Software Development

Bootstrapping a Startup to a $100M Exit Outside Silicon Valley

 Interview with David Cummings, CEO and Co-founder of Pardot By Poornima Vijayashanker David Cummings started a business in college and used it as a test subject, as well as a funding source, for his next company, Pardot. He built an MVP in 45 days, but customers didn’t want it. Learn how David used this early feedback to pivot, hire a great first sales rep, and grow the company into a multimillion-dollar business that was acquired by ExactTarget, then Salesforce—all outside of Silicon Valley. Pardot ... Read more

Building Products Beyond the Launch

By Poornima Vijayashanker I’ve contributed to more than a handful of launches. Probably the most successful and public one to date has been Mint.com’s launch at the original TechCrunch40 competition, where we walked away as winners of a nice $50K check! It was definitely an atypical launch. What I’ve learned from both successful and underwhelming launches is that you get more than one chance. While launch day is important, it is not what is going to make or break your product’s success. A ... Read more

How to Attract Top Technical Talent for Your Early-Stage Startup

By Poornima Vijayashanker There are a lot of things I really suck at. The first is visual design. I’ve never been trained as a designer, and while it would probably take just a month or two to learn Photoshop, I know my time would be better spent doing other things. So I don’t even bother doing more than some light CSS and HTML, and on occasion I fiddle with a Photoshop file someone else has already designed for me. You’d think that as ... Read more

How to Decide If You Should Build or Buy a Software Product

By Poornima Vijayashanker Last year when I planning my birthday party, I waited until the last minute to decide whether to bake a cake or buy one (my favorite kind of cake is German Chocolate). I called a couple bakeries to ask if they could bake a cake with a 48-hour notice. Many said it wasn’t possible, and the ones who could do a 48-hour turnaround didn’t have German Chocolate. I decided I’d bake the cake instead. I looked up several recipes, read ... Read more

Meet the Femgineers Who Have Helped Build Spotify

By Poornima Vijayashanker If you’re a music lover, then you're probably already listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify. If you haven’t come across Spotify, then you should certainly check them out! They are one of the hippest startups, reinventing how we discover, listen to, and share music. Spotify has been built by a team of top technical talent, and I was curious to learn more about what it's like to work there and what draws top engineers to the company! So I ... Read more

Computer Science != Developer

By: Livi Erickson I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love everything about computers. It felt only natural, then, when I went to college I would major in computer science - even though after two years of classes in high school, I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to work as a developer. I loved coding - but there were a lot of other things that I enjoyed that I also had an interest in studying further. Luckily, I soon discovered that ... Read more

Journey From Founding Engineer to Founder, Lesson 2: Invest in Infrastructure

By Poornima Vijayashanker A little over 4 years ago I decided to transition from being a founding engineer to a founder. I knew that I could build a product and recruit a team, I had learned those skills at my first startup, Mint.com. But I was really curious to know what it was like to be a founder. I wanted to build a company and a business. Most recently I’ve met many engineers out there who are contemplating this transition, and maybe filled ... Read more

5 Important Things to Remember when Designing a Product

By Frances Advincula As a software engineer who is primarily focused on the front end, I have to help ensure our products have a great user experience. Here are the top 5 lessons I have learned when helping design a new product, from simple things such as a school project to even more complex situations such as enterprise software. I hope you find them helpful! 1.Write problem scenarios because they are very effective ways of putting yourself in the user’s shoes. I think ... Read more

7 Techniques to Improve Brainstorming within your Engineering Team

By Frances Advincula  We all know that a great engineering team is comfortable with a lot of argument, a lot of debate, a lot of brainstorming. The diversity of thoughts and opinions always helps make a better product. A complicated problem half of the team has been try to solve for the last day might be easily solved by a fresh pair of eyes equipped with a different set of experiences. I’ve been thinking about ways engineers can brainstorm better when I came ... Read more

Stop the Endless Firefighting

By David Grieser You hear the loud-pitched fire alarm going off, alerting you of smoke… It could be real fire! Fortunately in most cases it’s just over-cooked food. Now imagine burning food every week, day, meal, or hour! The battery in your fire alarm might just give up. Or you, tired of the annoying and incessant sound, might just pull the plug! While we’re quick to pull the plug on fire alarms, why have we let them become the driving force for software development? Pssh… ... Read more
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