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Scaling DevTools
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Scaling DevTools

Author: Jack Bridger

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We investigate what it takes to grow a developer tool. Topics include developer marketing, DevRel, developer advocacy and developer experience.
77 Episodes
Alex Bouchard is the cofounder of Hookdeck. Hookdeck is an event gateway for asynchronous applications.What we discuss:- What is Hookdeck?- Category vs pivot- Gartner categoriesLinks:- Alex: Hookdeck This episode is sponsored by WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs.
Glauber Costa is the founder of Turso - a fully managed SQLite database platform.Glauber shares how to make great CLIs, the story of Turso's pivot. Their pricing. And the importance of moving fast. Links:Turso -'s Twitter - episode is sponsored by WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs.
Anders Borum shares how he created the number 1 git app in the app store - Working Copy.What we talk about:The origins of Working CopyWord of mouth vs App Store OptimisationOne time vs recurring subscriptionLinks:Anders - Copy - This episode is sponsored by WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs.
Zeno Rocha is the founder of Resend. Zeno is also the founder of React Email. Resend is a simple-to-use email API built for developers. Previously Zeno was the VP of DX at WorkOS and the creator of the popular Dracula VS Code theme as well as the popular open source project Clipboard js.  This episode is sponsored by WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs.What we talk aboutBuilding trust and a great developer experienceCreating a successful open-source project (Clipboardjs)The importance of storytelling and a coherent (launching react email and Resend)The importance of a great readmePrioritization, descoping and making something worthy of being shared by Guillermo RauchLinks:Zeno's Twitter Rocha - - email - theme Clipboardjs - -
Stefan Avram recently tweeted that "You shouldn't have devrels. Your customers should be your devrels"So I invited Stefan on to debate this with one of the industry's most respected DevRels Dan Moore from Fusion Auth. This is episode is sponsored by WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs.Links:Stefan's tweet Moore Fusion Auth 
Michael is the founder of WorkOS. WorkOS helps startups cross the enterprise chasm - it's a bit like the Stripe of Enterprise features. In this episode, we focus on selling to enterprises: the features you need, the team you need (e.g. sales!) and the common pitfalls Michael has seen. We also talk about things like: what even is an enterprise customer?This episode is sponsored by WorkOS. Thanks so much for supporting us as our first ever sponsor Michael and WorkOS. If you're thinking about selling to enterprise customers, WorkOS can help you add enterprise features like Single Sign On and audit logs. Links:- Crossing the Enterprise Chasm 
Flo Merian is a developer marketer who has run successful Product Hunt launches for numerous developer tools.Flo is also a maintainer of the Developer Marketing community and curates LaunchWeek.devFlo is a Product Marketer at Clerk - a user management tool Links:
Lu Wilson AKA todepond is one of the people behind tldraw, the infinite canvas for the internet.Lu also has a youtube channel, todepond.Lu also built the [hilarious] programming language dreamberd Lu is also a researcher with Ink & Switch - an independent research labIn this episode Lu shares how tldraw went viral again and again and again this year.My biggest takeaways were to share your whole process and default to visual communication. Links:-
Dennis Pilarinos is the founder of Unblocked. Unblocked allows lets you talk to your code base.Dennis previously founded Buddybuild - a CI/CD tool for mobile developers. In 2018, Buddybuild was acquired by Apple, and Dennis became a director in Development Technologies at Apple. Some topics we cover:- The story of Buddybuild and the Apple acquisition- Why did Apple buy Buddybuild?- Segmenting when building a tool for everyoneLinks:- Dennis' Twitter - Buddybuild acquisition - Unblocked -
