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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.
82 Episodes
Dani Grant is the founder of - bug reporting that developers love.In this episode we discuss:Product development & user retentionIterating to product market fitBranding - what it is/why it mattersPrioritising product features based on feedbackAI powered Dani’s Twitter 
Chris Bell is the founder of - flexible, reliable notifications infrastructure.In this episode we discuss:Designing APIsThe importance of champions when selling to enterpriseHow do you justify cost of a developer tool?Selling to platform teamsLinks:Knock
Jason Bosco is the founder of Typesense. Typesense is the Open Source alternative to Algolia. Typesense is a batteries-included Search API.We discuss how Jason built Typesense to be a hugely successful company without VC funding. We talk about what revenue-funding means and why it should be considered as a viable option for founders.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.Links:- Jason's Twitter: Typesense 
An interview with Igor Zalutski & Utpal Nadiger from is an Open Source Infrastructure as Code management tool that helps orchestrate Terraform and OpenTofu within your CI/CD system.We talk about:What changed since Jack worked with DiggerHow they pivoted four times to find PMFHow do you know you have somethingOpenTofu & ThePrimeagenThis 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: - -
Dana Oshiro is a General Partner at Heavybit. Heavybit is a VC that invests exclusively in developer-first startups.What we discuss:One sharp thing. Finding an addressable chunk of a bigger opportunity. Thinking big & smallAre 5 people seriously going to support our migration from DataDog? At Facebook you had a lot of support people/systems you're forgettingFinding the sidedoorStepping up as a founderFear of hitting up the people you respect.Best founders build for themselvesDo founders get better at putting themselves out there?  Speaking in front of people to make change - "there's a new approach. We deserve better!"MovementsDevOps & JamStackDon't try to control the movementJoining into other movementsLinksDana Oshiro to Adam DuVander from for introducing us.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.
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.
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