Meet the Meltano team: Douwe

As you’re getting to know Meltano, and as we are getting to know you and your company’s needs, we thought it would be appropriate for you to also get to know our team a little bit better!

And for the moment, that team is me: Douwe Maan.

I was born and raised in the Netherlands, currently live in Mexico City, and started working at GitLab a little over 5 years ago. Meltano, as you might know, is a project of GitLab, being operated as an internal startup.

I joined GitLab as a developer straight out of college when the company was just 10 people in size (we’re 1200+ now, in 67 different countries!). A few months later, I was tasked with hiring more developers, and once the team had doubled in size of couple of times and we started to run into the limitations of the flat organizational structure at scale, I became the first Development Lead.

Over the following years, the product and engineering organizations continued to grow, and existing teams were split up and new teams were created. The name of my team and the scope of its responsibility changed roughly every 9 months, until we were left with what I like to think of as GitLab’s core functionality: Source Code Management, pretty much everything related to managing and exploring Git repositories and collaborating using merge requests.

Since this had always been the part of GitLab dearest to my heart, it was great to now have a full team dedicated to it: more people working on improving the features in this area than had been at the entire company when I originally came on board.

By this point, though, the tiny startup I had joined 4 years before had grown 100x and was now a serious tech company; still an amazing and positively unique place to work, but quite a different beast than what I had initially been attracted to. With my team now finally dedicated to nothing but my favorite part of GitLab, I felt like my time in GitLab’s engineering organization had reached its natural final chapter, and I started thinking about what I would like the next chapter to say.

And that’s where Meltano came in: an internal startup at GitLab, working remotely and according to the GitLab values, but with a totally different product area and tech stack, and a team of just 5 people, that was looking for someone to lead and strengthen its engineering team. In other words, a match made in heaven for me: an opportunity to take everything that I had learned about engineering at startups, 1000-people tech companies and everything in between, and to use it to help grow what had (and has!) the potential to be GitLab’s second major product.

And so, in September 2019, I left GitLab’s engineering organization (but not the company) and joined General Manager Danielle, Backend Engineers Yannis and Micael, and Frontend Engineers Derek and Ben at Meltano.

After 6 months on the team, it was decided earlier this month that Danielle and the others would start looking for other opportunities inside GitLab (and out) where their skills and experience are in higher need right now, with me remaining on and leading the Meltano project solo for the time being.

I have tremendously enjoyed working with and learning from all of them, and I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to carry this project and their contributions forward on a path that was started by them and others long before I came on board and that we have continued to refine together over time.

While we haven’t quite been able to find product-market fit yet, we have experienced significant interest from startup founders all around the world and are working closely with them every day to find out where and how we can deliver the most value to help them run and find success with their businesses.

If you would like to see your startup sales funnel, analyzed, and are interested in a single set of dashboards and reports for the entire journey from ad impression to website visitor to successful sale to help you figure out what works, what doesn’t, what to scale up, and what to ramp down, please give Meltano a try, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if there is anything I can do to improve your experience!


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