Meet the Grafana Labs team: Community Manager Sam Coren
As Grafana Labs continues to grow, we’d like you to get to know the team members who are working on the cool stuff you’re using. Check out the latest of our Friday team profiles.
Name: Sam Coren
Current location/time zone
I’ve been living in Boston, Massachusetts, for the past 14 years on U.S. Eastern time. Don’t be fooled though, I’m originally from the Philadelphia area and still haven’t picked up the accent or the area code.
What do you do at Grafana Labs?
I’m the Community Manager on the Customer & Community team which means I get the privilege of working with the wonderful humans who make up the Grafana community at all stages of their journey with us. Every day is a bit different since I get to talk to people all over the world who are using Grafana Labs' products and contributing to our open source projects. Part of my role is helping get answers to user questions and sharing important updates on our community channels like the forums, Slack, and social media. I work closely with the rest of our cross-functional community team on keeping Grafana Labs’ community spaces friendly places where everyone can learn from one another.
Behind the scenes, I’m focused on helping the marketing team produce content and programs that showcase the different projects our community members are working on. Shameless plug: If you have something you’re working on that you’d like to share with the wider Grafana community, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org — we love hearing from you!
Community-driven development is a key part of how we operate as a business, because the tools we make are essential to how our customers operate their businesses. At my previous company, DigitalOcean, Grafana was the window into the health of our data centers and applications; it was well used (and liked!) by different departments all across the org for mission-critical work. The love from the community around Grafana is the real deal, and we’re committed to making those products even better through their feedback. That’s what makes working at Grafana Labs special and why I decided to take a seat on this rocket ship.
What’s your Twitter handle?
@SamCoren on Twitter — tweet me dog gifs or beautiful Grafana dashboard screenshots; ideally both!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m addicted to music listening, making, and teaching. While I can’t go to concerts and play shows until venues re-open, I’ve been more focused on electronic music production–here’s an obligatory SoundCloud link. Guitar is my main instrument, but I’m super into synthesizers and I’ve taken up drumming.
Before pandemic times, I was an Instrument Instructor and Band Coach at Girls Rock Campaign Boston which is a nonprofit music and mentorship organization that offers year-round programming to girls, women, and youth and adults with marginalized gender identities. Getting outside the house is also important and for that I try to visit as many different beaches as I can around New England with my dog during the off-season.
What’s your favorite new gadget or tech toy?
I have one of those green screens that goes on the back of your chair and while it’s super goofy looking, it’s a lot of fun.
What’s the best part of your job?
The Grafana community is huge with over 600,000 active installations! The people in it are using our products in very different contexts — I love hearing all the unique ways people are using Grafana for everything from monitoring the most complicated IT infrastructure setups in the world to 3D printing to beekeeping to keeping track of satellites in space to climate change research… it’s super rewarding! Go check out the Success stories page sometime.
What’s your favorite food?
A hot bowl of pho on a cold, rainy day is magical.
What’s the last thing you binge-watched?
My husband and I have been on a major Ink Master binge. I don’t have any tattoos and still don’t think I’ll get one any time soon (hi mom). However, I think tattooing is an undervalued art form and seeing people tattoo competitively under the craziest challenges reality TV producers can throw at them is fascinating. It’s incredible what some of the artists are able to pull off, but it’s also really rough if someone ends up getting a bad tat.
What superpowers do you wish you had?
Being fluent in every language on Earth would be pretty practical, wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t mind being able to finally understand what my dog is barking at either.
What’s your greatest achievement?
Nailing the 7/8 transition in Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” That time signature change is brutal.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Lock picking! It’s a super useful skill because locksmiths are expensive and it helps with my anxiety. I had a fun time explaining this to a TSA agent at the airport when I forgot I had my pick set in my bag.
What’s the last thing you’ve gotten off your bucket list?
I took my first transatlantic trip the summer before the pandemic to London and enjoyed exploring museums and going to lots of live music events around the city. Once it’s safe to travel again I’d like to visit Stockholm so I can meet more of my Grafana Labs teammates and make them go with me to the ABBA museum.
What’s your Zoom virtual background and why?
The holodeck from Star Trek The Next Generation. TNG is the best Trek and I wish I had my own holodeck to escape to for all sorts of zany adventures with my crew. 🖖