Ep. 1: Grant Ingersoll Origins
Welcome to the first episode of our brand new podcast Develomentor. We are a tech career focused podcast and we interview people working all sorts tech jobs, not just software engineers! Each interview will help you learn about a specific career, what’s required to be successful in it, and how that role is changing. We also hope you’ll see that there are a lot of different paths a successful career. Stick with us and you’ll meet IT product managers with social work degrees and heads of sales with engineering degrees. You’ll meet engineers who “got all the degrees” and others who did a six week coding bootcamp and are running the show. You’ll meet academics and practitioners across a wide range of industries. You might even meet a few artists. Most importantly, we hope you’ll meet your calling.
Why a tech career focused podcast?
Develomentor is inspired by conversations Grant had with his wife and son, William, about a career in tech. William can program, loves the arts, and has a knack for storytelling. Being a pragmatist, he began to look for a good computer science program and treating the art side as a hobby. But to Grant and his wife, something felt off. It’s not that they thought William wasn’t capable of doing computer science, they just felt like he was doing it for the wrong reasons. It felt like he was giving up his artistic side for a “good job”. Grant later mentioned there was a career out there called a Creative Director common in high tech companies. It’s a combination of user experience design, storytelling, graphic design and programming. In other words, art and tech. Neither William, nor his mom had ever heard of such a role. It turns out many others hadn’t either. In fact, many folks we talked to had never heard of many of the roles in tech companies that are well known to us on the inside.
The second inspiration for Develomentor comes from a harmful trend in the tech scene. Yes, we’re talking about the rapidly growing “cult of personality” around the programmer. Don’t get it wrong, we are all in favor of people learning how to code but there are other essential roles for building any company. When building Lucidworks, the four hires Grant credits the most with getting the team on the trajectory of growth are the CEO, the head of marketing, the head of sales and a Creative Director focused on user experience.
[1:43] Grant on his education and his introduction to computer science
[2:16] Grant’s early career
[3:35] Grant talks about his first job in natural language processing (NLP)
[4:10] How did Grant Ingersoll build his first search engine?
[4:43] How Lucidworks got started
[6:20] Why did Grant start Develomentor?
[6:35] Grant on helping his son pick out a career path
[9:02] Grant on society giving programmers too much credit
[10:00] Why it’s hard to build a company with only software engineers
“There is more to any tech company’s story than just the software and I want to present the whole picture”
“The four hires I credit the most with getting us on the trajectory of growth the company is now on are the CEO, the head of marketing, the head of sales and a Creative Director focused on user experience”
“Up until this point, my career had been fairly textbook, having worked my way up from a junior software engineer through to the senior level. Lucidworks shook all of that up, as I took on many different roles as one might expect when you start a company. On any given day in a startup you founded you might be talking to potential customers, writing a blog for marketing, or troubleshooting a support ticket”
“We really struggled launching until we found the right blend of people across a range of skills, not just software”
Learn about different careers in tech
Learn more about beowulf clusters:
Learn more about the programming language FORTRAN:
Learn more about Textwise:
Learn more about Lucene
Learn more about Lucidworks
Learn more about the Center of Natural Language Processing