Console

DevTools Podcast

Dev infrastructure

S03 E01

2022-06-09

Dev infrastructure - a devtools discussion with Guillermo Rauch (Vercel). Episode 1 (Season 3) of the Console DevTools Podcast.

Episode notes

In this episode I speak with Guillermo Rauch, CEO of Vercel, a platform for globally distributed applications. We discuss the meaning of “developer experience”, how complexity is managed to help developers get started quickly but still be able to scale multiple systems, the role of monorepos and monolithic application architectures, and how to think about globally deployed serverless databases.

Things mentioned:

About Guillermo Rauch

Guillermo Rauch is CEO of Vercel. Before starting Vercel in November 2015, Guillermo was the CTO and co-founder of LearnBoost and Cloudup, acquired by Automattic in 2013. He is the creator of several popular Node.js open source libraries like Socket.io, Mongoose and Slackin. Prior to Node.js, he was a core developer of the MooTools frontend toolkit. Passionate about open source as an education medium, he is a former mentor of an Open Source Engineering class organized and pioneered by Stanford, with students from Harvard, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, UPenn, Columbia and others.

Highlights

Guillermo: I think there’s this idea of capturing the attention of the prospective developer in the most concrete and material way possible. If you pay enough attention to hacker threads or like Twitter comments, when people announce things, common feedback that developers give you is, I literally do not understand what this tool or website or service does. So I think I was… I always recommend iterating a lot in that crucial first impression that can captivate that interest.

Guillermo: I think you need one place to do your work. You need one platform. Ideally, you need one repo where all of the good ideas, the shared APIs, the shared libraries, the shared dependencies, the component systems are there for everybody to learn from, remix, utilize, import. And it has to be very, very easy. What I do not subscribe to is that that is one system that gets deployed as one monolithic unit, whether that’s one container, whether that’s one cluster. I think the world is getting extremely decentralized. I think one of the key innovations of Next JS was when we compile your project, obviously, you can deploy to a container if you want, and many people do so. But when you deploy on Vercel, we automatically transform it into globally optimized serverless infrastructure.

David Mytton (00:05): Welcome to the Console podcast. I’m David Mytton, co-founder of console.dev, a free weekly newsletter highlighting the best and most interesting tools for developers. In this episode, I speak with Guillermo Rauch, CEO of Vercel, the platform that enables development teams to collaborate on and ship their best work.. We discuss the meaning of developer experience, how complexity is managed to help developers get started quickly, but still be able to scale multiple systems, the role of monorepos and monolithic application architectures, and how to think about globally deployed serverless databases. Keeping this for 30 minutes, so let’s get started. I’m here with Guillermo Rauch. Guillermo, thanks for joining the Console podcast.

Guillermo Rauch (00:50): Thanks for having me. I’m really excited.

David (00:53): Let’s start with a brief background. Tell us a little bit about what you’re currently doing and how you got there.

Guillermo (00:58): I’m the CEO and co-founder of Vercel. It’s a platform for enabling developers to do their best work on the web, especially for front-end developers. And we also build Next JS, that famous framework for react based applications that’s used by some of the largest websites on the internet.

David (01:17): Right. And you’ve had quite a specific focus on this idea of developer experience. So can you explain what that means to you?

Guillermo (01:26): Yeah, for sure. The way that we look at developer experience is about reducing the time that it takes to give a developer that aha moment when they come to using our tools, products, and services. I’m a deep believer on the idea of the state of flow for a developer and sort of maximizing their time and productivity. So for me, developer experience is really everything that goes into building products and services for DevTools and developers that really enable them to be as productive as possible and get rid of everything that’s unnecessary. So concretely, when we built Next JS, that meant getting rid of all the configuration that it took to create a production grade front-end application using the most modern and latest techniques.

And on the cloud platform side with Vercel, it means deploying instantaneously with no having to worry about scaling, managing, servers, infrastructure. So kind of marrying the idea of a programming model rooted in a framework that’s really easy to use, provides instantaneous feedback to the developer with a cloud platform that’s really easy to use, and scales from a small idea to a global and massively successful application.

