New Relic User Group meetups are your chance to hear informative tech talks as well as network and connect with other members of the New Relic user community in your area. They’re also a great way to get to know the New Relic team, especially the person largely responsible for running these invaluable events: community events manager Jackson de Oliveira.
To give you a look at the man behind the scenes, we sat down with Jackson, who joined New Relic this summer, to ask him about his background and what he hopes New Relic users can gain from attending our User Group meetups.
New Relic: Can you tell us a little bit about your personal background?
Jackson de Oliveira: I’m a Brazilian-American from North Carolina—and a devout automotive enthusiast. I hold degrees in international business and entrepreneurship. My thesis was about project management of digital goods and services in teams of less than 25 people. Both professionally and personally, my favorite challenge is solving problems. That’s the short version.
New Relic: What were you doing before joining New Relic?
New Relic: What drew you to the position of community events manager?
Jackson: I love interacting with people. Communities are what I love—no one can do it alone, and it’s important for people to interact to make things happen. I always enjoy sharing knowledge, and connecting people is part of that. Bringing people together lets us create great things.
New Relic: What kinds of things are you responsible for in this position?
Jackson: I often joke that my job is getting people in a room and giving them drinks. It’s not far off, but there’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. In this position I’m responsible for meetups that happen in our San Francisco offices as well as any New Relic User Groups that happen on the road. I work with meetup organizers in the community to extend New Relic’s reach outside of our direct ecosystem. We love having open source software and hardware communities visit our space, as well as supporting our partners. It’s all part of New Relic being a good citizen in the software community.
When we’re talking about New Relic User Groups (NRUGs), I handle all the moving parts. From sourcing a venue all the way to cleanup after the event, I need to make sure everything goes as planned, or as close to it as possible.
It’s also important for me to be accessible to everyone in the community, so I am often the liaison for your concerns as it relates to the product. If you need an answer, I want to make sure you get it.
New Relic: Do you bring any unique skills or qualities to the job?
Jackson: I like to think that my diverse background and interactions with people enables me to talk with anyone. I’m natively fluent in English and Portuguese; I can find my way home in a German-speaking country; and I can just about order a croque-monsieur in French. Language is one of my passions, and I believe it helps me understand cultural norms. If you’re curious, I can teach you a number of untranslatable words, and how to say “cheers” about 15 different ways.
New Relic: Can you tell us more about the New Relic User Groups? Who attends them and what happens at these events?
Jackson: A NRUG is a place to share best practices, learn new techniques, and ask questions. They’re a huge source of knowledge for experts and beginners alike. People use New Relic in many ways, and it’s important for users to see other use cases for inspiration to improve their own techniques.
The NRUGs are pretty informal, and full of two-way communication. If you have issues, it’s my responsibility to pair you with the solution, or the person with the solution.
New Relic: What kind of guest speakers do these events feature, and what do they talk about?
Jackson: Guest speakers at NRUGs are users of New Relic. They share their stories and knowledge to educate other users. We’ve had presenters talk about how New Relic really saved their bacon, or what the install process was like for their particular shop. The presentations are short and informal, usually just 15 minutes. Often the Q&A is the most interesting part—tough and interesting questions get asked, and they’re covered in detail with the help of other knowledgeable people in the room. I’ve seen the venue come alive with diverse takes on solving a problem.
New Relic: What cities are you visiting this year? Are there plans to expand to new cities in the future?
Jackson: In the next couple of months I’m headed to Atlanta, Austin, and Denver, then Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, and possibly a few more cities. If we haven’t visited your city yet, send me a message and we’ll try to make it happen.
New Relic: What if New Relic users want to organize and host their own events?
Jackson: Right now there are a few New Relic User Groups that are entirely run by the community. We provide support and help ensure that they’re well stocked with food, beverages, and New Relic swag. But you don’t have to jump into organizing an entire user group: If you’re interested in helping out (or just telling us what food to order when a NRUG happens in your city), feel free to drop me a line.
New Relic: What can we expect down the road?
Jackson: We have a few things in the works, including the possibility of holding online user groups to build and expand communities in places we can’t visit regularly. If you’d like to participate in that, shoot me an email and request one. We’ll work with you on providing food for the evening and answer your technical questions. You can share what you’ve been working on and learn how we can help.
Interested in speaking at our next event or setting up a New Relic User Group in your city? Drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: Event dates, speakers, and schedules are subject to change without notice.