Lately, there has been a trend of brand new startups in the developer tooling space, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Funding open source is hard
For years folks have been struggling to get funding for even the most foundational of projects. A few projects like webpack and vue.js have managed to get some recurring money, but most projects struggle.
Recently a few projects have secured VC funding to continue building their open source dev tools. I know folks are often nervous about VC backed projects, but being able to secure 4.5 million dollars when historically getting $100k a year has been impossible has me excited.
A few companies I’m particularly excited about:
- Replay (replay.io) - Replay is a browser that records an entire interaction on your site and produces an artifact that you can debug, share, and comment on. Think of recording a bug on your website and uploading the entire artifact to a GitHub issue for one of your dependencies. Then they can click around, time travel debug, check your source code, and comment to you with their findings!
- Replit (replit.com) - Replit started as a collaborative IDE for many different languages but has become so much more. Recently they announced their startup incubator, Replit Ventures, and released their game programming environment Kaboom.
- Rome (rome.tools) - Rome is a brand new tool designed to replace Babel, ESLint, webpack, Prettier, and Jest. Instead of each tool bringing its own compiler and requiring swaths of configuration files to glue together, Rome aims to be a single compiler you can use for linting, formatting, compiling, and bundling.
- Vercel (vercel.com) - Vercel has been around for a while, but their continued commitment to awesome developer tooling always impresses me. They offer both a place to deploy frontend apps (Vercel), and an open sourced framework for building optimized React applications (Next.js).
- Supabase (supabase.io) - Supabase is an open source alternative to Google’s firebase. It allows you to instantly spin up a backend, giving your project databases, authentication, and realtime APIs.
I couldn’t be more excited
I hope all these great companies bring a considerable improvement in developer tooling and quality of life for working on web engineering projects. I love seeing a wave of free, open source, developer tools, and I especially love the folks behind these tools finding a way to get themselves paid for the great work they do.
Written by Jon Kuperman living in Florida taking some time between jobs. You should follow him on Twitter