Progress people bring diverse experiences to the table and make Progress a special place to work. In this post, meet Sam Basu, a senior developer advocate at Progress.
Growing up, Sam wanted to be a cricketer—or a pilot; but his love of technology won the day. That, and a passion for fast cars. Let’s learn why Sam loves working at Progress.
From a young age growing up in India, I was passionate about computers and gaming, always wanting to understand how it all worked. I wondered, “How do I actually make things move?” I naturally gravitated towards a degree in Computer Science. Throughout pursuing my Masters in the US, and my 15-year career in technology, this is all I ever wanted to do for a living.
I used to be a software consultant, working with variety of clients across many industry verticals. I started using Telerik products and invested a lot of time to learn the underlying technologies. When things fell short or did not work, I absolutely made my feelings known. Because I knew a few employees, eventually someone said, “Stop complaining and come fix it with us.” It was an exciting opportunity, so I jumped onboard.
I joined as a trainer and started teaching customers about Kendo UI and Telerik technologies. I would go in-person to an enterprise for a whole week, spending eight hours a day with their developers trying to get them to be as productive as possible with our products. It’s energizing to be with passionate people who want to learn more.
Early on in my career, I started speaking at various technology user groups/conferences, and really enjoyed those experiences. I had social presence and wrote a lot about technologies I was passionate about, so over time built a personal brand. The developer relations team (we call them DevRel) at Progress invited me to come work with them; it’s been seven years and counting.
Developer relations (DevRel) is often seen as the conduit between the product team, the customers and the bigger developer community. Most technology companies who build products for developer audiences see DevRel as an indispensable part of the overall strategy to open the sales funnel and increase product awareness. Those of us in DevRel typically bring solid technical clout and have a history of being independent voices who are also skilled storytellers. We constantly “dog food” our own solutions and provide candid feedback to product engineering. We share our developer experiences with fellow developers in the community and weave our products into the overall success story. We listen to developer needs, stay on the bleeding edge of technology and advise on product roadmaps. And even though DevRel teams are now known and familiar in the software space, my parents still do not understand what I do.
I have to say, the exposure and opportunities you get as a developer advocate are pretty exciting. We get to talk to developers from every walk of life across various industries and see the amazing solutions folks build with our products. The breadth of technologies/products you get to be passionate about is also great. We also get to invest in the developer community and build a network of friendly voices who can amplify our message.
Every developer learns differently, each having preferred formats to consume information. As developer advocates, we have to reach audiences “where they are,” across a wide variety of outlets. So, a typical day varies widely depending on what we’re trying to produce. Each day I could be creating a piece of content, writing or playing with new product features/upcoming technology or doing something concrete to nurture developer success. Our cameras/microphones are often on overdrive: producing video content, delivering webinars or live streaming as we code. So, a typical day really varies, but it keeps things interesting.
Often our days are full of meetings and non-stop context switching. For me, 9 to 11 p.m. is the sweet spot for pure creativity: dinner is done, our kid is in bed and there are no distractions or hard end times. The calmness of the night gets those creative juices flowing!
I am a big family man, and love spending time with my wife and kid. With children, the time we spend together is often the best thing we can do for them. It helps build memories. I am also a big foodie and love culinary adventures with my wife. The pandemic has made us cook a lot more than usual and we have enjoyed experimenting. I’m also into fast cars, and a big fan of German engineering. We can all have a little fun while keeping things safe. Looking forward to switching to all-electric sports cars soon— same excitement without the bucket full of guilt. And as kiddo grows up, I’m also getting back into video games a little and gearing up for years of fun together.
People matter. The folks that you work with really matter. Technologies come and go, but what stays with us are the experiences we have with people. The right team makes us start our work day enthusiastically, and strive to achieve more because of the exceptional work we see around us. Also, integrity matters. When we do our best with honesty, the rest often falls in place favorably.
We all spend a big chunk of our days working and to be good at what we do; work has to align with what makes us happy. I really appreciate the flexibility we have at Progress to choose our passion and make an impact on the wider developer community. It is hard to fake enthusiasm, and to that end, I’m really proud of the products we make. We are also living in an era of increased social awareness and the need for fairness for all. It is really good to have an employer that cares strongly about inclusion and diversity. It all comes down to treating everybody with respect and doing the right thing. That's what we do at Progress, and that's what makes me #ProgressProud.
To get to know other Progressers like Sam, read more of our Progress employee interviews here.
An all-around fabulous marketing veteran of both corporate and nonprofit sectors, and principal at Media Goddess Inc., Paulette is an enthusiastic champion of the written word. She has a strong background in content marketing, writing and strategy, and was also an award-winning media buyer-planner for top brands.
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