With all the hype around APIs this week, we thought we’d chat with Dillon Compton, Product Manager for API Platform and Tools. Read on to learn about his transition from engineering to product marketing, his award-winning grocery bagging skills, and the challenges he faces here at MuleSoft.
First thought that came to mind when you looked into the mirror today?
- Why am I awake this early? Seriously, it was 5am.
How did you find MuleSoft?
- A friend of mine recruited me to join his project at MuleSoft, and I quickly became enamored.
How did you first get interested in your field?
- I’ve always loved computers and got into coding in high school, and in college did an internship with a major software company. My first week I shipped code to production that is used by millions of people a day, and from that moment on I was hooked on software. Once I became a Software Engineer I realized that I cared more about the solutions we were creating than the code that was powering them, so I transitioned into Product Management.
What exactly do you do?
- I help MuleSoft conceive of and develop new products around APIs.
How was the interview process?
- It was very straightforward! The funniest piece was that I hadn’t ‘formally’ applied for a job at MuleSoft yet when my interviews were scheduled, so I found out I was interviewing about 12 hours before the first interview!
What was your first job?
- I was an award-winning bagger at a grocery store. Literally award-winning. I won 2nd place in the state bagging competition my first year, and was one of the fastest in the country.
What’s a typical day like for you?
- My days mostly consist of writing feature specs and working with engineers, designers, customers, and key stakeholders to gather requirements, conceive of and design new products and features, get them built, and finally evangelize them to the community and market. I also spend time working to build an open source developer community around the RAML ecosystem.
What are you currently working on?
- I’m working a lot on tools for the RAML specification, as well as several other components of our Anypoint Platform for APIs.
Biggest challenge of the day?
- Figuring out how to bootstrap an open source developer community.
Best perk of being at MuleSoft?
- Working alongside extremely smart, genuine, hard-working people. The super sweet office and flexible vacation policy aren’t bad either.
Biggest challenge since you’ve been at MuleSoft?
- We’re growing extremely aggressively, and there are a lot of challenges around building products at an organization in the process of scaling. The biggest has probably been working with a distributed team split across multiple products, on an aggressive schedule, while balancing competing priorities.
What’s something new you learned today/while being at MuleSoft?
- How to design and build products when developers are your primary users
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
- Ask for forgiveness, not permission
- Reading a book or two, spending time outside, going out for brunch or drinks with friends, and doing woodwork and metalwork as often as possible.
Most embarrassing moment?
- I was flying back to the east coast to visit family, and showed up to the airport with a boarding pass almost a full day before my flight. I got into the security line and they wouldn’t let me through. After several frustrated conversations with the TSA and airline, I realized that my boarding pass wasn’t wrong – I’d put the wrong flight in my calendar.
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you do?
- I’d be a teacher, or a professional blacksmith.
If you could have any pet in the world, what would you want?
- Flying Squirrel, or a Puma.
Favorite karaoke song?
- Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
Anything else you’d like to share with us?!
- Come on – I need to maintain SOME level of mystery. You already know I’ll belt out some Journey at a Karaoke night; you’ll need to come to MuleSoft and meet me in person to learn the rest of my embarrassing secrets.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Muley post! As always, let us know in the comments below if you’d like to heard from a particular team or if you have any questions you’d like to ask our Muleys. Be sure to check back next week for another exciting post!