Happy Netliversary 🎉

How time flies 🚀!

It feels like only yesterday… I was building serverless.com & falling in love with Netlify’s truly magical workflow.

Jump cut to a year ago, I found myself joining the Netlify team in the Dogpatch of San Francisco as a Growth + DX Engineer as employee #26!

My mission was simple: Help the company grow, make developer lives better & educate the JAMstack world on all things serverless.

What happened next, no one could have predicted…

What a year

I’ve experienced the most prolific year of my professional life.

Wrote a ton of blog posts, helped close deals, integrated with partners, gave talks & workshops, learned a metric boatload, and built a whole lot of awesome!

I also had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of top notch people in the JAMstack/SaaS world and of course the world class Netlify team 🎉!

Working at Netlify has been a phenomenal catalyst for my personal growth over the past year.

But what do you do David? I’m GLAD YOU ASKED!

Here’s the mind map of my world…

Let’s unpack this 👆…

If I had to describe my job in a simple Venn diagram it would look a little something like this:

On a daily basis, I find myself at the intersection of product, frontend, devOps (serverless of course), devRel, & marketing. Sprinkle in working with various partners and that almost covers the gamut of my world.

It’s been great to combine the skills I’ve acquired over the years into one role!

Let’s dive deeper. Shall we?!?!



Building the Awesome

The DX team is focused on empowering developers (customers & partners) by making it as easy & streamlined as possible for them to build awesome stuff on top of the expanding Netlify Platform.

We are the internal dogfooders. We stretch, bend, and break the tools we offer to make things better for the ever expanding group of developers.

This led to a number of interesting projects including:

and then some…

👨‍💻 Netlify CLI

One of my favorite projects was re-building the Netlify CLI.

A green field project is always fun & crafting CLI experiences is a hobby of mine. (Weird hobbies I know)

The wonderful Bret Comnes, Swyx and myself hacked away at building a new CLI experience that we thought people would love.

# Install the netlify CLI
npm install netlify-cli -g

All of the CLI commands can be seen here

The CLI is extendable via plugins and there is much more in store for it in the future.


⚡️ functions.netlify.com

In an effort to educate the world of whats possible with serverless tech, I built out the functions.netlify.com site.

It’s the one stop shop for all things Netlify Functions

Make sure to checkout the site for all the awesome examples & tutorials

Shout out to Gatsby for the awesome framework the site is built on.


❤️ CodeSandbox + Netlify deploy

This was an integration project with CodeSandbox. We wanted to add a way for CodeSandbox users to be able to one-click deploy from their CodeSandbox project. You can read more about it here in the blog post

The end result is a nice lil’ Deploy to Netlify flow!

It was a true pleasure working closely with Sara Vieira & Ives van Hoorne on this one!


🚀 AWS CloudFormation + Netlify

In preparation for AWS re:invent, I built a CloudFormation Custom resource to allow AWS users to easily deploy Netlify sites as part their existing stacks.

This custom resource works with the serverless framework, SAM and vanilla AWS CloudFormation.

The main goal, other than to scratch my own itch, is to allow your Netlify site & build pipeline to become part of your infrastructure as code. 💪

You can read more about it in the blog post and deploy a ready made example


💸 FaunaDB + Netlify Integration

What started out as building a quick example application quickly turned into the first official Netlify add-on.

The humble beginnings of this application is using React for the frontend, Netlify Functions for API calls, and FaunaDB as the backing database.

You can read more about the project in the README or in the blog post.

We ended up turning the project & add-on into a one click Fauna Stack. Seriously, it’s one click for a working FullStack NoSQL backed React application.

The backend is powered by serverless functions and works like so:

You can install the faunadb add-on with the Netlify CLI via:

# Add a faunaDB to your netlify site
netlify addons:create fauna

For more information checkout the add-on docs & the fauna graphQL demo


Integrating with partners & Netlify Add-ons

I’ve had a heck of a time keeping up with the various integration partners & companies that want to build on top of the Netlify ecosystem & platform.

Still in it’s alpha phase, I’ve been working tirelessly with companies to help them integrate and build Netlify add-on extensions.

If you are curious about Netlify add-ons checkout this deck and get in touch with me.

Super secret upcoming integrations

We have some additional integrations cooking! Stay tuned…




Marketing & Growth Ops

On the marketing front, I’ve been in charge of instrumenting analytics on the various Netlify products from app.netlify.com, our site, API, and wide variety of micro sites.

This data is a crucial part of the product feedback loop and helps us make data driven decisions on where we head to next.

On the marketing-ops front, I’ve built a variety of serverless services to help with new user on-boarding, sales enablement, usage telemetry & referral tracking. I’m hoping to open source these at some point.

User retention + activation is also a large component of what I have been working on for the past year here at Netlify. You might have seen an email or two for me 🙈. I apologize for that, we try to make them as helpful & actionable as possible!

We are leveraging the all powerful customer.io platform for fine-grained communications and I’m digging it.

Recently, I built out the email preference center for users to manage what kinds of emails they want, or they can opt out completely! The frontend is a React app and the backend is a serverless service (are you seeing a pattern here?).

Working close to the numbers & leveraging them for informed decisions is critical for any company. If you’re unfamiliar with web analytics / telemetry holler at me and I will point you in the right direction.




Teaching people

I’m insanely passionate about teaching people the raw super powers that come when adopting serverless technology.

Scaling, Operating, and Maintaining an application at massive scale is now well within the grasp of the frontend devs. If you can write javascript, you can build a badass serverless stack.

To that end, most of my content is focused around that.

If you’re curious about other serverless stuff, I highly recommend checking out this and this & subscribing to this. Also feel free to drop me a line.




How did this happen?

I like to think all these things were made possible by all the wonderful folks on the Netlify team and these guiding principles:

  • Be creative
  • Experiment, try new things, don’t be afraid to fail
  • Be data driven
  • Learn from failures
  • Relish & repeat success
  • Have fun & build awesome

Looking back at the past year Netlify has enabled me to do just that. I had a lot of fun and built some awesome stuff!

It’s also been the prolific year of building I’ve ever had. There are more things not even mentioned in this post 🤯. Mamma mia!

It’s been a wild ride and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds.

Shoutout to Matt & Chris the two founders of Netlify. They are building an awesome company to work for & are masters at recruiting the best folks (minus myself 😁)

Also to Daniel Freeman who continues to be an awesome mentor & empowers me to build all this awesome shit!

P.S. We are hiring a bunch of people. If this post peaked your interest, please reach out.

P.P.S. Sorry for the Netlify ❤️ fest. (but its true G)