Meet the Grafana Labs Team: Richard ‘RichiH’ Hartmann!

Published: 31 Jan 2020 RSS

Meet RichiH!

Name: Richard ‘RichiH’ Hartmann

Richard Hartmann
Grafana Labs Director, Community Richard Hartmann

0. Why are you interviewing yourself?

I saw the template and thought it would be fun to do so.

1. What do you do at Grafana Labs?

As the Director of Community, I will be responsible for our interactions with the communities around Grafana Labs: Grafana itself, Cortex, Graphite, Loki, Metrictank, Prometheus, Thanos, Tanka, and an as-of-yet nameless one that is so secret it must not be referred to even indirectly. The intersection of a company selling a product while also growing a FLOSS project under the same proverbial and remote-first roof poses some very interesting questions and challenges. If you ever have a problem with anything relating to Grafana Labs, I am probably a good starting point for finding a solution.

2. What’s your current location and time zone?

Munich, Germany (CET)

3. Please tell us about your involvement with the Prometheus community.

Within the Prometheus team, I am doing community work and similar activities; i.e. I’m the designated janitor and cat herder. I organize PromCon, ensure we have maintainers present at the relevant conferences, take care of the dev summits/offsites, interface with other projects and CNCF, and so on. Most people don’t get to see this, but there’s a LOT of behind-the-scenes non-coding work in successful software projects.

4. What are your GitHub and Twitter handles?

RichiH everywhere except for TwitchiH on Twitter.

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

I haven’t had a lot of that recently, but I plan to get back to reading, cooking and baking, woodworking, and descending into endless discussions of ever-increasing absurdity with good friends.

6. What made you decide to come work for Grafana Labs?

There are two main reasons: On the one hand, there are several good friends working here already, and I know everyone is motivated by a shared and positive vision. On the other hand, Grafana Labs has the ability to change several industries, and helping to shape that is very tempting. The fact that my daily commute was cut down to zero is also nice.

7. What are you hoping to accomplish here?

To enable others to join and grow within a positive and safe community. And to change how the world operates services and industry.

8. What’s your favorite new gadget or tech toy?

Noise-canceling headsets and phyphox, which allows you to harness the near-magic capabilities of smartphone sensors. Did you know that the magnetic sensor in your phone is able to detect an LED being powered on and off next to it? I highly suggest watching this video.

9. Favorite ice cream flavor?

Amarena cherry, vanilla (ideally gelato al puffo with a hint of anise), and red bean paste with black sesame seeds; in that order.

10. What’s the last thing you binge-watched?

I didn’t have time to binge anything, but I have slowly been working through Steve Mould, Marco Reps, and Mathologer recently.

11. What superpowers do you wish you had (or do you have!)?

Years ago, the last bit of toothpaste I managed to squeeze out of the tube fell off my brush. I managed to crouch and catch it on the back of my hand just before it hit the ground. So I can accelerate more quickly than 9.81 m/s² over a vertical distance of roughly 1.5 m.

As with great power comes great responsibility, I decided to hang up my cape and took to cutting open the tube ends with scissors, though.

12. What’s your claim to fame/greatest achievement? (Can be funny or serious.)

I saved two children from drowning; once at age 5 or 6, and once in my 20s. I also resolved several SCUBA accidents, a few of which could have ended fatally. And I activated emergency services for two people who had attempted suicide; once at age 15, and once in my 30s.

13. Spaces or tabs?

Both, in the same file. Tabs for indentation, spaces for formatting, and Vim’s :set list to visualize the difference. Most things don’t need formatting these days, though.

14. Do you have any hidden talents?

Listening and observing to find common ground, or even consensus, between parties which can’t agree on anything.

Carl suggested the fact that I still write presentations in LaTeX Beamer, but that’s quite public. So how about that I write all my letters and official communication in LaTeX KOMA-Script? He didn’t know that.

15. What’s the last thing you’ve gotten off your bucket list?

Build a complete datacenter from scratch, and to hydrate more.

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