Starting a new team in a remote companyin business life
This is one of the aspects I didn't consider. A bit of background:
I'll have been here at Platform.sh for 5 years this July, which is crazy because it's now the longest I've ever held a single job in my life. Last summer I was poised to propose that we start a new team here around Data and Analytics right as someone else, much higher up then I, proposed that we start the exact same team. I raised my hand to start this team.
Prior to this I was leading a team of 15 in charge of onboarding and the post-sales $stuff, account management or Customer Success if you want. It was a young-ish but maturing team in terms of processes and to be honest I feel like I'm better earlier when the magma isn't really cooled and the direction isn't set. I enjoy solving problems. Once a set of problems gets "solved" it turns into processes that need to be implemented and refined. This is the natural lifecycle of a business or a department, but I take less joy in those later operational refinements than I do the initial creative period where you're trying to figure it all out.
So I raised my hand to do it again, this time with my dream project - our Data and Analytics story.
It's also the natural lifecycle of a business that, if you're lucky, you get to a certain point where things are still going up and to the right, but you've gotten there largely on feel so far, and your investors are starting to ask questions about things like The Margin. Or the COGS. Or your customers show up in more and more places so it's tougher to keep track of all of them and make sure they're staying happy.
In short, you are much further from where you started and the navigation of the vehicle starts to become much more important, because all the landmarks you once knew have faded from view. This is where precise measurements about the direction and velocity of the vehicle start to take over from, or at least assist, your instincts. Having already identified about 500 questions I wanted to be able to answer with data (broadly) I still can't believe my luck, that I've wound up here.
It is not without its downsides, however...
One thing that I didn't take into consideration was the rather extreme sense of isolation that I feel in this new role. The team really has two missions, though from the outside they look like one. To borrow my own analogy, it's like catering a large event. The groceries have to be procured before they can be prepped and cooked and served to all the diners, but all the diner sees is the dish in front of the plate.
So, getting the data into The Warehouse is 1 job. Cleaning, prepping, cooking, and serving the data to the clientele is the second job. To do them sequentially would take a very long time, so while the procurement side has largely been handled thanks to my new data engineer teammate and Fivetran, it's a very lonely and rather stressful job to handle everything after that. I don't really have anyone to talk to about any of this part of the job and it's ... it sucks, frankly.
I'm not sure how this could've been different except if I'd considered that I was moving from an established team of 15 to a new team of 1, and that there would be little to no collaboration, which is a thing I really enjoy and thrive on. I'm feeling the burn for sure.