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What Makes Working for Confluent Special? Great Technology, Great Team, and Growth Always

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With Evi Schneider, interviewed by Becky Straker

As the Senior Marketing Manager for the Central European region, Evi Schneider was responsible for the entire marketing mix from events to online campaigns to partner marketing, as well as localized assets for the German-speaking market. Now Evi's journey continues at Confluent. In her new role, she will focus on European campaign management. She tells us how her professional development at data streaming pioneer Confluent will continue.

She and her team work together to build the story of the potential for data in motion not only for businesses but for the end consumer. For Evi, this is what makes her job so special.

“Being able to grow this new category of Data in Motion that is changing people’s lives, kind of like databases did in the past, is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” she said.

We sat down with Evi to talk about what gets her excited, and what makes Confluent a great place to work. 

You’ve been with Confluent since its early days. What’s the journey been like?

I was approached by a headhunter around five years ago at a stage when nobody knew what Confluent was. When Kafka was mentioned, most people thought of the German author rather than the open-source event streaming platform! I had no idea what data streaming was, or what the business was about.

But what hooked me was the recruitment process. They were asking questions that made me feel like Confluent could be a place where I could grow. It was clearly communicated that we were building a new thing in the market and that it would be an amazing opportunity.

I felt like I wanted to understand the product. As a marketeer, I have to stand behind the technology. My heart needs to burn for it because if it doesn’t I can’t sell it. So the more I learned about Confluent and how it helps our customers the more I saw potential. And I fell in love.

How has Confluent changed over the past five years?

We’re growing so fast. I can’t compare one year to another. When I started we were focusing on the on-premises product. Then we decided to completely re-architecture Kafka for the cloud, turning teams upside down to pursue a new direction. Then just a year later, we had a great cloud product and we were having conversations with big players like AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. Then two years after that, we went to IPO. If there is one thing that is consistent at Confluent, it’s change!

So that’s the past five years. What about the next five years? What’s your vision?

Currently, we’re working with customers like Bosch, BMW, and Lufthansa. The list of customers that we have secured over the past years is simply outstanding. I never could have imagined we could grow that fast in that short time with such a huge cloud focus, especially in a conservative market like Germany.

There are still so many opportunities out there for us to work with our existing customers. If we look at more mature markets like the US and see what they are already doing with the technology, the potential is immeasurable. 

What are some of the things you enjoy about working at Confluent?

Where do I start?! There hasn’t been a single day at Confluent where I haven’t learned something new. Either about our product, about our customers, or about myself. 

I love the team, too. When you work for a company that’s growing so fast, you have to be able to trust each other and be able to go the extra mile together. We’re working super hard but we also see the results. We’re seeing happy customers speaking at conferences and telling us how our technology changed their businesses.

Flexibility is also a big benefit. We hire smart, humble, empathetic people who we can trust to get the job done well. There are people on my team who are full-time mums so we work around their priorities. You do your job when it works best for you. Confluent gives us that trust level. 

Why should someone decide to join Confluent?

The technology. It is an outstanding piece of technology that we are building here. Our founders created a new category in software architecture. Being able to grow this new category of data in motion that is changing how technology is perceived, is a once in a lifetime chance. 

Being able to tell people the story of why it is so great is really fulfilling. 

For example, data in motion is revolutionizing customer experience in the retail industry in ways that impact all of us. We are all end customers—we all go shopping. Real time is something that we experience in our daily life and it’s what we expect. Our customers like Intersport, s.Oliver, and Instacart are leveraging data in motion in ways that benefit the end customer. People like you and me. 

For example, data in motion is revolutionizing customer experience in the retail industry in ways that impact all of us. We are all end customers—we all go shopping. Real time is something that we experience in our daily life and it’s what we expect. Our customers like Intersport, s.Oliver, and Instacart are leveraging data in motion in ways that benefit the end customer. People like you and me. 

Beyond customer service, issues like fraud protection are so vital. The worst thing we can think of is our credit card details being stolen. Then we get a call three, four days later to inform us. Real-time data eliminates this awful experience. And banks themselves are saving not millions but billions. 

Can you tell us about some exciting projects you’ve got coming up?

I feel like I’m always working on exciting projects. To be fair, I am easily excited – especially when I get a free pretzel in the morning! 

But I would definitely say the global Data in Motion Tour. I used to be responsible for the stops in Frankfurt and Zurich which happen in October. It will be the sixth time we will be hosting the event. In the beginning, it was hard to get the customer stories, but now we’re seeing our stage filled up with names like Siemens, Mercedes-Benz, and Swisscom.

The community has grown, too. People are now coming to these events to meet fellow streaming peers, and they want to discuss projects, challenges, and innovations. That’s so inspiring to see. 

Another exciting project, that is really close to my marketing heart, is the new role that I am transferring into. By becoming Confluent’s first Global Campaigns Manager in EMEA, I will have the opportunity again to build something new from scratch and support the wider team over here with consistent and scalable programs. 

Do you have any advice for people looking to work at Confluent?

If you think you can’t do it, still try it. You can only learn by doing it. I didn’t know what to expect when I came to Confluent, but I thought let’s try it out. 

You can only be successful in your job when you love what you do, and I can say with confidence that everybody here loves what they do. And I really do love my job! 

  • Becky Straker has as spent the last 15 years in software, covering EMEA A&C Comms, Customer Advocacy, EMEA Corporate Communications, Internal Comms and International Comms (EMEA & APAC) and currently serves as Confluent's Director of International Communications.

  • Evi Schneider is the Senior Global Campaigns Manager for EMEA at Confluent, being responsible for the regional localized rollouts of marketing campaigns across the region. She recently moved into this role and was building the Marketing in Central Europe before. Before Confluent, Evi was always around in the open-source tech sector, working for ownCloud and SugarCRM.

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