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The Art of Building Developer Tools

The Art of Building Developer Tools

Samuel E. Giddins

March 06, 2015

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  1. The Art of Building Developer Tools

  2. Samuel Giddins Realm

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  4. LLVM I couldn’t do my job without it.

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  6. What do these projects, and countless others, have in common?

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  8. Developer Tools

  9. How we get from point A to point B. Every

  10. My Projects

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  15. Each is a different kind of tool

  16. How can I make these things?

  17. 1. Find something that’s missing from your workflow 2. Build

    it 3. Build it in such a way others can use it 4. Receive feedback 5. Ignore 70% of it 6. Have a thick skin 7. Keep on improving
  18. Is this something I want to do?

  19. Maybe Don’t rush into it. It’s a lot of work,

    and you won’t succeed unless it’s a project that makes you happy.
  20. Is there a real problem space here? Can someone in

    my position provide a solution?
  21. Think risk vs. reward. Think about access. Think about time.

  22. Does my experience leave me ready to solve this problem?

  23. —Is it general? —Is it in-depth? —Is it unavoidable?

  24. ! Great

  25. ! Great Go Forth and Build

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  27. Solve a small, difficult problem first. Do it better than

    anyone ever has before.
  28. Document it up the wazoo. Both header docs and ‘guides’.

    Yes, you need both.
  29. Initial traction comes easier the more focused your solution is.

  30. Once you have an audience, start spreading out. Find the

    ancillary problems, and solve them one at a time.
  31. As your project grows, it will lose people. Not everyone

    loves a monolith. So try and make sure the things you bolt on both belong and don’t take over.
  32. On the negative side

  33. There Will Be Issues

  34. There Will Be Insults

  35. There Will Be Holy Wars

  36. everything is terrible, nothing works, people are horrible, and there

    will be cool people doing awesome things on a regular basis — André Arko
  37. Ignore All of That (If you want to)

  38. Above All, Have Empathy

  39. You’re asking a fellow developer to spend their most precious

    resource on something you built. It’s an honor. It’s a heavy responsibility.
  40. Conclusion

  41. Conclusion Let’s go and build some cool stuff.

  42. Available now on Speaker Deck. https://speakerdeck.com/segiddins/the-art-of- building-developer-tools

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  44. Samuel Giddins Realm @segiddins