Why I Joined InfluxData - Michael Ellis

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Michael Ellis - InfluxData

May I let you in on a little secret? Everyone feels like an impostor sometimes, and that is a perfectly natural feeling to experience. Perhaps you have, at one time or another, doubted whether or not you had what it takes for a particular role or task. Perhaps you have second-guessed whether or not to apply for a certain position at a company, or have felt like the odd duck out at social gathering. The point is that it’s a feeling almost everyone goes through at one point or another — and it’s one hundred percent OK. One helpful tip for reducing the likelihood that impostor syndrome will be an issue is to remember to always be true to yourself and to pursue roles within companies that align with your personal beliefs and values.

Who am I? My name is Michael Ellis, and I am the new Community Manager here at InfluxData. I started at InfluxData about three weeks ago, and my experience thus far has been a whirlwind of onboarding, meeting the wonderful team of employees here at InfluxData, getting up to speed, and developing a growing list of things I would like to accomplish to enhance the open source community here at InfluxData.

After college, my career started as a marketing specialist and internet sourcing expert for a company that specializes in finding niche expert witnesses for attorneys engaged in complex litigation cases. You’ve most likely seen national-headline-producing cases where one Fortune 500 company sues another — we found the experts for those types of cases. I really enjoyed the work; the job was fun, different every day, engaging and challenging.

I started working in the tech industry about 6 years ago, when the opportunity arose for me to take a role within the Firefox OS team at Mozilla. In my years at Mozilla, I wore many different hats and worked on a number of different teams. After starting in event marketing, working to engage partners in co-marketing opportunities for large scale conferences, I worked on managing application content for the Firefox Marketplace. Additionally, I worked as part of a small team that oversaw the UI and preloaded content for the FirefoxOS-powered Panasonic smart TV.

But what brings the most pride from my 6 years at Mozilla was working to create, shape, and scale the community-powered developer evangelism team known as Mozilla Tech Speakers. Serving as Program Manager for Tech Speakers for the past 3+ years provided me with the opportunity to empower and support an amazing group of volunteers who were passionate about engaging with developers and speaking about the Open Web.

Here’s the thing: once you work for a company with real values and an honest mission — a company that genuinely cares about its users — it’s hard to work anywhere else. Open Source is more than a gimmick or a tagline: it’s a frame of mind and a way of life. That’s why I was drawn to the Community Manager role at InfluxData, and why the decision to pursue the position was such an easy one for me to make. Most companies list their core values online and maybe even print out a nice infographic poster to hang in their offices. But during my interviews with various folks at InfluxData and in the time I have spent as an employee, it has become clear to me that InfluxData is a company that does more than merely pay lip service to a set of ideals or principles. I see that their passion for Open Source is legitimate and their belief in their values is genuine.

That’s why I am so excited to now be a part of the community team here at InfluxData. I am looking forward to growing our global meetup presence by expanding the number of communities hosting time series meetups and increasing the frequency of events. Since joining, we have already hosted a successful Time Series Meetup in San Francisco and are busy working on a series of public-health-friendly, virtual meetups to take place in late March and April (no face masks or hand sanitizer required!).

I am delighted to be working to promote and support the great work that the InfluxAces are doing. Currently, we are in the process of reviewing and onboarding a new cohort of InfluxAces who have been identified and nominated over the past few months. Additionally, I am excited to begin fostering a stronger sense of community through engaging activities, open office hours, and improved conversation flow between contributors and staff. I am confident that the community manager role at InfluxData is a position where my past experience building open source communities will prove valuable, and I look forward to all of the cool things we have in the pipeline for our amazing community. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the InfluxData community to poke around our Community site or join us on Slack and explore ways to participate, stay informed and get involved.