Why I Joined InfluxData - Jim Walsh

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It’s a tradition for new employees at InfluxData to write a blog post on why they joined. This will probably be the easiest post I write all year.

I’m Jim Walsh. I joined InfluxData as SVP of Engineering, enabling the co-founder and CTO Paul Dix to focus on his role as company visionary and to help the engineering team continue to grow, scale and execute at an amazing velocity within this rocketship of a company.

I’m a builder. I like to grow and create and deliver things that have a massive impact, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have helped build some things with large and lasting impact. I founded and built Cosmos, the (initially internal-only) exabyte-scale data platform behind all of Microsoft’s large-scale services and products. I led Salesforce’s data platforms and systems organization, which builds and operates the infrastructure services behind Salesforce’s massive and continually growing cloud services. Years ago, I ran the Word engineering team, my first experience building something that was used by hundreds of millions of people, one that made each of their lives a little more productive.

It’s intoxicating — once you’ve had a taste of great impact, you always want to continue building things of massive value to the world at large, and that also have high business value — companies, of course, need to be successful in order to grow and deliver sustained success to their customers.

I’m a data guy. Data makes the world go around. Collecting and understanding data, using it to learn and make decisions and improvements, then repeating the loop, is a very powerful cycle that drives rapid scientific and technological improvement across the world, as well as improvement in sports and athletics and most any other human endeavor.

The virtual world has long been instrumented, data has been logged and analyzed, but the value of this data, and the techniques and systems used, are becoming increasingly ubiquitous — the level of instrumentation is scaling tremendously. Now the physical world is being increasingly instrumented, sensors are everywhere, and software is embedded or at the heart of virtually everything we use. This allows us to collect data, understand things, learn from that understanding, and improve things. It’s a valuable and powerful cycle. The world operates along a time dimension. Things happen over time, in sequence, and the best way to understand the world is in the time dimension.

InfluxData is the world leader in time series platforms, which enable builders and technology implementers across the world to instrument, understand and interact with both the virtual and physical worlds, along the natural dimensions they operate in. I couldn’t imagine a more powerful driver or technological space to be in, and it’s amazing to be at a company that is clearly leading the space.

Even more amazing is the team.

My top four personal values are integrity, impact, passion, and family. The InfluxData team has the highest level of integrity that I’ve ever seen. And not just the leadership team—it’s consistent throughout the organization, impacting the way Influx treats its users and customers, and the way everyone interacts with each other.

The impact of the #1 time series platform is shown in its incredible adoption and growth rate. I love that Influx is open source at heart, giving easy and quick value and impact to developers and builders around the world.

Passion means that I’m all-in on what I do. I’m drawn to things with impact, and large and continuing challenges, and I’m passionate about growing and learning and failing fast and taking input and feedback and moving forward on something so exciting that I can’t stop thinking about it. Influx. Passion. Check.

It’s critical that I’m able to integrate my work life and my family life in a mutually beneficial way. Over half of the InfluxData team works remotely, and I’ll be remote myself. Truly embracing remote work is a fabulous way for all of us to live and work from where we want and ensure that we’re able to successfully collaborate and get difficult things done, at high quality — all while having fun, learning and growing (both in our careers, and as humans on planet Earth). And of course, being not just remote-friendly but truly remote-equal is a secret sauce that gives us access to amazing people who aren’t willing or able to live or work in the small number of locations where most technology firms are based, and allows each of them to have the quality of life they deserve.

I’ve jumped into the deep end, and there’s a lot to learn. I’m not quite done meeting with every single member of the teams I’ll be working with, to ensure that I understand their passions and dreams and ambitions, and tirelessly work to help them fulfill them. You can follow my journey on Twitter at @jim1walsh.