Instaclustr Insights provide meaningful insights into team members work life. This time it is Alwyn Davis, Technical Director. Alwyn is based out of the Canberra office.
What does your role at Instaclustr entail?
I’m a Technical Director and my job mostly focuses on managing many of our technical projects. I provide architectural direction and steer the overall implementation of projects such as generalizing cluster provisioning, building out our managed Kafka service, and achieving PCI certification – to name a few recent projects.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m the lead for our Dev Tools, Standards, and Security Team, so we usually start the day with a standup meeting where we talk through our current tasks and touch on any blockers. After that, I’ll probably attend a few meetings and, in-between those, assist my colleagues in any way that I can.
We’re pretty informal at Instaclustr, so I’ll often be fielding questions from other developers or wandering around asking them questions of my own. When I need to focus on my own tasks, I’ll generally find a quiet, out-of-the-way spot for a couple of hours.
How’d you first get interested in a technology career?
A family friend showed me the Gorilla game in QBasic one day, and I was hooked. I was just amazed that a bunch of words could be translated into something so entertaining. It’s still a top-notch game!
And your formal education followed in that path?
I did get an IT degree, but I’d have to say that I always learnt the most through hands-on experience and being around people who are smarter than me. I’m always grateful for the various guidance and inspiration that others gave me as I began my career, and I try to pay that forward as much as I can.
When did you join Instaclustr – and why?
I joined Instaclustr in 2015, just after we received our first round of investment from the ANU. I was drawn to Instaclustr because I wanted to be a part of a place that provided real value – something that people needed and that we would be exceptional at providing. Working here has been rewarding, challenging, invigorating, and sometimes exhausting. But we have consistently met the goals we have set for ourselves, and it’s been an exciting place to work.
What’s been your favorite part about Instaclustr since joining?
Without a doubt, the camaraderie. Since my first days here, I have found that my colleagues were always readily willing to help with ideas, testing, and deployment – and even challenging my approach. To be honest, I have learnt some valuable lessons in humility!
In your opinion, what makes someone a good fit to be a technical director?
Being curious, a willingness to question yourself and others, and a genuine respect for your teammates. It also doesn’t hurt to have a healthy appreciation for a solid meme at the boss’ expense…