Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Startup Opportunity: Revive Systems

My friend Robert Stratton has taken the CTO role at Revive Systems. He’s both a serial startup guy (Wheel Group and UUNet) and has been on the investor side In-Q-Tel. We’ve spent some time talking about the technology, too, and it sounds very intriguing. The remainder of this post is his job description for their VP Software Engineering.

We’re working on a self-healing system for improving server reliability and
security. It more directly addresses some of the most prevalent security
problems than do traditional ways that revolve around doing everything with
network traffic. We’re also collaborating on some related research that
advances our mission of making network software more robust.



Do you want to lead the development of real technology that will defend
networked systems against previously-unknown (0-day) threats? Does the idea
of “self-healing software” sound intriguing? Have the uptimes of production
applications you’ve written been measured in years rather than days? If so,
you’re the type of person we’d like to meet.

Revive Systems is seeking an exceptional and experienced VP of Software
Engineering to be responsible for leading the development of our
next-generation self-healing software platform. The ideal candidate may have
built high-availability network-facing applications, such as in an
e-commerce, large ISP, financial, or hosting provider environment. The VP of
Software Engineering should be a hands-on type who enjoys writing code if
necessary to ensure that the job is done right the first time. We’re
building a small but exceptional team to deliver the next big enhancement to
system reliability and security.

Current Linux and UNIX systems programming experience is preferred. Current
experience with multiple languages, particularly C and Java, is required.

Expertise with advanced finite state-machine grammar or compiler development
is highly desirable. Experience with networked TCP/IP production
applications is critical. Security expertise is a major plus.

The ideal candidate will have led the development of complex commercial
network application products or significant open source applications,
particularly those deployed in high-availability environments.


Revive Systems is creating an advanced self-healing software technology that
significantly enhances the security and reliability of network applications.
Revive’s founders, Loren Burnett – President and CEO and Robert Stratton –
CTO, come from tier-1 ISPs, large managed security providers, and successful
security product companies. Our founders understand the challenges of
enterprises with high uptime requirements, constant security concerns, and
global networks. Our patent pending technology was invented in the computer
science labs of Columbia University. Revive Systems is funded by Novak
Biddle Venture Partners.


The VP, Software Engineering will be responsible for:

  • Collaborating with the CTO on architecture of the next-generation product
  • Work with the CEO & CTO to identify, hire, and retain exceptional
    developer candidates.
  • Creation of in-house development environment, including revision control,
    bug tracking, software engineering toolset, and in-house test bed lab.
  • Management of the design, building, and testing of the platform
  • Management of finite state machine and grammar development.
  • Leading development team through the software release cycle, including
    management of customer alpha and beta test cycles. This includes supervising
    and assisting developers in delivering an optimal product on time, with a
    target of zero defects.
  • Management of delivery timelines and tracking of bug fixes.
  • Maintenance of a supportive environment for the development team.
    (Doing important things may be challenging, but it can be fun as well.)
  • Managing the testing of system performance against newly-discovered
    security vulnerabilities.
  • Reviewing customer input with CTO for incorporation into development plan.
  • Assessing early customer applications for testing opportunities and
    identifying necessary customization work for pilot deployments.

Required Technology Skills:

  • Experience building (and managing the development of) commercial
    high-reliability TCP/IP applications in the UNIX and Linux environments as
    commercial products or for large enterprise production operations.
  • Working C/Java knowledge essential.
  • Linux and UNIX systems programming experience is highly desirable.
  • High-availability Linux & UNIX network application programming experience is
    essential. MS-Windows network server development experience a plus.
  • Working knowledge of the internals of most major open-source Linux & UNIX
    network applications such as Apache, Tomcat, BIND, Postgres/PostgreSQL,
    MySQL, Sendmail, etc. is highly desirable.
  • Experience with a variety of finite state machine grammar transforms,
    lexical analyzers, and parsers is very highly desirable. Working knowledge
    of the TXL language is preferred.
  • Experience developing/extending virtual machines or virtualization
    environments is desirable.
  • Experience with managing commercial software test cycles from alpha test
    through general availability, including management of customer beta test
    campaigns, is required. We will consider candidates who have performed
    equivalent work within very large enterprises.
  • Advanced network security knowledge is a major plus.
  • Commercial enterprise software product management experience is helpful.

Revive Systems is based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Developers: If you think this sounds like you, please send us a résumé, in
plain ASCII or PDF form, to