Tony Kipkemboi
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I am Leaving Data Engineering for Developer Relations

I am Leaving Data Engineering for Developer Relations

I am excited to join Streamlit🎈 at Snowflake❄️ as a Developer Relations Associate.

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Tony Kipkemboi
·Nov 9, 2022·

6 min read

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Table of contents

  • My Time in the Military
  • Transition to Private Sector
  • Why Pivot to Developer Relations?
  • Why Streamlit🎈 at Snowflake❄️?

I am stepping away from my Data Engineering role at Booz Allen Hamilton and joining Snowflake as a Developer Relations Associate working on Streamlit.

I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to work with an open-source tool that I am passionate about and a great team.

First, let me take you back to where it all started👇🏿.

My Time in the Military

I served in the U.S. Army for seven years before transitioning out in September 2021. Apart from being a soldier, my Military Occupational Specialty (a.k.a. MOS)—think job title—was a Medical Laboratory Technician.

med-tech_new-grad.jpg Credit: labscientists.wordpress.com/medical-laborat..

In my first four years of service, I worked at a military health center with daily tasks; checking-in patients, making blood smears, streak-plating bacterial cultures, packaging samples for shipment, and phlebotomy.

My final three years were at a military research institute (USAMRIID). It is during my time here that I found my interest in coding. I worked in Genomics for my assignment and got the chance to interface with Bioinformaticians using Python to analyze the genomic data that I and other research assistants generated from the wet lab. I will save the granular details for another article.

Serving in the military gave me many wonderful experiences and an education to be appreciated. The valuable experiences I acquired while serving will stay with me forever.

Transition to Private Sector

I knew it was time to transition out of the military early in my last tour of service. I remember feeling very stressed and lost between late 2019 and April 2020. The military is all I had known for seven years, and that was my first job.

mos-skill-translator.jpg Credit: veteranlife.com/lifestyle/veteran-memes

I entertained the idea of pursuing medicine as a career after service since that was my goal for a long time. After shadowing several doctors, I decided that was not for me anymore.

I gave tech a chance while working in Genomics and interacting with the Bioinformaticians who urged me to continue learning and even gave me simple automation project ideas I could implement at work, motivating me to learn Python. A few months of self-teaching went by, and after applying to grad school, I got my acceptance to the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters in Computer and Information Technology.

Six months before my transition, I had the opportunity to intern at Merck & Co. as a Data Engineer. I had a fantastic supervisor who was very supportive and still is to this date. During my internship, I was interviewing for a role at Bloomberg L.P., where I got an offer and had to relocate to the New York City area. I could not have found a better landing coming out of the military.

My time at Bloomberg was pivotal to my journey, and I need a dedicated article to cover all the highlights. Working at Bloomberg was my first tech role and first private sector job. I made great friends and learned much about the financial markets and data. Due to family and personal reasons, we had to relocate out of the area; tl;dr raising a child in the city is not easy for us folks used to open spaces and quietness.

I found my next role with Booz Allen Hamilton as a Data Engineer. Working in the government consulting space was a little familiar from my time in service, and like anything in the government, things moved a little slower compared to the private sector. I enjoyed the teamwork and the flexibility to learn new technologies like cloud services.

Why Pivot to Developer Relations?

Up to this point in my tech career, I have focused on continuous learning by building side projects on top of my day job. In late 2021, I started a YouTube channel where I create blockchain and python tutorials. I have since started writing articles and taking speaking engagements to share my journey and coding workshops.

Honestly, I have felt happier letting my thoughts pour out in written and video format. I enjoy teaching and aspire to break down technical concepts into digestible bits, especially for newbies.

What is Developer Relations (”DevRel”)? You might wonder. DevRel is an umbrella with different roles within it, such as:

  • Developer Experience (DevX)
  • Developer Advocate
  • Developer Evangelist
  • Developer Marketing

From the roles above, you can deduce that DevRel is a multifaceted role sitting at the intersection of engineering, product, and marketing.

devrel_venn_1.png

DevRel scope of responsibility vary by company, but you can expect to have work on a combination of writing documentation and articles, building tools and code samples, video content production, speaking at conferences, and helping developer with blockers they encounter via channels like Stack Overflow and Reddit to name a few. DevRel enables organizations to collect user input, creating a feedback loop mechanism that helps improve the product for the users.

Why Streamlit🎈 at Snowflake❄️?

TL;DR: Streamlit;

  • It is an open-source app Python library that makes it easy to create and share beautiful, custom web apps for machine learning and data science.
  • It turns data scripts into shareable web apps in minutes.
  • All in pure Python.
  • No front-end experience is required!

Streamlit video demo: streamlit.io

In this video, Adrien Treuille, Head of Streamlit at Snowflake, demonstrates how to build interactive apps in Snowflake using Streamlit.

When I started learning Python in 2020, I found that I needed to make my projects interactive and user-facing. Naturally, I tried using Flask and Django, but it was a bit painful as a newbie. I stumbled upon Streamlit, and since then, it has been my go-to module. Here are some of the apps I have built using Streamlit;

My MVRV app was featured in Streamlit Weekly Roundup in March and got fantastic stickers and a hand-written letter; these hardly come by these days!

streamlit_app.jpg

Considering my career path and interests, being a DevRel for Streamlit at Snowflake is an exciting and obvious decision.

I am excited to work alongside a talented team that includes one of my favorite data content creators Chanin Nantasenamat, a.k.a. “The Data Professor.” I recommend you subscribe to his YouTube channel.

If you are new to Python or a seasoned developer looking to start with Streamlit, I recommend you start here. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect with me anytime.

Happy Streamlit-ing🎈

 
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