The Boys and Girl of Summer

Mark Twain once said “The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco.” While the micro-climate of SOMA (South of Market), the area where Engine Yard HQ is located, has considerably more sun than the famously foggy western side of town, the winds of change are definitely blowing through here this summer.

Tammer Saleh joined us 3 weeks ago as Director of Application Development. Most recently Tammer operated his own consultancy practice, and he is a well known and respected member of the Ruby community. He’s already identified a number of quick wins that will continue the rapid fire development of AppCloud. While the AppCloud team has been absolutely killing it, I have confidence that Tammer’s skills and techniques will further press the pace.

As we continue to grow, we felt the time was right to reaffirm our commitment to open source. We don’t want newcomers to the community to think we’re a mere commercial entity, as opposed to the open source symbiote that long time members know us to be! Today I’m announcing two hires that will, I believe, make our commitment abundantly clear.

Dr. Nic Williams will be arriving from Australia to take the role of VP of Technology. His primary responsibility will be to organize and guide Engine Yard’s open source efforts. He has already blogged about his pending move; perhaps I should have left off the Mark Twain quote? Thank you for your sacrifice, Mrs. Dr. Nic! Hopefully you and my wife, Elizabeth, will become fast friends! I find San Francisco to be a friendly and wonderful place to live and suspect you will too! :-)

Roger Levy will be joining us later in the month to oversee engineering, support and product management in his role as SVP of Products. Roger, who managed the SUSE Linux business at Novell, certainly has the open source experience and credentials to continue to reinforce Engine Yard’s commitment to open source.

Finally, we’ve also added Sara Gardner as VP of Marketing and Steve Gross as VP of Business Development. There are so many things to inform the community about, and so many great companies to partner with, that Sara and Steve are already busy! I welcome them to Engine Yard and anxiously anticipate their unique contributions.

Startups that grow quickly place a LOT of stress on their founders and early employees. Many founders thrive on this, I know that Lance and I did. Finally, as a company grows, priorities and roles change. I won’t argue with those who say that staying small is beautiful, as I agree with much of what has been said on that subject. We, however, chose a different path: go big or go home! :-)

Perhaps, then, it should not be a surprise that Ezra and his family have decided to move to Portland to be closer to family. I wish my good friend a very fond farewell, and a reduction of the stress that he has endured along with the rest of the founders and early employees of Engine Yard.

I cannot express how exciting and fulfilling it has been to steer Engine Yard over the last 4 years, from an early advocate of Ruby on Rails and its community, to the force that it is today. As the last remaining founder, I must admit that I’m very proud of what we have achieved during that time, both at Engine Yard and beyond! Lance Walley is now CEO of Chargify, an uber-cool recurring billing service. Jayson Vantuyl has created a successful consulting business and is up to something sneaky as well! And while only time will tell what Ezra shall choose to pursue next, I’m certain that additional success awaits him.

Finally, I’d like to close with something that I wish I could say every time I open my mouth: Thank you to our nearly 1,500 customers and all of my hard working, talented and dedicated employees. Perhaps the highest praise one person can offer another is “you make my dreams possible” and for making mine possible, I’ll forever be grateful to each and every one of you. :-)