Data Community Fund is hiring a Head of Platform & Community to be responsible for all network building efforts across our fast growing firm. We’re a bold new venture firm backed by top funds such as Sequoia, Bain Capital Ventures & AngelList and we’re completely rethinking venture from the “outside in” to focus on building a strong community of technical professionals, mentors, founders, and go-to-market experts as our core differentiator.

Data technologies are rapidly changing the world, and our community is at the epicenter of the hottest technical advancements and research in machine learning, computer vision, artificial intelligence, neural networks…

We successfully ran our Data Council 2021 OSS Data Tools Community Survey in February, and were thrilled with the response from the community. We received more than 500 individual responses with 1,133 tool entries from more than a dozen countries.

By our count, there were 214 different tools mentioned. For me, this was one of the largest confirmations that we’re still in a time of massive innovation at all layers of the data stack. (Might be time for another one of these posts!)

A couple notes on how we cleaned & interpret the data:

  1. We attempted to normalize the project…

Startups / Venture Capital

My journey into founding, supporting and funding engineer-led startups

Sometimes starting a company as a technical person feels like the worst kind of trial and error

It was late 2010 and I had jumped on a flight from NYC to SF. Though I had made the trip many times before, this time my ticket was one-way.

In the air, I remembered I didn’t have a place to stay that night, so I opened my laptop mid-flight and jumped on Airbnb to see what types of listings were available in SF. Earlier that day I had turned over the keys for my NYC apartment to a nice couple from Germany — my first experience as an Airbnb host. “Why not complete the loop the same day and…

Photo via Unsplash

In the past few months, the data ecosystem has continued to burgeon as some parts of the stack consolidate and as new challenges arise. Our first attempt to help stakeholders navigate this ecosystem highlighted 25 Hot New Data Tools and What They DON’T Do — clarifying specific problems the featured companies and projects did and did NOT solve.

This effort was positively received by the data science, engineering and analytics communities, and spurred more engagement than we originally anticipated. …

“Wait, do tool X and tool Y work together? I thought they were competitive.”

There are dozens of new tools in the fast-growing data ecosystem today. Together, they are reshaping data work in exciting, productive and often surprising ways. The seeds of the data landscape for the next decade have been planted, and they’re growing wildly.

Turns out, cultivating a new ecosystem is messy.

Photo via Unsplash


One symptom of messiness is that many of these tools are perceived as competitive, even when they’re not.

The perception of false competition is not surprising, since:

  • There’s a lot of overlapping functionality among tools. …

Why We Became Data Council (1/14/19)

I’m excited to announce that our community & event series for deeply technical data professionals around the globe is no longer called DataEngConf; we are now Data Council!

Since our origin as a data engineering conference (in 2015 when a ‘data engineer’ was rarely a specific role on most tech teams), we quickly branched out to also embrace data scientists. We knew it was important to recognize the technical and cultural interplay between both data engineers and scientists as they worked to support each other on nascent data teams.

But for the past year…

Evan Nisselson, Partner LDV Capital (photo ©Ron Haviv)

How does a venture capitalist (aka VC) think about data-oriented startups? I recently interviewed Evan Nisselson, General Partner of LDV Capital, to find out.

Evan has an interesting investment focus on what he calls ‘visual technology businesses.’ It partially stems from his early experiences with digital photography in as far back as the early-mid 90s, when he was one of the earliest digital photo editors on the internet for @Home Network.

Evan’s focus on visual technology is a strategic bias based on the explosion we’re presently seeing in visual images driven by internet connected devices (mobile, IoT, wearables, home security…

Diversity is what you make of it

Even though it was early in the early planning stages, I was already getting excited about the event. We had a cohesive theme “Bridging the gap between data engineering and data science,” and there seemed to be significant interest from multiple tech companies in San Francisco — the sort of place where massive amounts of collected data make this the Mecca of engineers and data scientists. We were even ahead of the curve in triangulating event space. Things were coming together nicely!

Then someone asked me what my perspective was on issues surrounding diversity at tech conferences like the one…

Was inspired to see Net Neutrality win big last week! Reminds me that we all play a part in ‘activism,’ and thought back to the success of the Stop SOPA movement that Aaron Schwartz lent a hand to.

6 Tips to Jumpstart your Team’s Engineering Blog in 2015

One thing that’s jumped out at me in my early 2015 tech/startup reading is how everyone seems to be motivated to write more, blog more, express themselves more. As a founder of a startup and an engineering manager I’ve learned first-hand the power of content marketing, and for the past few years I’ve been helping CTOs use this and other tactics to build their unique engineering brands, which, in return, attracts better talent to their teams.

Most startup CTOs now realize that publishing a team engineering blog is table stakes. It builds their team brand, is helpful for recruiting, propels…

Pete Soderling

engineer, biz hacker, geek, investor. founder of Data Council & Data Community Fund. I help engineers start companies.

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