Software at Scale 21 - Colin Chartier: CEO, LayerCI


Colin Chartier is the co-founder and CEO of LayerCI. LayerCI speeds up web developers by providing unique VM-like environments for every commit to a codebase, which enables developers, product managers, QA, and other stakeholders to preview code changes extremely quickly and removes the need to spin up a local environment to showcase demos. This enables interesting workflows like designers signing off on pull requests.

Colin was previously the CTO of ParseHub and a software design lecturer at the University of Toronto.

The focus of this episode was on developer productivity, management of a CI system and company, and even a little bit of cryptocurrency mining.

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0:00 - What does LayerCI solve?

2:00 - CI is generally resource-intensive and slow. What makes LayerCI fast? A lot of similarities to the Android Zygote. We’ve even floated the idea of Python Zygotes at a previous job.

5:00 - The story behind LayerCI.

12:00 - The architecture that serves LayerCI. The cost of nested virtualization and each additional Hypervisor. OVH.

15:00 - Rate limiting. The impact of rising cryptocurrency prices on free tiers of CI providers - read more.

30:00 - The power of building high-quality infrastructure. How both developer tools like LayerCI, as well as low-code/no-code tools like Retool and Zapier are important for the future.

37:00 - Colin’s course for DevOps academy

47:00 - Hiring philosophy for startups