Gitter Engineering with Mike Bartlett and Andrew Newdigate

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“The most important thing behind it is to think about developers in the way that product people think about consumers, and that the first time experience of your API needs to be ridiculously simple.”

Software developers have been socializing on chat rooms for decades. In the nineties, we began using IRC and AOL instant messenger. In the early 2000s, we turned to Google Hangouts and Yammer. Today, we are using modern apps like Slack and Hipchat.

On today’s show, we take a deep dive into Gitter, the chat client specifically designed for developers. Our guests are Mike Bartlett and Andrew Newdigate, the creators of Gitter. Gitter is a highly scalable, real time social application for developers to talk about writing their software. This is a great episode that spans topics like front end development, back end distributed systems, how to compete with Slack, and how to scale a chat room to tens of thousands of active users.

Questions

  • What are the chat platforms that developers use to communicate right now?
  • Why were you compelled to build Gitter?
  • What is the stack behind Gitter?
  • How often do you decide to snapshot your messages for replication?
  • What are the challenges around having so many chat integrations with other applications?
  • How do you build an effective API that developers are compelled to use?
  • How does Gitter compare to Slack, and how do you see the two evolving?
  • Does the emergence of more sophisticated chat clients hint toward more distributed development teams?

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