On Getting into Writing

I took Writing The Essay, the equivalent of a freshman writing seminar, my first year at NYU. I got straight Bs until I finally figured it out on my last, suspiciously lengthy exposition of Bell Hooks and transcendentalism. Now I write about developer tools, which is only slightly different. 

Most of the things I’ve written have been completely ignored by everyone, which I think might be what forges good writers. For everything I’ve gotten to the front page of HackerNews, there’s a tweet with 4 likes sitting in the trash can. They say rejection gets easier, which I am still looking forward to!  

On Marketing to Technical Audiences

The secret (hint: not a secret) to marketing to developers is the same as marketing to anyone: understand your audience, help your audience. Developers are practical, solution-oriented, and like specifics.

Any success I’ve had doing developer marketing is rooted in being a developer, albeit a bad one. I did Data Science in undergrad, and since then have been a mostly self-taught full stack developer. You need to stay fresh, no matter what; for me that has meant building marketing site pages, making small commits to the frontend, and picking up side projects outside of work, basically whatever I can do without breaking things. Former coworkers will attest to my uncanny ability to break things anyway – ask me about how I got Retool kicked off of Mailgun.

On Working at Amplify

My job at Amplify is to help founders get their product in front of developers and data teams, ideally to critical acclaim. Before Amplify, I worked the gamut at technical startups, from blog writing to community management to growth. I’ve seen some impressive bottoms-up operations firsthand and helped build others myself from scratch. You can count on me for help with getting your first website live, building out a blog that’s genuinely interesting, starting your community, writing your first quickstart doc; pretty much anything that involves words and technical teams. And perhaps most critically, I will make jokes in Google Docs comments.

On Life Outside of Work

I’m big into hobbies. I’ve been playing guitar for most of my adult life, and I think music is probably my higher calling. I’ve got a decent little axe collection starting to form. I like biking and running long distances (#checkmystrava), making fancy drinks at the home bar, and reading anything at the modernist / magic realism intersection. And like many of the other members of the Amplify team, I am, shall we say, well versed in the Seinfeld universe.