Guest: Logan Kilpatrick, member of OpenAI’s developer advocacy team, often described as OpenAI’s first DevRel.Highlights:Challenges and Growth: Logan discusses the evolution of developer engagement from GPT 3.5 to the explosive growth following ChatGPT's success. Initially faced with the challenge of generating developer interest, the release of ChatGPT marked a significant shift, highlighting the shift from awareness to scaling and improving developer experience amidst high demand and compute-intensive operations.Developer Experience Focus: Logan emphasizes the focus on developer experience, detailing the balance between improving platform features and releasing new models and APIs. Despite past trade-offs, the goal remains to enhance core platform functionalities and developer-friendly features.Decision Making and Prioritization: Logan shares insights into the dynamic and fast-paced environment at OpenAI, which requires flexibility in planning and prioritization. Key focus areas include documentation, product improvements, direct developer interactions, internal coordination, and supporting launches, especially the GPT Store.Impact of Documentation: Underscoring the critical role of documentation, Logan points out that effective documentation is paramount for developer success, guiding the use of OpenAI's API and models. Efforts are underway to improve documentation quality and support various user personas beyond developers.Developer Community Engagement: Lessons from engaging with the developer community include the need for diverse content formats and accommodating various user personas. Logan acknowledges the challenge of keeping documentation and resources updated in a rapidly evolving API landscape.Building a Superior Developer Experience: Logan stresses the importance of OpenAI's mission to benefit everyone and the role of the API in achieving widespread impact. The commitment to providing the best tools for developers is seen as a differentiator in the competitive landscape of AI model providers.Managing Attention and Feedback: Despite the challenges of being a public figure within the developer community, Logan values direct feedback for continuous improvement. Balancing public engagement with deep work, especially on documentation and launch support, is highlighted.Community Questions and Answers: Logan addresses questions from the community, touching on the desire for innovative applications of OpenAI technology, plans for global events, prioritizing documentation, addressing developer concerns about scaling, and sharing personal preferences for deep dish pizza in Chicago.Rapid Fire Community Q&A:Innovative Applications: Logan hopes to see development of multiplayer, multimodal text-first AI assistants.Global Events: OpenAI is expanding its presence, including hiring in London and considering events in cities like Atlanta.DevRel Strategy for 2024: Focus on creating excellent documentation.Developer Concerns: Addressing challenges around freedom to scale and capacity constraints.Personal Time: Logan plans to take vacation during the end-of-year code freeze in 2024.Chicago Deep Dish Recommendation: Lou Malnati's and Paradise Park are Logan's picks for the best deep dish pizza.Links:Logan's Twitter -'s Twitter Joyfill docs This episode provides a behind-the-scenes look at OpenAI's efforts to enhance developer engagement, the challenges of balancing innovation with platform stability, and the importance of community feedback in shaping the future of AI development tools.Show notes generated with gpt4 (using a blog post I wrote) 
Ivan Burazin is the cofounder of DaytonaWhat we cover:- Scaling a 5,000 attendee conference- How to drive change in big organizations- Top down vs bottoms up approaches to growthDaytona is an enterprise-grade GitHub Codespaces alternative for managing self-hosted, secure and standardized development environments.Ivan Burazin - -
DevCycle is a feature flag management tool.DevCycle was founded in 2014 originally as Taplytics (an A/B testing tool) by Jonathan Norris, Aaron Glazer, Andrew Norris and Cobi Druxeman, raising $7.8m. Despite creating a million dollar business, in 2022, they raised $5m and pivoted to DevCycle.In this episode, we cover their pivot and how they think about developer experience. 
