Robin Schumacher

Robin Schumacher

VP, Product

Why I joined Netdata

by | Nov 23, 2020 | Blog, Culture, Product

Although it happened a long time ago, I remember it like it was yesterday.

That probably has to do with the particular circumstance I found myself in at the time. I had my then one-year-old daughter with me; it was semi-late in the evening on a Saturday night; and I was just leaving with her in the car with carry-out food from one of those quickie-Italian places that kids love.

Back then, I was one of only two DBAs with the largest utility company in my state, which is to say my life was, how shall I put it, prickly. That’s because, whenever an app/system starts to slow down or something chokes, the first thing everyone blames (usually) is the database and the person who takes care of it.

Just as I’m pulling out of the restaurant, I get a call from one of the company’s primary biz/app owners. Now as you probably know, some of these folks cry wolf a lot, but others (like her) don’t, and if she’s calling me on a Saturday night, I know something ugly is happening.

She’s semi-frantic and telling me that it looks like an app upgrade she’s overseen is blowing up in her face. She’s scared, mad, wanting to be anywhere but at work, and looking for a lifeline to make the pain go away.

I’m betting that if you’re reading this, you’ve had this happen to you. Probably lots of times.

Because I’ve gone through these kinds of struggles, and get the pain of IT pros who have to make all the magic happen behind the scenes (i.e., make a complicated software stack work and sing together in perfect harmony), I decided to join Netdata. I love the fact that Netdata’s goal is to simplify the unsimplified (is that really a word?) where troubleshooting apps is concerned and untangle the almost-always complicated web of exonerating the innocent and implicating the guilty in a system that’s not performing.

Doing that is not easy, especially in today’s distributed, hybrid-cloud world where apps run everywhere and not only have to stay online 100% of the time, but constantly maintain stringent performance SLAs because, with the competition just a click away today, slow systems lose money for companies every bit as much as down systems.

I’m looking forward to working with you and the talented folks at Netdata to make the awesome troubleshooting and monitoring you love even better. Always feel free to drop me a line about what you love/hate/want where our offerings are concerned.

So what happened with the upgrade issue I described above?

Realize first that I had to diagnose things quickly because the situation was standing between my one-year old and her spaghetti, and the longer it took, the louder she got. I pulled over into a grocery store parking lot and got started.

I didn’t have Netdata to help, so I had to do things the old fashioned way of question-and-answer with the biz/app owner. Turns out it wasn’t the database (naturally), but was in the app server, which wasn’t my domain; however, I was still able to lead her through restarting things. And when done, voilà, the waters parted and the system ran like a Dodge Challenger Hellcat.

If I’d had Netdata, I’m sure my daughter would have gotten to her pasta much quicker, but luckily, you have it to help you today. If you haven’t downloaded our Agent and gotten started with it and Netdata Cloud, then stop reading this and go do that now. Also make sure you visit our excellent docs, which will have you up to speed on everything Netdata offers in no time.