I joined Grafana Labs in 2019 as a Developer Advocate after 8 years of developing distributed applications in various shapes and forms. After dedicating another three years to help developers build plugins for Grafana, I founded Meduet to help teams as a self-employed Developer Educator.
In this article, I’ll share why I decided to quit consulting to return to a full-time role—and join the Developer Education team at AssemblyAI.
Why leave Grafana Labs to start consulting?
I couldn’t explain why I decided to quit consulting to join AssemblyAI without looking back at my time at Grafana Labs.
In fact, joining Grafana Labs as their first Developer Advocate turned out to be the single best career decision I’ve made—for three main reasons.
- Ever since reading What is Developer Advocacy? by Ashley Willis, I was excited about a role where I could combine other creative expressions than just coding. I made the switch to Developer Relations and haven’t looked back since.
- Not only that, but Grafana Labs was also the first startup I joined. As someone who thrives in multidisciplinary roles, I loved taking on projects that were wildly different from one another.
- Finally, Grafana Labs has managed to gather a truly amazing group of passionate individuals who want to succeed together. I knew that wherever I ended up next, the team was going to play an essential part.
Yet, after three years as a solo Developer Advocate, I made the difficult decision to leave Grafana Labs to continue to grow as an educator. I decided to try something I had been thinking about for a while—becoming an independent consultant.
Being self-employed has been a liberating experience that allowed me to focus on health, family, and personal projects. I’m immensely grateful to my clients for letting me work with them.
Running a company has been a learning experience. I have a deeper appreciation for anyone who decides to start their own business. Not only did I learn about the accounting, contract writing, and finances, but along the way I also improved my skills in strategic planning and communication.
Why join AssemblyAI?
Whether you actively follow the machine learning community or not, it’s hard to ignore the trend of AI-based products fueled by recent breakthroughs. Unfortunately, most of these revolutionary technologies are only available in a raw form, and teams will either need to train or hire machine learning specialists to make the most of the recent innovations.
AssemblyAI is a company that builds production-ready AI models based on the latest research in machine learning, and makes them available through APIs that developers can use without having to be machine learning experts themselves.
But when their recruiter first reached out to me, what caught my attention was their emphasis on Developer Education. Their YouTube channel has even surpassed companies like Twilio, Stripe, and MongoDB in number of subscribers, featuring insightful content on a wide range of deep learning topics. Not only that, but they’ve been consistently publishing deeply relevant blog posts on the recent advances in machine learning.
I decided to sign up for an account to experiment. It didn’t take long before I realized that Speech-to-Text technologies have come a long way. Not only does it transcribe multiple files of spoken audio with impressive accuracy, but it can detect different speakers or even summarize an entire podcast episode. My personal favorite is the PII Redaction model, which not only redacts personal data (PII) from the transcript, but generates an audio file with any PII bleeped out.
After going through the smoothest hiring process I’ve had so far, I’m now two weeks into my new role as a Developer Educator for AssemblyAI. I couldn’t be happier with my decision.
Why I’m excited about the future
I enjoy running head-first into uncharted territories, distilling my findings, and then making them easily digestible for others. And the machine learning landscape is perhaps the uncharted territory with most potential right now. We’re only seeing a fraction of what’s possible, and I’m excited to help more developers leverage it for their own projects.
Needless to say, I’m also excited to find myself in a team of curious, multi-talented people, who want to succeed together, and whom I can learn from. Not only that, but the team at AssemblyAI is still at the size where my contributions can make a real impact.
Want to work with me?
Curious about machine learning and Speech-to-Text technologies? Subscribe to the AssemblyAI’s YouTube channel.
For more on Developer Education, check out my article on Writing Tutorials for Learning.