Reflections of a Rockset UXer
April 28, 2022
It is often said time flies when you are having fun and I couldn't agree more. I have been at Rockset for almost three years now and it is still so interesting to me. On one hand, I am just getting started and have so much more to do and on the other, I am so proud of the distance we have covered in the last few years!
Our customers tell us that the work we are doing matters to them:
Rockset made me a hero on day three of my new job. I got the first query done and solved a problem that no one thought could be solved any time soon. — Rockset customer
I’m absolutely in ❤️ love with Rockset. We now have streaming ETL using our write API (including real-time deletes). Every field is indexed, including nested JSON fields! Queries that took 6 seconds before now take 500ms. I just bought back so much of our teams time. — Rockset customer
We leveraged your Query Lambdas extensively for fast read APIs and overall amazing development processes. I'm definitely a Rockset advocate! — Rockset customer
We absolutely love Rockset. It’s a game changer for us. — Rockset customer
What a time to be alive! From reusable rockets to fast-paced medical innovations to electrical cars to mars missions to the (now) endemic, time has become a funny thing. It is wild to be living at a time where technology is advancing at a hard-to-keep-up pace and yet, the passage of time feels slow. The experiences the world has had over the past couple years have certainly impacted my mindset, my approach to problem solving and even my design philosophy.
Here are some reflections on why I do what I do — show up every day to do my very best work as a UX designer.
Nature of the Challenge
The vast variety of challenging customer problems and the opportunity for impact on solving away one pain at a time inspire me to keep at it. I love working on problems that are fuzzy and perhaps, a beginning of an idea. I believe I do my very best work in scenarios like these because of the creativity it affords in problem solving and the fun we have brainstorming as a team. Of course we debate and discuss every choice we make, but it all comes from a good place — creating value for our customers — and that makes us all the better for it.
Flexibility was by far the most important thing for us. Our users want to search on any field, anywhere, and we needed to give them that ability. To have this unique capability offered as a service was exactly what we needed to deliver real-time search months ahead of plan. — Rockset customer
The Speed of Innovation
This is a good one. This is also what saw me through the pandemic. With so much uncertainty all around, the culture/mindset/ability to hunker down and focus on things that you can control, work on things that make a difference and continuously ship quality to production, is something I cherish deeply and a privilege I appreciate. We got a lot done as a team, including closing our Series B and along the way, were able to make time as needed for ourselves, our loved ones and our mental health — a big win all around!
The serverless nature of Rockset made it incredibly simple to start on. It took us only a couple days to set up our data pipelines into Rockset and after that, it was pretty straightforward. The docs were great. — Rockset customer
Getting S@#t Done
In the beginning of the pandemic, it was really tough. We experienced all sorts of challenges that have tested us in a variety of ways. All my usual avenues of being inspired and growing my creative identity were not accessible to me anymore. I needed to take a breath, take stock of things and lean on my peers to help me get through it. Once I found my rhythm and refueled (well at least a little), I was able to get back to a new-normal rhythm and get s@#t done — stuff I am proud of and solutions I knew would unlock new use cases (like ETL integrations) and capabilities (like rollups) for our customers.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. — Nelson Mandela
Be a Sponge — I Mean That Seriously
In life we have experiences that teach us things that we didn’t even know were out there! Yes, the famous “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Sometimes, it may not even make sense in the moment. Or you may not even realize you leveled up in your own journey, in your own personal goals. In my experience, when you look back, you’ll most definitely be able to connect the dots and the picture you see will make sense. During my time here, I have picked up a lot of skills that I didn’t know I needed but have certainly shaped me as a UX designer and more so, including how effective I can be in creating value and impacting not only experiences but the business as well. From choosing a problem to work on to prioritization to people skills and more, the learning never stops!
Trusting Your Crazy Ideas
We at Rockset are actively in build mode. There are several interesting and challenging unsolved problems to work on (no time to be bored :P). The opportunity to own the experience end to end, to shape our product offering for our customers and to work on something that is category-defining is surreal. Not only has it influenced my design philosophy, it has taught me a lot about my own approach to the unknown, getting comfortable with uncertainty, embracing fuzzy-ness, and most importantly, trusting my gut.
I wouldn't be able to thrive in what I do if it weren't for my team. They challenge me, support me, share in experiments with me and then some. They are brilliant yet humble people and always inspire me to do more!