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Welcome Stack Overflow Valued Associate #00002

01-05-09 by . 25 comments

I am pleased to announce that Stack Overflow just added another team member in an officially paid capacity: Jarrod Dixon.


Jarrod and I met on the job in 2002, and became fast friends. Here was the rare programmer who loved to code every bit as much as I did. It was our calling, and we recognized that in each other almost immediately.

I <3 code

I wasn’t sure exactly why we got along so well, until we went to one of those corporate teambuilding events that Paul Graham loves so much. During the event, the moderator had everyone go to a corner of the room, depending on whether you were..

  • the oldest child in your family
  • a middle child in your family
  • the youngest child in your family
  • the only child in your family

Of the entire room of 30+ people, only Jarrod and I ended up in the “only child” corner. Our coworkers sadly shook their heads and agreed: this explains a lot.

It was always our goal for Stack Overflow to be a modest but self-sustaining business. Bringing Jarrod on as Stack Overflow Valued Associate #00002, there to work daily on the site alongside me, is an important milestone toward this goal. In a (very) small way, I want to do what Joel did: build a fantastic environment for programmers to work on interesting problems. OK, so the fantastic environment isn’t quite there yet, but I do put my money where my mouth is: we’ve already bought Jarrod a Mirra chair, a blazing fast desktop computer, and a 30″ monitor.

Just for the record — and I am not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone, I’m just explaining the way things are — pretty much all the Stack Overflow advertising revenue that comes in goes directly to Jarrod’s salary. True story. This is the way I want it. In all honesty, nothing makes me happier than paying my dear friend — who also happens to be an incredibly talented developer — to work on this project with me. And with you! Having Jarrod on board means we can satisfy top rated UserVoice requests much faster, and build cool new stuff into the site with greater regularity.

(also, not to be be crass, but if you’re interested in advertising on Stack Overflow do drop us an email. Help us feed a fellow programmer!)

Now, Stack Overflow is bigger than Jarrod and I; it’s only through the contributions of our entire team that we’ve gotten to where we are today. I do hope to bring on more of our excellent team in a formally paid capacity as we continue growing the site. Gotta crawl before you can walk.

2009 is shaping up to be a great year for Stack Overflow. We have big plans. I’ll be blogging about them shortly. We need your input, because we know it isn’t about us — Stack Overflow is You.

Filed under background


Geoff Dalgas Jan 5 2009

It’s GAME time Jarrod! These are exciting times for the extended members of the team as well! Congrats man – you totally deserve it!

Grats Jarrod!

Congrats! While I don’t personally know either of you, this project/company seems to have an epic flavor to it and it’s always great to hear of people getting to work on stuff they absolutely love doing.

namedun Jan 5 2009

This picture successfully fulfills every nerd sterotype that I can find off the top of my head, contradictions aside. High quality.

since you asked :)

This picture was taken at Ellis Island, by Geoff Dalgas, on our trip to NYC to visit Joel’s Fog Creek office.

We’re wearing the audio tour guide headsets. OK, maybe that is a little geeky. SO SUE US!

Jarrod Dixon Jan 5 2009

Thanks for the praise, Jeffy – I’ll try my best to live up to it! And thanks to everyone that makes SO such a great experience to work on!

Jason Jan 6 2009


Out of curiosity, if most of the ad money goes directly to paying Jarrod’s salary, what money are you living off? I apologize if this is an inappropriate question. The reason I ask is because I’m considering starting my own company but I’m nervous about my living expenses.

I see you have provided Jarrod with an umbrella to shield the rain, since you did not provide a roof for his office. :-D

Jason, you do remember Jeff still runs advertisements in, no?

Out of curiosity, did the majority of the room go to the “oldest child in the family” corner, or was it pretty evenly distributed?

Damian Jan 6 2009

Funny giggle, “on the job” has a different meaning in my part of the world.

Congratulations on your growth.

So of Jeff and Joel, which is employee #00000 and which is #00001?

Many congrats Jarrod, you’ve been doing an awesome job at keeping the ‘flow at full force. Keep up the great work!!!

Employee #00002 and not #2? Do you intend to stop hiring after #99999? (Dang, edge cases!!! :-P)

btw, does Jarrod get the “Riker badge?”

Jarrod Dixon Jan 6 2009

@kip – I think the “Oldest sibling” corner had the most people. We had a bossy bunch back then :)

@Jin – I’m dropping everything and implementing that now! I also have these visions of Austin Powers asking me who number 2 works for…

Jarrod Dixon Jan 6 2009

Also, Jeff’s wearing his most awesome Chewbacca t-shirt; he’s so proud of it:

Congratulations Jarrod! and greetings from me, another only child in the family. What about a badge for that? :)

Kristof Jan 7 2009

“pretty much all the Stack Overflow advertising revenue that comes in goes directly to Jarrod’s salary.”

Jeff if you feel like paying Jarrod even more :)(by increasing the site revenue) you could consider adding some extra advertising for unregistered users.

I believe that most of the SO traffic comes from the search engines so you will have a good visitor count.
What is probably even more important the SO users that contribute to the site content will not be affected by this. Actually in that way the advertising can be completely removed from the view of the logged in users or kept to the minimum as it is at the moment.

Kudos again for creating this great site and best of luck to Jarrod

David Jan 7 2009

Random thought. When I first saw the photo of you, Jarrad and Random Dudes, I thought I’d gone to Improv Everywhere by mistake. Just random, and totally irrelevant, but hey, you let us post comments…


Jarrod Dixon Jan 7 2009

mmmm, signing bonus – I FEEL LIKE BIG TALENT!

Boss got me another 30″ samsung :)

I guess he is employee #1 since you and Joel are founders and owners, not employees.

Jarrod is also way more sexy than you are, Jeff! :)

Josh Goodrich Jun 2 2009

What’s up Jarrod, unless I’m mistaken we took an extremely lame database course together at NCSU back in the day. Good to see fellow Wolfpack grad doing great things.

@Josh Goodrich – yeah, I think I remember you. Did you have a PlayStation 2 and Tiger Woods? And how could you call the class was lame – it taught me to index every single column in a database :-P