Fog Creek

Fog Creek Software Turns 15!

Fog Creek Software turns 15 today. It was all the way back in 2000 when our founders, Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor, then colleagues at Juno Online, decided to work together and start their own company. Skip forward to now, and we can look back on 15 great years, which have seen us launch products like FogBugz, Kiln, Stack Overflow and Trello, and help millions of developers to make better software.

We’re Going To Party Like It’s… 2000

At Fog Creek, we’re celebrating by throwing an Alumni party – gathering together more than a hundred current and former employees from over the years, to share stories and reminisce. We’d like you to share in this too, and have created some great content that we hope you’ll enjoy. Later this week we’ll be publishing a podcast with Joel Spolsky, Michael Pryor and some fellow Creekers from past and present, in which we discuss our successes and failures over the years. We’ll also be releasing a Tech Talk with Justin Gallagher, VP Product at Trello, that goes into the process we used to create Trello.

For now, below we have an annotated timeline of the history of Fog Creek. There are links to further information and videos that explain how we got started and what we’ve created over the years. I hope you’ll indulge us in what’s frankly a thinly veiled excuse to break out some old, embarrassing photographs! Enjoy!

Fog Creek: An Annotated History

  • Fog Creek Founded
    Starting out as a consulting company and working out of Joel’s Grandma’s brownstone apartment, Fog Creek was founded with the goal of creating the best place for developers to work.

  • Joel on Software Started
    Joel starts the ‘Joel on Software’ blog, one of the first blogs set up by a business owner.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.03.48

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.03.48

  • FogBugz and CityDesk Released
    As the dot-com bubble bursts, consulting work dries up. In response, Fog Creek releases FogBugz, a hitherto internal tool used for tracking bugs, and CityDesk, a content management client.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.54.46

  • We Move Into the Bionic Office
    FogBugz is well received, the company grows and the brownstone is soon filled beyond capacity. It’s time to move, so Joel along with architect, Roy Leone, design a new office, providing a private office for each developer.

  • Bionic-New

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.27.15

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.55.50

  • Copilot and Aardvark’d Released
    Fog Creek interns star in the documentary film, ‘Aardvark’d: 12 Weeks with Geeks‘, covering the development and release of the remote assistance tool, Copilot.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.07.31

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.27.01

  • StackOverflow Created
    We team up with Jeff Atwood to create StackOverflow. It would go on to become the largest Q&A site for programmers in the world.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.24.49

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 14.31.03

  • We Move Office to 55 Broadway
    The Bionic Office was designed to fit 18 people, but now had 24 squeezed into it. So Joel and DeRosa Group architects went back to the drawing board, designing a new, better office.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 10.03.30

  • Kiln Released
    The way software teams collaborate is changing, so we release Kiln, a system for distributed version control to help programmers work together effectively.

  • internJude1

  • Stack Exchange Spun-off
    With the success of Stack Overflow, things soon get a little too cosy at HQ. So we boot out Stack Exchange into their own office, they become Stack Exchange Inc. and raise $6 million in funding.

  • stackExchange

  • Trello Launched
    Initially called ‘Trellis’, we release Trello at Tech Crunch Disrupt San Francisco. It’s now one of the fastest growing team productivity tools with more than 10M users.

  • Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 11.19.21

  • tees

  • Hurricane Sandy Hits
    With the power out, staff haul buckets of diesel up 17 flights of stairs all night long to the generators, and make sure the datacenter stays online.

  • screen-shot-2012-11-01-at-10-51-08-pm

  • Trello Spun-off
    Trello is spun-off as its own company, becoming Trello, Inc. and they raise $10.3 million in funding. They remain in the Fog Creek office thanks to the promise of free swag.

  • trellists

  • Fog Creek Fellowship Begins
    We team up with the Flatiron School and the Recurse Center, to help encourage more women into software development.

  • fellowship

  • What’s Next?
    We’re actively working on exciting new products that we hope you’ll love!


Here’s to the next 15 years!