Well, not to be too literal, but we assembled. The name Assemble is a reference to Meltano being used to assemble a data stack/pipeline. The event itself was originally inspired by GitLab’s team offsites called Contribute. At Contribute, the entire all-remote team gathers to bond and meet face-to-face. We wanted to bring our all-remote team together in a similar fashion.
The easiest way to explain Assemble is that it’s an employee perk. Yet, anyone who has attended any team offsite knows that these events are so much more. There is nothing like meeting someone in person whom you have only ever seen virtually. You realize they are so much taller than you expected, they love Pokémon just as much as you, and now you have a new work bestie you never knew you needed. My favorite definition of “assemble” is, “fit together the separate component parts.” That is what this event feels like – everyone coming from different parts of the world, bringing their range of experiences to become one. And somehow, we all fit together to become a better whole.
For any remote team looking to start a similar offsite, I am happy to talk about ROI and how to make the most of every opportunity it affords, but that is not this post.
What did we do?
The team spent four days being tourists, brainstorming, talking strategy, and eating all the tacos – literally every taco we could find. We hired a photographer to take headshots, because if there are no pics, did it actually happen these days? 😛
What came out of it?
The team discovered we are all weirdly obsessed with Shramp, our Meltano Shramp Slack channel, and Ryan Reynolds.
More importantly, we addressed many foundational business aspects, including:
As a result of our recent spin-off from GitLab and funding, the team decided it is time to give the Meltano brand an updated look and feel. Turning points, such as funding, are also great opportunities to make brand refreshes. The goal is to evolve the brand to reflect our product and company maturity. We want our brand to be infused with personality, to look and feel distinct from others in the market. Up until now, the Meltano brand has been a bit devoid of personality visually. Meltano had an opinionated approach to software development and the future of data. Thus, we desire an improved visual representation of who we are and what we offer. More to come on our updated branding.
As stated above, our exit from GitLab left us at a crossroads. Do we just adopt GitLab values or forge new or iterative versions of them and make them our own? We took the latter approach. After a tireless debate, we established key pillars that are critical to our culture and future successes. More to come on our updated values.
Moving beyond data integration to end-to-end open source DataOps
During the offsite, we discussed the two phases of Meltano’s evolution. So far, we’ve been focused on making it easy for everyone – from software developers to directors of data – to integrate data from any source. You can use data from any source, no matter how niche or custom, by integrating Singer and dbt. As we build, we will continue to empower data teams, of all sizes, to collaborate more effectively and be more confident in their work and downstream decisions.
To this end, we’ll start building out our vision for Meltano as an end-to-end open source DataOps platform. Meltano will bring the benefits of DevOps and software development best practices to the entire data lifecycle. We want to build the next generation of open source data tooling alongside our passionate community. This also involves integrating more best-in-class open source tools and technologies like Dagster, Superset, and Great Expectations while supporting the Singer community, ecosystem, and impressive library of connectors.
Community experience and enablement
Right now our community is one of our top priorities. We highlighted a need to continue improving the experience for folks on Slack as well as improving the experience for folks who are trying to contribute. We’ve come up with plans to spruce up the documentation in order to help folks find what they need faster, as well as plans to improve the experience for folks who are creating taps and targets. We’ll also improve Office Hours and Demo Days to make sure the community gets the most out of attending.
Future of Hub
As part of our continued investment in the Singer ecosystem and community, we want to make MeltanoHub as useful as possible. It’s already the most comprehensive listing of available taps and targets (nearly 300!) but we know there’s value to add. We aim to make it easy to submit and update connector information, including data on the capabilities of each connector. There will also be efforts to add usage data from GitHub and from people using connectors in Meltano. Lastly, we are making strides to highlight our partnerships with consultancies and companies to indicate which connectors they maintain and support. The Hub is a resource for the community and we want your input on how to improve it. So, please let us know by making an issue or joining the slack community!
What’s next for the team?
Now that we are weaned off of our taco addiction, it’s time to get back to work building the most community empathetic and aspirational DataOps platform possible.