Celebrating Anchore’s Fifth Birthday

This is a special guest post from our CEO, Saïd Ziouani to celebrate and reflect on five years of the Anchore journey.

As we celebrate Anchore’s fifth birthday this month, and reflect on our journey thus far, I am truly humbled at what our talented team of professionals has accomplished in such a short period of time. Anchore was founded on three core values: Kindness, Openness, and Ownership. Our employees (affectionately called Anchorenauts) exemplify each of those values every day, and are the backbone of the company.

When Dan Nurmi, Co-founder, and I got together back in 2016 to start Anchore, container technology was still in the early stages, but adoption was starting to take shape at a pace that was like nothing we’d seen in the past. We could see how security and compliance would need to be re-imagined to a “continuous” approach that would allow developers to deliver innovation quickly and securely. We then realized that coupling the container adoption movement with developer-led security (or “shift left”) was going to be the foundational play for our next adventure.

Today, after five wonderful years of innovation, building a team, raising capital and instilling a strong operational foundation, I’m pleased to see how far we have come as a company. At 75 people strong, we are excited to be helping Fortune 100 companies such as eBay, NVIDIA and Cisco and government agencies such as the U.S. Air Force and Navy to develop secure cloud-native applications. And we’ve been honored to work alongside DevOps leaders such as GitLab, GitHub and Cloudbees to advance DevSecOps practices.

As we look forward, the next five years at Anchore will be full of new innovations as we help organizations secure their software supply chains in a world of increasing threats. We also seek to develop and inspire the next generation of engineers, technologists and leaders, both within Anchore and in the larger open source and technology community.

I’m even more excited now than I was the day Dan and I founded the company. The thrill of being at the forefront of such amazing and dynamic technology is more than we expected. As Anchorenauts have heard me say many times in the past, “it’s really all about the journey.” At Anchore, we surround ourselves with hardworking, kind individuals, all driving toward a common goal of building a technology that contributes to ensuring a safer and more secure world. I’m grateful to our industry partners, valued customers and all Anchorenauts — from those who’ve been with us since the early days to those who have embraced the journey with us more recently. We look forward to continuing to build this amazing company together!

A Family Approach to Startup Life

When Chad Olds (he/him) joined Anchore in February 2020 as VP of Sales-Americas, his goal was to build a collaborative, high-performing sales organization.  The first year was filled with many unexpected challenges, most notably a global pandemic. This led him through an action-packed year beginning as a “team of one” and ending with an incredibly talented team of Account Executives, Solution Engineers, and Sales Development Representatives.  

When the pandemic hit, Chad learned quickly how much work is involved with raising three children and being present as a parent while balancing a demanding career. It completely changed the expectations and needs in his household.  

“What I learned, even before the pandemic, is that taking care of the kids is a lot of work, and it is absolutely unfair for me to think that my wife, Brittany, who owns a small business, should be expected to take on full parent duties 24/7.”  

Chad knew how important it was to participate and share in the demands required in caretaking, and finding a way to balance the ownership and responsibility was a priority.

With a career in sales spanning 15 years, Chad’s focus was aligning himself with a company that understood the importance of finding an effective balance between work and life. At Anchore he found a sense of trust in managing personal schedules that flex with an individual’s needs.  It’s not always possible to predict needs or delegate work to others at a start-up, but he knew that with proper planning and prioritization, he had the support to make it happen.   

“I changed my work schedule to help take on more of the morning responsibilities for our family. Things like help make breakfast, get the kids dressed and hair brushed. Essentially help them get ready to start the school day, which, for any parents out there, can attest that this alone can be a day’s work!”

Chad realized that even with the adjustment of helping with the morning routine, it wasn’t enough.  He wanted to support his wife in having more time to herself.  “I started blocking time during the week to spend time with my kids while Brittany was able to take the time she needed to stay balanced and healthy. It was fantastic for both of us! One of the things I appreciate about Anchore is that I don’t feel the need to hide spending time with my family. It’s something that our leadership team fully supports.”  

Being able to show up at work and contribute at the highest level involves having a life outside of work – whatever that may look like to each person.  Chad believes that burnout can happen quickly, especially at a start-up where the workload is vast, and the pressure is high. 

“I want my team to really know their friends and family.  I want them to enjoy what they do every day.  It’s about working smart, and prioritizing early and often to ensure you’re able to get done what you need to get done, while also being able to show up in other areas of your life fully, without distraction.  It is incredibly meaningful for me to not only give that support to my team in achieving what is most important to them, but to receive that level of support from my leadership as well.”

You can keep up with Chad and his series Colds Unfair Advantage on LinkedIn.

Taking A Healthy Viewpoint

Since Anchore’s inception, healthcare has been a central tenet for CEO Saïd Ziouani. “We want everyone at Anchore to focus on creating and being a part of something really special here. Employees should not have to worry that their physical and mental health is not being taken care of. It is, and will always be, a priority for us.”

