Meet the Engineer-Turned-Product Manager: Eva Andreasson
In this installment of “Meet the Engineer”, meet Eva Andreasson (@EvaAndreasson), a former Java programmer currently working with Cloudera engineers as the product manager for CDH.
What do you do at Cloudera?
Although I have an engineering background and a past as a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) coder, I actually do not work as an engineer presently. Rather, I work very closely with engineering every day, as product manager for many of the components in CDH (Cloudera’s open-source distribution of Apache Hadoop and related projects).
One of my main responsibilities in this role is to understand customer needs and expectations, gather valuable use cases and in various ways translate them into clear, prioritized feature requirements. I often discuss technical problems with engineering teams, support, and field teams, and weigh in on issues that need to be solved to ensure successful projects. In addition, I spend a lot of time with customers, partners and other teams within Cloudera to communicate goals, direction and intent. I also collect feedback and ideas to ensure the best possible product feature value, usability, and impact.
I sometimes jokingly tell others that my job is to predict the future, and in a way I do that – by helping ensure that CDH will contain the features and functionality our customers and users will ask for next.
Why do you enjoy your job?
I really enjoy my work at Cloudera for many reasons. First and foremost, I appreciate the people here. They are bright, honest and almost everyone possesses a can-do attitude. Every level of the company has a sane approach to problem solving and has a great sense of achievable clear goals, which is key to any organization’s success, in my opinion. In addition, it makes me happy to see great people achieve fantastic results.
On a personal level I also get to learn a lot of new things through the opportunity to work with a quickly emerging technology, which directly impacts how enterprises do business and make decisions tomorrow.
In particular I like to dive into how people are using and find value from Hadoop. Interaction is key if people and businesses will be successful in their mission of getting more value out of their data. I have a special passion for the end user and making sure Hadoop is easy to understand and consume, as I truly believe technologies like this will help change the world.
Just think about how much medical research can be done quicker by processing more data across much larger data input sets? And think about how we can find new ways to optimize flight and traffic routs to spare the environment as well as fuel costs? Or how we can help improve education or military physical training by detecting patterns across student data or exersize injury data? All these big questions is what makes me feel my work is important and how Cloudera will play an important role in a bigger than Cloudera mission.
At what age did you become interested and programming, and why?
I started coding when I was 19, and if I remember correctly, the reason was that I didn’t like the computer games available at the time. I thought I would develop the first game in the world that adapted difficulty level based on your choices and interactions – dynamically. A game that would learn as you learned the game.
I might not be there yet, but the last 10+ years have definitely given me so much fun coding (especially when I used to code garbage collection), experimenting with SOA and Cloud, working with distributed caches, web servers, and profiling tools (and even prototyping one or two mobile apps), that I feel the first goal can still wait.
What do you like best about working with engineers?
Working with engineers is a treat. The creativity and generosity with knowledge are key parts of the joy to stay close to engineering. I learn new things every day, and I get to be part of difficult problem solving. At the same time I can trust that these brilliant brains will design, code, and deliver good ideas into great products and features – all with the bigger goal of helping real customer use cases.