves for success, not only because our product is excellent, but also because it’s built with developer productivity and simplicity in mind.
Join the future of real-time
In the last decade, technology has changed the world into a completely different place. Normal, everyday individuals now regularly interact with edge computing infrastructure and high-speed networks, which in turn has accelerated the rate and amount of data that companies produce. Real-time solutions are normal in today’s world, and platforms like Redpanda that are built specifically to take advantage of the features of current hardware are going to be the technologies upon which tomorrow’s applications are built.
As we build those applications, our capabilities will grow even more, and from that vantage point we’ll be able to see the path forward, the next application for technology to improve the world, and so on. That’s how the tech industry and those who work in it will continue to evolve.
I didn’t join Redpanda just because I want to show people how to use a streaming data platform. I joined Redpanda because want to show people who are just coming into the world of real-time how their entire universe is about to change.
The Redpanda Community is growing. You can join me and the move to default real-time data streaming by signing up for Slack and the free Redpanda University, and by sharing this article with your friends.
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