Erik Bernhardsson is the founder of Modal Labs. Modal Labs is a tool to run generative AI models, large-scale batch jobs, job queues, and much more.Links:-
Felix is the founder of Hanko. Hanko is the Open source auth and passkey infrastructure for developers.We talk about:- The challenges of pivoting- Layoffs- The intangible goal of developer loveCheck out Hanko:
Julien Danjou is the founder of Mergify - a tool that helps merge code safer and faster. Summary (auto-generated):How do you split your time between work and marketing? 0:00Julian splits 50% of his time between building the product and the other 50% doing marketing and bringing people to the product.Julian talks about mergerfi.Where do you start with product development? 1:23The goal is to solve a problem for an engineer. They co-founded Mirchi Fi with Mary and wrote their own tool.The role of time is a lot of time.The importance of doing demos and showing the product around to the team, and how that has changed over time.How the product is simple and there are a lot of viable options around it, but it's hard to think about all the tiny details.How did they get started? 5:08They both started with a full-time job and moved from a platform to get up. They felt naked without any of their tools. They wanted to build their own tools.They found a first rate customer,, and then found more startups willing to use a merge request tool.One of the challenges of being a bootstrapped company is that they only have two hours per week to work on the tool.It is easy to not get good at making decisions when you can do everything, but in air quotes, do everything.How long did it take to write the first dashboard? 10:07Before people started using it internally, they did most of the grunt work of writing the first version. The first version was a mvp.The first dashboard they wrote was like HTML and the bootstrap framework, which was pretty bad, but it was good enough.The first version of the product is the only thing that is going to be out in front of users or customers.The importance of being an entrepreneur-minded person.When they found the first customers, they decided not to build a company right away, but to focus on building a few hours a week into bots.The real trap.Marketing and getting the word out. 16:00The root problem is that nobody knows about you because you are not doing marketing. You have to go with the event if you have a competitor or inspire something.It is easy to build the things for a year or so, especially when you are a developer.Not everything works, but what works well is open source projects. For example, amazon is using lodgify on their open source project.One of their biggest customers was using one of the engineer's projects on, and they talk to their manager about it.Marketing and marketing budget. 20:30Marketing is a lot of different channels that they can use, and they have tried almost everything to see if it works, and if it doesn't work, they try to future-harm.They try to provide value for free to open source users and projects and are happy to do that.Adding value in open source is about saving time and giving time to most open source projects using a merge tool.If a company is new to open source, they need a tool to help them with a workflow tool, marketing, etc.How did you find out about rescue? 25:36The number of people using rescue is small. There are very small projects with just one or two people mentioning it to project being run by 50 or 100 person behind.The main goal is to actually work on the open source projects, not start a new one.Redhat was working on an open source project with Eddie when they started. Redhat is a great leverage for building a company.One takeaway for a dev tool founder, be strict about splitting 50% of your time between building the product and doing the fun stuff.
Escape helps you Find and fix GraphQL security flaws at scale within your DevSecOps processIntroduction to Tristan and Antoine. 0:00How did they get started in cybersecurity? 4:35How did you get your first few customers? 9:49Challenges from a product and tech point of view. 13:57Challenges of integration into the development process. 18:10How to find the right team?'s Twitter -'s Twitter -
Zach Goldie is a DevTools messaging consultantShip code faster is an empty statement. 0:00How do you position yourself against the competition? 1:56The problem with free monitoring tools. 6:43Explain why fast is a good thing. 11:44Curse of knowledge and how to overcome it. 16:42The problem with copy length and word count. 21:37How do you know if a page is good? 27:05Pitching self-serve to users. 32:42Links:- Zach's Twitter Zach's site - Benefit layers
Steve Krouse is the founder of - a social website where you can write and run code.Introduction to Val.Town's vision 0:00How long it took Github to make money on SteveVal Town is a social website where you can write and run javascript or typescript, run the code on servers, and see the results.Knocking down friction points 2:12Val Town is making it so that programmers can create cool stuff without having to go through the pain of sending an email.Zapier for developers is another kind of tagline that has been seen other people that you've interviewed on this podcast.Categorising use cases on the website. 