About Us

What is Ely Clover?

I (Kevin Holmes) formed elyclover.com in 2023. It’s a personal site to showcase my work and thoughts I’ve accumulated over the last few decades. You can see how it’s hosted here.

After spending over 13 years starting and running an IoT PaaS tech business while experiencing the highs and lows of the startup world, I was ready for a change of pace in 2020 as the Coronavirus Pandemic changed the world around us.

I have since started a wonderful family with my wife, Stephanie, that brings me tremendous joy and endless smiles daily. I have learned more about patience and listening since having children than I ever thought possible in my early and tentative years.

After reaching a consensus with my business partners and shuttering CarmaLink in early 2021, I began looking for new opportunities. I found an exciting business in the Capitol District of Upstate New York named Jahnel Group. They are a software consulting business with an incredible culture. I was fortunate enough to land a Lead DevOps consulting role with them on a project for Bethesda Softworks that included a large-scale AWS security remediation project post-Microsoft acquisition. Jahnel Group had many talented software developers but not so many “old school” systems engineering people like me who had racked servers, designed highly available networks, could write code, build user stories and run teams. I passed their live coding tests with considerable anxiety and accepted their offer. I was back to working for someone else again.

This period in 2021 was an exciting time for me. I joined Jahnel Group’s Open Source Club and took home 1st place in that year’s Code Wars challenge. I had so much fun getting out of my startup’s world and working with more diverse groups of people worldwide. As a life-long fan of the Fallout franchise it was absolutely epic to be able to contribute at Bethesda in a big way. I competed in my first team Hackathon with an ML product offering, and loved every minute (our team also won!) The most valuable part of this experience regarding my personal growth was discovering the joy of technical consulting and realizing why I loved it so much.

I have since spent time working within a few Global SaaS/Integrator’s Infrastructure and Development Security Operations teams. Currently I work at Own as a Principal Engineer on the Site Reliability Engineering team. If you use Saleforce, Service Now or Microsoft CRMs I suggest you check them out.

As a startup founder you focus on customers (I hope.) You wake up daily worrying about them, considering whether you deliver enough value to retain them. Will they leave you for a competitor who just implemented a new feature you don’t have yet? Then you also deal with all the everyday problems a typical business has, like: can I retain my employees? Is our insurance good enough if we get sued? When does our lease expire? Are we using the right tools? Where can I find our next tranche of customers so we can expand again? The list is never-ending, and it takes a certain kind of person in a certain mindset to get out of bed every day and take those problems on successfully. I’ve found that measuring everything I can, while feeding incremental changes into systems is the most effective strategy over time while providing a high level of confidence.

I now realize my love of helping customers overcome their challenges is what drove me every day at CarmaLink. It wasn’t just the business and allure of a startup, but the process and feeling that comes from delivering effective solutions that solve real problems for customers. This feeling is why I love being an advisor so much, because if you are doing it right, you’re focusing on outcomes and the people they impact, not just widgets in a backlog that make you go “oooh”.

- Kevin