What do our students accomplish after they graduate? We're always thrilled to hear from our software engineering alumni after graduating, and today, we're excited to share our conversation with Ryan Perry.
Ryan Perry graduated from our coding bootcamp in 2017 and initially worked as a Full-Stack Engineer at Sensor Tower before becoming a Sr. Data Engineer at Lion Studios. Recently, Ryan Co-Founded Pyroscope, which is a software company that lets users continuously monitor servers to debug performance issues down to a line of code. This allows companies to see bottlenecks in their code and minimize the money they spend in the cloud.
Below, we asked Ryan a few questions about his experience learning to code and what he's been up to since graduating.
What was your background before you came to Hack Reactor, and what inspired you to learn to code?
I went to college at Indiana University and majored in Real Estate. Over the years while I was there, I completed a couple of internships (usually on the business side of tech products) and thought it would be cool to switch over to the technical side. After trying to teach myself to code in order to do some algorithmic trading, I decided to do a more formal program so I could improve my skills and found Hack Reactor!
In your first few years working as a software engineer, what were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
In my first few years, my biggest challenge was that I underestimated how much of a priority continuous learning needed to be. I assumed that when I graduated I knew roughly “everything I needed to know”, but software and tech change so quickly that you’re always chasing a moving target--As soon as you get comfortable and stop learning, you fall behind.
You have worked on many side projects like games and even a musical machine learning app. What inspires you to continue working on projects outside of regular work? And what have you learned from your side projects to date?
I’ve worked on side projects in just about every field possible (AI/ML, Mobile games, Algorithmic trading, Raspberry Pi DIY, Blog posting, etc.) The thing that inspires me most to work on these is first and foremost that they allow me to explore random curiosities and have fun building new things. A nice side-effect of working on so many different projects is that, over time, I’ve gotten better at learning new things, which comes in handy in a number of ways in software development.
After working in a myriad of different roles and businesses, what inspired you to start your own? And how have your coding skills and past work experience helped with Co-Founding and growing Pyroscope so far?
My first job as a software engineer at Sensor Tower really transformed the way I looked at software. We used a ton of open source tools and found them to be very effective in managing a pretty massive technical space with a lean team. After seeing the exploding popularity of open source projects and having worked as a software engineer, product manager, and data engineer it just made sense to build a company in the space that I and my co-founder (who also worked at Sensor Tower) were most familiar with.
What business problem are you trying to solve with Pyroscope, and how does Pyroscope help its customers?
Pyroscope is software that lets you continuously monitor your servers to debug where performance issues occur. You install it on your servers and then you have the ability to go back in time and see at any particular moment in time, what parts of your codebase were/are consuming the most resources.
It's different than previous solutions because:
1. It’s the only open-source library of its kind
2. We built our own custom storage engine and compression algorithm to collect and store data more efficiently than closed-source competitors
Combining these two factors gives insights to companies that allow them to cut their cloud costs and also to find/fix performance issues significantly faster than ever before.
What should other aspiring entrepreneurs know when trying to start a company?
If I had to give advice here, I’d say that there’s no such thing as a perfect launch (or a perfect MVP). You can try to optimize and anticipate a million different things, but at the end of the day, the most important part is putting some product (MVP) out, no matter how imperfect, and get feedback to improve upon it.