4:45Val Town recently made a list of favourite use cases and categorised them on the website. The challenge is explaining to people what it is and what it can be used for.What can be made with sectionHow to get people to make cool things with your tool 15:51People hear about Val Town because other people are using it. The more people sign up, the more people are signing up for it.Val Town has a smaller number of people who are excited about it and use it a lot, but it's not a mythical product market fit.Every Thursday, the team is not allowed to work on the product. They all have to try and make Vals to go viral, which is a really fun creative day.The last one that went viral was hacker news follow, which was branded as an installable script.How do you think about notifications? 24:30Val Town is perfect for programmatic customization of notification emails, so that installing those into your account will be part of the tutorial.Val is passionate about education, and it feels like that's a big challenge because there's lots of new stuff with val.Medium-term ambition, build a learn to code interactive course on top of Val Town. Long term ambition is to have hundreds or thousands of Learn to Code courses on Val Town, embedded in the product.Future of coding meetups. 29:36An interview with Brian Dougie, early at Github, and how he helped with bootcamps and how to run code with Netlify.Future of coding meetup in london.Managing a community is a funny thing. The people who start and manage communities are often weird people.Date Me Docs 35:33Some people are looking for a unique snowflake, while others are sensitive and don't want attention on their date me docs.The future of dating is a great exercise to go through to get clear in words about who you are and what you're looking for.Links:- Val Town - Steve's Twitter -
Dax Raad is building SST - an open-source framework that makes it easy to build serverless apps.What Is SST? 0:00The theory in January was to make content that has nothing to do with SST and still convert people. Dax validated the theory within the first hour.Dax tells us a little bit about SST, a framework for building applications on AWS, and how it works.The importance of marketing and content. 2:42The focus now has to be on marketing. The top of the funnel is when someone has no idea who you are.Pitching the idea to his boss. 5:16Dax pitched the idea and Fred Schott was immediately down. He spent a day just watching every single episode of Between Two Ferns and wrote down all the patterns of jokes.He learned a lot from the first one, and is doing another one today at 230.How much goes into the show? 8:04The original show is fully done and edits, and that is true of the one that video was made. The video was not close to what actually happened, but it was his response to the video.The original is very specific and it's funny how specific the jokes are.The importance of having a unique angle. 10:40For most companies, announcing an integration is not the most exciting thing to announce.The bar is incredibly low, and the expectations are super low.Invest more in marketing and content. 12:35They are looking to hire a comedian or someone who makes good content on YouTube.They are planning a series A, and are looking for people who are talented and can help them.Educational vs entertaining content. 14:57The only way to capture someone like you is through a different angle.The theory in January was to make content that has nothing to do with SST and still convert people into trying out SST.Finding an angle that is genuine for yourself.How he got over the hump of clickbait. 17:54He went through the same hump that everyone goes through when trying to publish content on youtube.He was sent a video by a guy who was very successful on youtube and he was explaining why he does what he does.The importance of having a good content. 20:51Youtube is an amazing place. People will watch it if it's good.Marketing is a huge lever. 23:20They are a very small company. They are able to do a lot given their small size and they are going to continue to be a small company, so they need to find ways to find leverage anywhere they can.They are excited about what they can invest in.Dax would love to work with someone who is good at filmmaking and editing to keep it engaging and keep it fun. He also thinks about shows that are authentic.Key takeaways for anyone listening, remember that if you're building a company you do need to do marketing.Links:- SST Dax's twitter Between Two Nerds 
Gabriel Savit is the founder and CEO of Runway - a tool to coordinate and automate mobile app releases.Introductions 0:00Introduction to GabeUnderlying themes of runway mobile release management.What’s it like to work with mobile teams? 2:19Challenges for mobile teams to keep tabs on.The third party ecosystem problem.The origin story of the team.The process of running a release was something that resonated immediately. Different teams set this up differently. 8:23What was the next step after you gathered the feedback? 10:38The first round of interviews to validate the problem space.How the interviews were conducted.The feedback loop is not always closed.The next step after gathering the feedback.How do you get an MVP out quickly? 15:31Starting with one integration, one part of the process.The first few pilots.How did you get your first customer to buy in? 18:24Onboarding the first customer or first user.Getting the first cohort involved.Aligning with the overall vision of the platform.What is the go to market motion? 33:14Go-to-market motion, demo, sync, sign up, demo.Self-service, keeping the entry point open.What’s the future direction of the platform? 36:18Links:- 
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