How I learned to stop worrying and love big blue.
This is the story of one StrongLooper becoming one IBMer. And while it does not represent the thoughts and experiences and hopes of all StrongLoop employees, I felt it was important to share my thoughts. As our regular readers will recall, StrongLoop was acquired by IBM about five weeks ago to bolster IBM’s entrance into the Node.js community and increase its API offerings. For a startup just a few years old, in a technology not much older, this was an exciting move. But I’m not here to talk about how important APIs and Node have become in the enterprise, I’m here to talk about what it has been like to integrate into the big blue sea that is IBM.
My personal history includes many startups and a few larger organizations, but this was my first time coming into a large company through an acquisition. To be honest, I was a bit terrified. I wasn’t concerned about losing my job (no one has been laid off due to the acquisition), but there was a lot of uncertainty about how we would fit into the IBM Middleware group. Shortly after the announcement we had an internal all-hands meeting where Marie Wieck, the Middleware GM, and some of her team explained how important APIs – and Node – were to not only her group, but all of IBM. In fact, Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO, has expressed her belief in the “API Economy” (a term both companies have used for a while) is the direction enterprise business is headed.
This drive within IBM to push the API Economy, combined with the acquisition of StrongLoop – a leader in the Node API movement – brings me to the first thing I, and many of my coworkers, have noticed in our new home: excitement. We are getting requests for information from every angle within IBM, and these folks are energized about what StrongLoop is going to bring to the table. I was at a conference recently in Raleigh, North Carolina where I met a another relatively recent IBMer, Raymond Camden. After introducing myself I quickly realized that although I was curious about his work as a developer advocate, he was ten times more curious about Node and StrongLoop.
The primary benefit of this acquisition so far, in my opinion, is the immense number of resources that have been allocated to StrongLoop and Node generally. What that now means is that many of the efforts we have had to put off being a startup are now in full swing. Everyone I have interacted with at IBM has been extremely helpful and willing to answer all of our questions – or find someone who can.
The Dark Side
All of those resources I mentioned are great, no doubt, but that also means interacting with a lot of people. And that means meetings. And meetings about meetings. And scheduling for meetings. Previously at StrongLoop I would interact with about 20 people, from my boss to our CEO to individual developers and support staff. I’m now interacting with at least 3 times that number.
The good news is that the financial resources we now have are allowing us to hire like crazy. Help can’t come fast enough, so if you want to work on awesome Node projects, from frameworks to tooling, get in touch!
Developers Developers Developers Developers!
StrongLoop has been a huge supporter of the Node community and its legions of passionate developers. From sponsoring conferences and meetups to being one of the early member of the Node Foundation, we have continually looked for ways to grow and support those developers. With the backing of IBM, we can now expand those efforts. By our powers combined, we will bring Node and APIs to the entire planet (see what I did there?). Fear not fellow Nodies, StrongLoop and IBM are here to support you.
In my short time so far with IBM my budget for the StrongLoop evangelism program has grown immensely. Do you run a Node usergroup? Hit me up, let’s see what we can do together!
What do you think of the acquisition? Are you as excited about its potential for Node as we are? Let us know, reach out on Twitter or maybe write a blog post of your own about your passion for Node!