Ben Sabrin, former JBoss head of sales, on joining 10gen

A little history lesson on what led me to 10gen. In 2002, I got lucky and met Marc Fleury of JBoss fame at the inaugural application server vendor shootout at the Atlanta Java User Group. At that meeting, Marc proclaimed that JBoss was ...FREE and it didn’t SUCK.” I went on to convince him to hire a 26 year old kid who had been a technical recruiter for 5 years. At JBoss, I learned the power of bottom-up software movements and how powerful developer-led communities can be. This is one of the reasons I am at 10gen today.

JBoss grew because developers were frustrated with the bloated expensive proprietary application servers on the market. They wanted to work with a lean, modular, and transparent app server and code the future. We allowed the community to help us shape our business model, always keeping our ears on the pulse of our community. Similarly, the strong community 10gen has built around MongoDB drew me to the company.

After JBoss was acquired by Red Hat, I briefly played professional poker, worked at Appcelerator (happy MongoDB users!), and started a recruiting company called eHire. As I learned more about MongoDB and the new data model emerging, I became fascinated.

I considered several opportunities, but MongoDB kept rising to the top. What drew me to 10gen and MongoDB was the team of people. Dwight and Eliot built an amazing product, community and team of people. Dwight and our Chairman Kevin built DoubleClick, the original advertising engine of the web. After I met Roger, Max, Nosh, Meghan, Alex and all of the others, I became convinced something real was going on at 10gen and I needed to be a part of the team.

Bottom-up developer-led software movements work. They are fueled by real need, not people like me convincing you why you need to have it. The MongoDB community is vibrant and the team has done an amazing job of driving adoption, usage, and real customer success. I was blown away by the deals in the pipeline and the use cases being considered. Getting involved with an open source community that works with Java, C++, .Net, PHP, Ruby, etc was exciting. The new non-relational data model is here to stay and is being used for the right reasons. MongoDB led by the 10gen team has emerged as the leader of this movement.

After I attended the MongoDB conferences in Atlanta and Austin I knew this was the right gig for me. People were paying to come learn about MongoDB by the hundred. I am thankful that Dwight, Eliot, Max, Roger and the Board welcomed me to the executive team. I am excited and ready to take over the database world, one deal at a time.

I’d love to talk to anyone in the community who wants to teach me more about why they love MongoDB. I can be reached at ben@10gen.com.