A little over nine years ago, RedMonk made its first analyst hire. As an aside, if that number makes you feel old, well, you’re not alone. Anyway, our choice for the first non-founder analyst was a then little known BMC software developer based out of Austin, who was perhaps best recognized for his rather irreverent technology blog, Drunk and Retired. At the time, there was some consternation in the industry about the idea of hiring a developer to be an analyst. We fielded a lot of questions about the selection, but the quality of Cote’s work pretty quickly put those to rest.
It is probably in part due to Cote’s success – both with RedMonk and in his subsequent career at Dell, The 451 Group and now Pivotal – that we didn’t get nearly as many questions when we hired his replacement out of the Mayo Clinic. Superficially it might sound odd to hire as a technology industry analyst a Research Fellow doing drug discovery, but we’ve always been believers that we can teach someone to be an industry analyst – we’ve been in the business for thirty years collectively, after all. What we can’t do as easily is teach the skills necessary to be a good analyst: being creatively inquisitive, being able to communicate effectively or having an understanding and ability to grasp the macro trends shaping our industry.
When we find those, then, wherever they might be and whatever the background, we’re interested.
And find those we did in Donnie Berkholz. In spite of – or was it perhaps because of? – his non-traditional industry background, Donnie hit the ground running with us. With his background in statistical and quantitative analysis, he quickly made a name for himself exploring statistical trends, making predictions and that most important of RedMonk analyst duties: buying developers beers. He’s done nothing but prove us right in our initial belief that he could do this work at a high level, which is why we’re sad to be saying goodbye.
But like his predecessor, the time has come for Donnie to graduate from RedMonk. He’ll have more to tell you about his future plans shortly I’m sure, but suffice it to say you will still be seeing him around. His last day with us will be next Friday, as he wraps up a few projects with us. In the meantime, on behalf of all of us at RedMonk: we wish you all future success, Donnie, thank you for all of your efforts in helping RedMonk keep advancing the ball downfield. We’re happy to have played a small part in helping you transition into this industry.
As with any departure, the obvious next question is: what does this mean for RedMonk?
In the short term, more travel – they’re only making more conferences, and there are only so many of us. And we’re no more looking forward to filling Donnie’s shoes than we were to filling Cote’s. But over the longer term, our mission remains the same: we’re the analyst firm that is here for – and because of – developers. We will continue to fight the good fight on behalf of that constituency, even as market awareness of their importance adds more and more allies to our ranks. As a species we have a tendency to take progress for granted, but if you stop and think it really is amazing how different the reception our developer-centric message is today versus even four or five years ago.
Who will we hire? The best fit we can find. Like the Oakland A’s, we’ll think creatively about the opening and we’re already in the process of talking to some interesting candidates. That said, we’re open to all interested parties. And given our trajectory, we might even be adding more than one new analyst, but we’ll take it one step at a time.
Fair warning to all applicants: 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.
You will have big shoes to fill, whoever you are. The analysts that have come before you have done some incredible work, and we expect nothing less from you.
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 too 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 – as well as their disruptors, 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. And as you might guess from conferences like the Monktoberfest, we try and have fun doing it.
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. If any of that sounds interesting to you, drop us a line.
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) if you like, or Juliane (juliane @ redmonk.com) as always. We’re happy to answer anything we can.
So we wish you well, Donnie, and look forward to seeing who will step up in your place.