In 2011, I took a trip that would change my life. I didn’t spend a week in the desert trying to “find myself” or a month backpacking through Europe. In fact, if you didn’t know what happened on the trip, it would seem like a normal weekend getaway.
I lived in Missouri at the time, working as a Linux systems administrator. My brother and nephews lived in Texas, and I decided to take a trip to see them for the weekend. During this time, I ran a blog called Pinehead.TV that focused on PHP and jQuery Mobile tutorials. It started from my own frustration with the lack of affordable, high-quality training available online. After a while, I wondered if my blog could be something bigger.
While I was visiting my family in Keller, Texas, I got hooked on an idea—what if there was a platform that could create real servers for people to use while training? I spent a lot of time in the bedroom writing code that weekend. Everybody kept asking what I was doing. I got the feeling they thought I was wasting my time. But by the end of the weekend, my application was spinning up cloud instances on a per-user basis. The rest, as they say, is history.
Linux Academy launched a year later, in March 2012. We opened our office here in Keller, of all places. In many ways, it felt like a homecoming—Texas was where I wrote the first working version of the platform, although it had come a long way by then.
Our growth since then has been incredible. We were recently named to the Inc. 5000 list as the #1 fastest growing private education company in the United States. Across all industries, we ranked #78 nationally, and #5 in Texas.
The latest chapter of our story continues this trend of growth. In less than five years, Linux Academy has grown from a project I started to fund my technology habit into a company that employs more than 70 people from 15 different states. What started as a blog I ran from home has now grown to offices here in Keller as well as in New York City. And last month, we grew again.
We’re incredibly proud to announce our new office in Kansas City, Missouri. Located in the Crossroads Art District, our new space is part of a converted factory that will act as headquarters to our amazing content team. Being raised in Missouri, opening this new space feels like another homecoming to me, and I couldn’t be more excited.
But our growth is about more than our success. It’s about the success of our students.
I started Linux Academy in a bedroom at my brother’s house with nothing but an idea. That’s the power of technology, and that’s why we believe it’s important to make cloud education affordable and accessible to everyone. The cloud makes it possible to change the world, and we believe that by teaching our students, we’re helping them to be part of that change.
Our new office in Kansas City will allow us to offer better training for our students, and create more content on an even wider range of topics. The cloud is growing constantly, and we’re committed to staying at the forefront of the technologies real companies are using that affect our lives every day.
We have that same commitment to our students as well. We often say that technology shapes the world, but that’s not exactly true. The people who use technology are the ones who shape the world, and when more people have those technical skills, we can reach a fairer, better future. The next study guide we write could start a student down the path to becoming the next great security researcher. The next video we shoot could help an entrepreneur get their million-dollar business off the ground. The next course we create could help someone launch a new career, or even keep their family together. And that’s what motivates us to provide the best training possible.