David (02:43): And are there any principles that you can suggest the developers.. I suppose, from a product perspective, what should designers and developers think about if they wanted to provide a good developer experience?

Guillermo (02:54): Yeah, sometimes I even think of this as like, I have all these patterns and formulas that I constantly think about when I’m evaluating DevTools, when I’m providing advice to our teams that are building new products. So something that I touched upon earlier is that instantaneous aha moment. I used to think all it takes for me as a developer, and that’s really my background, to fall in love with the idea of a solution is to maybe open up a repo in GitHub and within the first few lines of the ‘readme’, something captivates my attention because it’s really going after the concrete problem that I have in an actionable way, whether it’s this snippet of code that represents the solution, whether it’s a command that I can run, that tells me how the… or gives me hint of how the program or software is going to work later on, or even just the way that it talks about the problem space.

I think there’s this idea of capturing the attention of the prospective developer in the most concrete and material way possible. If you pay enough attention to hacker threads or like Twitter comments, when people announce things, a common feedback that developers give you is, I literally do not understand what this tool or website or service does. So I think I was… I always recommend iterating a lot in that crucial first impression that can captivate that interest. So for us, we think about when we introduce Vercel, we said, it’s literally one command to deploy a project. And we give you a hint of what the shape of that project is. So today I would tell you there’s a project, and it has one of our 35 plus known front-end frameworks inside. So imagine it has an Next JS project inside, and you just run NPX Vercel inside that project, one command. What do you get in return? A URL of the deployed project.

So I think in maybe three frames of an animation or seven lines of a readme, I walked you through input requirement, the shape of that project, the thing that I need to provide service to you through the action that you need to take and the output of taking that action. So I give you the entire journey as compressed as possible. And I think that’s going to… How we think about this thing that now gets called product led growth. To us, it always came naturally from that point of view of like, people don’t have time, short attention spans, super highly competitive space, lots of solutions out there. Try to focus on that developer experience and that time to value, being as short as possible.

David (05:51): Over the last decade or so, we’ve gone from data centers to centralized cloud, and now we’re seeing certain products unbundled. But with this specific focus on the developer experience and that first run experience, why do you think this is happening now?

Guillermo (06:05): I think the idea of infrastructure as a service really changed everything, right? Like it used to be that you had to talk to sales, you had to like discuss licensing of software. You needed a lot of handholding to figure out complex steps of integration. There weren’t any standards APIs and adapters that people could plug and play or assume that the buyer even had in place. Now, I think with cloud, all of that has, for the most part, become standardized. And we continue to go down this path of bigger and better standardization for a lot of efforts. So when I think about observability, for example, OpenTelemetry is an assumption that in the coming years, and to a large extent, even today, we’re going to be able to make that assumption that you have something that produces that. So when I present the next service to you, it’s like they can say, “Well, if you have that in place, look at how easy it is for you to adopt this. You don’t even need to talk to me to do that. Go ahead and try it out.”

So I think we’re seeing that transition toward a different way of adopting software solutions, trying them out, paying for them. We’re seeing this obviously with the serverless revolution where it’s really all about paying for what you use. It’s all about efficiency. It’s all about experimentation on… For example, on the Vercel side of things, every single commit gets deployed. Every single branch gets deployed. It’s about fostering that continuous cycle of experimentation with great efficiency on the infrastructure side. So I think what this is going to result in is that the prospective user of the technology is going to continue to go down this path of A, making those assumptions about the technology. Oh, of course it’s serverless. Of course, scales to zero. And B, it’s just going to make them more experimental.

It’s going to make them try out more things. So circling back to developer experience, it’s all about making that idea that you have to try to materialize it into value into making something happen with as few steps as possible. So, another example that I gave earlier is, we kind of make the assumption that a lot of folks are in this process of decoupling monoliths into microservices, and off the shelf back in APIs. Therefore, they have a front-end project of sorts. For large organizations, they might have a monorepo effort in place, or they’re thinking about it. So that’s why we give you tools like Turborepo, where the DX (developer experience) is. Well, there’s a monorepo somewhere, and there are NPM workspaces. So why don’t you just add Turborepo, which I think Jared, my coworker shared, has saved people now two years worth of built times.

