I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself because I hope that my arrival, and new role with StormForge, signals lots of great things to come. My path to Chief Technology Officer may not be conventional in the world of technology start-ups, but it does give me a unique perspective that I hope grounds me in the realities of our customer’s worlds and gives me a deeper appreciation for the challenges you’re facing.

During a career that has taken me from the military to a big box retailer to healthcare, I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands dirty in most aspects of IT. While my background is diverse, there is one common thread that ties each of my roles together: a bootstrap mentality that focuses on figuring out problems and delivering on promises. I can’t think of a better way to approach my new role as Chief Technology Officer with StormForge.

I’d like to start by sharing a little about where I’ve been and how I’ve found myself joining a team of forward-thinking data scientists, machine learning experts, and experienced DevOps engineers. After my tenure with the military, I entered corporate life at a global consumer electronics retailer and found myself immersed in web scale e-commerce. As you can imagine, there were times of tremendous pressure to deliver, when our site was inundated with consumers seeking Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday bargains. The volume of traffic created some unique and interesting challenges, and lots of opportunities to learn, experiment, and figure things out. At the end of the day, we executed a significant transformation for our e-commerce platform, and as the leader of the site reliability engineering group I was able to work closely with the product, engineering, and operations teams to make our e-commerce experience truly world-class.

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So where do you go after twelve years in consumer electronics and on-line retail? Well, healthcare probably isn’t most people’s logical next step – but it was mine. I found myself at an organization serving 127 million customers with an annual investment in technology and innovation of more than $5.0 billion. The healthcare industry is fast changing, and the organization was modernizing to meet a radically evolving landscape. Once again, it was all about solving problems, although in this case it was scaling for thousands of applications. Of course, that brought with it other challenges, such as a giant infrastructure footprint and apps that spanned wide and deep – from web to mainframe. Here is where I got to dig in and really learn about operations. It’s also where I first heard about StormForge.

As someone who’s been in the shoes of StormForge customers, I’ve asked myself the same questions you probably ask yourself: Why am I spending millions of dollars in cloud costs? What is the right spend? What do I have to trade-off to increase reliability? What is the impact of over-provisioning resources? And on and on. Of course, balancing the risk of trade-offs with the impact on customers is always a primary concern, and something that, unfortunately, we didn’t have too many good ways to figure out at the time.

That’s why I get really excited about the capabilities that StormForge is bringing to customers to help you drive stability and availability while also reducing cloud spend. It’s a game changing proposition, and one I’m thrilled to now be a part of. Not surprisingly, when making a big change it always helps to believe in the people as well as the product. In my case, I loved the idea that StormForge started out as a machine learning company first. And I also appreciated that the company was built upon the idea of valuing experimentation, not only running experiments to identify the optimal configuration for Kubernetes, but also pivoting to address new problems with the technology. This is what makes me confident in our ability to develop solutions that will have a profoundly positive impact on StormForge customers.

It’s also why I’ve hit the ground running, spending time with customers to hear first-hand about their challenges while gaining insights that will help StormForge move forward. Yes, it’s always great to hear how excited customers (and potential customers) are about the new capabilities we’re bringing to their native workflows and pipelines, and it gets me excited, too. These conversations already have my wheels turning – it’s the site reliability engineer in me. I can’t help but believe that, with a machine learning platform that’s connected directly to Kubernetes and can read the raw observability that’s coming from a cluster, the possibilities for StormForge and our customers are near limitless.

Coming off a few days on the road with customers, I’m looking ahead to how we can validate that we’re doing the right things and that we’re ready to scale. I’m surrounded by a talented team with a vision and the ability to execute on that vision. I feel fortunate to join them on this exciting journey and welcome your thoughts, as well, as we take our next steps. Please feel free to reach out to me, and to share your experiences and feedback as we all work together to do better and go further. It’s an exciting time and I’m glad to be a part of it.