A New Chapter for NodeSource

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A New Chapter for NodeSource

It has been a pleasure talking with customers and partners and getting to know NodeSource better over the last few months. I've been fascinated to hear the broad range of use cases supported and how teams have found unique value by using our products. I must also say that I've been consistently impressed by the talent, passion, and dedication shown by the NodeSource team. With these factors in mind, I am thrilled to announce today that I've stepped into a new role—leading this team as Chief Executive Officer.

My joining NodeSource at this stage is no accident; I truly believe that Node.js is a key component of a larger story of transformation around how we create, deploy, and manage software. NodeSource is in an enviable and unique position to empower this transformative story and help organizations remain competitive in the modern digital era.

NodeSource was originally envisioned as a scalable business, offering products and solutions to complement training and consulting services. Our board of investors believes in that premise, and following the departure of our founders they sought a product-driven leader who could take the company to the next level.

As I take the reins, I'm thankful to our CFO Travis Adlman for his leadership during the past 10 weeks, and look forward to working closely with him in this next chapter.

In my new role as CEO, I wanted to share with you my thoughts and perspective on this new stage of the company and a little bit about myself and why I am so excited about this next chapter. For me, this is the culmination of a personal journey that started about 20 years ago.

To set context, it's my belief that the world is made of two camps. There are creators and consumers, and the power lies with creators. It's an unbalanced equation with >95%+ of the world just happy to consume. But it's the creators who are the builders, artists, authors, directors, chefs, musicians and rock stars. They are the ones that we all aspire to be. Creators leave artifacts that only mankind can create.

Code is a bit of art and science, but is also out of reach for many aspiring artists and scientists. Node.js changed that.

The last code I wrote was for a web-based image service in the early 2000s. It was primitive HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but it got the job done. I was a first-time parent still finishing graduate school and working full-time; my employer was recently acquired, and shortly after I moved to Colorado with my family, changes in direction meant I was let go. The world around me was no less hectic—this was in the era of the first dot com crash, the 9/11 attacks in New York, and Enron's catastrophic fall from grace.

But perhaps in an effort to feel in control of something, I had an overwhelming desire to create that image service (it was only much later that I joined Adobe and immersed myself in the creative ecosystem.) Building that fairly simple web service was a crash course in writing code; I found myself leveraging online resources and tutorials and hacking together snippets from a variety of people and places. It was a primitive type of open source, using code others posted as shareable samples and cobbling together my little service.

Given the other demands of the business, I never really got the hang of server-side code. While I was able to create a whole user journey and site worth of pages including a simple shopping cart, I had no idea how to connect to a database to create user accounts, store images, or create any complex reports. I felt inadequate. I ended up relying on a friend, who used PHP to connect to MySQL to make it real. As the web quickly evolved and web applications became ever more important, without any skills or experience with back-end code I felt shut out. That was the last of my coding days.

Looking back on over 25 years in Silicon Valley, I can't help but think of the frustration I felt decades ago. Node.js allows today's programmers to run JavaScript on the server, alongside or in place of a more traditional server-side language, meaning today's young dads and grad school students don't need to face the same struggles I did.

Throughout my career, I'm very fortunate to have worked with others who are as passionate as I am about technology and design. Along with experience at large organizations like Adobe, HP, and Citrix, I've also been part of numerous Series-B, C, and D startups, and I know firsthand how wildly the outcomes can vary. From the worst-case-scenario – running out of cash entirely – to several acquisitions and a successful IPO, I've learned quite a bit about what to do, what to avoid, and what to worry about.

Now, I am very excited to lead an equally passionate team at NodeSource as we define and grow a businesses that benefits all our stakeholders. With rather uncanny timing, I find myself at the heart of the Node.js revolution.

JavaScript and Node.js are democratizing forces, bridging skills gaps much like the one I had. Now, I feel like I can help connect those dots, and all of those life experiences and aspirations have come full circle. I am convinced that Node.js is a key to the future of technology, and I'm looking forward to helping build that future.


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