And DX of Turborepo is, we assume that there’s a project with NPM Yarn workspaces, and with basically one command and downloading the Turborepo Go binary, you’ve already started saving money and time for your entire organization. And furthermore, it provides us a structure around how you can continue to evolve your code base. So that’s an example of, there’s a DX of deeply understanding where you’re at with your infrastructure, the way that you’re thinking about your projects, getting the timing right, providing the tool that requires basically no configuration and is super easy to adopt. And then also connecting you to the value that comes from that. In this case, we can even count in terms of like minutes that we save you in how long you’re waiting for a necessary compilation to happen. So I think what you’ll notice in the way that I talk about this, is that I never try to talk about DX in isolation because I think DX with that value prop is not enough.

Sometimes you have to still start with DX because you can uncover where the value really gets created. So it’s like an exploration. So for example, for us with Vercel, we knew that, okay, it’s going to be really slick. If we make it so easy to get that URL of a live pre-prod environment of your project as instantaneously as we can. What we realized is that that ends up being a… The value there is collaboration. It’s about the frontend engineer being able to send that hyperlink out to their coworkers, their design teams, marketing teams, copywriters, communications, and then getting feedback. So that’s one value proposition.

Then when we thought about Next JS and production optimizations and things like that, well, the value proposition there is web vitals is that when I push to prod, after I got all those okays and all that great feedback, I’m delivering value for the end user. So the site is really fast. The site is global. The site is personalized. So I think it’s all about marrying the idea of DX with some UX or some value prop for the team. And I think if you don’t have both, a lot of DevTools end up being just like DevTools, and they don’t really create significant business opportunities or significant ecosystems around them.

David (11:29): So it’s on this path to value. And that means that developers can iterate and experiment a lot faster than they have been able to in the past.

Guillermo (11:39): Correct.

David (11:40): And you mentioned the idea around monorepos and how that was a pattern in the past, and things have been split out into the service architecture and microservices.

Guillermo (11:49): Yeah. Monoliths.

David (11:51): Yeah, the monoliths. Exactly. And we’re starting to see the idea of the monolith and the monorepos coming back and they’re fighting back with the idea, the majestic monolith, I think is the one of their catchphrases. What’s your take on that? Why do you think things are coming back? Is it to do with simplicity?

Guillermo (12:09): So I think this is obviously what Vercel is proposing, right? I think you need one place to do your work. You need one platform. Ideally you need one repo where all of the good ideas, the shared APIs, the shared libraries, the shared dependencies, the component systems are there for everybody to learn from, remix, utilize, import. And it has to be very, very easy. What I do not subscribe to is that that is one system that gets deployed as one monolithic unit, whether that’s one container, whether that’s one cluster. I think the world is getting extremely decentralized. I think one of the key innovations of Next JS was when we compile your project, obviously you can deploy to a container if you want, and many people do so. But when you deploy on Vercel, we automatically transform it into globally optimized serverless infrastructure. So what does that mouthful mean?

If I have an API directory where I have a bunch of files, Vercel will convert those under the hood to serverless functions. These serverless functions are optimized for doing one purpose. They can be geographically distributed and co-located right next to the data source where they should be. They independently scale and fail and fail over. So really, what you’re getting is the developer experience of a monolithic system, because when you work on an NextJs project on localhost, you run ‘next dev’, and we’re basically giving you the illusion that everything is in one place. And we’re almost simulating a global cloud environment, right? You can use cache control. You can use CDN features. You can use our incremental static regeneration feature, which allows you to get the best of both worlds of server side rendering and static generation. And all of those things work locally.

