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BIG DATA PRODUCTIZED. INNOVATION DELIVERED.


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BIG DATA PRODUCTIZED. INNOVATION DELIVERED.


AS THE VOLUME, VELOCITY, AND VARIETY OF YOUR DATA INCREASES, SO HAS THE BURDEN OF MANAGING YOUR DATA LIFECYCLE.

Managing the data lifecycle now stands between you and realizing measurable benefits to your big data initiatives.  Current tools and solutions are built by experts, for experts, and offer little help as your needs evolve from DevOps to DataOps.


3 key pain points emerge:

  • Managing the data lifecycle is manual and prone to error.

Partitioning, error handling, scheduling, and much more drain your team’s resources and haven’t been effectively automated.

  • DataOps requires big data specialists.

These highly-paid experts are hard to find and always oversubscribed.

  • Innovation lags on big data bottlenecks.

Data-driven innovation requires company-wide collaboration and rapid innovation currently impossible with big data.

 

WE’VE BEEN THERE BEFORE.

We've been writing MapReduce jobs since 2005.  We've deployed production systems on Hadoop, Cassandra, Spark, and Kafka when they were still in the "oh-dots", and scaled these systems to billions of events per day.  We've learned a lot.

 

WE’RE HERE TO SHOW YOU THERE’S A BETTER WAY.

Ascend productizes the data lifecycle and removes your roadblocks to innovation.  We are currently in private release and welcome any inquiries from companies interested.

Ascend is backed by top tier investors:

  • Accel Partners
  • Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Sequoia Capital
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Already see things differently?


Already see things differently?


JOIN OUR TEAM

We're looking for a handful of talented people to help us change the way the world works with data. 


What we look for:

  • Polymaths: we believe the best teams are those comprised of individuals who have demonstrated excellence in a variety of technical areas, love sharing knowledge with their team, and actively seek out environments where they are not the smartest person in the room.
  • Context seekers: we love the 5 Whys technique. Why? The more you ask, the more context you have about our market, our company, our mission, and our product. Why (do we care)? With more context, you make more well informed decisions by yourself. Why (is this important)? It means less process, less management overhead, and most importantly, more personal growth for you.
  • Impact thinkers: the biggest challenge we face each day is how best to invest our time. The best people we've worked with have this remarkable ability to take a step back and identify how they, and the company, can have the largest impact. They are the ones who view the design of the wheel as sufficient, and passionately pursue the innovations that most profoundly affect our users.
  • Foundation builders: every team, when designing technology, tools, or process, must decide for which horizon to build. Do you design with the next few months, years, or decades in mind? We believe great engineers build for horizon n+1, while designing for n+2. Great engineers find that incredible balance between simplicity and extensibility, initial and recurring time investments.

What we offer:

  • The usual: free food, lots of equity, fancy Palo Alto office, etc... you know, the usual. We don't believe this is why you should join a company, however. We do these things simply to take good care of the people who take such great care of our company.
  • The special:  We’ve built and worked for great companies before, so we know how important it is to build a strong, high-quality culture.  Combine that with a large market opportunity, great investor backing, a veteran team, and the chance to have a major impact on the company (we’re still small enough that everyone’s work truly matters!), and you get an opportunity that you'll want to explore.

How we build:

  • Code: today we do most of our work in Scala, Go and JavaScript (ES6/7), with some Python and Java here and there. Why these languages? In short, we like them and we’ve found that they're among the best tools for data pipelines, backend, and frontend development, respectively. We could have just as easily picked other languages and frameworks, but so far are quite happy with these.

  • Environment: we run everything in Docker images running on Kubernetes, within Google Container Engine (GKE). Why? Because after getting over the initial learning curve, we’ve found Kubernetes to be incredibly powerful, with a vibrant community that is driving the product forward at an incredible pace.

  • Testing & Deploy: our continuous deployment pipeline gates all changes on 100% test pass rate. Why? We believe technical debt is a slippery slope and people always underestimate the impact of shortcuts. It really is better to do things right from the beginning.

  • Services & APIs: we like both TDD and DDD (Doc Driven Development). We like API Driven Development (acronym TBD) even more. Why? In early stage companies things change very quickly. Leveraging environments like Kubernetes allows us to easily spin up services that expose clean APIs for particular purposes. We like a microservice approach for its modularity, speed of development and maintainability. Each of our services exposes REST and/or gRPC APIs that adheres to a well-thought-out spec, ensuring that if we need to change implementation strategies, the work is well contained.

  • Comms: Slack. It's really just that good.


Current Opportunities:

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Core Values


Core Values


Humility, Integrity, “I Got It”, and Transparency are our core values.  


