I joined Databricks in October 2019. My first day was also the first day of the Spark + AI Summit in Amsterdam – a heck of an exciting introduction to a new team, new company and new community.
Why Databricks? I was very happy at Neo4j and certainly loved working with the Neo4j community. Databricks brought with it an exciting opportunity though – build a talented team at one of the fastest growing cloud data startups in history. I also have the opportunity to work directly with the founders and senior leadership at the company who understand the value of developer relations and the importance of building a great community of data scientists, data engineers and data analysts.
The team is now 6 located in San Francisco CA, Seattle WA, Boulder CO, Sante Fe NM, and Blacksburg VA. We have Developer Advocates and Program Managers all working together to grow awareness and adoption of Databricks and the open source projects which we support.
First-Year Team Accomplishments
Here’s some of our accomplishments from the first-year, working along with amazing collaborators across the company and community.
- Launched the Databricks University Alliance, a community of professors at some of the world’s top universities sharing best practices and using Databricks to help teach data science, data engineering, data analytics and more.
- Built and executed (along with the broader company) two of the largest virtual events for the Data + AI Community, with the June Spark + AI Summit and the fall Data + AI Summit Europe.
- Published the Learning Spark 2nd Edition book with O’Reilly and made it available for free.
- Hosted 44 Data + AI Online meetups, bringing together thousands of members in the community to learn. Published these on our YouTube channel, growing subscribers by 50%.
- Published a few great tech talk series, including Getting Started with Delta Lake, Diving into Delta Lake, Managing the Machine Learning Lifecycle, and Introduction to Data Analysis for Aspiring Data Scientists.
- Published a COVID-19 Hub, with data, notebooks and dashboards.
- Ran a Hackathon for Social Good with hundreds of participants resulting in $35k donations in charity.
- Released our first season of the Data Brew podcast/vidcast, focused on lakehouses, interviewing experts from across the data + AI community.
Keep in mind: a lot of work our team has done in 2020 hasn’t yet been released – stay tuned! And, of course, this is all within the context of the broader accomplishments of the company and community in 2020.
We have a really excited 2021 planned as the team continues many of the initiatives above and takes on new challenges. We’ll be focused on making it easier to learn data science, data engineering and data analytics, as well as making it simple to apply these learnings using Databricks. An important part of this mission will be growing and strengthening the community so we can all learn from each other.
Are you a data geek and want to join the adventure? We have data engineering/analytics advocate roles and developer (online) experience advocate roles open in the US as well as a regional advocate role in Europe. Reach out to me at (firstname).(lastname)@databricks.com if you want to learn more!