Why I Joined Loft

Lukas Gentele
Lian Li
4 min read

My career in tech started out with PHP & Web development. I think I was an ok engineer, I could learn new concepts and languages given some time, but I just never really had a burning passion for the frameworks and technologies I was using.

In 2015, I went along to JSUnconf in Hamburg, a community event which was organized by some of my colleagues and proposed a lightning talk. I mentioned this was my very first time on stage and the audience was incredibly supportive. After four years working in tech, this was the first time I felt like I belonged.

Over the years, I spoke at more and more events, which also gave me the opportunity to travel around the world and meet new people. There was not a single community that didn’t welcome me with open arms. The more experienced speakers would gladly offer their time and advice to help me improve myself as a speaker, but also a member of the community.

In 2018, I felt I had reached a point in my career where I wanted to switch it up in my day job, work with a more diverse set of people and projects and share my knowledge. So I decided to move to Amsterdam and join a Cloud Native consultancy.

At this time, I didn’t even know what Kubernetes was. I went from Senior Developer to Junior Consultant, but this time around, I knew what I could and what I wanted to do.

bird’s perspective of a container ship being unloaded

Before I learned about Kubernetes, I had dabbled a bit in DevOps. In all honesty, I started doing it, so I could make some extra cash being on-call. Whenever there was an issue, I’d execute some Puppet scripts, but I didn’t know what I was doing and why. And now I was supposed to consult our customers on whether they should be using this technology.

While I studied for my CKA exam, I learned about the concepts behind Kubernetes and started to understand how powerful it was - not only as a platform to run containers on, but as a universal API to do really anything you want. I believe that, while Kubernetes won’t solve all your problems, it will give you a head start by using or building products that can help you get there faster. Also, the Cloud Native community is a great place to be right now with many people supporting newcomers, creating lots of free resources and solid financial backing by various huge organizations.

I really enjoyed evangelizing our customers about Kubernetes, showing them how it could help them be more independent and empowering developers through education and advocating for investments into developer tooling.

Looking back now, I think DevRel is the role I have always been headed towards throughout my career, but this was the time when it all came together for me.

#Why Loft?

After some time consulting with different customers, I felt I was ready to take on the big job and apply to become a Developer Advocate. By now, I was convinced that I wanted to help spread the gospel of developer tooling on Kubernetes, so I reached out to a couple of companies I knew were working on awesome tools in the space.

I took my first steps as Developer Advocate at Tilt (now part of Docker), a team of passionate folks who take great care in Developer Experience. During my time there, I learned a lot about engaging with an open source community, which in retrospect excellently prepared me for my next step.

What I really liked about Loft, was that they work on multiple projects, addressing common problems developers were facing, from different perspectives. Enabling self-service multi-tenancy through cloud native tools like vcluster and DevSpace feels like one of these things that are so obvious once they exist, but someone had to think of them first.

Even more exciting was the idea to be working with Rich Burroughs, a seasoned Developer Advocate. I had been following him on Twitter for years, and was looking forward to learning from him.

And finally, one of the biggest motivators for me is my desire to expand my impact and help build something from the ground up. In my past, I had helped members of underrepresented or marginalized groups become first time speakers and started the ServerlessDays community in Amsterdam. Joining a small startup where DevRel is still somewhat of a blank canvas just seemed like an ideal fit.

At the time of this writing, I have had the chance to meet most of the team in person at our after KubeCon company retreat, and I already feel like I’ve been part of the team for months. I am looking forward to help spread the word about the cool stuff we are building and the awesome people behind Loft.

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