In this Mission: Impact health profile, we sat down with Shannon Goulding to hear about her wellness journey with Anchore’s benefits program.

“Last year I joined Anchore and upon enrolling in benefits, was blown away at the number of plans that were fully covered by the employer – my experience of the industry standard is that the lowest HDHP-type plans were the only ones covered at 100%. While I consider myself a generally healthy person, I enrolled in a low-deductible PPO at ZERO extra cost to me, so I buckled down and got serious about using my insurance. I saw all the specialists that I had been putting off for years due to cost, and for lack of a better phrase, got my act together!

Thanks to having comprehensive insurance from my employer, I now can afford the things that I have realized are a necessity as I advance in a challenging career in talent acquisition at a startup, during a totally unprecedented season of life. As a result I now wear glasses, resulting in fewer headaches. Plus I have easy and affordable access to tools that are helping me keep my mental health in check.

It’s a win-win for me AND for Anchore because when I’m happier and healthier, I’m a much better recruiter!”


It All Started With a Fish Tank

It all started with a fish tank…  You don’t hear that often, but for Anchore employees Touré Dunnon and Amy Oxley, this hobby was just the thing to start their Anchorenaut friendship.  

Touré’s 250 gallon saltwater aquarium is the real deal. It has an impressive mechanical and biological filtration system that holds 400 gallons total (2500 lbs). Touré grows seaweed and keeps the water extra clean for his nine fish from Fiji and the Caribbean.  

This advanced level of aquatic life didn’t happen overnight.  Touré learned his love of fish through his Dad, who started him out with a 10 gallon saltwater tank when he was 13.  After college, Touré got back into aquariums with his two daughters who help manage the water changes, clean the tank, and feed the fish.  Since he was interested in becoming a marine biologist as a kid, Touré is hoping his daughters will be inspired to pursue that path when they get older.

Outside of his fish tank fatherhood, Touré is a Senior Software Engineer on the Anchore platform team, primarily working on policy engine with a key focus on keeping active containers within compliance.  

Meanwhile in Texas, Amy’s three-year-old daughter Fynn’s obsession with the Finding Nemo movie piqued her interest in starting a fish tank hobby. It wasn’t until seeing Toure’s aquarium during an Anchore All-Hands virtual meeting that she was inspired to commit.  Amy’s 40 gallon freshwater tank has 11 fish, complete with schools of tetra, catfish, and shrimp.  

While still aspiring to make her tank more automated (and eventually upgrade to a saltwater tank as “saltwater fish are way cooler”), Amy and Fynn love to count the fish and learn their names. 

Amy is the Senior Manager of the IT and Information Security team, filling her days with managing Anchore’s internal systems for both ease of use and compliance while maintaining and managing the company’s security initiatives.

Toure and Amy’s friendship has continued to grow – with Touré being a fountain (dare we say, an aquarium) of knowledge for Amy as she has embarked on her fish tank journey, being her go-to person for questions on everything from water changes to the ideal plants and fish to purchase next.  They even connected on their hobby of woodworking, and strategize on how to build stands and support systems for their fish tanks.  

In a distributed company during an unprecedented time, Touré and Amy’s friendship is an example of the unconventional ways people can make a connection through something as simple as a video conference background. You can keep up with Touré and Amy (and their aquatic hobbies) on LinkedIn.

Bringing Gratitude into the Workplace: Meet Emily Long


Emily Long (she/her) joined Anchore one week after the pandemic shut down the U.S. in March 2020, she was employee number 25. In her Chief People Officer role, Emily led the build out of the G&A (General and Administrative – self titled ‘Great and Awesome’) functions made up of Finance/Accounting, IT, Information Security, Recruiting, HR, Legal/Compliance, L&D (Learning and Development), and DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion). Though she’d be the first to tell you, the best part was hiring “the incredibly talented team that really does the work.”

Through her value system and leadership approach focused on empowerment, team dynamics, and trust, Emily’s impact has extended to her recent move into the Chief Operating Officer role where the Customer Success organization has joined forces with the G&A team.

In this Humans of Anchore profile, we (virtually) sat with Emily to hear about her journey over the past year, what the organization has accomplished, and what inspires her:

“I feel a deep sense of gratitude that I’ve been part of Anchore during the growth we have experienced over the last year. That gratitude is attached to what makes our growth special – that it’s always been about us accomplishing this together, as a collective company and team. Everyone here believes in what we’re doing, and every single person that works here is part of that success. Being able to partner with a team that is low ego, and high in humility and kindness, makes those wins as a company that much more fulfilling.

Everything that we accomplish at Anchore – whether that be product features, financials, training materials, or metrics – has people behind it. Teams of people collaborating together to solve problems. If we don’t understand the person that is developing code or supporting our customers, we aren’t telling the whole story. We can’t fully understand the quantitative outputs we get without deeply understanding the qualitative inputs that create it. Notably, the people behind the data.

