Who is Tom Daly?
I’m one of the founders of Dyn, and over the years worked hard to earn the title of CTO. I’m a technologist who is passionate about performance and optimization of DNS and Email Delivery services, and I happen to have a particular knowledge of how the Internet backbone works at scale. I have a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
What does your typical day look like?
Every day is a bit different. I typically spend about half of the day thinking about how to scale Dyn, both from a technology standpoint (can our systems bring on the next 1000 customers) and from a team / organizational standpoint (can we build the processes and procedures needed to develop and maintain our systems for the next 1000 customers, in addition to growing the team to do all of this). The next quarter of the day goes toward our sales and marketing efforts, in the form of jumping on calls or email threads with prospective clients, working on blog posts that help to evangelize our services to the world, and working with our sales, marketing, and implementation team to educate and share knowledge of why well performing DNS and Email delivery services are critical. The last quarter of the day goes to thinking about the long term – what are the next 2 or 3 big products that will be offered by Dyn? What’s happening on the Internet at large that we may need to react to, how to stay ahead of the technology curve, etc.
What do you do in your free time?
Well, I’m married to a wonderful girl, Erin, who is massively supportive of Dyn and everything I’m doing. We also recently had our first child, which has changed my outside of work priorities a lot with respect to a healthly work life balance – enjoying the finer, family moments of life are a priority. Outside of the day job, I’m the Board Chair for the New Hampshire High Tech Council, a business association focused on business development, education, and legislative issues facing NH’s business community – this job leads to a lot of outside networking and event coordination. Additionally, I sit on two advisory boards at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and on the Program Committee for the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG).
Where and when did you start programming?
I’m not really sure. I took a C++ programming course in high school and again as an undergrad in college. I wrote scripts and small programs when I worked at a local NH ISP (G4.net) to help glue together certain pieces of provisioning and billing. I started writing Perl when I found Dyn in 2001, but only really as a hack. Honestly, I’m not much of a programmer – I do it out of necessity and when there are clear results to be obtained – and when that happens, I really enjoy it.
Favorite: Programming Languages, Frameworks?
What OS do you prefer?
I couldn’t live without Mac OS X for my workstation, and FreeBSD in the server environment.
Current favorite apps?
I pretty much live inside of Firefox, Terminal, and TextMate all day. I love using Adium, Skype, and Twitter for communications. Things and KeePassX help me keep everything organized. Pretty vanilla there.
Small picture for your Workplace?
Name something that has inspired you recently?
The abi Innovation Hub recently held a business plan competition named VentureX, in collaboration with Wassabi Ventures. A friend of mine brought the idea of micro investing to me a few weeks later, and we’re working on a plan to build an investment engine in Manchester, NH. The long-term goal is to create a technology oriented ecosystem of businesses in Manchester, just as we did with Dyn. The excitement of knowing that this could spin up a few more tech companies in NH is hugely exciting.
What do you prefer? Freelance work or full time employment?
The engineer in me says that I need the security of full time employment. The entrepreneur in me enjoys the big risks and big rewards of freelance work. Right now I’m employed full time.
What are your goals for 2012?
I’d like to continue to grow in my role as a strategic CTO at Dyn. In the formative years of Dyn, I was always very hands on – in the code, configuring devices, deploying the network. As we’ve scaled up our team with more people, I’ve had to learn how to let go of the details and trust others, and move from a position of authority to a position of influence. Ensuring that I keep focused on setting Dyn’s vision for technology, services to customers, and how these items drive the company forward is my biggest goal.