about me

Grizzy Peak Overpass. Jaunary 2020. Berkeley, CA. © Jayson J. Phillips

Well, before dive in on my story, let me start this off with a disclaimer:

The views expressed on this site are solely those of myself, and are not necessarily representive of nor endorsed by my employer, business partners or any other firm I may have a relationship with, professional or otherwise, unless explicitly stated.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get on with the about page.

If you want a nice, neat, tl;dr, then peep my /now page to see what I'm up to, well, now. Otherwise, read on.

By day, I'm the Senior Director of Product Engineering @ honeycomb.io, working on empowering the product engineering teams to build experiences that delight for all things observability. I find joy in helping people find their own pathways into a software development career, especially given that my own path was quite indirect (more on that in a bit). I've spoken a couple of times about parts of this journey, and always welcome opportunities to do, especially if it can be of service of growth and development.

Now, as for how I ended up in tech in the first place, well, here's where the "unconventional path" starts. I've always had a love for art and music. I specialized in Fine Art (Photography) in high school, before eventually deciding to major in Math and Computer Science in college. After about 5 semesters, I dropped both majors and enrolled in a piloting hybrid degree program that was a BS in Computer Graphics and Imaging. Then, I took a leave of absence when I got the opportunity to go on the road with Scratch DJ Academy as a tour liaison, stage/sound engineer, and would soak up and practice DJing with some of the dopest DJs I knew who were at Scratch. It was there that I got my first web developer gig, as an Assistant Webmaster.

Eventually, I would choose to further my web development career and put school on hold - indefinitely. I used to jokingly tell folks I went to the University of Barnes & Noble - throughout the first years of my career, I would consume books on HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and Actionscript in their cafes and buy the top three that I felt best aligned with my learning style... every. week. (E-Readers made this a much more sustainable and environmentally-conscious way to do this circa 2010).

I've also become somewhat of an activity junkie: to date, I've run in 20 Half Marathons (completed 19) across 9 states and 2 countries, I've ridden in 2 100 miler cycling rides (and a couple of metric century rides in Montreal, QC), I've run a few Ragnar Relay races, a couple of Super Spartan races, a couple of Rugged Maniac mud runs, and 1 duathlon (Run/Bike/Run). I'm currently getting ready for my 2020 season, which has exactly ZERO pre-planned races, so it'll be fun this year to just have a solid training base and do an event whenever I feel like it.

In a nutshell, that's me. Feel free to drop by here if you'd like to take a gander at my work history, or here if you'd like to do so on LinkedIn, or here if you'd like to connect over 140s and hashtags.

Last updated on Monday, November 28th 2022