– Ben Martens

Individual Contributor

At work we have two career tracks: management and individual contributor (IC). It’s a pretty nice setup because you can switch back and forth at will, and the compensation is the same on both tracks. So theoretically you can be an IC that makes as much money as the CEO. You can decide whether your definition of success means climbing the management ladder or becoming a technology expert.

I started my career here as an IC and then moved into the management track about two years later. Now, six years after that, I’m bouncing back over to the IC track. It’s a change that I’ve been pondering for a while, and I jumped on a good opportunity when it appeared. This is really the first big voluntary change that I’ve made at this company so there is a bit of trepidation, but overall, I’m not going that far. I’ll still be working on the Power BI offering, but I won’t be as specifically involved with Power Query. My new role focuses around helping each of the Power BI teams give the best customer experience possible, specifically by giving them the data they need to react to issues with the service and tracking overall metrics to report our service health and usage. It gets me into a lot of big data, data scientist work. It’s new to me, but that’s what keeps work interesting and challenging.