Meet the New Monk: Donnie Berkholz

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If you give me someone who’s nice and who’s passionate, I can teach them everything else. I don’t care what school you went to, I don’t care where you worked before. If you give me someone with those two traits, they will nine out of 10 times be a great success in the company.” – Andy Lansing

Even for companies that do it well, hiring is an inefficient process. And as a company that hires but rarely, RedMonk possesses no special expertise in the area. Our biggest advantage is that we’re able to think about the process creatively. We aren’t restricted to hiring an established analyst, for example; Cote was a developer of IT management products when he came to us.

We hire those who we think will become good analysts, period. Which requires passion. And for our own sake, we look for people we get along with. Everything else is negotiable.

That said, hiring someone who’s nice and passionate and has a Ph.d. in addition to deep expertise in your field doesn’t hurt. Enter Donnie Berkholz, the newest Monk.

Monktoberfest attendees will know him as our closing speaker – a session that got rave reviews. We are hiring Donnie away from the Mayo Clinic, where he’s currently a Research Fellow. While he’s spent the bulk of his professional career as a scientist, he’s got long term exposure to technology, having been deeply involved in the Gentoo Linux project as a developer and council member since 2003. He’s also been a contributor to X.org since 2005, and has administered Google Summer of Code efforts for both.

Donnie’s more than an open source expert, however. As anyone who’s followed his constructive criticism of our analyses is aware, he’s got deeper statistical training than I have and has legitimate programming skills. And if you follow him on Twitter I think you’ll find his insight on everythng from cloud to mobile to big data more than up to the RedMonk standard.

He can also write, and not just for academic journals. His minor in journalism has been put to good use as a regular contributor to LWN.net, the highly regarded open source news source.

With us, he’ll be covering the same broad spectrum of topics that we cover, and with his background as a researcher, we expect his transition to the world of analysis to be smooth. It’s certain to be less complicated than “Applying structure-based drug design to the moonlighting enzyme dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase to target detrimental oxidative stress,” anyway, the focus of one of his 2010 papers (PDF link).

As a former user of Gentoo, Donnie and I have a long history together, having met for the first time at OSCON in 2005. I’ve always had a strong appreciation for his work, and I’m thrilled that he’ll be working on our behalf as of December 1st.

To our clients, we’re happy to schedule introductory calls for you as soon as he’s officially on board. In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Donnie, and if you’re curious, see our interview with him from the conference.


  1. welcome, donnie!

    1. Thanks! Great to meet you last week, albeit briefly. Hopefully we can have a longer chat at some point in the future.

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