Petr Svoboda, CEO of Stratox Cloud Native, explains how CodeNow makes cloud native development fast and enjoyable for everyone.
First, could you tell us a little more about CodeNOW?
CodeNOW is a real startup. That means we’re working hard to create a platform that simplifies cloud-native software development, especially when built on a microservices architecture. We try to make cloud-native development fast and enjoyable for mere mortals. Especially, I would say, for developers who are not very familiar with the infrastructure and setup requirements.
We are able to abstract away the complexities of cloud infrastructure management and automate many of the common and repetitive tasks. The platform as such increases productivity and we hope that cloud-native development will be fun again.
When and how did you start?
CodeNOW was founded in 2019 and the platform came out of beta in 2020. We would now like to expand our company to the USA and have set up a company there.
Opening a business in the US is a serious step forward for you and the company!
Yes, you could say that. We just opened a small office in San Francisco and hired our first sales people. The process is still slow but I’m glad it’s starting, we’re getting great feedback and managed to get our first clients. We are very confident about the future and further expansion.
Is CodeNow part of the software supplier Stratox?
Exactly. Stratox is essentially a group of companies. CodeNOW was originally bootstrapped out of my own pocket combined with revenue generated from providing professional services from Stratox. Since not only we, but also the market and investors recognized the potential and CodeNOW continued to grow, we decided to accept some investments and use them to scale.
So how can companies benefit from using CodeNOW?
Well, CodeNOW was conceived during my time as an architect for IBM, where I was mainly responsible for executing large transformation projects. I encountered many inefficiencies in the development and deployment process and was shocked at the wasted time caused by developers basically twiddling their thumbs and waiting for others to finish their work. This led me to think that money could be saved by empowering developers with intelligent self-service technology.
As a developer, if you need to set up a new database, cache, message broker, or similar piece of infrastructure, you really shouldn’t have to wait for others. Eliminating this delay in the development process will massively increase the overall productivity and value created during the software development process.
So that was the original idea. Additionally, we have found that developers, particularly those employed in larger companies or working as contractors, typically do not get much time for self-learning or proper training in cloud-native technologies, tools, and best practices.
We saw a great opportunity here, abstracting a lot of the complexity underneath Kubernetes and providing those developers with all the tools and best practices that were understandable and ready to use.
I hear everyone talk about cloud native development as this complicated beast. We want to prove the opposite and our mission with CodeNOW is to make development for microservices and distributed software architectures smooth and sustainable.
There’s a lot of talk about Kubernetes, but I’m not sure too many people know exactly what it is.
You’re right, and unfortunately not too many people know exactly when it’s a good tool and when it’s not.
So when would it be a good tool?
Well, I’d say it’s especially useful when you’re solving horizontal scalability problems. The cases where you need to run hundreds or thousands of instances of your business logic. Kubernetes can be of great help in this regard. As a means of achieving high availability, resiliency, etc. I’d say it mainly has a back-end focus. Front-end developers are used to slightly different tools and it’s easier for them to survive with their CDNs and other technologies. So, Kubernetes isn’t necessarily best for them. But for back-end developers, and especially for integrating with Microsoft, I think it’s the best tool out there.
Are there any specific trends you’ve noticed around DevOps this year?
Yes, one trend we’re seeing is the need to almost compartmentalize your approach to DevOps. On the one hand at the platform level, where a high level of automation is required within the company or company. And on the other hand, an approach to DevOps that is very close to your application development practice and where it is necessary to primarily automate processes around the applications you have in development.
Organizations often think they have their DevOps practice in place once they start using CI/CD pipelines. Sometimes you come across someone wearing a DevOps badge and telling the organization that they are “The DevOps Guy”. However, I believe that there is still a misunderstanding…
Essentially, DevOps is more about collaboration and automation, regardless of who owns it. It is true that the sheer volume of skills and technology required makes this difficult, especially for developers, as there are huge infrastructure and operational issues involved. Typically, developers don’t want to bother with that and focus on creating the business logic of the app.
So we see a trend that many companies aim to hire DevOps specialists and make them part of the development team. I personally think this is probably not the best idea.
Skills come up whenever we talk about technology. Are there enough people in DevOps?
It’s a really scarce resource. If we look at what it takes and what is required during a typical application development, we can see that even the developers themselves struggle to get the job done. Each specialist is capable of serving, say, 10 people, and beyond that he would be overloaded with requests. So the number of people needed with the right skills is definitely much higher than what is currently available in the market.
And I think that’s why we’re seeing this strong wave right now in upcoming development platforms that are all trying to automate different parts of the process for developers.
They are still a relatively new company and are already moving to the US. Is there anything else you will focus on in the coming years?
We have completed the SaaS version of our product, available immediately to smaller businesses. We believe this release is of great value, especially for non-tech founders, for example. Our ideal customers for this product are startups that need to manage remote teams and founders that need to take care of remote developers. Businesses where speed to market and ease of development are critical.
On the other hand, we continue to serve businesses. In the enterprise business, we have proven successful by offering CodeNOW as a rapid prototyping tool for MVPs and prototypes that are built cloud-native from the start.
And I think it’s important to mention that we’ve achieved ISO27k certification so we can offer businesses and any business peace of mind that CodeNOW is safe and secure from a data perspective.
Thanks for your time! I wish you all the best in your US adventure
Thank you for this interview and yes I’m sure this will be a blast!
Stratox Cloud Native will be at TechEx Europe September 20-21 in Amsterdam. Register here for your free ticket.