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Ricardo Sueiras for AWS

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Podcast - open source builders: Arpit Mohan

In this podcast I speak with Arpit Mohan, CTO and Co Founder of Appsmith an innovative no/low code project that can accelerate how you build solutions for your customers. In this session I chat with Arpit and ask him about his journey in tech, the leap from hardware to software, the ups and downs of startups and of course open source software. Here are some of the points we cover in this podcast.

Scaling your startup, a new opportunity

We talk about the genesis of open source projects that are looking to address a specific pain point or challenge that a developer has seen, and this is exactly the case with Appsmith. Arpit talks about the challenges they encountered when scaling from a few users to millions of downloads within a very short time (four months) and how that impacted the engineering teams and the ability for them to get work done (new features, bug fixes, etc). Arpit was faced with diverting engineering effort to create tools to help manage the increasing influx of customer service related activities (3000 mails per day), and so out this came the idea to create something that would allow them to create flexible tools that they could use to help customers that would critically not impact engineering resources.

Arpit goes into details how they went on to create Appsmith and gives us a nice demo of how it works.

Building a platform

The low/no code technology portfolio is an emerging trend and gaining lots of interest, so I asked Arpit what was the purpose behind open sourcing and what sort of planning did they make to make sure it would be successful. It turns out that like many before, open sourcing is a great strategy when you want to increase traction and adoption of your platform and grow developer mind share. Making it easy for third parties to take your platform, extend it with new plugins to integrate into other platforms is a force multiplier for projects, and Arpit goes into detail as to how they approached this.

Earning trust with your customers and community

One of the key points Arpit talks about is the huge benefit of earning trust of prospective customers by making their source available. This also extended into how they learnt to interact with their communities, and how being open and transparent and being humble around wanting to always do better made interactions with contributors more forgiving.

Built with empathy for our developers

One of the striking things about the project is that given this is Arpit's first open project, how well everything is constructed and how welcoming the project is for people who are new to AppSmith. This is not by accident, and Aprit shares how they have approached building their project in the open.

The importance of a certified open source license

Arpit rightly points out how critical it was in their decision making process to choose a license that was ratified by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Aprit talks about how this is critical in earning trust with both developers and users: you need to make it easy for people to use your project, and using an OSI license is the best way to achieve that objective. The last thing they want is to put barriers and make it harder for organisations to get their hands on their project.

Call to action

Why not give Appsmith a look. Arpit and the team have made it easy to try out this project by providing an online sandbox which will give you a feel for what you can achieve with this project. There are also other options as well as detailed documentation and examples to get you going.

Head on over to

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