We are excited to introduce to you the Employee Member of the Month for May - Mateusz Marek.
@mateusz_marek from the Dynatrace Gdansk Lab is a Senior Software Engineer & Product Owner who does his best to understand customer needs. By using Community, he gets to know Dynatrace users better, learns about their pain points, and gathers feedback about existing functionalities or a new one that they would love to have in a product.
Read the article to know his story and to see how listening to what Dynatrace users have to say can help to develop better solutions for customers.
Can you tell a little bit about your professional life?
Sometime before finishing my Master of Science in Software Engineering degree, I applied for a job at Compuware, which owned Dynatrace at that time. It was almost 10 years ago.
I have started as a Software Engineer in the PHP Agent team. After a few years, I moved to the OS Agent team where I have taken over process grouping. Then my responsibilities expanded to reading information about processes and OS services monitoring. With help from my colleagues, the Process Discovery team was created – we are the team responsible for all things related to processes and technologies detection and reporting. I perform the duties of a Software Engineer and Product Owner for my team.
What is your role in the company and what do you do in your job?
As a Product Owner, I am making sure that new features my team prepares are high quality and fulfill users’ needs for the best infrastructure and performance monitoring, they can get on the market.
To achieve that it is important to have direct communication with our users and gather as much feedback as possible. On every occasion possible. Even when dealing with issues reported by the users, it is good to ask, what can we do, beyond fixing the problem, to improve the experience you have with our tools. Faster and more detailed feedback allows us to improve our product and make it more suitable for users' needs which results to even more feedback for the development team. This is a great positive feedback loop.
I am also trying to anticipate what users may need from our product before there is any feedback about it. Like the need for Linux/systemD services monitoring, when only customer requests were pointing only to Windows services. This allowed us to prepare for the next iteration of existing functionalities, even before feedback came back after the first release or adding completely new features, which are yet to come.
Anticipating needs, as opposed to just waiting for what is coming, allows us to reduce the time to release new functionalities.
What do you like the most about the Dynatrace platform?
For obvious reasons, I like the area which I am helping develop most – process monitoring.
It provides insight into what is happening to the host. What types of processes are running there, when they were started and when stopped, how much resources they have consumed, and if there was an unexpected crash of a process or some service stopped running and wasn’t recovered by the operating system. By providing our customers with those tools and delivering the crucial and necessary data we are helping them to make sure their infrastructure is always up and running.
Have you ever had any interesting use case for the Dynatrace platform that you found to be particularly intriguing?
Not specifically use case for Dynatrace platform, but more of a behind a scene type of story.
A few years after I started my career, I was going through PHP/Zend Engine source code to check if there is some interesting stuff not exposed by the official PHP monitoring API. After some digging, I got into code responsible for the execution built-in PHP functions, which gave me an idea of how to reduce the overhead of PHP agent. Long story short, after a few weeks and some long hours in the office, mainly due to inconsistency between how Zend Engine handled single- and multi-threaded environments, I prepared a PHP agent which had CPU overhead lowered by half, compared to the previous version.
What brought you to our community?
During one of the regular meetings for the developers that take place in Dynatrace a presentation about what Dynatrace Community is about was carried out. We obtained the information on what value we can find there and how it can help us to develop better solutions for customers. We have learned tools to gather feedback from our users, especially in my mind stayed option of using the “Dynatrace product ideas” part and the “Feedback channel” subforum.
Why do you think it’s worth being a part of the Dynatrace Community? Why do you contribute to the Community?
If more detailed information or open discussions is needed, we can always schedule individual meetings with the users. Community allows us also to have previews of incoming functionalities for the most involved users, DynaMights - the group of the most engaged and knowledgeable members of the Dynatrace Community, who provide crucial feedback, content, and improvements to the Dynatrace platform and the self-service around it.
Such meetings allow us to hear directly from the users. How they are using the software we are creating and what are the problems they are facing. I take that feedback and pass it on to the development team. It is very encouraging, as it shows we are not doing our job in a vacuum. To have this human connection with the person on the other side of the production pipeline.
And how about your life outside the IT – what is your biggest passion?
After work, I take care of my dog. He is 3.5 years old Samoyed with severe hip dysplasia, discovered at age of 3 months. Samoyeds are a very energetic breed, yet the disability of my dog prevents him from enjoying his life to the fullest. So, I am trying to substitute his playdates with other dogs, with more stationary plays and mind games.
There are so many dependencies that have an impact on the final product and its partial features that are released to customers. I truly believe that constant focus on value and delivering fit-for-use solutions wanted by customers will make Dynatrace users’ eyes shine. 😊
Mateusz, we are very happy to see that you perceive the Community with all its amazing members as one of the important places that help you to manage the product backlog and prioritized the list of requirements for future product development and release.