While git has been a gamechanger of a technology for software engineering, imagine working with git today in a large organization without an online repository like GitLab or GitHub. The decentralization of source control and the ease of adding new code without blocking others made git a must have, but a centralized platform to provide better collaboration was needed to make this a mainstream tool.
On this sponsored episode of the podcast, we talk with Marcin Wyszynski, founder and CEO at Spacelift. Marcin says Spacelift aims to be for infrastructure-as-code what GitHub is to git. It centralizes everything about your IaC system: it runs code, deploys within CI/CD pipelines, tracks the progress of your infrastructure, and gives you insight into who made what changes and why. Today it works with the IaC tools already out there: Terraform, Cloud Formation, and Pulumi, with plans to add support for services like Ansible and Kubernetes in the future.
Like a lot of programmers, Marcin got into coding through games. Once he ran through the limited number of Commodore 64 games at his local shop in Poland, he learned to program his own. But he never thought of programming as a career, so when it came time to pick a college major, he followed a group of his peers into sociology. Sociology, with its heavy focus on statistics, brought him back to programming.
He landed his first job at Google reviewing copy for Ads, which lasted until he could automate himself out of it. Google gave him increasingly technical roles until he moved into an SRE position handling tape backups, a job that is mostly very boring until it becomes extremely exciting. After that, it was a stint at Facebook spinning up point-of-presence clusters around the world, then CTO at a startup that didn’t catch on as he’d hoped.
With this wealth of experience under his belt, he went into consulting. As a consultant, he had his bag of best practices, open-source tools, processes, and scripts that he brought with him, but he also built bespoke pieces of technology for every single one of his clients. One need his clients had in common was a way to manage the code that defined their infrastructure.
During Marcin’s career, there were many times when he built the thing he needed: games, automation, scripts. When his consulting clients would leave for a new organization, they would reach out to ask if he could provide them with the solution he had built for infrastructure as code. Realizing that he had created something which addressed a pain point common to many companies, he decided to turn this solution into a new company: Spacelift.
Spacelift aims to take the heavy lifting out of infrastructure-as-code, automate it, and make it auditable. When a change gets made, everyone can see it and comment on it. From the product manager to the junior dev, everyone knows what’s going on, even if an infrastructure change doesn’t fit the original architecture docs. Plus, the SRE team no longer need to go on archeological expeditions to find a database secretly running and costing the company five figures a month.
To learn more about Spacelift, check out their website at https://spacelift.io/, where you can start a free trial and see it in action.