This is a shortened version of my personal README from Artillery's internal team handbook. If you're thinking of joining the team, this should give you a better idea of what it's like to work with me.
If you're not familiar with personal READMEs, this guide from digital.gov has a great introduction to them: https://digital.gov/pdf/GSA-TTS_Personal-README-template.pdf
Hi, I'm Hassy. 👋 I live in Ireland with my wife and our toddler. Before Ireland I lived in London and Edinburgh. I was born in Russia, but spent most of my life in the UK.
Outside of work I like to spend time with my family, read books (usually history), and when time allows make it to the gym.
I started working on what became Artillery back in 2015. I needed to do some load testing on a project (a Spotify app - remember those?), nothing quite fit the bill so I put something together for myself, eventually put it up on GitHub, and it took off from there.
I worked on Artillery part-time (evenings and weekends) for several years, alongside working as a DevOps/SRE contractor in London. I went all-in on Artillery after declining an acquisition offer from a well-known dev tooling company (who have IPO'd since, I'm working hard to make sure I don't regret saying "no"!), got into YC, and raised a seed round to build the future of testing for DevOps & SRE.
Areas of Responsibility
- Make sure we’re building something people want
- Make sure we always have enough money to focus on building great products long-term
- Make sure we have exceptional people working at Artillery, and make sure they have everything they need to do great work
- Make sure we have a clear direction as a company and stay focused on our mission
- Reducing scope, prioritizing, and making sure we ship
- Our world runs on software, but the tools we have today to help us run complex production systems are abysmal. We can do better. I want to help reinvent the way developers improve performance and reliability of their software systems.
- I’ve been working on Artillery for 6 years now and I'm in this for the long-haul. I want to build a great company that lasts, a company that I'm still working at in 10 years.
- I see Artillery as an opportunity to do career-defining work for myself, and for everybody who joins us.
- I see Artillery as the opportunity & privilege to build exactly the kind of company I want to work at, and to surround myself with the kind of people I want to work with. (This is true for everyone on the team — we all have this opportunity)
What I Value
- Desire to do world-class work in your chosen area whether it’s engineering, design, product, marketing, writing etc (and as a founder it is my job to do everything we can to enable everyone to do world-class work at Artillery)
- Growth mindset and focus on continuous self-improvement - profesionally and personally
- People who take on ownership of projects and initiatives, and get things done without someone having to check in frequently (but also don’t disappear and know when to reach out for help / rubber ducking / to bounce ideas around)
- People with a sense of urgency, focus on moving the needle every week, and bias for action
- Kindness and empathy, coupled with honesty and directness
How I Can Help You
- I can help you figure out how to ship something faster, and how to reduce scope on something whilst still delivering value to users.
- I can help you remove blockers or impediments to being more productive or doing great work, whatever those may be.
- I can help you figure out what you should be working on, or what the implication of a particular design decision may be.
- As a former DevOps engineer/SRE and someone who’s now spent several years working on Artillery and talked to hundreds of users, I am a good approximation of a typical engineer using our products.
- I can help answer anything to do with load testing, performance engineering, or the main Artillery codebase.
- I can help be a rubber duck in general.
- I can help you figure out how Artillery’s goals and roadmap can support your career goals.
How You Can Help Me
I’m an engineer and a first-time founder. 90% of what I’m doing now as a founder is completely new to me. You can help me get better by sharing feedback.
Feedback, especially negative feedback is critical for learning and improvement. Feedback means opportunity to correct and grow. No feedback = no growth and no improvement.
I love feedback and I have very thick skin. If you have something to share, you DO NOT need to worry about being diplomatic or wording it perfectly with me. Just say what you're thinking.
Take ownership & ship. The default outcome of an early-stage startup is death. ☠️ The antidote to dying is shipping a lot of stuff.
Come to meetings (planning meetings, 1:1s etc) prepared with an agenda
Write up & share your thoughts before booking any meetings. There may not need to be a meeting at all but if there is one, it will always make the meeting more productive.
Share your goals and objectives so that I can make sure they’re served within the context of Artillery’s goals & roadmap
Working style, quirks, idiosyncrasies etc
- I try to be as involved with the baby as possible. That means that sometimes I need to take an hour off on short notice in the middle of the work day. Sometimes I shuffle my working hours to extend into the late hours. I try to have dinner with my family every day of the week (inspired by Mike Cassidy)
- I try to use Slack's “scheduled send” for any messages after ~5:30pm, so if you see a batch of messages from me at 9am - I probably scheduled them the night before.
- I rarely work on weekends and don’t expect anyone else to
- I like clustering my meetings together
- I have a strong preference for written communication and learning by reading (but having said that, in many situations a 10m call can save days of back and forth over text)
- I tend to hop around a lot in conversations. That’s one reason I love agendas and try to create structure (see below). If you feel like you can’t understand my opinion or feel a lack of clarity, ask for clarification or ask me in written form.
- I like having clear agendas and structure for meetings
- I will give direct feedback in our 1:1s and expect the same back
- I may seem aloof or distant, especially when focusing on a goal or task. (I’m working on not projecting that attitude when heads-down in something.)
- My Enneagram type is 3 - https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-3.