What makes us different is not putting more or less focus on the technical or non-technical side of our business, rather putting an equal focus on both. We believe that everything is connected and we can get increased technical innovation through empowerment of our team members. And not just by saying it is important – but doing something about it. I can honestly say I’ve never worked somewhere that has focused on this more – a true example of this was hiring me originally as Chief People Officer at employee number 25.

We have worked hard to ensure the way we operate gives every team member a sense of belonging – that we take the time to understand how each unique person works, exploring their ideas, and hearing their concerns. This community of empowerment exists in a crew of almost 70 Anchorenauts. We have this infrastructure built to enable us to continue this as we scale because we have invested the time, energy, and resources through internal education, individual ownership, and structural support. We believe this is key to our success, for every employee.

Anyone who has worked closely with me hears me say all the time that I genuinely believe that people are fundamentally good. Most of the time when I’ve seen people become defensive, shut down, or act out in some way at work it has been a result of insecurity or a lack of trust that they’ve learned through past experiences – and I’ve been there before. There is honestly nothing better and more inspiring than watching someone shed away those walls they’ve built by experiencing what trust really looks like and truly stepping into their power. I get to witness this at Anchore all of the time – and each time I’m filled with a deep sense of pride and gratitude.

My ultimate goal is to have everyone at every level here at Anchore believe in, and have a path to achieve, that limitless potential that lives in each of us. Working somewhere with people that believe in each other, want to be part of a greater good, and are willing to hand the mic to someone that needs it more than they do… now there’s something really beautiful about that.”

We’re debuting our Anchorenaut logo

As we continue our culture-first series, this Friday we’re debuting our Anchorenaut logo (pronouns they/them).

By definition, an Anchorenaut is someone that embodies our company values and what being an Anchore employee encompasses: kindness, openness and ownership. We have a strong-knit team here, even though we’re dispersed geographically across the globe. This character serves as a symbol of how together, we’re real people uniting every day to advance software security.

Does this resonate with you? See our open roles here: https://lnkd.in/edDC7bf


At Anchore we’re passionate about our products and our industry

At Anchore we’re passionate about our products and our industry, but we’re equally committed to building a company with amazing people, incredible career opportunities, and an ability to make a difference. We’re thrilled to start sharing more about who we are and what matters to us through the launch of our culture-first series.

On Fridays, you can expect to learn more about who Anchore is. We’ll give you a closer look at:

The Humans of Anchore: The people (including pets and little ones!) who help shape our company.

Be Yourself. With Us: A highlight reel of new jobs and a glimpse into the people you could be working with at Anchore.

Mission: Impact: This is where we show you our programs and initiatives and how they enable us to live out our core values every day.

So, come learn more about why we’re excited to work here. And maybe a little about how you can make that a reality for you, too, someday. Come be yourself. With us.


Curious what it’s like in a startup?

Curious what it’s like in a startup? As we continue our culture-first series, today we’re diving into the jobs and people at Anchore. All startups are different, at Anchore we focus on ensuring all employees, from individual contributors to the exec team, are given the opportunity to challenge themselves and explore new skillsets.

We talked to Support Engineer Tyran H. in the UK about his time on the team.

“Anchore is my first encounter working at an actual startup and is an amazing place to experience the real deal. Plus, I also have the opportunity to learn and develop technologies at the forefront of the tech world.”

Not only is Tyran part of our growing customer success team, but he was also Anchore’s first UK-based employee.

“As the first overseas hire, being welcomed as part of the family to help Anchore grow from the ground up has made settling in easy. It feels more like working on a passion-project with a group of friends than ACTUAL work, which is a massive bonus!”

Want to join Tyran and our team? Check out our latest job listings here.

From Olympic Athlete to DevOps Engineer

When Alfredo Deza came to work here at Anchore it was early in the startup phase, he was employee #16. His path to Anchore began after a storied upbringing in his native country of Peru, where Alfredo competed as a high jump athlete in the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics. He then shifted his determination and perseverance to study how to become a developer. 

“My goal is to translate the stamina and work ethics from athletics to my work as an engineer. Having discipline, not letting my guard down, and doing things the right way has enabled me to propel forward in my career,” said Deza.

After building a strong skill set in software coding and engineering, he pursued a career as a software engineer and still fuels his passion for computer programming in his free time. 

Alfredo has co-authored a book “Python for DevOps” and is currently writing another book on machine learning. He teaches courses on Python and CI/CD, and recently was an expert panelist at GitHub Universe 2020

When he’s not mentoring the next generation of developers and engineers, Alfredo spends time with his wife and three children. He consciously tries to expose his kids to new experiences and let them guide their own interests, in fact, his oldest recently taught himself to play the piano.

“When you carve your path to success with effort, you can apply the principles of ownership and see great results. If you do what you say and live with objectives, amazing things will happen.”