Finding Inspiration


Fresh Perspectives


About Us

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At DarkViking Software we are innovators at heart. We play big, love adventure and boldly follow our own path.

We believe life is meant to be lived, the best experiences are shared, and contribution is the pinnacle of success. This recipe is baked into Iron. Our hope is that our customers will have fun using our text editor and will achieve real increases in efficiency and productivity.

DarkViking Software was formally launched in 2016, however research and planning goes back several years. While leading software teams at LucasArts, John experienced the limitations of existing programming tools and lived with the shared frustrations of his developers. Over time, John became convinced there had to be a better approach.

What he envisioned however, was beyond the scope of existing software languages. So John, being John, wrote a proprietary language he calls Slang.

Slang was followed by Slang2, Copper and Zinc and are the languages underpinning Iron. They are designed specifically to support John’s original vision to create an IDE that is more intuitive, more enjoyable and less fatiguing to use. Pivotal to this is 3D animation that offers programmers a fun, collaborative, game-like experience with sound and animation.

John and Les met as colleagues designing and marketing aircraft navigation systems at what is now Garmin. With John leading software engineering and Les in sales and marketing they often collaborated on identifying pilots’ issues and implementing product improvements, first with Loran technology and then with some of the first GPS systems.  They quickly became close friends.

John went on to build an aircraft landing system and then returned to Silicon Valley where he researched computer graphics in the video game industry and developed real-time game engines for triple-A titles.

 Les helped launch the stay-at-home-dad trend, proceeded to earn his MBA with studies in Italy focusing on international business, was instrumental in launching a mentoring organization for children and served as regional business director for a large non-profit.

 From the time of their earliest conversations about the potential of Slang, Les has fanned the flames of their creative process helping spawn innovative and often wild ideas – then assimilating them into something executable. He champions people to stretch, get results and succeed.

 John and Les express appreciation and gratitude to the DarkViking Crew – that hardy band of pirates who are their advisors, backers and supporters so critical to DarkViking Software’s success.

The best startups generally come from somebody needing to scratch an itch.

Michael Arrington

Founder and co-editor, TechCrunch

John Stenersen

John Stenersen

co-founder & Technical Director

Les Freeman

Les Freeman

co-founder & Business Director