Episode 002 Legacy Voices: John Sublett The Early Days at Tridium

John Sublett is a Guest on Legacy Voices

Step into the world of tech start-ups with the latest episode of Legacy Voices! In this episode, join me as I chat with John Sublett – the former CTO of Tridium – about the early days of the company. From humble beginnings to a major player in Smart Building Controls, Tridium’s story is truly inspirational. John’s candid story-telling style will take you on a journey of struggles, challenges, and valuable lessons learned. Apple fans in particular will be reminded of the early days of their favorite tech giant. So tune in for expert advice and insightful knowledge that the next generation can learn from. And a big thank you to John for sharing his time and wisdom with us – he’s now the VP and CTO of products and solutions at Resido!

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John Sublett, the former CTO at Tridium, is being interviewed on the Legacy Voices podcast. John is a veteran of the HVAC and smart building controls industry and is being asked to share his insight with the next generation. He was born in Washington, DC but grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia. He has an older brother and two younger sisters. Growing up, he attended public school and eventually graduated with a degree in computer science. During the podcast, he shares his experience and knowledge of the industry in hopes of inspiring young professionals.

John’s first experience with a computer was in fourth grade when their teacher brought one to the class for them to write programs with. It was a TRS 80 and the programs needed to be written down on paper and inputted into the computer. Later on, John got a Kaliko Atom, which was a hybrid between a video game system and a computer, and they tried to write games on it. They also became a gamer, playing StarCraft with their kids. The speaker also mentioned that they and their kids have been playing StarCraft to blow off steam at home.


0:02:26 Interview with Computer Programmer: Reflections on Early Experiences with Technology

0:04:07 Conversation with John McDonough: Reflections on Early Career Inspirations

0:06:58 Conversation Between Two Friends on Life Advice and College Experiences

0:08:26 Conversation Between Mary and Merlin: Love at First Sight?

0:09:57 Conversation Summary: Founding of Tritium and Early Married Life

0:14:18 Conversation Summary: Jerry’s Vision for Tritium’s Automation Platform

0:16:06 Conversation Recap: The Origin Story of Tritium and Disruptive Technology

0:17:17 Conversation on Tritium’s Early Adopters and Channel to Market Success

0:19:29 Conversation with John O’Farrell: Reflections on the Early Days of Capital One

0:22:29 “Unleashing the Hounds: The Pivotal Moment for Adoption of Ax Technology”

0:25:25 Interview with John Petze, Vice President of Software Engineering at Tridium

0:30:15 Conversation with [Name], Software Engineer and Sports Enthusiast

0:34:06 Conversation with [Name], Father of Three, on Music and Enjoying Fatherhood

0:35:52 Interview with John Petze: Exploring the Benefits of Collaboration in the Automation Industry


And some of N4 was bringing focus to the user interface and the user experience. Refreshing that it’s one of those things the industry had moved on from us. Right. So we had a lot of Java in the UI and the technology has moved past that. And so we had to do something about that for ourselves and the rest of the people building on top of Niagara. And then there’s the cool new stuff too. Right. So like that next generation of functionality, you said it earlier when we were talking, the data acquisition is a solved problem.

Yeah, N4 was a big one, and that was when you look across Niagara is a hard thing to put your finger on. I feel bad sometimes for people trying to sell it to somebody that’s never heard of it before because try to describe what it is. And so you look at the breadth of it, and this is still a pretty small team here, relatively speaking. You focus on areas that need focus at the time, and you try to bring everything else forward. But we had some areas of Niagara Ax that had not gotten that focus in a while.

So AX which is the version that’s out there in ubiquitous really was a complete rewrite from R2. We brought almost no code forward. And think about that. You’ve got a business that’s starting to do okay, but we’re hit at this inflection point and we go say we want to do it over, but we did. And that decision point and the commitment by the business to let us let the technology guys go do that with the idea that we were going to unleash the hounds, right? We were going to say, this is the core technology, but anybody can build on it.


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