On Jennifer Tejada, the “Tej-hive”, PagerDuty and Deep Representation

James Governor's Monkchips

On Jennifer Tejada, the “Tej-hive”, PagerDuty and Deep Representation

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

Last week I was lucky enough to hang out with Rachel Stephens, Emily Freeman and Kent Beck. Rachel is a colleague, Emily and Kent are friends. We met at a bar called Bartlett Hall, on O’Farrell just a couple of blocks from the Saint Francis, where Rachel and Emily were attending PagerDuty Summit.

Rachel and Emily were both literally buzzing with excitement and energy, inspired by the Summit and in particular the awesome job CEO Jennifer Tejada had done with the keynote. It was like they had both just met Beyoncé. Maybe we should call the Tejada fandom the “Tej-hive”  Both Rachel and Emily were also really impressed by Rathi Murthy, Gap, Inc’s CTO. As far as they were concerned the gender representation at the event felt effortless but welcome. They were clear though that Tejada is someone very special indeed. Women in tech are under-represented generally, and the C Suite is no exception. There are plenty of exceptional women tech leaders, but still nowhere near enough in 2018. Certainly not enough women as far as Rachel and Emily are concerned. We need more and better representation. Women like Tejada are beacons. Talking of representation – you should definitely read this superbly written piece by Freeman about how becoming a parent inspired her to join the tech industry, as she moves into a new role at Microsoft on the Cloud Developer Advocates team (also notable for its commitment to inclusion).

Tejada is doing an outstanding job – annual recurring revenues are now above $100m and growing swiftly, with PagerDuty becoming a more strategic vendor for companies undertaking digital transformation initiatives. Average deal size can only increase. “On call” support is very much part of the basket of cultural changes we’re seeing at companies adopting agile, site reliability engineering and devops approaches. PagerDuty though is the breakout category leader in modern incident management and response. On call support is incredibly important, but it can also be brutal. To its credit PagerDuty keeps practitioner needs and health at the core of its mission. In the post-Moneyball world optimising for developer happiness has never been more important.

The week before the Summit PagerDuty raised an additional $90m in VC funding – valuing the company at $1.3bn. I was blown away to hear the increased funding hadn’t even been mentioned in talks at the conference. Also in the week before the event, Atlassian announced plans to acquire OpsGenie, a Turkish startup, an acquisition to fill out its own alert management and incident response story. Meanwhile In June Splunk acquired VictorOps for $120m – tagline “Make On Call Suck less”. The market is being made. The game is changing from alerting to event suppression, making sure event patterns are understood to reduce noise.

PagerDuty does a great deal of work to support employee and community diversity, for example through its 5 Employee Resource Groups

  • SisterDuty. To promote an inclusive culture and professional development opportunities for women.
  • RainbowDuty. To promote a positive, collaborative, and inclusive environment for all employees—no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • PatriotDuty. To promote and build military support and presence through recruitment, internal education, and community outreach efforts.
  • MigrantDuty. To support employees who aren’t working in the country in which they were born, regardless of reason.
  • Array. To level the playing field for black/Latinx employees by cultivating and celebrating a diverse and inclusive global work environment.

PagerDuty makes diversity a priority in recruiting, paid parental leave “BabyDuty” of 22 weeks. It’s good to see the company living its values as it grows. Tejada is a huge strength of the company, as is the diverse talent pool it will be hiring from. When Representation is truly deep, it attracts the best people from the widest range of backgrounds.



client disclosure: PagerDuty is a client, but this is an independent, un-sponsored piece of analysis.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *