Painting in Code
Meet Spike Washburn, lead architect in North Carolina
Working at CloudBees for over 12 years, Spike Washburn is what some would call a CloudBees elder. "I’m often referred to as a historian here because I’ve been through a lot with the company,” he says.
In fact, Spike joined CloudBees in December of 2010 as part of an acquisition early in the company’s history – four months in, to be exact. "I remember we were building a cloud platform at the time which – fun fact – is why ‘cloud’ is in the name ‘CloudBees’ today. It’s a true testament to my tenure here,” he says with a laugh.
Three years into his role as lead architect, Spike oversees a variety of teams, offering input wherever needed. Most of the time he works with SaaS teams, but his main duties include making sure projects are aligned, evaluating upcoming technologies to use, and looking at proofs of concepts to build into products later. But most importantly, Spike helps developers build solutions that deliver their software.
"Part of our vision at CloudBees is to deliver software products that energize and give developers the freedom to get their work done while giving corporations enough control and visibility to understand what’s happening. It’s about eliminating red tape and making sure corporations are meeting their corporate compliance standards and goals.”
A big part of why Spike enjoys working at CloudBees is because "software – as our founder Sacha would say – is eating the world. It’s everywhere,” he says. With the impact software has on everything in our lives, Spike says CloudBees is bettering the world by improving the process of building and delivering software.
For Spike, he admits software has, and continues to have a significant impact on his own life. Before coming into his role as an architect, Spike was an avid coder – a passion he quickly discovered in college while majoring in nuclear engineering. "Despite having more managerial positions in the past, my passion for coding has made me fight against the desire to want to be the coding manager. It’s a hard thing to not code. I saw that with Sacha - who was CEO at the time - too. He’d find any reason to code, even if he was just working in spreadsheets. That’s why it’s been fun to work in an environment where our customers are like us: they’re developers,” he explains.
But what’s really fun, Spike says, is the ability to try new things and change things up. "Shifting back and forth between managerial, technical, and leadership roles at CloudBees - and throughout my career - is what keeps me sane and excited about the work I do!”
When it comes to writing code, Spike loves that it’s a creative endeavor – taking abstract concepts and trying to "paint them in code,” he says. "There are so many levels to coding. It’s like painting a picture – there’s no one way to do it. Coding is the same way.”
In his time at CloudBees, Spike has noticed a special quality amongst the Bees. "There’s an energized work mentality here,” Spike says. "I think that comes from the open-source background at CloudBees. Because open source is community-driven and something a lot of people contribute to in their free time, it’s like blending your job and your passion – and that’s something we really value at CloudBees.”