Ben Darnell

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Ben Darnell
Ben Darnell.png
Alma materNorth Carolina State University
EmployerCockroach Labs
WebsiteBen Darnell on GitHub

Ben Darnell is an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, and business executive. He is the chief technology officer for Cockroach Labs, a company he co-founded in 2015.[1] Prior to his work at Cockroach Labs, he worked for tech companies that include FriendFeed, Facebook, Brizzly, Dropbox, Viewfinder, and Square, Inc.

Early life and education[edit]

Darnell entered North Carolina State University in 1998. He graduated in 2002 with a degree in computer science.[2]


Darnell was an early employee of Google and was part of its Google Reader team.[3] He worked with Thing Labs founders Jason Shellen and Chris Wetherell, two colleagues that he would later work with as part of Brizzly.[4] He worked a total of seven years for Google and attributes it as being the foundation for his career as an engineer.[2]

Darnell left Google to join FriendFeed.[5] He joined Kevin Fox whom he also worked with at Google.[5] Darnell began working at FriendFeed in July 2009. The company was purchased the following month by Facebook who incorporated Darnell into its team.[4] A few months later, he left to work for startup Brizzly, a third-party interface for Twitter and Facebook[6] that was later purchased by AOL.[7] During his time at Brizzly, Darnell took over Tornado, an open source real-time web framework based on FriendFeed.[8]

Darnell joined Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis at Viewfinder in 2012.[2] He met them in San Francisco when they showed him a sample of their work. He joined the team and worked primarily on the company's iPhone client app.[2] Darnell joined the team at Square, Inc. after its purchase of Viewfinder in 2013.[9]

Darnell helped launch CockroachDB in 2014 along with Kimball and Mattis.[10] They later formed the company Cockroach Labs after launching the software as an open source project on GitHub.[1] Darnell serves as the company's chief technology officer and also contributes to the source code development of CockroachDB.[11][12]


  1. ^ a b Finley, Klint (June 4, 2015). "Ex-Googlers Get Millions To Help You Build The Next Google". Wired. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Ben Darnell Makes Connections throughout the Tech Industry". ParkScholars. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Ewbank, Kay (June 9, 2015). "CockroachDB Released". I Programmer. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Almost Famous Update: Now Out of Beta Brizzly Hires Facebooker and Translates Tweets". AllThingsD. November 20, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Wauters, Robin (July 28, 2009). "Steal! Ben Darnell Leaves Google Reader Team, Joins FriendFeed". Tech Crunch. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Siegler, MG (November 20, 2009). "Brizzly Opens To All. And Snatches Someone From Facebook". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Cutler, Kim-Mai (November 12, 2010). "Gmail Creator Paul Buchheit Leaves Facebook to Join Y Combinator". AdWeek. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Siegler, MG (June 22, 2011). "FriendFeed Lives On (In Spirit): Tornado 2.0 Released". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  9. ^ Finley, Klint (July 21, 2014). "Out in the Open: Ex-Googlers Building Cloud Software That's Almost Impossible To Take Down". Wired. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  10. ^ Novet, Jordan (June 4, 2015). "Peter Fenton's latest investment is a database startup called Cockroach". Venture Beat. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  11. ^ Wheatley, Mike (June 8, 2015). "Cockroach Labs gets $6.25M to build a more resilient database". Silicon Angle. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "CrunchBase profile forCockroach Labs". CrunchBase. Retrieved July 28, 2015.

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