Barbara Nelson
Vice President of Engineering



  • Top Women Leaders 2021


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Barbara Nelson is the Vice President of Engineering at InfluxData. She first joined the company in 2019. InfluxData is the creator of InfluxDB, the open source time series database. Their technology is purpose-built to handle the massive volumes of time-stamped data produced by IoT devices, applications, networks, containers and computers.

Previously, Nelson was a principal architect at eBay and before that a chief technology officer at Cirrent. Earlier in her career she worked with Retix as a senior system architect.

Nelson earned an undergraduate degree in computer science from New York University.



  1. Barbara is the Vice President of Applications at InfluxData, leading the applications engineering teams. She has extensive experience managing globally distributed teams in designing, developing, deploying and supporting products and services that are delivered on a cloud-based service platform and for a range of client platforms. As head of the applications team, Barbara is responsible for the user interface and e-commerce platform for InfluxData’s cloud service. Her team is also responsible for the development of InfluxData’s Telegraf product and supporting its open source community. In addition to leading distributed engineering teams, Barbara is also an advocate for women in STEM, and is passionate about being a mentor for other women in the field. Barbara is a strong advocate for diversity on engineering teams, arguing that more diverse companies can deliver better products. Since joining InfluxData, Barbara has increased her team’s female to male ratio by 10 percent, with 75 percent of her engineering managers being women. The results of this investment are paying off, not just for Barbara’s team but for the entire InfluxData organization. There is more cross-team collaboration, leading to more complex features being delivered faster. Beyond mentoring women at InfluxData, Barbara also has a history as a volunteer mentor, first at Mentornet where she worked with college students, and now at Plato HQ where she offers her mentorship to the manager level. She is also a member of Blastwave’s board, where she brings her unique perspective and experiences to the company and continues her passion for diversifying the STEM industry. Finally Barbara continues to prioritize leadership and mentorship remotely throughout the pandemic. She makes a point to build stronger, authentic relationships by prioritizing skip-level meetings to create close-knit teams, and ensure employees are fully supported and are empowered to advance in their careers. Barbara understands the importance of representing women whenever the opportunity arises.

    Staff, submitted on

  2. Breadth of knowledge; technical acumen; patience; empathy; relentless focus on deliverables

    Senior-Level Professional, submitted on

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