To deepen Docker’s investment in products that make developers successful, we’re pleased to announce that Donnie Berkholz will join the Docker team as VP of Products. Donnie has an extensive background as a practitioner, leader, and advisor on developer platforms and communities. He spent more than a decade as an open-source developer and leader at Gentoo Linux, and he recently served as a product and technology VP at CWT overseeing areas including DevOps and developer services. Donnie’s also spent time at RedMonk, 451 Research, and Scale Venture Partners researching and advising on product and market strategy for DevOps and developer products.
To get to know Donnie, we asked him a few questions about his background and where he plans to focus in his new role:
What got you the most excited about joining Docker?
I’ve been a big fan of Docker’s technology since the day it was announced. At the time, I was an industry analyst with RedMonk, and I could instantly sense the incredible impact that it would have in transforming the modern developer experience. Recent years have borne that out with the astonishing growth in popularity of containers and cloud-native development. With Docker’s renewed focus on developers, I’m really excited to help shape products that have a natural fit with Docker’s user base.
What are your main goals now that you’re part of the Docker team?
Everything tends to fall into place when you’ve got a great team who’s aligned and empowered. As VP of Products, I’ll be making sure our team has everything they need to succeed, continuing to evolve our product strategy and vision, and driving execution with an experimental mindset. What I mean by that is ensuring we have a culture and way of working that allows us to continuously innovate and learn fast — in partnership with the broader Docker team, as well as our partners, customers and the millions of developers who use Docker.
We have an amazing community of Docker users, and I’m really excited about making their lives better by solving some of their biggest and most frustrating problems as they develop software.
What will you focus on most in the next few months as you work to shape great products for developers?
My initial priorities when starting any new role are to build relationships and to learn. First, collaboration is such a critical aspect of success in any organization that it’s vital to form high-trust relationships, so you can partner closely and cross-functionally. Second, learning how and why things are done the way they are is crucial, so you don’t come in with a plan from a playbook that seems grand but doesn’t fit the needs of the organization. Once those are in place, my focus will shift toward getting us from where we are today to where we’ll need to be, so we can reach and exceed our ambitious goals.
When you’re not focused on making Docker better, what hobbies or interests do you have?
I love to read sci-fi and fantasy books, especially these little niches called wuxia or xianxia. If you imagine “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” or “Kung Fu Hustle,” you’ll get the idea. Besides that, I’m a big fan of craft beer. So let me know if any of you visit Minneapolis or (in a future world!) we attend the same event, because I’d love to share a beverage of any sort with our community.