Hi everyone! I’m Soren Harner, the new Vice President of Engineering here at BigCommerce. I’m here to lead the talented people who design, code, test and run BigCommerce. We were born global. I’m based in Sydney, Australia, and Engineering started and remains mostly here. Other teams are working out of our Austin, Texas office. Our culture is a nice fusion of the two.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to lead some great engineering teams over the years, starting in San Francisco and more recently in Sydney. I was VP of Engineering at Atlassian, a global software success coming out of Sydney. Atlassian gained a reputation for engineering excellence and has won awards including the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer award.
In his book Drive, Dan Pink showcases Atlassian as a case study on how to motivate creative people. Atlassian’s products are now the standard for technical teams. In fact, we use Atlassian products every day at BigCommerce, so I feel quite at home. Prior to Atlassian, I led a Sydney-based engineering organisation for Austin-based web content management giant Vignette. The Austin connection is another reason I feel at home.
Engineering at BigCommerce is growing rapidly. I’m part of a new wave of specialists. In addition to software engineers, we’re bringing on more user experience designers, system administrators, test automation engineers and many others with deep skills in important areas. Our goal is to listen and understand what makes you successful and then streamline and enhance the product to maximise that. This involves tuning user experience while building out critical functionality. A lot of work is going into the foundation and infrastructure to ensure that it remains rock solid as your business experiences explosive growth.
On a personal note, like Larry, I play music and often end up singing. I look forward to breaking out the guitars when I make it over to Austin, and we even have plans for a Sydney band. My two girls, both in primary school, play trumpet so I finally have the horn section I always wanted.
I’m also a cycling fanatic. I ride to work rain or shine, and I love exploring Sydney’s beautiful nature reserves by bike.
Nothing gives me more joy than working with great people to create great software. The team here is second to none, which for me was a real attraction. BigCommerce creates opportunities for millions of people in such a direct way. What we’re doing here really matters, and that will inspire us to inspire you.
The future is coming at us at 100mph and I look forward to co-creating a new economy with (and for) you!