Like many PIE mentors, I have been looking for ways to be more helpful to the companies and alumni. When class is in session, I spend a half day most weeks co-working alongside the founders. This casual approach has worked well, because I get to know the teams in a different way than if I had a quick ten minute meeting. There are so many aspects to starting a company and it’s been a wonderful experience to watch this from the outside. My overwhelming feeling has been that my niche background as a developer-turned-developer-communicator means I can only help so much.
When Orchestrate became a PIE company, Rick introduced me to CEO Tony Falco. With my background editing the premier API directory, ProgrammableWeb, I’d seen thousands of APIs. I’d been a technical journalist and had watched the trends in developer-focused companies. The founding principals behind Orchestrate’s database API aligned well with my own thinking and we had a lot of good conversations about where the industry is headed. I was impressed with their team of infrastructure experts and I felt my most useful in my several years as a PIE mentor.
Along the way I joined transactional email service SendGrid, whose API and related services are popular with developers. I became an accidental marketer and I learned the approach wasn’t that different from reporting about technical topics. In both cases, I was sharing knowledge to solve developer problems. My role at SendGrid was necessarily cross-department and I saw how each of these areas of the company contributed to one of today’s most successful developer-focused companies.
Recently Tony and I sat down for coffee and discovered there was a way my unique background could be more helpful. Today I am joining Orchestrate full-time to build a developer relations team to help coders be my productive and creative. I’ll still be a PIE mentor, but I may have to more publicly acknowledge my favorite. As I expand my skill set and further narrow my speciality, you’d better believe I’ll be reaching out to my fellow mentors, as we work to make Orchestrate one of tomorrow’s most successful developer-focused companies.