Meet Todd Dampier, another member of the Rollbar team! Todd started in late 2016 and we are more than thrilled to have him. Todd came from mLab where he was the founding CTO and has years of experience in his field as a Software Architect and CTO. Todd spent time at MIT, where he completed his undergrad and Masters in Computer Science.
I asked Todd about his thoughts on Rollbar and joining the team. Here are his answers in his own words.
What excited you about Rollbar or attracted you to the company?
When I started looking for what to do next professionally, I cast a fairly broad net. As a generalist with highly eclectic interests, the only thing I knew for certain was that I was done for a while with the field of MongoDB-as-a-Service.
From my very first conversation with Rollbar, what struck me most was the caliber of the people. The recruiting team was flawlessly professional, direct, and no-nonsense, as well as remarkably warm and personable. Cory and Brian impressed me as founders: their maturity, experience, technical depth, and product perspective gave me tremendous confidence in Rollbar as a team and as a business. As I met more of the team, that confidence just grew — and I’m happy to say the trend continues unabated today.
I also love the product. Coming from mLab, I’m a staunch believer in the value of farming out an annoying-but-necessary piece of functionality to a service backed by people who focus on that problem and do it right.
And as a technologist, I enjoy building and delivering services that I would want to use myself. It's a special kind of satisfaction that comes with developing products for other developers.
At Rollbar, we get to make the error tracking platform that we would — and do! — trust to monitor our own software.
What are you looking forward to working on (technically)?
Even in a seemingly simple service, there are myriad details to consider. There's always more to do, and you can always do it better.
I’m looking forward to working on features that make our toolset more valuable to our users — ones that afford greater utility and less friction when brought to bear on the problems our users are tackling.
Building a public service instead of an in-house solution tends to take all the technical design questions to the next level — such as scale, availability, reliability, and security, to name a few. I’m looking forward to working on these back-end issues as well, to making our service as robust and maintainable as we possibly can. Most immediately, we’re taking a thorough look at security throughout our platform. I’m also looking forward to some retooling we’ve been contemplating in our event-processing pipeline.
How would you describe the culture?
It probably sounds corny, but I've found Rollbar to be full of real, genuinely good people. From the top down, the culture is one of hard work, intellectual honesty, and doing the right thing for the customer — all of which you might reasonably expect in a well run business. More unusual, I think, is the high degree of mutual respect and human decency that permeates the organization. People seem to feel safe speaking their minds and appropriately prioritizing their personal lives & families, while still showing up and delivering what the organization needs. This comfortable pragmatism dovetails beautifully with a team that is geographically distributed, too: open and honest communication that’s as synchronous or asynchronous as it needs to be. People here have healthy sense of humor as well, which is crucial. Personally, I’m really happy and honored to be part of this team.
What's your vision for your contribution to Rollbar? What would you hope to achieve in the next 6 months?
To summarize what I said above, it basically boils down to some stuff you can see and some stuff you can’t see (unless we mess it up). At a high level, my vision is simply to make sure Rollbar is hands-down the best service in its category.
The value of a system that monitors, collects, and tracks errors is obvious to anyone who’s built a distributed software deployment.
There’s no rational reason, however, why you should need to develop your own error monitoring system — and if you feel like you want to anyway, you should probably come work at Rollbar!
Fun fact about yourself that you're willing to share?
Believe it or not, I didn’t always think computers were going to be the way I made my living.
My seventh grade class did a career unit, and one component of it was to pick an adult who possessed one of these “career” things and then follow him or her around for a day to see what having a career was all about. I hardly knew where to start.
When I was little, I’d spent a lot of time around judges. They were pretty cool people, and their job seemed kind of cool, too. So I wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, asking if he would help me with this “career” exercise. Someone on his staff wrote me a very polite reply, explaining that Chief Justice Burger was much too busy to have a random middle schooler underfoot all day. I was crushed! But that disappointment just served to strengthen my bond with my Apple //e.
We are excited that Todd took an interest in Rollbar and that he decided to join us to help on our mission of making developing software easy!
If you haven’t already, sign up for a 14-day free trial of Rollbar and let us help you take control of your web and mobile application errors.