Thursday, February 21st, 2013

High-Class Problems, Kick-Ass Engineers

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I joined Box six months ago, or, in SVST (Silicon Valley Standard Time) 1.3 million years ago. And, while that may be a slight exaggeration, there’s no doubt that as a company and an engineering team, we move fast and “GSD,” as the saying goes here at Box.

We’ve been investing our time in bringing together the most talented engineers in the Valley to create a top-tier content management platform that scales from individuals to small businesses to large enterprises — seamlessly. We believe the ability to truly scale necessitates an elegantly architected product, from back-end to front-end and every interaction in between. Our focus on the enterprise combined with our explosive growth rate can bring some unique challenges to the table. Some of the puzzles we have to tackle are easier than solving a Rubik’s cube with your feet, but others take a little more time.

Whatever the magnitude of challenges we face, one of my goals has been to foster an environment where engineers can solve problems together, learning new skills from the engineers around them. We hire the best because we want to work with the best. With that being said, I’m very excited to welcome Nicholas Zakas and Victor Spivak to Box Engineering.

Nicholas has unmatched UI skills, having served as the front-end tech lead for the Yahoo! Homepage, which literally handles hundreds of millions of visitors everyday around the world. He has written the book (no, seriously, he’s written a bunch of books) on web development and has earned a reputation for building faster, better, stronger interfaces. He is widely recognized as a thought leader in JavaScript, has a wealth of experience in Open Source, and is a regular speaker at conferences across the globe. If you’ve ever worked in front-end eng, you’ve probably heard of Nicholas (and if you haven’t, you should probably check out his books, blog posts, or lectures: http://www.nczonline.net/).

Victor Spivak originally hails from Moldova and has leisurely made his way to our Box platform engineering team via Relevance Technology, Documentum, EMC, and, most recently, building out Chatterbox at Salesforce. In his 7 years at EMC, Victor was an EMC Fellow and the chief architect for Documentum. And in his most recent stint at Salesforce he was the lead architect for ChatterBox. At Box, he can regularly be found engaged in lively debates with other engineers about the pros and cons of such programming languages as Java while sipping… java. Victor knows content management, he knows enterprise, he knows collaboration, and he knows them at serious scale.

We’ve come a long way since Box was founded in 2005, when we were fueled primarily by online poker funds, McDonald’s cheeseburgers and a lot of hope, but we still have a long way to go. I look forward to the progress we’ll make in 2013, as we gear up to change the world of cloud content management.

Sam Schillace is the VP of Engineering at Box, where he is responsible for the engineering and QA teams.

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