I had a great time at this month’s meetup, hosted by Maidbot. I saw several familiar faces, met new people, and jumped in and out of conversations covering a variety of technologies. Plus, there were food trucks and plenty of beer.

I also had the chance to chat one on one with the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Maidbot and discuss how they approached finding angel funds and venture capitalists. At each phase in the products life cycle, they outlined what the funding will deliver (prototype, trial run, field study, etc), what data has been collected, and how that data shows that their product will solve a measurable market need. We also talked about different aspects of his role as CTO and requirements gathering. Even though I’m currently not in a lead or customer facing role, he made several interesting points and reinforced ones that are common in engineering.

On a more personal note, he recommended working to remain in touch with others in the field to build a network and consider different ways of selling my experience to get the next project or role. When hiring Software Engineers for a robotics company, he focusses on finding individuals skilled in writing software, familiar with the development process, and capable of using their toolchain rather than only looking for a formal education in robotics or automation. While I am considering pursuing further education, there are several steps I can take to more effectively self educate and solidify how I market myself.