The J2 Innovations' blog

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Gareth Johnson Talks Edge2Cloud, Cybersecurity, and 5 Years at J2 Innovations

Remember that interview we did with Chief Software Architect Gareth Johnson when FIN Edge2Cloud came out? Gareth has now been with J2 Innovations for five years, contributing to the enhancement of our software, approach to cybersecurity, and company culture. Here's an update on what Gareth has been up to!

Gareth (1)

Time flies when you’re having fun! I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I joined J2 Innovations! I joined J2 right around the time of the Siemens acquisition. Prior to J2, I’d been at Tridium for about 13 years. From the moment I started, I found the team and culture of the company to be extremely welcoming and I quickly settled in. I’ve always appreciated a small company culture where everyone can have a big impact on the business. The best part of J2 is the people. We have a highly professional team that has a wealth of industry experience.

The first thing I worked on was J2’s cloud offering (Edge2Cloud). This wasn’t just remote access but licensing, organization/user/device management, and much more. I appreciated the amount of freedom I was given in creating the whole solution from start to release. Currently, Edge2Cloud has thousands of sites connected online all over the world. It’s been rebranded into other cloud products about 40 times and is so fast that customers use it even if they have local access. With it, you can also connect multiple instances of FIN together through the cloud (look, Mom, no VPN) and securely back up your system. 

Learn more about Edge2Cloud on our podcast here.

I also contributed to J2’s first open-source libraries for working with Haystack data. They’re used in almost every project we have. I’ve worked on a few FIN5 features, such as SSO (using OpenID Connect) and the control engine.

Get the latest on Project Haystack updates in this recent episode of Siemens' Buildings of Tomorrow podcast with Gareth and Scott Muench.

There have been many changes to J2 since I joined. This is typical when a start-up evolves into a mature business. One of the key things I’ve always driven is creating high-quality software that just works. Some of the first changes I introduced were switching from JavaScript to TypeScript and introducing test-driven design approaches. Balancing quality while still having a focus on innovation is a key driver here at J2 and will continue to be part of our DNA.

Cybersecurity is part of that maturity process. Defence in depth, secure by default, and zero trust are key mantras in our development process, where security isn’t an afterthought but is considered from product inception to release and beyond. This is where Siemens really helps us with a world-class cybersecurity team that helps support our organization for both product development and operationally.

One part of cybersecurity I feel quite strongly about is keeping it simple for users. Ideally, systems should manage as much complexity for users as possible. That’s why I like the fact that connecting FIN to Edge2Cloud is simple and super secure from end to end.

Currently, I’m responsible for all software architecture at J2. I’m very thankful to work with such a great team. I’m still very hands-on, and I am writing lots of code. At the moment, I’m working on J2’s next-generation software. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been doing. J2 really is only just getting started.

Gareth Johnson

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Topics from this blog: J2 News & Events Project Haystack FIN 5.0 Cybersecurity FIN Edge2Cloud Smart Buildings Technology

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