Now, when you deploy them to these modern platforms, it’s truly cloud native. You’re using a framework that can be optimized for the primitives of the modern cloud, as opposed to just be confined to a legacy box. In that process, or that opportunity that we have is I think really the key to this idea of you get one place to work, you get one repo, you get one system, but then we’re doing the best that we can when it gets deployed. I think sometimes folks conflate the two ideas. They think that their monolithic system is great for productivity and great for the actual runtime performance because it just feels so easy to use. And it’s like, oh, it’s in one place. I don’t have to worry about all those things. But I think you can still retain those benefits. When you use monorepos and when you use these modern frameworks, you still get those productivity benefits, but you don’t get the monolithic slower, single point of failure, less scalable system.

David (15:16): Right. And then when it’s deployed out to all these edge locations, that’s still somewhat transparent to the developer, right? They don’t necessarily need to care that it’s in 20 different data centers, 20 different pops. It all acts as a single region.

Guillermo (15:30): Yeah. So sometimes you do need to care. So the speed of light is a thing, obviously, right? And I think this is also another thing that is worth discussing that is happening to cloud as well. Right? I think as we transition to the future of the cloud, we got to make sure that we utilize all of what it can offer. Right? Like this is what I truly mean by cloud native, right? We’ve seen services and solutions that have come along over time that literally replace legacy solutions that were… I’m thinking about Snowflake here, where the metaphor is like cloud native versus cloud pretender. Cloud pretender is, I had legacy software. I virtualized it in a box in the cloud. Cool. That’s better. You’ve saved some efficiencies. You’re no longer managing a data center. Things like that. But you’re still not really getting all of the benefits of cloud.

Like maybe there are parts of your application that if they use the object store functionality offered by your cloud provider, have much greater efficiencies at scale. For example, instead of trying to like figure out how to use a local attached device onto the rack. That whole category of optimization, we now went onto the next phase of the evolution where like, okay, you’re getting the same interface. You’re getting the same developer experience, but now everything is optimized for what the cloud has to offer. I think the final swing on this is that the cloud was meant to be a global platform. And it was meant to be above every visitor’s heads. Right. That’s what like a cloud implies, but we haven’t had the frameworks or the platforms that really expose the right programming models and the right built steps, as I mentioned, to actually take advantage of this global cloud. And Next JS and Vercel are doing this.

And for the most part, to your point, you don’t have to think about the underlying primitives that get created too much, but you do have to think about, okay, data has an origin, data might have multiple locations in which it has to reside from a legal perspective. You do have to personalize. One of the great things about this dynamic edge functionalities that we’re adding to Next JS, is that, well, I can think about, okay, what happens to my homepage, for example, for a storefront, if the visitor is coming from London as opposed to California. So I think it’s a combination of hiding some of these details, but also raising the meaningful ones into how you’re programming these applications. And that’s what I think is going to enable this whole new category of new services and tools that we’ll see in the next coming years.

David (18:20): What about databases? Because latency can have a real impact on performance there.

Guillermo (18:27): Yeah. I think there’s two exciting things that are happening in the space of data. One is, most of the modern database providers are going serverless, right? So they’re telling you, you don’t have to think so much about an allotment of clusters and containers and instances of your database and which one is the replica? Which one is not the replica? And what is the URL of my data node? And is it available? And all these things. Connection pools and things like that. So that problem is getting out of the way. With that new freedom, what comes is the opportunity to basically have your database dynamically scale, according to the load that your application puts on it. However, one of the key things that we’ve discovered throughout this process of like, okay, how do we create global applications if the data is not yet globally distributed, is that we can do really smart things in terms of grabbing the data, rendering pages and pushing them out to the edge.

So this is something that Vercel has added. It’s a very unique value proposition where, when you get Next JS, and this was by design even back in 2016. We said the data layer is completely pliable. We’re not married to a particular data store, database, ORM solution, et cetera. The next logical step to do there is that okay, if we can grab data and we can cache it, push it to the edge, and then track subsequent changes to it, it doesn’t really matter if the data is in every single location where it can be consumed. But it can be globally and lazily sometimes replicated according to user demand. So not only do we have that elasticity of scale on the serverless database side, we also gain the elasticity of scale on the consumer side. When you’re hitting a page, we’re able to basically remove a lot of load on the AppStream database.

