A Chance Encounter led Sphinx to Node.js

Q: What is Sphinx? When was the company founded and how did the founders meet?

The company was established in 2014. Patrick Nguyen (who was a manager at Google at the time) and Phuong Minh Tran (who was attending Stanford University) realized there was a great opportunity to create an Information Technology (IT) and service organization in Vietnam.

This was sparked in large part by the Vietnamese government spending $53 million US dollars on a comprehensive plan to develop IT resources, improve the software outsourcing industry, and create an investor-friendly legal system with significant financial incentives, especially for IT start-ups e.g. VAT exemption and corporate tax reduction. Patrick and Phuong, along with Hai Luong and his IT start-up company, created Sphinx.

The name “Sphinx” was selected because it represents a heraldic symbol of strength, wisdom and intelligence.

JavaScript and the MEAN Stack were chosen as the company’s specialization as Rikky, Chief Technology Officer of Sphinx, saw a whole new horizon for these programming languages opening up after a once-in-a-lifetime discussion with Ryan Dahl in Melbourne in 2009 just after Node.js was released.

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At the Sphinx office in Ha Noi, Vietnam

Q: Why did you decide to join the Node.js Foundation? Why do you think the Node.js Foundation is important?

Becoming a Silver member of the Node.js Foundation was considered a major turning point in the company history. This enabled us to gain global brand recognition and presence through various channels. By actively participating in the Foundation committee meetings and events, we have a unique opportunity to establish long-lasting relationships with global enterprises and development companies that are enthusiastic and eager to contribute to the rapidly growing Node.js community.

Q: What are some positive things you have seen since the Node.js Foundation was founded?

One could not deny that the establishment of the Node.js Foundation under the Linux Foundation marked a breakthrough for Node.js technology. The Foundation not only helps accelerate Node.js ecosystem development, but also encourages remarkable and valuable contributions from its members — some of the largest technology enterprises. By operating under an open governance model, the Foundation erases the sense of ownership by one company, which creates a more diverse, passionate and engaging playground for developers all around the world.

Q: What are some trends that you see with developers who are using Node.js? What are some of the trends you are seeing with your customers?

Working with large-scale projects from concept phase to production gives us a better understanding of best practices and patterns of development. One of the biggest trends we’ve observed is the increased use of ES6, mainly because Node.js now has much better support for ES6 features with continued performance and stability improvements. As for our customers, the strong preference in precompiled language JSX/TypedScript, rich JavaScript applications, and hybrid apps has led to the increased use of technologies like Angular 2 and React.js.

Q: Do you primarily serve Vietnamese customers or where do most of your customers come from?

Even though the company is based in Vietnam, our customers herald mainly from the U.S., Singapore, and Japan. With the comparative advantages of rich human resources in Information Technology at high quality and relatively low cost, we have successfully applied our philosophy of delivering “knock your socks off” service in almost every project for some of the largest enterprises and government departments. We are constantly looking for more complex cases to challenge ourselves and strive for the best.

Q: Where do you see Node.js heading in the next few years?

In the next few years, JavaScript ES6 is expected to be fully implemented with stabilization enhancements and better npm. Also, we believe that as Node.js performs better than other programming languages for embedded systems, Node.js will soon be better known in IoT, especially Robotic platforms.

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Node.js is a collaborative open source project dedicated to building and supporting the Node.js platform. https://nodejs.org/en/

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