Editor’s note: New in KC is an ongoing profile series that highlights newly relocated members of the Kansas City startup community, their reasons for a change of scenery, and what’ they’ve found so far in KC. Click here to read more New in KC profiles.
Josh Wood describes his journey in tech as varied, not checkered.
“I’ve pretty much worked inside of tech my whole career, although what I actually studied at school was journalism,” said Wood, a developer advocate at Red Hat, an enterprise open source solutions platform — recently acquired by IBM — that uses a community-powered approach to deliver Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.
Click here to read more about Red Hat’s acquisition by IBM and what it means for the company’s future.
Ready to start a family and seeking a change of pace, Wood embraced his ability to work remotely and moved back to Kansas City in June.
“I moved to Los Angeles right at the end of the 90s and kind of started my career there and got into grownup jobs right around Y2K,” he said.
“When I left Kansas City, I think it still had a lot of the aura of a kind of a rust belt town that had maybe been a little bit hollowed out at its core,” Wood added, describing perception of the metro at the time and why he ventured west.
Working as a marketing and technical documentation writer, Wood built connections with software design and product teams, leading him further away from writing and into a full-blown tech career, which has included positions such as CTO at AgriSoft Development Group in Denver and co-founder of Utopian.net, he said.
Wood also spent time in Minneapolis, Greece, and most recently San Francisco where he led the DocOps team at CoreOS — which was later acquired by Red Hat.
“I’ve been super happy being back [in KC]. There’s so much more going on downtown … both in the Crossroads and the River Market districts and everywhere in between,” he said of observations and ways the city has developed a new image.
“There is a sort of a little startup scene and I think some city government attention to try to encourage that kind of growth and development,” he said, noting the presence of such companies as Cerner and IBM provide a solid foundation for the city’s tech ecosystem to grow.
“There’s grounding for the whole thing. … There’s just a lot of great things going on. I think it’s a pretty good time to be back.”
Plugging into community groups, networking and familiarization with resources are among Wood’s top goals as he settles into his new life in a familiar city, he shared.
“I tend to do some speaking and some attendance at general networking and meetup type events. If folks want to meet with me in person and just chat with me about tech in general and find out if I actually know anything about it, I think those are a good place to get in touch with me,” he said eager to connect with Kansas City’s tech minds.
Click here to connect with Wood on LinkedIn.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.