So this is something that we make the developer experience so magical that it’s worth emphasising and explaining because a lot of feedback that we hear about our system is, it’s amazing how it just scales. Or we see a lot of tweets that say, “Oh, I saw that you were having trouble with your site. Just move to Vercel. You’re not going to have trouble staying online ever again.” And this going back to the developer experience is one of those things where, because we gave you the framework and we give you the right shapes, and you filled them with your hooks and content, you cannot get into this scenario where, oh, now all of a sudden, I have a global application that not only performs really well, but withstands huge spikes in traffic.

So that’s one thing where like, yes, like the database being serverless, perhaps today more important the database being global. However, I think the two key things to add to that is one, is the ability to have an honor data residency requirements next to where customers are. I think serverless databases are going to have another advantage there because it’s so much more natural to spin up multiple right locations of your data stores without having to be burdened with the idea of like, where is the infrastructure for all of this? And do I have to patch it, upgrade it and maintain it. So I think that’s going to be a key requirement moving forward. And I think better integration between this data layer and framework like Next JS, so we can continue to automate that idea of, well, what if I could automatically recompute parts of my application, even in a granular fashion, not just the entire page, but portions of the page whenever my database is changing?

And this goes back to the source of truth of the application. The thing that sees all the mutations and reads is the one that can inform and unlock a lot of this innovation. Whether it’s GraphQL, where the gateway is seeing all the mutations and can do really smart things around caching and invalidation. But also, marrying that into the application layer. Such that I can annotate my components with their data requirements and get all these benefits around. Not just like caching, because caching sounds like a boring thing that just gives you more read throughput. But even automatically making your application real time.

Because at the end of the day, it’s almost like this global subscription system for data. So I think it’s exciting. We’re seeing a lot of this requirements really come from folks that are scaling really fast, folks that are in the Web3 space that have massive launches that receive huge amounts of traffic. And the other thing that’s interesting about that is, we’re seeing this decentralization really as happening where the compute is moving everywhere in the world. The compute can go to the edge, can go to every major region, but the data also needs to decentralize itself more over time in order to meet these new constraints and new demands.

David (23:41): How do you think about managing the complexity of this? Because there’s obviously a lot of complicated components that go into this. But you can just deploy a static HTML site and that’s I suppose, the simplest component. And it goes all the way to these massively scalable databases that are serverless.

Guillermo (23:59): Totally.

David (23:59): How do you think about that?

Guillermo (24:00): Yeah, that’s a brilliant question. So there’s two main things that come to mind. One is how we think about it strategically at Vercel, or I should say even philosophically at Vercel. And the other one is, one tactic that we can use to simplify this challenges. So on the philosophical side, we’ve always had this idea of scaling up in the spectrum of complexity from the most simple unit or primitive that you could imagine. So on Vercel, we let you bring in an index.html file. In fact, even during this podcast, I can describe to you, okay, go to any directory in your computer. Create a folder, put in a file called index.html, and run vercel or vc for short. And you’ll get a globally deployed static website. Now, do I think that that’s how Walmart, a large user of Next JS that actually has a global data platform with multi-master rights to minimize the latency for the checkout process in globally distributed data for high fidelity stock and personalizing items for each store globally. Is that how they’re going to develop walmart.com? Absolutely not. They’re going to have a monorepo of dozens of Next JS applications with hundreds of engineers with this micro frontends being federated as multiple serverless systems.

Now, can they give you a system that can smoothly upgrade itself over time to that? That’s what we go for. And that’s what I would recommend to any prospective DevTool or infrastructure platform person is think about that. I’m going to use this during the weekend, and I need something really simple to validate even the model of what you offer. Because like what’s interesting is that even in that exercise of deploying just index.html, you’re getting a sense for the fabric of the platform. You’re getting a sense of like, oh, Vercel has this concept of the preview URL. I can continue to modify that file, deploy, deploy, deploy, and then get a preview. Oh, Vercel can integrate into GitHub, so I can now put that HTML file in a repo. And every time I push, it gets deployed. And they map the main branch to my .com.

