Our “Life at New Relic” blog series continues with an interview featuring Rishi Mukhopadhyay, a Full-Stack Observability team Product Manager. His role focuses on helping customers reduce their time to value with New Relic by streamlining deployment. Rishi’s career has primarily focused on startups. Before joining New Relic, he co-founded and ran smartQED, an incident response startup, where he was also a New Relic customer. Read on to learn about Rishi’s perspectives on why he enjoys working at an innovative company that has a startup feel with the resources of a larger company.
New Relic: Is the “startup feel” something that attracted you to New Relic?
Rishi: The product and culture were the main things that drew me to the company. I was a customer and also built an integration into New Relic at my previous startup. I loved the product and value that New Relic provides customers. In addition, from everybody that I talked to and feedback on Glassdoor, it seemed like everyone had positive things to say about the company.
New Relic: What are some projects you’re working on that make you excited about your role and thinking ahead about where New Relic is going?
Rishi: My role entails thinking about how to make our deployment process as painless as possible for our customers, lower that time to value, and to try to give them that five minutes to joy. Right now, we’re evaluating some of the big strategic initiatives that we want to undertake during this quarter and even over the next year. We are looking at some large and very exciting initiatives that will involve my team and others within instrumentation and the Full-Stack Observability group as a whole. It’s extremely exciting to influence and drive these large initiatives that solve problems critical to New Relic’s business.
A lot of my day also involves meeting with our engineering team, talking to field-facing stakeholders like technical sales, doing research for our roadmap, and planning our day-to-day work. We have a pretty small, new team, so we evaluate our priorities and direction often to make sure that we’re on track and doing the most impactful work for our customers.
New Relic: You mentioned the team is fairly small. How do you all work together? Do you have any tips for working remotely? How has that transition been for you?
Rishi: There are pluses and minuses to being a small team. As a product manager, the challenge is that you have to constantly weigh how much you can accomplish and make sure that the work is scoped down into bite-sized pieces. The advantage is that with a small team, it’s easier to communicate and make sure everybody’s on the same page. We have embraced a culture of openness, embodying the connected value at New Relic. Whenever we come to a crossroads, or if we might disagree, we’re candid, and we err on the side of over-communicating rather than under-communicating. I think that’s tended to work well.
As far as the adjustment with COVID-19, I’m very used to working with distributed teams, so it hasn’t been a major adjustment in the way we work. Where we have had to adjust is being empathetic toward people’s personal needs. Some Relics are really going through major adjustments in their personal lives, like having to take care of kids at home, so I always try to put myself in the other person’s shoes to empathize with their challenges. Remaining flexible and adaptable has really paid off here.
New Relic: Given that you have experience working with distributed teams, do you have any tips to share?
Rishi: Ensure you have a good remote communication cadence and infrastructure, and that your team is comfortable using video conferencing. Err on the side of over-communicating with your leadership and your managers up and down the chain. If you don’t err on over-communicating, things might get missed, or people might be missing context. Being open and trying to stay as connected as possible goes a long way.
New Relic: Is there a particular project that you’ve worked on or an issue that you helped a customer solve that you’re proud of or stands out to you?
Rishi: We made incremental improvements to documentation, including documentation for our highest-value APM agents, particularly Java. The documentation was around helping customers deploy in containerized environments. That page has been receiving a lot of good feedback and is getting about 1,000 views every month. So that’s a small thing that we worked on, but I’m very proud of the value we were able to add to our customers.
Additionally, our team recently released an integration with Ansible, a configuration management tool, to deploy our Java agent. We’re very proud of that; we’re getting a decent number of downloads for that tooling. We’re also working with Ansible to co-market that integration.
From a personal perspective, I’ve really enjoyed working on understanding the pain points our customers face. Based on this understanding, I’m developing a vision around how to make New Relic extremely easy to deploy in the future. While it’s in its infancy, this vision is now getting leadership buy-in.
New Relic: Our company is at a growth stage. Is there anything that excites you about what’s on the radar for the future?
Rishi: The major improvements to New Relic One, with three simplified products and a pricing model that encourages adoption and is very closely aligned to customer value, really excites me. I’m also very excited that we’re planning to invest more in simplifying and improving our deployment experience to give customers the best possible onboarding experience with the least amount of effort.
The other portion that excites me about New Relic is its culture. With the mentorship and opportunities I have access to here, I feel that I have many ways to grow my career. I’m very much a people person, so I hope to grow into managing other product managers eventually. I think New Relic provides a really good path for me to do that.
New Relic: Is there anything we didn’t cover that you might want to share?
Rishi: The culture at New Relic is extremely special. I would recommend anybody work here, no matter where you fall in the corporate hierarchy: whether you are an individual contributor, an executive, or a mid-level manager. Every Relic’s opinion here is valued, and you’re going to be heard and have the opportunity to impact the company in meaningful ways.
Being a public company with a team of more than 2,000 people in over 10 geographies, we’re not small anymore. But culturally, New Relic still feels like a startup. We enjoy the benefits of the “startup feel,” such as having easy access to leadership with little bureaucracy, having a degree of autonomy and freedom in the work we do, and a degree of openness atypical of organizations our size. Also, we have the benefit of having access to a larger organization’s resources, which makes New Relic truly a special place to work.
If Rishi’s story inspires you, check out our opportunities. We’re hiring across geographies and 14 departments, from Engineering and Finance to Sales and Technical Support.