Meet the Grafana Labs team: Solutions engineer Éamon Ryan
As Grafana Labs continues to grow, we’d like you to get to know our team members. Check out the latest of our Friday team profiles.
Name: Éamon Ryan
Current location/time zone
I currently live in the Bay Area, California so it’s Pacific time for me!
What are your Twitter and GitHub handles?
What do you do at Grafana Labs?
I’m a Solutions Engineer, which means I’m responsible for working with new and existing Enterprise customers and dealing with the more technical aspects of the conversations. I try to find out what problems they are having with their existing observability stack today, where they’d like to go in an ideal world, and build out a path forward for them using offerings from Grafana Labs and the community. This encompasses things like gathering technical demos, trial assistance, workshops, webinars, and more!
I decided to join the team at Grafana Labs as a result of a thought process when searching for a new role. I had a few requirements:
I wanted to stay working with open source technology like I had during my time at my last company, as I’m a big proponent of it.
I wanted to work at a smaller company than my previous, even startup sized, as I had worked at a 20,000-30,000-person sized company as well as a 3,000-person sized company and felt it was time to experience the other end of things.
I wanted to work with technology I had already used and really enjoyed using, so I could help make something I care about even better as part of my job.
As it happened, I had used Grafana some in my previous job and really loved it, so I literally went to the website, saw there was an opening I felt I could lend my experience to, and just applied! I didn’t know anyone who was here already but got a wonderful reception from everyone I talked to during the process, which really helped me make my decision to work here.
What open source projects do you contribute to?
Despite having a software development degree, most of my career has been spent on the server administration/virtualization/automation/infrastructure side of the house, so much of my work is scripty in nature rather than in a high-level programming language. I’ve contributed here and there to some projects like Cloud Foundry on occasion, but a lot of my code work happens on private/internal demo/education environments and the like. Obviously I’m a big fan of Grafana, Prometheus, Cortex, and Loki. :)
What do you like to do in your free time?
I moved apartments back in April, and it seems like it’s a never-ending process to get a place how you like, though at least that combines well with nothing happening outside anyway due to the pandemic! I have a home lab I also tinker with consisting of a Raspberry Pi cluster, beefy FreeNAS server, and more, so I play around with open source a lot even when not working. :) I’m also a gamer, with probably far too many hours logged on Deep Rock Galactic this year!
What’s your favorite new gadget or tech toy?
I love my Nanoleaf lights. I spend a lot of time on Zoom calls, and it’s been fun having them as an interesting backdrop for those!
What do you do to get “in the zone” when you work?
Close any tabs/browser windows not relevant to the task at hand, set my Slack to DND, throw on some instrumental but not-too-slow music (electronic works well), and off I go.
What’s the best part of your job?
Hearing the “wow” in people’s voices when they’re being shown what they can achieve with our products. :D
What’s your favorite food?
Korean BBQ at the moment! It’s a bit harder to get since the restaurants aren’t open, but there’s still good options for home cooking around.
What’s the last thing you binge-watched?
What superpowers do you wish you had (or do you have!)?
I wish I had control over time – there’s so much I could do with that. A superpower I do have is terrible/amazing dad-joke humor despite not being a dad.
What’s your claim to fame/greatest achievement?
I have won a dad-joke contest and I have a little trophy to show for it! :D
Do you have any hidden talents?
I have the ability to get sunburned in under 15 minutes, on account of being a red-haired Irishman. It’s not a very useful talent.
What’s the last thing you’ve gotten off your bucket list?
I don’t maintain one, really, but I’m always happy to visit new cities/countries. The most recent new city I visited was Montréal back in December. I don’t think I’ve felt my breath freeze in my lungs before but I sure have now!
Who would play you in a movie?
Probably Moe Dunford, who as a bonus, is from the same Irish town as me!
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