So you get a sense of the workflow. And then you get a sense of the runtime performance, which is… This is a thing that you recently interviewed the CTO of CloudFlare. I’ve always thought that CloudFlare was so intelligent in doing this. When you use the free tier of CloudFlare, you get the best enterprise grade network that they offer. You don’t get like a mini network of two nodes that in 15 days gets turned off, and John Graham is calling you up saying like, “Hey, you have to pay for a million dollars a day, or we’re turning you off. And please upgrade to this better network.” So that’s another thing that you get a sense of that fabric of the runtime performance of the product, even when you’re not paying, even when you’re deploying just an HTML file.

So we obviously learn from others in the industry there. So, okay. It’s like, what is the next step and to your point about there’s growing complexity? Well, what you realise is that some customers are going to be okay with simplicity at the expense of maybe some other optimizations. Maybe some customers are going to be just like, “I have a single page application. I just want to be static.” But another thing that DevTools, that are worth their while, I think can scale up to the more advanced enterprise requirements. So for us, we actually started out this other way. So we backed into giving you the simpler offering as well. But our bread and butter has always been, we have to enable server side rendering. We have to enable dynamism. That’s the thing. That’s going to scale for the more demanding use cases. So Vercel gives you that journey.

And this is where frameworks like Next JS have been able to really expose the benefits of our platform. Because on a per page basis, we give the developer the ability to say, “Do you want to make this entry point into your application dynamic?” And we fully admit and realise, and this is something that it is really important to understand, is that dynamic comes with some additional costs, right? Now we’re running compute for every request. With edge compute, we’re making that really, really cheap. But there is a slightly higher margin of error there compared to, I literally materialise my entire content into something that’s never going to mutate until I make it mutate. So we lead you into this path of incremental upgrading into more complexity. We do that by… For example, your first function that you deploy on Vercel, we default it to the region that your data is likely to be in.

We don’t tell you, “Oh, now figure out a global database.” So if you do have that situation, you can then take the next step and deploy global compute primitives. And we give you the right framework hooks to make this almost natural to the development story. We try not to have you read like extensive documentation and guides and things to figure this out. So that’s how we think about it philosophically. It’s that, scaling up in complexity, not having really a ceiling in how complex the application can be because I think that would be… go to another platform when you get to a certain size and that’s not ideal. But we give you this presentation that is as basic as possible, and still gives you a great deal of satisfaction and understanding of that fabric of the platform. Now on the technical side, what’s worked out extremely well for us is this idea of what we’ve been calling Infrastructure from Code instead of Infrastructure as Code.

I kind of mentioned it earlier, where on Vercel, you create an API directory. You put your files. You develop locally. You push, and they become serverless primitives. So that’s an idea of the code of the application is then determining the infrastructure. And this is a crucial distinction because it’s different from having to separately maintain a script, whether it’s a beautiful script. There’s excitement about things like CDK and Pulumi, and things like that. They can be really awesome, type checked infrastructure. But still, ossifying an infrastructure description together with the application. It’s almost like a mini us versus them situation. So you’re asking, okay, how to guide the developer into the right data store and things like that. Well, we’re thinking about doing this also with Infrastructure from Code, where bringing in a database is as easily as importing its SDK.

So it’s almost like, for example, SQL support feels like a natural extension of the runtime environment. It’s just something that you’re coding with. Now, when I give you… For example, let’s say that I add SQL support. Let’s say I give you SQLite on localhost. That does mean that when you deploy, it literally uses SQLite inside a container in a Kubernetes cluster. Most likely not, because to my point earlier, I wouldn’t be making that take advantage of what the cloud really has to offer, which should be globally distributed sequel. It would be decoupled storage from compute SQL. It would be horizontally scalable SQL. It would be scale to zero SQL. So that’s how we think about that idea of Infrastructure from Code, because it forces us to always think about this from the persona of the application developer writer, the frontend engineer that’s getting stuff done. And then infrastructure just happens as a consequence of that. I think this is what’s made us stand out a little bit from the pack so far, where we’ve taken that different path when it comes down to how we expose the guts of the cloud.

