Someone Like Me | Dan Roscigno

We all want to work for a company where we fit in. That’s why Elastic has built a Source Code that encourages all to come as they are. In the Someone Like Me blog series we highlight Elasticians who have a unique story — one, perhaps, just as unique as yours.

In this edition we meet Dan Roscigno from our Customer Success team, who is in his third decade working in the tech industry.


First, let’s start with the basics. When did you start at Elastic, and where are you located?

I started at Elastic a little over two years ago. I’m based in Tennessee, up in the mountains where North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia meet.

Is this your first remote job?

No, actually. I’ve worked remotely for the past 13 years.

So you have the perfect home office set up?

Well yeah, though today I’m working out of a hotel room. Actually, I use the home office when I’m writing or recording, but when I take a conference call I’m usually in a bean bag chair, or a couch, or outside.

What brought you to Elastic?

I've worked in and around IT operations for 20-something years. At my previous company, I was an architect working on a new product, and we needed an ingestion system. And the ingestion system we had was not appropriate for the task. One of the guys on my team said, “Hey, why don't you take a look at Logstash.” So, I brought Logstash into that company and made it the standard for ingesting logs and metrics. When I decided to leave the company, one of the other guys that worked for me said, “Hey, why don't you go work at Elastic? You love Logstash and that's one of their products.” So that's how I ended up here.

Long story short, I chose Elastic because I’m an engineer. From a technical perspective the products are really good and I like to work on good stuff.

What do you think your strengths are, being a veteran of the tech industry?

Well, I guess over the past 20 something years I've constantly been learning new things, and got quite good at teaching other people how to do those things as well — whether it's by working in services and going out and deploying software for customers, or writing training material, teaching classes, or building teams for new products. I joined Elastic to build material for customers and for tech sellers and sales people to help make our products easy for them to use. This is really what I've been doing for the past 30 years in various roles.

Dan giving a presentation.

Is there any way that Elastic has stretched and challenged you?

I think everyone is encouraged to stretch themselves, sometimes a lot, and try new things and try to apply their knowledge in different ways. I'm not used to presenting webinars to hundreds or thousands of people, I'm used to working alone at a desk in a cubicle. Before, you know, I would sometimes present at conferences with somewhere between 20 and 100 people in the audience, but not some big thing that's going to be live on the internet forever. When I joined Elastic, sitting in front of a microphone with a video camera on me and talking to thousands of people at a time was definitely new. Now I've become a ham and I find presenting so much fun.

What’s the one thing that differentiates Elastic from other tech companies?

The biggest thing to me is having my opinion valued. At my previous company it didn't matter if I was the number one expert in the world. Nobody cared. I wasn't an executive so it didn't matter. At Elastic, it’s been different since day one. On my first day, I was on a product review call and one of the people on the call who kind of knew me (because I had interviewed with her) noticed that I wasn't happy about a term that was being used on the call and asked for my opinion on it. I explained my opinion and the rationale behind it and bam, the product was renamed. Nobody else on that call knew who I was but there I was, being valued. There are lots of email threads and document reviews and product reviews that people are invited to and if you are willing to say, hey, you know, this is what I think, everybody stops and listens. That's really unusual.

Tech has a bad reputation for ageism. What would you say to someone like yourself, with 30+ years in tech, looking to join another company, or facing those types of discriminations? What is it like at Elastic?

First off, ageism is a huge problem in tech. I applied for four or five different positions for things that, you know, the job description was literally straight out of my resume. I was one of a handful of people in the world who were perfect for those jobs. Elastic was the only company that called me back. I'm not going to say who the other companies were, or that they were being malicious, but not being called back, to me, was so obviously related to my age.

You know when I am at the Elastic Global All Hands event, or one of our engineering all hands, or at any one of the Elastic{ON} Tour stops, I’m around a lot of people half my age. But the other Elasticians don’t care how old I am. It isn’t important to them. It's just a group of nice people who don't care about age or gender or any of the other artificial groupings or classifications of people. Everyone is welcome to come as you are. At Elastic, age is just a number.

What is it about Elastic that you enjoy doing the most?

Elastic is one of the few companies that has engineers working in places like marketing and customer success. Elastic understands that some of our customers are very technical and they want to learn the technical nuts and bolts. That’s why they hire people like me — I can speak both languages.

I love trying new things. I experiment with all the new features before any customers see them. I like to see how I can apply them to operations problems and observability problems, and then I love working with the engineers and other teams to make those features even better.

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