Why I Joined InfluxData - Susannah Brodnitz

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Susannah Brodnitz - InfluxData

Going from oceanographic research to working in marketing at InfluxData is a big transition, but it’s one I’m excited about.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working as a research assistant, studying ocean salinity, helping process data collected for scientific studies, and putting together papers. Because of my desire to use clear and engaging writing to help people understand complex ideas and information, technical writing is something I was naturally interested in, which led me to InfluxData.

Exciting projects to work on

The people I spoke to during my interviews made the marketing aspect of the role seem equally compelling. Learning about specific ways people are using InfluxDB made me more interested in the company and also made me want to help tell those stories. Becky, the recruiter I first spoke to, described how someone was using InfluxDB to track potential poaching of raptors and another use case that involved monitoring sea turtle health. People are using InfluxDB for varied and fascinating purposes, and writing about those uses can spark exciting new projects. This kind of writing is interesting to me, but it’s different enough from what I’ve done before to challenge me and give me the chance to learn new things.

In addition to my specific role, I’m interested in the company and its product. Almost all the scientific data I’ve been working with for the last few years is time series data, so I’m well aware of the need for tools specifically designed for working with this kind of data. One oceanographic data set I regularly worked with was two terabytes and the programs I wrote to analyze it would take hours to run. On my second day working for InfluxData I was already learning about geospatial analysis tools that could significantly reduce the amount of time needed for analysis.

Values and work environment

The scientific community is transitioning to make more data and code freely available and open source, and I’ve benefited from being able to use datasets available under the flexible MIT license. One of the things that stood out to me about InfluxData was their commitment to sharing their code in the same way.

Throughout my job search, I knew I wanted to work in a collaborative team environment. My academic research was very isolated, so the daily stand ups and the social events at InfluxData are a welcome change. The majority of the work is remote and the company has gotten very good at fostering a sense of community in that environment.

Overall, the work is engaging, the company is doing things I’m interested in, and the people I’m working with are nice and smart. I have a lot to learn, and I’m looking forward to it.