StrongLoop is excited to announce that Dennis Ashby has joined the StrongLoop team to lead sales engineering and professional services at the company! Read on to learn why Dennis thinks that StrongLoop is well positioned to help developers and organizations become successful with Node.js in a mobile-first world…
To explain why I chose to join the StrongLoop team, I have to detail a bit of my own history in the tech industry…
The Web-First Era
In what seems like a lifetime ago, in the fall of 1996 I was fresh out of college and with ink still wet on my degree, I joined a small software company that was located on John Street in downtown Manhattan. It was a remarkable company but an even more remarkable time to enter the technology field as a developer. Within my first few months at this company, I found myself with a ringside seat to witness a set of pivotal events that was taking place within most of our Enterprise customers. The two events were on parallel tracks, yet inextricably linked together.
The first event was a shift in the de facto programming language used by the Enterprise; it was steadily shifting from C to Java. The second major event was the shift from building and deploying desktop applications to web (browser-based) applications. For historical reference, at this point in time, the cool browser was Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer was the evil challenger – I guess some things don’t change over time, but still, what a time to join the party!
Essentially, 1996 was the leading edge of the “Web-First” era, and for majority of today’s Fortune 1000, it is still their current era.
In the beginning, the “Web-First” era was lead by forward-thinking Enterprises who embraced the challenges of change. And believe me, those challenges were multi-faceted and complicated. In hindsight, a lot of the complication was mostly because this new era required an ideological shift in thinking, which was paired with the technological changes. And at times it was wrought with internal corporate naysayers who would try to sabotage any project that was web-related.
The challenges these daring Enterprises faced included everything from having to retrain existing teams to be effective in a new programming language, re-imagining UX and UI design principles for web browsers, and learning about how DevOps would ‘care-for and feed’ these new breed of applications.
Looking back, I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many great organizations and teams as they overcame these challenges and fully embraced the “Web-First” paradigm… and I see this exact same set of event happening again in today’s forward-thinking Enterprises.
The Journey to a Mobile-First Era
Just as the rise of Enterprise Web Apps changed the face of Enterprise IT almost 18 years ago, the emergence of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, smart-wear and always connected devices is changing that face again. Enterprises are now making plans on how to evolve (and some may say innovate) into the new “Mobile-First” era.
In this new era, Enterprises will need to deliver not just mobile, but omni-channel, solutions that are:
- Always connected and always with you (even offline)
- Location aware
- Sensor aware
- High quality camera and audio
- Offer seamless data interoperability non-mobile channels
Just as with the previous era, the “Mobile-First” era will require organizations re-examine (and re-imagine) existing technology solutions, products, platforms and procedures. The table-stakes for this new era will require systems to gracefully handle ‘transaction-storms” that far exceed the ferocity and velocity of anything seen in the previous era… and this is why I joined StrongLoop.
Much like the transition that reshaped Enterprise IT of 18 years ago, there will be many challenges to overcome as the Enterprise begins to address the new era of mobility. There will need to be new tools, products, procedures, training, and expert services to fully embrace this new era.
I am proud to have joined the StrongLoop team as the Director of Sales Engineering and Services. I am excited to again be partnering with forward-thinking Enterprises as they discover the advantages and benefits that our Node based solutions can provide!
Ringside seats for pivotal events are hard to come by – let’s get the show started…
Director of Client Services