The interesting thing about interviewing analyst candidates for RedMonk is that you literally have no idea where the conversations will take you. As a firm that intentionally casts a wide net, our applicants come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring very different experiences to the table. From former CIA operatives to current CTOs, actual anthropologists to prospective Blockchain experts, the interviews we have are a lot of work, to be sure, but they’re rarely boring and frequently educational.
Which is why one of the questions asked during the interviews was easy to answer: when one analyst leaves and we hire another in their place, are we merely looking to replicate skillsets? The answer, of course, is no. Certainly there are common elements we look for – we want the people we bring on to be people we enjoy working with, for one, and we don’t have the time to teach someone to write for another.
But beyond those types of must have skills, we take a broader view. Just as RedMonk argues that it’s not the best individual technologies that succeed in the market but rather those that are packaged with appropriately complementary projects and products, we’re looking not looking for a particular skillset but the best combination of them. For obvious reasons, it’s difficult to find that combination unless you’re talking to a very wide range of candidates with different skillsets and experience bases (which, after hours and hours and hours, I can assure you we did).
That’s how I ended up talking to KellyAnn Fitzpatrick all the way back in June.
Monktoberfest attendees may remember Kelly from her 2015 talk entitled, “Dungeons and Towers: Medievalism, Gaming and the Academy.” Then with Apprenda, she was first introduced to me by her colleague (and friend of RedMonk) Dan Turkenkopf with a Twitter DM that read, “I’ve got a proposal for you from our technical writer who’s writing her English doctorate thesis on MMORPG.” As I said when introducing her at the show, there are very few talk proposals that are accepted to the Monktoberfest based on the talk title alone, but Kelly’s was one of them. And it didn’t disappoint.
What we knew of Kelly then was that she could write, that she could present and that she her personality fit in very well at our events. What we learned during her application process was that there was a lot more to her than someone who could speak and write intelligently about Dungeons & Dragons, MMORPGs and medieval scholarship – interesting as those topics might be.
Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow and course coordinator in the Computer Science department, among other responsibilities, at Georgia Tech, Kelly’s had direct engagement with the next generation of technology graduates. Her past experience includes bringing the current generation up to speed via off and onsite training and technical writing. She’s even had hands on experience in a variety of components of the software delivery process from QA to testing to production releases. She knows, as she put it in her interview, the value of “team merge beers.”
Most importantly, she knows, and deeply believes in, the importance of developers and the work that RedMonk does.
Put all that together, and it’s a particular set of skills, a particular set that has led to Kelly becoming the newest RedMonk analyst. She’ll be joining RedMonk on September 24th, and for those of you who will be attending the Monktoberfest you’ll be able say hello in person. She’s based out of Atlanta, but you can expect to see her at the same sorts of events that you’re used to seeing the rest of the monks at. On a related note, she likes both beer and sushi and will be happy to buy developers both if you see her.
We look forward to welcoming her on board in a month or so, and until then feel free to welcome her to the RedMonk community over at @drkellyannfitz.