As you probably know, Friday, January 29 was my last day with Chef/Progress. Many people have asked what I’m going to do next. If the title of this post isn’t obvious, I’m happy to announce that I will start a new position as the Head of Community and Support at Sym on Monday, February 1st.

import sym
sym.announce(new_hire="jtimberman", start_date="2021-02-01")

When the acquisition of Chef by Progress was announced, I started looking around for open positions in case I didn’t get a permanent offer. At the time, I didn’t know what would happen with Progress, but as a lifelong sysadmin, I wanted to have a contingency plan ready. It’s a good thing I did, because as I shared the other day, I had a firm termination date ahead of me once the deal closed. My early probes certainly helped, and I was contacted by Sunil Dhaliwal of Amplify Partners, an early investor in Chef (then, via Battery Ventures). Sunil was gracious enough to have a chat and make some introductions for me with some of his portfolio companies. He was particularly excited about Sym, and they recently closed a Series A funding round with Amplify.

Besides introductions, Sunil offered me some excellent advice, “Joshua, think about what you want to do. Really, think about your strengths and when you’re interviewing, think about what excites you the most,” he said (paraphrased). “Consider a role that fits that best.” Most of the roles I first considered were “DevOps,” “SRE,” or similar. Despite my expertise in these areas, I discovered that kind of work wasn’t inspiring me enough. Turns out, I just wasn’t excited thinking about Kubernetes or running a SaaS.

The thing that I kept going back to in interviews was how excited I was about having taught people the best ways to use Chef, building a community of experts, and developing content for us all to use. It was that early Technical Evangelist role where so many of you know me. My experience interviewing last fall for my next position taught me a lot of things, and I was determined to find a role that would maximise my skills in empathy, making people successful with a technology, and helping a company grow a community and a culture of being awesome. Really, I wanted to find something where I can live up to my preferred job title of Code Cleric.

The conversations I had with Sym were firmly in line with that set of goals. I feel that I am 100% a great fit for the role at the head of community and support for them, and of course, they feel the same. I know I will help Yasyf and the team succeed at providing the best (security) workflow tooling and platform. Along the way I will have to learn some things that aren’t familiar to me - yet. So, I plan to meet this head on with all the intensity and passion I brought forth in my career over the past 13 years.

I would love to bring you along on this journey as well, and I invite you all to take a look at what Sym has to offer. I would love to hear your feedback as I settle in and work to build up the community and support organization. Of course, as an early growth startup, we’re hiring, so perhaps you will join us?