About Tony

Photo: In front of the Calgary public library

Empowering Engineers – Deeply helping people achieve their greatest positive impact by leveraging technology.

“None of us need to have the whole solution, we just have the part, together we can make it whole”

What drives me at work and life

Community, Creativity, Autonomy

Core Values

Empowerment – I love to enable others to do their best work regardless of whether they report directly to me.
Open Communication – Breaking down the silo, be aware of Conway’s Law when an org chart cannot fix systemic issues.
Doing vs Taking – Roll up my hands, do a hack, POC and try to fix systemic problems and bring others along.

Personal

Tony Tam is a first-generation Chinese American who immigrated to San Francisco at 10.  He grew up in the San Francisco public school system benefited from the ESL program, graduated from Lowell High School, and graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a BA in Computer Science. 

My college-age daughter Cate @ceik0 (artist and writer), My spouse Katherine Toy, and My million data points

Work

resume | linkedin.com/in/tonytamsf

I am the Sr. Engineering manager at Splunk Inc. for the Developer Ecosystem teams. This includes Splunkbase, Developer Edition, App Health, and the Developer Success team.

My responsibilities

  • Help my team deliver products that make building, publishing Splunk apps delightful and secure.
  • Support my own team in their personal growth.

Why do I enjoy working in Developer Ecosystem?

  • In my career, I have been a hands-on engineer for 20 years, until I reach the senior principal level, P6.  I wanted to switch to management because I want to enable the younger generation to have impactful and long careers in our industry.
  • When I joined Dev Eco, I saw the following
    • A clear investment from the company in Dev Eco, please read go/fy23 and search for Developer Ecosystem
    • A set of products that are force multipliers for our app developers who are the force multipliers for our business
    • In all my 26 years of experience, I have gone through many org changes, what remains constant is how I do my work regardless of change. 
    • In my career, the best opportunities arrive when I can mentally get through the “Valley of Despair” as quickly as possible when change happens. https://www.graymatterblog.com/valley-of-despair-change-management

Work History

Apr 14, 2022 – Sr. Manager of Developer Ecosystem

  • Splunkbase, Developer Edition, App Health and Developer Success

Feb 28th, 2022 – Sr. Manager of App Health team

  • App Inspect, App Review/Liverpool, App Analysis API

2016 – 2022 – Sr. Principal Engineering Productivity engineer as well as Manager

  • Bootcamp – twice a week, 3 days of product, organization and tools orientation for all new hires into products. 
  • POC’s and tooling – that will help all engineers do their work better – this is very broad and often we have to work across orgs or often transfer ownership once the POC is done.
  • Internal tools product management – Bring product management discipline and rigor into internal tooling
  • Engineering community – technical talks, common slack channels such as #eng, #productivity-tools
  • Hackathons – my team runs the product wide hackathons and iterations to make hackathons more meaningful
  • Technical documentation and engineering training

1999 – 2016 – Sr. Principal engineer, engineering lead, manager of Yahoo News and Yahoo Media

1995-1999 – Member of Technical Staff at Silicon Graphics

Expectations of my teams:

  • Ownership – Own your work, ask for help and don’t be blocked, you have to remove roadblocks and I’m here to help.
  • Collaborate – Software engineering is a team sport, you can not solve difficult issues alone. Ask questions, and collaborate to solve problems together.
  • Learning – It’s okay not to know everything, no one does. Have a growth mindset, especially in the Engineering Productivity team where we have to help onboard every new engineer.
  • Share Knowledge – After you learn something, or you already have a skill, teach someone else via tech talks, short demos, a new go/workshop

What gives me a lot of energy

  • Collaborating with a large number of engineers and building support bottoms up

Outside of Work

  • Founded impactfulengineer.org to help engineers learn from impactful engineers in the industry
  • I organize 110 people to play advanced badminton at sfbadminton.org
  • I organize 200 people to play tennis at http://sf-tennis.org
  • On weekends, I write Java code and contribute to the podcast ecosystem via AntennaPod – Google Play | MRs

Blog Posts By Topic

Parenting | Running Every Paris Metro Stop | Working @ Yahoo for 16 years | Latte Art | Being An Engineer | Travel To Paris & Beyond | Restaurant Owner | Journey To 2,400 Push Up In 24 Hours | Getting Things Done

See the latest blog posts at https://tonytam.org

IMG_0301.jpg
Tony’s family in China – 1976.

Tony & his daughter in Paris 2009 & 2016

The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the position or opinions of my employer.