Today is Jay Hanlon’s (aka Jaydles) last day at Stack Overflow. Since I’ve been working with him for nearly 7 years now, I wanted to take a minute to wish him a public goodbye.
Jay joined us way back in the day as one of the top users on Area 51, where he was super excited about helping propose and create new Stack Exchange sites (and also briefly super annoyed when we cost him a bunch of rep by changing how it was calculated on Area 51).
After he joined the company as VP of Community in 2012, we worked together on a bunch of important projects, including:
- Redesigning the Tour page
- Reworking question closure to add the “On Hold” state
- Launching Stack Overflow in other languages than English
- Redesigning the profile page and launching the Developer Story
- And most recently, launching the Welcome Wagon
I’ve enjoyed working with Jay a lot through the years. I remember one of the very first conversations I had with him, where I told him he had one of the most important jobs at Stack Overflow. I was responsible for engineering, but he was responsible for the entire community, and we were nothing without our community. I know Jay took this to heart, and really cared deeply about supporting and growing the Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange communities.
So I’m sad to see him go, but I also know that we’re better equipped than ever to carry his work forward. I’m 100% committed to Jay’s vision of a Stack Overflow community that is both an amazing, high-quality resource for programmers all over the world, and a place where everyone who codes feels welcome and able to contribute. We have a lot of work to do on both fronts, and we’re staffing the team up to handle it. With Jay leaving, we are hiring a new VP of Community who will be focused full-time on the community and lead these efforts (if you’re interested, get in touch!)
On a personal note, I’ll miss working with Jay every day. In the ~7 years we’ve worked together, he’s been not just a great coworker, but also a good friend. Internally, he has always been just as passionate about our company and making it a great place to work as he was about the community. That made him the kind of person you always knew you could go to when you needed help, or advice, or just someone to listen to you when you were having a bad day. That kind of thing isn’t always seen outside a company, but it was a huge part of Jay’s impact on the company and on me personally.
So, Jay, thanks for everything you’ve done. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you, and you’ll be missed.