In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. Al Jazeera launched Al Jazeera English. The Winter Olympics were held in Turin. At RedMonk, we brought on our first analyst.
Which was a big step for a two person analyst shop born in the ashes of the dot com bubble oriented around a consituency – developers – no one cared about then. The new addition was a developer out of BMC with an irreverent technology blog, one that indicated to us that the author had analyst potential. We hired Michael Cote largely on this basis; certainly neither of us ever met him in person prior to bringing him on board. We took a chance, believing that he had the makings of a good analyst. We were fortunate to be wrong about that. He became an excellent analyst.
Those of you who’ve worked with Cote over the last half decade plus understand this; we have yet to find a client that doesn’t love his unique brand of insight, self-deprecating humor and homespun wisdom. He’s been, in short, a perfect hire. Not bad for our first time out of the gate. Which is why we’re sad to be losing him.
You heard that correctly: one week from today is Cote’s last day as a ‘Monk.
It’s an unfortunate day for us, then, because Cote has not only been an outstanding analyst and a model employee, but a friend and part of the RedMonk family. Being small has its privileges, one of those being that you can treat your employees like actual people. Like family. The only downside to that is that it makes departures that much more painful, that much more personal.
While we are disappointed to be losing him, however, we can’t argue with his logic, taking a good job with Dell close to home in Austin. Analyst life has many perks, but for a new father, the travel isn’t necessarily one of them.
As we wish him well in his future endeavours, the obvious question is what this changes at RedMonk.
The simple answer is quite a bit, as responsibilities will be obviously be changing as a result of Cote’s departure. The correct answer, however, is nothing. Our mission remains: someone needs to fight the good fight on behalf of the developers the world over. And more often than not, that someone is us. Or maybe you know another analyst firm whose raison d’etre is pushing developer agendas on topics like FOSS, dynamic languages, REST, non-relational datastores, DevOps, or Web 2.0…literally years before they were popular. For example.
The technology industry is in the early stages of accepting what RedMonk has known for years: developers are the most important constituency in the business. We see this in the nature of the inquiries we’re receiving; when chip manufacturers and storage infrastructure providers tell us they need a developer story, it’s safe to say that the industry as a whole is coming to appreciate the importance of geeks. We also see this in inquiry volume; at no point in our history have we ever been busier.
Which is why we’re already in conversations to bring on another analyst.
To be clear, we are not replacing Cote, we are hiring another analyst. Cote had – has – a diverse set of skills that we are unlikely to replicate perfectly. But the person we eventually bring on will have their own strengths as well, and the fact that our business is increasingly incorporating quantitative analysis informs our needs from a hiring perspective.
Why work here? The most obvious reason is that RedMonk remains, in my obviously biased opinion, an amazing place to work. There aren’t many jobs available that allow you to influence the strategic direction and decision making process of some of the biggest and most important technology companies in the world, that give you a pulpit to produce public research for some of the best and brightest developers on the planet. Fewer jobs still let you work on things that are important, things that improve the day to day lives of developers, and by extension, the users they service. Tim O’Reilly says to “work on stuff that matters“; we think we do, almost every day.
Add in the flexibility that working for a small firm offers, from the ability to define your own research agenda to good hardware to variable vacation time to the option of working from home, and it’s a damn good gig.
More importantly, RedMonk is in the process of becoming something more than just an analyst firm. We will always provide high quality analysis services for our clients, but our vision for where this business is headed from a data perspective is, in my view, unparalleled, and the opportunity is large. Which is not to say that RedMonk is all work and no play: I defy you to find a more interesting, different and fun conference than our upcoming Monktoberfest.
Who will we hire? The best fit we can find. We’re talking to some interesting candidates already, but we’re open to all interested parties. Fair warning: we will be very picky. You need to be able to communicate effectively, write well and be committed to rational discourse. You should have a reasonable online presence and a passion for developers and the tools they use. Other things we’ll look for include programming skills, economics and statistics training and experience with rich media. Previous experience as an analyst is a bonus, but absolutely not required. Interested? Send a CV and anything else you believe we should consider to hiring @ redmonk.com.
Whomever we hire, they’ll have big shoes to fill. Losing an employee of Cote’s caliber cannot be spun as a positive. Our loss is unquestionably Dell’s gain. But with challenge comes opportunity, and there is little shortage of that at RedMonk these days. While we mourn the departure of our first hire and our friend, then, we are eager to see where a new hire might take us.
On a personal note, let me just say this: thank you, Cote. For all of your hard work, all of the sacrifices, your professionalism and your willingness to do whatever neded to be done. You’ve got an exceptionally bright future in this industry, and we are happy to have placed some small part in advancing that. Anything you ever need from us, we’re here.
Last, to our clients and customers: if any of you have questions about this news, feel free to contact myself (sogrady @ redmonk.com) or James (jgovernor @ redmonk.com). We’re happy to answer anything we can.