Who Does What

Who's who at the Octopus zoo. How we're structured and how we think about management.

It shouldn't be hard to figure out who to ask about something at Octopus. This section gives a high-level overview of each of the departments at Octopus, how they're organized, and who's leading each one. It also explains a bit about how we think about management at Octopus.

Octopus Departments

At a high level, Octopus is organized into a handful of departments, in no particular order:

  • Engineering

  • Support & Operations

  • Advisory

  • Sales

  • Product

  • Developer Relations

  • Finance

From the names, you can probably guess what each one does, though we've included some notes further down. Each of these departments has a leader - a VP or Director (explanation below) - who reports to Paul Stovell, the CEO. There are also usually a couple of people who don't fit clearly into any of these categories, who also report to Paul.

As you read, you'll notice that Octopus is very R&D heavy - a huge number of people have a technical background or work in a technical role. While we're slowly growing other areas, this is a deliberate choice, and we expect we'll remain a very R&D heavy company.

We use a system called Small Improvements to manage 1:1's and other types of feedback, and it also maintains an up-to-date organization chart. If you want to find out who somebody's manager is, what pronouns they use, or their title, you'll find it on the Directory page.

Engineering

The Engineering team is led by Mike Noonan, and it's the largest team at Octopus. It comprises all of the software engineers who write the code for Octopus Deploy, our UX & design experts, and our quality & test automation engineers. The engineering department is currently in Australia only, to keep everyone in the same timezone.

Due to the size of the engineering team, it's split into a number of sub-teams:

  • Green Team 🟢 is led by Pawel Pabich

  • Blue Team 🔵 is led by Robert Wagner

  • Red Team 🔴 is led by Roy Wallace

Our UX designers are split around those teams, working on the projects and initiatives that need the most UX input. We need consistency in our UX approaches though, so that group is co-ordinated by Jessica Ross.

Those top-level engineering teams are about 8-10 people each, which is typically too many to work on any one thing. So they tend to be split up a bit further, typically into teams of 3 or so, with each one having a team leader. They're organized internally with funny names and change too frequently to keep up to date in this handbook, and you usually won't need to know what they're called.

Support & Operations

This is actually two teams in one, led by Alex Rolley. All up, they're the second-largest group at Octopus.

The Support side of the team helps our customers when they have problems - by responding to tickets and helping customers to get un-stuck. They are experts on Octopus and the kinds of issues customers can experience with it. The team is split between the US, UK, and Australia, giving us "follow-the-sun" availability and fast response times.

Within support, Tina Bamford manages the US and UK teams.

The Operations side is led by Chris van Dal and looks after Octopus Cloud and all of our internal infrastructure.

Advisory

The Octopus Advisory team is made up of folks who are experts on CI/CD. They don't just know Octopus, but many of the other tools in our ecosystem, and all of the issues that can crop up with DevOps automation and software delivery in general. They are split between the US and the UK and are led by Bob Walker.

This team does a bit of everything, but in general:

  • They build close relationships with some of our largest customers, checking in frequently and helping them with long-running challenges or projects. In this capacity, they act as advocates for our customers internally.

  • They run webinars and workshops, speak at events, write blog posts, and educate our customers on what's coming up or how to make better use of Octopus.

Sales

Our sales team provides outstanding customer service to help customers with anything sales-related. While Octopus is usually adopted & championed by technical folks within a company, there's still a number of hurdles a company faces when it comes to deciding to buy or renew a license, and the sales team is here to help.

Our motto is to be there when customers need us, but not to bother them if they're "just browsing". While we don't believe in top-down sales, we've learned that our customers still like to talk to a human. Like everyone at Octopus, our sales team is salaried only; there are no commissions.

The sales team is split between the US and Australia and is led by Diana Ortiz.

Product

We've learned the hard way that a product is more than a hodge-podge of features and good ideas. The product team has the difficult job of listening to just about everybody - support tickets, customer conversations, observations from Advisory, opportunities from sales and marketing - and somehow distilling everything into a cohesive product roadmap that actually makes sense.

The product team is led by Michael Richardson and is based in Australia.

Developer Relations

At first glance, this team has a lot of overlap with Advisory. Like Advisory, they write a lot of blog posts and do presentations. But the goal is a bit different.

Developer Relations focus on the kinds of problems that software teams experience and helping them to solve those problems - whether it involves our products or not. For example, a software team that doesn't use source control probably has many other problems - and it might be years until they solve enough of those problems to be close to using a tool like Octopus. Developer Relations is a long-term bet that by helping the community to solve all of the issues around DevOps and software delivery, we'll create a stronger ecosystem. Hopefully, this goodwill translates into a positive feeling about Octopus. Plus, we've learned a lot in 7 years, and it's good to share it.

Developer Relations also spend a lot of time talking and listening to developers (not just those at our customers) and being advocates on their behalf. That keeps Octopus relevant.

Developer Relations also build and look after many of our partnerships with other vendors.

Developer Relations is led by John Bristowe.

Finance

The finance team is a small team that does an incredible amount of things. Their responsibilities include budgeting and forecasting, compliance, tax, payroll, expenses, vendor management, benefits administration, and more. They run our payroll across three countries, file payroll taxes and worker insurance in a dozen US states and Australian states, and make sure Octopus is a solvent, above-board company.

Finance is based in Australia and is led by Sonia Stovell, our CFO.

The misfits

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently.

As Octopus grows, we start to do things we never even did before or experiment with new ideas. A handful of people report directly to Paul and don't quite fit into these departments cleanly, and how it will all be structured eventually is something we're still figuring out. Here's a current list:

  • Rob Pearson is our Product Marketing Manager and explains to customers what problems we solve and why Octopus might be useful, as well as what's in the latest release.

  • Lee Carlon is our technical editor, and manages our communications and gives us a consistent voice.

  • Jeremy Cade is pioneering growth and customer intelligence at Octopus

  • Andrew Katsivas is our Commercial Platform Manager and manages the roadmap for our internal systems.

  • Jim Burger is our Director of Trust & Security. He's responsible for our security posture and making Octopus a company worthy of our customer's trust.

The Board & Our Advisors

Octopus Deploy is owned 65% by Paul & Sonia Stovell, and 35% by Redgate Investments, which spun out of Redgate Software. The "board of directors" is currently three people:

The board meets once a month for about an hour, plus once or twice a year (usually in person) for longer conversations.

We also have a couple of formal advisors:

  • Simon Brown is the chairman of Redgate and acts as a coach to Paul. They meet once a fortnight.

  • Jeffrey Palermo is a well-known DevOps expert and runs Clear Measure, a DevOps consultancy. Jeffrey acts as an official advisor to Octopus Deploy - we meet once every fortnight, usually to discuss product direction.