Chris Radcliffe

Chris Radcliffe

Customer Service Engineer at PlanetScale

 LinkedIn profile


32 Years



Management Experience

Scaling Team
Cultural differences

I'm returning to my startup roots, and right now I'm totally focused on helping customers get on board with PlanetScale. We're the premier solution for managing and scaling MySQL to humongous dimensions through massive sharding. Check us out at and (our open-source foundations). I still maintain my data and analytics roots after a long career in senior engineering leadership. I always gravitate to groups that need organizing for growth and change. I have a long history with large databases, analytics and statistical analysis going back to grad school, always seems to come into play and even more so with the explosion of available data and cloud computing power. Databases and machine learning are my current educational focus, enrolled in Coursera machine/deep learning courses with Stanbford's Andrew Ng, and others.

Hey, I'm available every Thursday at 9:00 PM (GMT)

Next time slot available
  June 11, 2020
  9:00 PM (GMT)

Create an account


Implementing a major platform technology change
20 April

Chris Radcliffe, the VP of Engineering at ProQuest, talks about how he successfully implemented a major platform technology change while managing stakeholders’ and customers’ expectations.

Dev Processes
Sharing the vision
Managing Expectations
Chris Radcliffe

Chris Radcliffe

Customer Service Engineer at PlanetScale

Resolving conflicts between two top engineers
2 March

Chris Radcliffe, VP Engineering at ProQuest, discusses his experience of handling a conflict between two top engineers and provides insights about how to handle this type of situation.

Conflict solving
Toxic employee
Toxic atmospheres
Chris Radcliffe

Chris Radcliffe

Customer Service Engineer at PlanetScale


Customer Success Engineer


Jan 2019 - current

Assisting customers with with PlanetScale's technology, whether Database as a Service or PlanetScale-managed on-prem databases.

VP of Engineering


Apr 2018 - Nov 2018

This was a brief stint to bring needed change and organization to Blurbs's engineering team, bringing on solid new technical talent and mindful leaders.

VP Engineering


Jan 2011 - Jul 2017

Drove the technology expansion of the e-book platform within ProQuest through organic growth and acquisition: • Architect for the full-stack e-book product. Continually evolved for scale and feature scope to match a rapidly expanding and ever-changing market, still the leader today. • Invented a new responsive streaming reader for the best browser-based user experience. Fostered new search, and collection methods using open source technologies such as SolrCloud, mongoDB, redis, and other caching and NoSQL technologies for performance and scaling. Continually leveraged public cloud methods and infrastructure (AWS). • Introduced and made key hires for machine learning and usage analytics for content recommendations. • Established technical analysis and acquisition strategies for multiple M&A efforts. • Aggressively adopted agile techniques through formal and informal team training. Established metrics and review processes for continual improvement and individual accountability. • Continually strengthened our patent portfolio and valuation through formal diligence and filings based on the work of outstanding engineers. • Always focused on finding and hiring the best, and established great teams and propelled great careers as a result!

VP Software Engineering


Aug 2003 - Jan 2011

Led pioneering technology evolution and rapid organizational growth through the academic e-book explosion. We began as a startup and emerged as the market leader with the best service and solutions for serious research. Acquired by ProQuest in 2011. • Transformed the technology stack for modularity and scale. Replaced browser plug-ins with HTML5 backed by Spring MVC, and replaced monolithic search with scalable Lucene and Solr. • Increased throughput with caching using Java services, memcached and open source messaging. • Re-organized teams for efficiency and focus, corresponding to tech layers rather than feature. Increased overall feature-release throughput and bench depth on each team. • Leveraged AWS S3 as a content backing store, and EC2 for multiple dev labs and experiments • Introduced formal QA automation methods (Selenium, TestRail)

CTO and Lead Engineer

Teleglobe Canada Inc

Mar 2002 - Jul 2003

Designed, built and scaled custom web-enabled data warehouses, under contract as Journeyman Software. Focus was on decision support systems decision support systems for Teleglobe, Canada: • Acquired and transformed massive amounts of phone-switch data ("big data" today) • Produced time-critical inference data with informed daily ad-placement decisions • Delivered all decision-level analytics on a custom web platform (java servlets).

VP Network Platform Engineering

iBeam Broadcasting

Jan 2000 - Mar 2002

Established one of the most innovative and full-featured video streaming Content Delivery Networks of the dot com era: • Developed and deployed advanced Edge Delivery services via Satellite Multicast • Expanded the business with Value Added Services (Ad-insertion, Syndication, Reporting). • Organized and grew the team, built to scale, and drove the technical acquisition process (M&A). At the time, iBeam was one of the largest, highest-throughput streaming networks ever built.

Advanced Technology Program Manager

Intertrust Technologies Corporation

Jun 1996 - Dec 1999

Drove technology projects and research that leveraged Intertrust DRM technology into key emerging markets: • Program management, product specification and design, engineering line management. • Contributed to key patents for protection of internet streaming media and electronic software distribution, and MPEG-4 DRM research. • Key content-streaming prototypes were the first practical demonstration of Intertrust technology, and provided impetus for the run-up to IPO.

Senior Manager of Applications Engineering

NeXT Computer

Jun 1995 - Jun 1996

NeXT was founded and led by Steve Jobs until he returned to Apple in late 1996. NeXT pioneered the modern personal graphical workstation with groundbreaking hardware and the Mach-based NeXTSTEP Operating System, later OpenSTEP: • NeXTSTEP Applications and Technology: Managed continuing application engineering on OpenSTEP and Windows NT ports, and experimental projects for merging Java and Objective-C object models and runtimes. • WebObjects: produced the first WebObjects Builder on both OpenSTEP and Windows NT. NeXT was sold to Apple in late 1996, and NeXTSTEP API’s and Objective-C still constitute the foundation of Apple’s OS X.

Sr. Software Development Manager

Informix Software

Sep 1987 - Jun 1995

Informix was a leading relational database and Internet e-business infrastructure vendor, now part of IBM. Attained significant depth in C/C++ programming, UNIX internals and many facets of RDBMS/SQL (OLTP, Data Warehousing, distributed transactions and fault tolerance). Led many successful teams here.

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato ( is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.