HUMILITY

  • There are always people who are faster, stronger, or smarter than you.  Even the fastest and smartest people get it wrong sometimes.  Be humble, constantly strive to improve, and be open to input.   

  • Even if you are “right”, respectful discourse preserves a healthy dynamic.  Humility fosters comfort and trust within the team, which in turn improves decision-making and team morale.

  • Once you share an idea with the team, it is no longer yours; it belongs to the team. It is neither yours to promote, nor defend, but rather to evaluate in collaboration with your teammates in pursuit of the best collective outcome. 

  • When things go well, humble people tend to share the credit.  When they go badly, humble people tend to shoulder the responsibility.  Our team focuses on resolving the issue at hand, not on assigning/deflecting blame.

INTEGRITY

  • Do the right thing, always.  
  • We want to be an honest company because it’s good for business in the long run.  We want to be an honest company because it helps us attract the type of people we want to work with.  But far more important than either of these, we want to be an honest company because we want to look ourselves in the eye and be proud of the work we do and the company we’ve built.
  • A reputation is hard to earn and easy to squander.  It is always worth more than any short-term gains to be had from unethical behavior.

“I GOT IT”

  • When an issue with unclear ownership comes up, people are quick to volunteer to take it on.  
  • When someone says “I got it” you can 100% trust that they’ll either:
    1. get it done, as promised (usually) or 
    2. flag it early if it’s at risk of not getting done (less often)
  • Thus, once someone has taken something on, the team trusts that they will get it done.
  • A strong “I got it” culture fosters trust, efficiency, ownership, and collaboration.

TRANSPARENCY

  • We strive to be transparent in all directions:
    1. Top-down -- leaders sharing with their teams
    2. Bottom-up -- bad news travels faster than good
    3. Across teams -- avoids tribalism
    4. Inside-out -- in dealing with investors, customers, partners, etc.
  • Transparency is not absolute -- there are things that need to be kept confidential.  But we will fight the natural momentum of organizations to be increasingly opaque, and instead, will strive to be as transparent as the business allows.

There are a set of behaviors that flow from these values and further define the Ascend culture.
These make up the Ascend Behaviors.


 

  1. Optimism
    Building a company is hard.  An optimistic attitude helps us push through obstacles and makes this a great place to work.
     

  2. Take risks.  Celebrate success.  Learn from failure.
    We won’t achieve great things by playing it safe.  So we take risks.  We celebrate our successes.  And we learn from our failures.
     

  3. Treat others with respect and with an assumption of competence.
    We assume good intent from our colleagues.  If someone does (or says) something that doesn’t make sense, we give them the benefit of the doubt and jointly try to understand the disconnect, correcting any misunderstandings or errant assumptions.
     

  4. Polymaths
    We believe the best teams are those comprised of individuals who have demonstrated excellence in a variety of areas, love sharing knowledge with their team, and actively seek out environments where they are not the smartest person in the room.
     

  5. “Eyes open” decisions
    We make decisions “eyes open” to the consequences.  We know that even the best choices usually have downsides to them, so we acknowledge these and don’t act surprised when they come to pass. 
     

  6. “Yes and”
    In improv comedy, “no” is a terminal word that halts creativity.  “Yes and”, however, amplifies that same creativity and momentum. When problem solving at Ascend we try to follow the same rule. It encourages people to share ideas and it helps us find the good idea hidden behind the “bad” one.
     

  7. Company before team
    We do what’s right for the company rather than optimizing for our own team’s (or our personal) success.  Management doesn’t create incentives for people to put their project ahead of the company.
     

  8. Think big, think far
    Our goal is to build a company that can thrive as an independent entity.  While it is sometimes necessary to make short-term decisions, on the whole we err towards planning for long-term success.
     

  9. We are a product company driven by customer success
    Our long-term success is predicated on having the best product, and with it making our customers wildly successful.  We succeed when our customers succeed.
     

  10. We value diversity of experience and opinion.  We value (and will seek out) diversity of gender, race, political view, and more.
    Diversity within Ascend better equips us to meet the diverse needs outside. Diversity helps us think bigger, broader, and farther. It challenges us to think differently, and we are better for it.  At the same time, what binds us together as a community is a shared belief in the core values of the company.
     

  11. Hustle
    Startups are hard.  Survival depends on a sustained (yet sustainable) effort over time.  We don’t ask anyone to sleep in the office, nor work unsustainable hours.  We do, however, work with focus and intensity.
     

  12. Dog-friendly (someday)
    We would like to have a workplace where people can bring in their dogs.  Our current location does not allow this.  When we relocate, if we are able to find a dog-friendly location then we will be allowing people to bring in their dogs.

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Point of View


Point of View