David (32:23): Okay. So before we wrap up then, I have two lightning questions for you. So the first is what interesting tools DevTools are you playing around with at the moment?

Guillermo (32:35): So I have a really nerdy hot take. I’ve been fortunate enough to be enrolled in the co-pilot early access program. And they released Neovim support. So I’ve just been in love with… I have very, very little time for coding as the CEO of the company. So just combining one of my passions, which is VIM in the terminal with another one of my passions, which I’ve actually given talks about, which is auto completion. And using AI as a way of augmenting cognition. It’s just been amazing, because I can iterate on ideas, try out our products, give feedback to different teams, and it just makes me really productive. I love it. So that’s one. Then on the cloud side of things, I’ve just been spending a lot of time with our new edge functions product. So really what it does is that we have this idea of, can we give you dynamic at the speed of static?

Can we give you global front ends that you just personalized by means of if branches, if else, and identity of the user. And there’s virtually no observable. There’s going to be a little bit, but virtually to the end user, no observable difference in terms of performance compared to pure static workload. So we introduce this primitive, the edge function. But what’s really most interesting is the integration with the frameworks. So we are integrated into Next JS, which just launched a really cool demo built with SvelteKit, where if you build this SvekteKit app and you deploy it on Vercel, it takes advantage of this primitive under the hood. And like the demo just tells you… It’s really simple. Tells you where you are from, but it literally has zero JS on the client side, first of all. And that rendering process of where you’re located… At least for me in San Francisco, I have a really good internet connection. It can happen in like 35 milliseconds end to end, including TLS and all the entire journey of a request. So I’m really excited about this new way of both programming and how the cloud really works. And yeah, I plugged my own DevTool, but it’s really exciting.

David (34:53): And then the second question is, what is your current tech setup? What hardware and software do you use on a daily basis?

Guillermo (35:02): So I have M1 Pro for my work computer. I enjoy using our set of tools obviously. And we use Notion for collaboration, Slack for conversation and discussion. And a lot of our integrations live there. We are introducing to the platform new capabilities to give feedback to one another directly inside the product. So I’ve also been spending time working directly on Vercel to give feedback about our websites and applications that we’re building.

And yeah, as I mentioned, that I use Neovim when I try out new things or I use CLI a lot. And one cool tidbit that my share is, we looked at the entire dataset of GitHub open source bots that are active on pull requests over all of GitHub. And we found that Vercel, the integration that deploys your GitHub projects automatically, is now in the top four most popular bots in the entirety of GitHub. And I think two of those four are actually GitHub’s own bots. So we obviously dog food our technology a lot every single day. So we spend a lot of time just going to GitHub, look at what folks are working on, get that preview URL, click it, and then give feedback to the different teams about what the cool stuff is that their building and how it works on different devices, and mobile and so on. And yeah. It’s a really good and fun way of building software.

David (36:37): Excellent. Well, unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for. Thanks for joining us. Guillermo.

Guillermo (36:41): Thank you.

David (36:44): Thanks for listening to the Console DevTools podcast. Please let us know what you think on Twitter. I’m @DavidMytton and you can follow @consoledotdev. Don’t forget to subscribe and rate us in your podcast player. And if you are playing around with or building any interesting DevTools, please get in touch. Our email is in the show notes. See you next time.

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About the author

David Mytton is Co-founder & CEO of Console. In 2009, he founded and was CEO of Server Density, a SaaS cloud monitoring startup acquired in 2018 by edge compute and cyber security company, StackPath. He is also researching sustainable computing in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, and has been a developer for 15+ years.

About Console

Console is the place developers go to find the best tools. Each week, our weekly newsletter picks out the most interesting tools and new releases. We keep track of everything - dev tools, devops, cloud, and APIs - so you don’t have to.