The Future of Data-Enabled Engineering

by
Eiso Kant
March 2, 2022

I've always been a computer geek, spending a significant chunk of my life coding and the last decade building companies with strong engineering cultures. Nowadays, I limit my time coding because it's the one passion that can make me lose track of time. Instead, I spend my time talking to engineering leaders and teams to understand our shared pains. Until now, we've used data and metrics to understand how things are running in production, but we haven't had a culture to introspect on how we can improve and set goals within the way we build software. As a result, our decision-making lags and suffers.

Software is eating the world, and with it, engineering leaders are now more than ever at the forefront of company success. Engineering is where the rubber meets the road. So we built Athenian, a platform that helps engineering leaders build a continuous improvement culture by leveraging insights and aligning teams with company goals. Sales, Marketing, and Product teams have had tools to support their strategies for years. We built the tool for Engineering.

Athenian - Data Enabled Engineering

Engineering leaders deserve better, and in the past two years, we've managed to provide end-to-end visibility of the software development pipeline to our customers. But providing metrics and data is not the same as making sure customers achieve their goals. We're trying to solve what we call the "Gym Membership" problem, also evident in other industries: Customers sign-up with high motivation to improve but don't build the organizational habits that lead to continuous results. 

We believe that if our customers are not successful in continuously improving their engineering organizations, we are not successful. Therefore our vision goes beyond our product. One example of this is that in the summer of 2021, we started a podcast with former CTO of GitHub, Jason Warner, where we invite engineering leaders (such as Emil Eifrem from Neo4j or Anton Druhk from Snyk) to share their leadership journeys. A project which aligns entirely with our mission to help engineering organizations worldwide continuously improve.

A stark contrast between Athenian and other engineering metrics software is that we don't provide metrics on individual team members. Some prospects are headstrong on seeing individual data, but we don't believe this leads to a healthy engineering culture. Modern engineering leaders using Athenian know that continuous improvement is not about individual metrics but about building a shared understanding of where we can improve in teams, codebases, workflows, processes, and tooling. This is the kind of culture where we can help achieve tremendous success.

I believe our commitment to modern engineering-first organizations has led us to attract customers who share the same mindset. Companies such as Neo4j, Maze, and Orbit are just a select few of our customers who all deeply care about building high-performance cultures backed by a great developer experience. 

My dream is for Athenian to sit at the table of all engineering discussions and support decision-making processes by providing a clear and objective view of engineering. So I couldn't be more thrilled to announce our $6M seed round, led by Point Nine - and with participation from Frst Capital, Xavier Niel, 20VC, ​​Abstraction Capital, and Air Street Capital - which is instrumental in making this happen. 

"As software continues to eat the world, engineering leaders are at the forefront of customer value creation. But surprisingly, software engineering teams are much less data-driven than sales teams and other departments. We’re thrilled about the opportunity to back Eiso and his team on their mission to give engineering leaders the metrics and tools to make better decisions and the insights to improve continuously!” - Christoph Janz, Managing Partner at Point Nine

We're also excited to be joined by forward-thinking engineering leaders like Renaud Visage (Eventbrite), Julien Lemoine (Algolia), and Sam Ramji (DataStax) on our mission to help build high-performing engineering teams that continuously improve.

All of this wouldn’t be possible, first and foremost, without my team, our customers, who put their faith in us before it became obvious, Jean and Bruno who supported us from day one, the countless people who take the time to pick up the phone and give their advice freely, and everyone who decided to come on board at this stage and bet on us. 

The future of data-enabled engineering leadership looks bright, and we’re proud to be playing a positive role in this new era. 

Athenian Team Picture