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Hacking SaaS #19 - Expert SaaS Developers
Celebrating the Heroes of the SaaS Developer Community - experts who contributed their time, energy and knowledge, in the last quarter to make our community amazing.
Many years ago, I listened to a talk titled “How to Become an Expert.” It started with a story about the speaker visiting the gardens at Oxford or Cambridge. The gardens were breathtakingly gorgeous, so they found the master gardener and asked for tips and tricks for growing a fantastic garden. The master said:
“Growing this garden is quite easy. You mow the lawns, ensure everything is appropriately watered, trim here and there, and maybe a bit of mulch or fertilizer.”
“And you need to do this every single day for 500 years”.
The story’s moral is that this is how you become an expert. You need to dig a bit deeper, understand a bit more, and learn something new. And to do it every single day of your entire career. Joining a community of developers who share knowledge and learn from each other is not a bad way to do this.
In the last quarter, two individuals have stood out in the quantity and quality of their contributions to the SaaS Developer Community. They are worthy of a big shoutout and our appreciation.
Jeffrey Sherman drives scaling and performance at ActiveCampaign through his role as a Staff Engineer. In addition to hands-on coding, he teaches problem decomposition, iterative delivery, and his philosophy of never doing greenfield rewrites.
One of his earliest conversations in the community was around scalability - especially how you ensure production upgrades won’t cause issues to your biggest customers. Jeffrey’s LinkedIn tagline showcases his customer-centric view of performance engineering: “I help SaaS Companies keep their biggest clients from churning.”
Lalit is the founder of Oraika, an AI feedback analytics startup. He has an extensive professional background working with companies such as Brocade, Ola, and Careem (Uber). His expertise covers diverse areas, including technical architecture, natural language processing (NLP), identity solutions, infrastructure security, and cost optimization.
Lalit does not (yet) have a blog, but identity, security, and cost optimization are some of the hottest topics on the SaaS Developer Slack - and Lalit generously shared his advice and experience.
As an ML expert, Lalit shares useful lines with practical suggestions, thought provoking ideas and exciting tools - both in the community and on Twitter. Very few people are at the crossroads of ML, identity, security, and costs, which means that Lalit has a unique angle on cutting-edge technology. If you haven’t yet read the article he shared about Prompt Injection, this is a great time to do so.
You, too, can be a Slack Developer Hero.
We’ll select the top contributors every quarter—those who actively share ideas, problems, concerns, suggestions, and excellent links with the community. And we’ll show our appreciation with public shoutouts, interviews, exclusive swag, and whatever else I can think of.
Meanwhile, say kudos to Lalit and Jeffrey!
Few More Good Links
Atlassian shares how they re-architected their SaaS product and made it more scalable.
While OtterTune discussed in detail why Postgres MVCC is the worst. If you don’t know what’s MVCC and why it matters, don’t worry - the blog has one of the best explanations.
New on the SaaS Developer YouTube
Last week we published an interview with Chinmay Soman, who is not (yet?) a community hero, but is occasionally active on our community Slack. We discuss the many use-cases of real-time data in SaaS, how to pick the best technology for each use-case and the best way to handle conflicting requirements.