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New developers make their first commit on day #1 thanks to Coder

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Erik Bledsoe
 on January 7th, 2022
Updated on February 26th, 2023

Founded in 2016, Brikl is a B2B company whose e-commerce software platform for micro-stores lets users create and sell customized, branded products marketed to teams, clubs, schools, companies, and organizations. It is particularly popular with promotional wear and sportswear companies who find that Brikl’s platform and 3D configurator help their own customers design and visualize how their team and club kits will look before purchasing.

Like most startups, Brikl started small, with three people, two developers and one person handling the business side. Headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, today they have offices in the United States, Bangkok, London, and Amsterdam.

As technical co-founder, Tobias Meixner was one of those first two developers working on building the platform. Today, he serves as CTO and is responsible for ensuring his developers have the tools they need as the team grows rapidly.

The problem: underpowered workstations

As the team grew, Brikl faced some challenges. Brikl uses a fairly large monorepo with many frontend applications. Developers were complaining about slow performance on their local machines.

Tobias knew that the solution was either to continually purchase newer, ever more expensive laptops or to move development to the cloud. The path was clear. Move to the cloud.

The power of the cloud: the contenders

Brikl is an AWS client with their entire platform running serverless on Lambda, so AWS Cloud9 had to be considered, but was soon deemed unacceptable.

The Brikl team looked at code-server, the popular open source project from the folks at Coder that allows developers to run VS Code on a server and access it from the browser. But code-server is designed for individual developers, not teams, and would not scale easily enough to match Brikl’s growth.

Brikl also acquired an invite to the GitHub Codespaces private beta, and also tried Gitpod. Both were very good, Tobias admits, and he was particularly impressed with Gitpod.

However, when they tried Coder they knew that they had their solution. The developers definitely liked it. “Their Coder workspaces were much better and faster than using their laptops,” said Tobias.

Tobias liked Coder’s approach to workspaces as code, which fit very well with their own existing AWS infrastructure that is all driven by CloudFormation scripts. He expects to double the number of developers working for Brikl in the next year and feels confident that Coder will allow them to scale easily.

First commit on day one

Like most tech startups, Brikl prides itself on being able to iterate quickly. That ability has been a key component of their growth over the last five years. They want their new developers to begin contributing as soon as possible. One of the company’s goals is to have new developers make their first commit and their first PR on their first day.

“Coder helps us hit that goal,” says Tobias with a touch of pride that is apparent to anyone who now manages people who do what he used to do. “They don’t always do it on their first day,” he admits, “but it happens much more frequently since they started using Coder.”

Learn more about Coder

If you would like to learn more about how Coder can help your developer team scale and start contributing sooner, schedule a demo.

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