Celonis is giving a brain to processes and our Engineering and Product teams are solving some of the toughest technical challenges in enterprise software to do it.
They created a data streaming platform that can ingest process data from millions of cases across disparate systems. They are building enterprise apps at consumer scale and making corporate software that's both powerful and easy-to-use. They’re also creating a new Product and Engineering hub in LA’s sunny Silicon Beach, which I had a chance to visit earlier this year.
Besides exploring nearby Venice Beach and driving up PCH to Paradise Cove, I spoke with Celonis SVP of Engineering Dustin Jackson and the team about what Celonis is building in Los Angeles. We talked about how they’re building a world-class P&E team, what it takes to preserve the culture of a startup within an established tech company and how they welcome new team members.
When my colleagues at my previous company asked me why I was leaving...and why I'm headed to Celonis, I told them, "I'm going on an adventure.”
The following is an expanded version of my conversation with Jackson, Ari Wilson, Brian Williams, Aaron Girad, Michael Rosett and Alex Monroe, edited for readability.
Bill Detwiler: You're building an engineering hub for Celonis here. What's it like? How exciting is it to do that?
Dustin Jackson: For me, it's the most fun thing in the world. Nothing is better than starting off with that blank sheet of paper and getting to imagine all of the possibilities.
Ari Wilson: You know when my colleagues at my previous company asked me why I was leaving? There was opportunities for me, et cetera, and why I'm headed to Celonis, I told them, "I'm going on an adventure.” We have, really, in LA, to Dustin's point, a startup environment.
We're making decisions that are very foundational; about product, team, office, just all across the board that are really developing my skills at a rate I could not have imagined otherwise.
From left to right, Michael Rosett, Aaron Girard, Brian Williams (foreground), Dustin Jackson, Nico Honegger and Caitie Haywood Smith at the Celonis LA office.
Brian Williams: There's like an energy of, like you said, being this kind of startup feel, we're all learning together. Trying to figure out what's next for the team, but that next is like years of next. It's really fun to be in that space and sort of, every day feel that energy.
Bill Detwiler: Besides the great weather that of course we have in LA, what's the culture like in the office?
Michael Rosett: I would say scrappy. The other day, a pallet of 50 monitors came in. We hauled it from the elevator, set it up, put together whiteboards, streaming ethernet wires to the computers.
Alex Monroe working at a whiteboard in the Celonis LA office.
Alex Monroe: We have all the right people, I think. Everybody is excited to fix problems. So we're scrappy just like Michael said. Nobody's sitting around and complaining or waiting for somebody else to fix something that they see that's wrong. Everybody wants to contribute, which is awesome. Everybody's so appreciative.
Aaron Girard: I think what really helps is the communication is just so easy and open and the collaboration is really, really easy. We are so open to just learning and talking to each other.
Celonis Engineering Blog: Handling API errors with Problem JSON
Bill Detwiler: As you're growing, how are you welcoming and integrating new members into this team?
Ari Wilson: We try to learn something interesting and personal about each employee as they join, and make sure to incorporate that into the workspace.
Brian Williams: You're part of this office from day one, whatever makes you feel like you're part of the team, come in and do that.
From left to right, Aaron Girard, Brian Williams and Michael Rosett outside at the Celonis LA office in Silicon Beach.
Dustin Jackson: What I've learned from having done this in the past is, whether you do it consciously or not, the decisions that you make early on become the traditions of the future. And the people that you hire are the role models, the templates that all the new people that follow look to and learn from and seek to emulate.
It's not my favorite thing to heap praise on these guys, but I brought them in for a very specific reason, which is, this is the right set of leaders to build a team off of. Because new engineers are going to come in, and have some pretty good people to follow.
At Celonis we’re building a new type of enterprise technology, called execution management. And, we’re recruiting the world’s best engineers to do it. Whether you’re a frontend or backend developer, full stack engineer, data scientist, DevOps specialist, QA analyst or engineering leader – we have technical challenges that need solving.
To learn more about how we’re pioneering advances in AI, machine learning, automation, analytics and data mining, and to see current engineering job openings, visit Celonis Engineering.