Settling into a Culture of Kindness

Blake Hearn (he/him) joined Anchore in February 2020 as a DevSecOps Engineer on the Customer Success team, marking the start of both Blake’s professional career and entry into DevSecOps.  In this Humans of Anchore profile, we sat down with Blake to talk about learning new skill sets, a culture of kindness, and lessons from leadership.   

Settling into a Culture of KindnessFrom his start at Anchore, Blake has been immersed in a team of kind and supportive people offering him the mentorship, resources, and encouragement needed to be successful.  

“The whole team really helped me learn at a fast rate. They created training materials and testing environments for me to learn, checked in with me frequently, and even recommended some certifications which played a huge role in building a foundational knowledge of DevSecOps.  A year and a half ago I didn’t know anything about Docker, Jenkins or Kubernetes and now I’m using them every day.” 

Blake’s support system reaches far beyond his direct team, extending all the way to the executives and co-founders of the company. 

“I’ve had a really great experience with my managers and the leadership team. Being able to reach out to the CEO or CTO is amazing.  Dan Nurmi (CTO/Co-Founder) has open office hours each week where I can bring my technical questions and feel comfortable doing so. Everyone at Anchore is really collaborative. I can ask anyone a question and they are more than willing to help.” 

In his role, Blake spends most of his day working on the Platform One team at the Department of Defense (DoD) partnering with engineers from companies across the industry to help deliver software solutions faster and more securely across the DoD.

“It’s been a really good opportunity for me to learn from both my Anchore team and my Platform One team. My role requires a lot of custom Helm templating and testing updates on various Kubernetes clusters.  We are putting our minds together to come up with solutions and do groundbreaking work.”

Looking ahead, Blake is eager to continue his learning journey. “I’m excited to continue learning from others and get into new skill sets. Recently, I’ve learned a little bit about the operational side of Machine Learning (ML) and how ML could be used in cybersecurity. Next, I would like to get into penetration testing to help improve the security posture of products and services. I think that would provide a huge benefit to our customers – especially with the supply chain attacks we’ve seen recently in the news.”

In summarizing his time at Anchore, Blake is grateful for the support system he has found: “I didn’t think companies like Anchore existed – where the company’s culture is so kind, everyone is really smart, works well together, and you have direct access to leadership.  No other company I’ve seen compares to Anchore.” 

Interested in turning your dreams into reality? Check out our careers page for our open roles


Riding the Wave of Container Security

Robert Prince (he/him) joined Anchore in May 2020 as a Senior Automation/Release Engineer, going back to his roots as an individual contributor after several years in leadership roles. In this Humans of Anchore profile, we sat down with Robert to talk about his transition back to development, having a safe work environment to explore and learn, and riding the wave of container security.

Leadership roles come with a host of responsibilities like budgeting, managing people and their professional development, building and maintaining relationships with strategic partners, and reporting to the board. Though he enjoyed those responsibilities while he held them, Robert wanted to connect with hands-on development again. Thankfully Anchore presented him with the perfect opportunity to do so.

“I feel comfortable putting my head down, doing tactical work, and not having to worry about people managing or strategic decision making. One reason for that is Anchore’s leadership team: it’s obvious that they’re at the top of their game, and to me that is very comforting.

A lot of companies talk about being kind to each other, but it’s more than talk here; kindness is non-negotiable, and that’s one of the things that pulled me in and keeps me here. Coming from environments where that hasn’t always been the case, it’s taken me some time to internalize it. Once I understood that this company provides a kindness-based, trust first culture – I found it freeing. It lets me focus with less distraction.”

Robert is part of the DevOps group, focusing on automation of tools and the release process.

“The container orchestration and security space is hot right now. Software development supply chain is a concept that few outside of infrastructure tech talked much about before. Now people are starting to pay attention. Anchore is at the center of what people actually need right now – it’s really fun to be involved in a company that is riding that wave.

You can almost see the change in infrastructure and tooling happening in real time. It reminds me of the massive change that happened when cloud computing was commoditized: some things got much simpler but when you go beyond “Hello, World” – there’s new layers of complexity. It means that you’re constantly learning while applying what you already know. I don’t have all the answers but I’m with a well rounded team. Sometimes I mentor folks, and sometimes they mentor me. I feel lucky to be part of Anchore.”

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.

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.”

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.