Building Chess.com: Part 10 - The Team
Today Chess.com was featured in a great video news piece in which I (Erik) had a few embarrassing interview clips. In the video I was referred to as the "creator" of Chess.com, and I just wanted to let everyone know how far from true that statement is!
Honestly, I don't even have a title. You can call me what you want - boss, CEO, owner, manager - but don't call me creator. That's like saying your face is the most important part of your body - not ever close to true. That's right - I am the face because I am the person representing the company, and in some ways I am the bones because I help support the whole structure, and maybe I am a small insignificant organ or two (I do the books and the html and a few other odds and ends), but I am just a tiny part of Chess.com. To set the record straight, I wanted to introduce you to some of the amazing people who are the true creators of Chess.com.
Jay - Jay is the nervous system. And the lungs. And the red blood cells. And the liver. And most of the brain. And the DNA. Jay is the one who builds almost everything you see. He is the master architect of the site - he does the database design, the php framework, and is my partner in deciding on what features to build. I have known Jay for 13 years now (whoah - where did time go!?) and he has always been the most amazing and productive programmer I have ever met hands down.
So, if you have ever wondered how 90% of this stuff gets built, thank Jay. If you have registered an account, made a friend, sent a message, played a game of chess, used Chess Mentor, read an article, or just about anything else, then take a moment to tell Jay "THANK YOU" and be specific about it :)
Igor - Igor is the blood of Chess.com. Igor makes sure that all of the pieces of Chess.com have the resources (bandwidth and connections) that they need. He makes sure that all of the intricate parts that connect to the internet are functioning smoothly. He measures the health of the system. He delivers oxygen to the organs. And he keeps us safe from infections.
So, if you have ever even used Chess.com, thank Igor. If you have received an email, logged into the site, seen images, been impressed with the speed of the site, or been grateful that your account is 100% safe, then take a moment to tell Igor "THANK YOU"!
So, if you have ever played chess on Chess.com, seen a diagram, done the tactics trainer, used Chess Mentor, or have played Live Chess, then take a moment to tell Piotr "THANK YOU"!
Cache - Cache is the gall bladder, the liver, and the kidney. He takes care of building tons of really cool stuff that Jay can't get to and also helps take the load off of Jay by taking care of smaller programming tasks. Cache is an amazing young developer - I can just hand him a project and he will finish it very quickly. It won't be pretty, but it will work like a charm and then we polish it up and plug it in!
So, if you have ever used the Endless Quiz, given a Trophy, set your Status, played Vote Chess, or had one of your smaller suggestions quickly implemented, then take a moment to tell Cache "THANK YOU"!
Matt - Matt is the eyelids, eardrums, and vocal chords of Chess.com. He makes it so that the face can function by shielding me from distractions, filtering problems, and responding to a lot of issues. He is also the hands. He takes care of a TON of important tasks that keep Chess.com moving along smoothly.
So, if you have ever had a question or needed support, or were welcomed to Chess.com with a friendly game, had your account fixed, or been impressed with how clean and family-friendly Chess.com is, then take a moment to give Matt a big "THANK YOU"!
Matias Jose - Matias (or as we like to call him, "Shadow") is the immune system of Chess.com. He goes around looking for bugs and tests our new features to make sure they are healthy and ready to go!
So, if you have ever been happy with how bug-free Chess.com is, thank Matias!
There are several other people who deserve big thanks as well, but this is already a super long post. Here is the shortened version:
Eugen - he is making Live Chess tons better!
Andy - he made many really cool icons and chess pieces for Chess.com!
Denny - he saved Chess Mentor's life!
Mac - he helped us hugely with Tactics Trainer!
Ben - he built our maps and a bunch of backend stuff you will never see but that helps us do our jobs a TON! (sorry i left you out!)
Bill Wall - he is our #1 content contributor and amazing guy!
Sarah (Batgirl) - she is our top blogger!
Here are a few more interesting facts about our team:
Only 3 of us have ever met! I have known Jay for YEARS, but I have only met Igor 2-3 times. I have never met anyone else! And I have only talked to a few of them on the phone (I once called Piotr at 3am in Poland!!) :) We are from all over the world and we use Instant Messaging, email, and Skype to communicate.
Collectively we are the brains and the heart - each contributing the ideas and the passion needed to make Chess.com what it is!
I know I get the public recognition for Chess.com, but that is largely misplaced. hope you will take the time to thank the REAL creators of Chess.com for making this site the amazing place it is!