Guest: David Tuite (LinkedIn)
Company: Roadie 
Show: Let’s Talk

Roadie is a hosted developer portal and software catalog built on Spotify’s Backstage. In this episode of TFiR: Let’s Talk, Roadie Chief David Tuite shares how Roadie got started and how it is helping companies take their Backstage developer experience to the next level.

Roadie and Backstage:

  • Roadie is a developer portal and software catalog used by companies in many industries, including finance and pharma security.
  • It is based on Backstage, an open-source project that started within Spotify back in 2016 and was open sourced in 2020.
  • Roadie provides customers a production-grade Backstage instance and protects it through regular upgrades, single sign-on (SSO), and dedicated infrastructure.
  • Its vision as a developer portal is to be a single place for folks inside engineering organizations to go and their day-to-day work.
  • It provides 1) automated discoverability, helping people know who and what software is being built and deployed, and 2) standardization of that software, reducing the time it takes to get to production.
  • Current Roadie customers already have a high level of understanding about the software that’s deployed and that their teams are building. They are now more interested in their software’s maturity, security, compliance, and operability in production.

Use cases:

  • There are companies who are having tons of success using Backstage as an API catalog. People are browsing API specs inside Backstage.
  • People are also having success measuring software maturity and displaying those measurements, door metrics, numbers of vulnerabilities inside different software projects, etc. All of the information is provided in Roadie’s Tech Insights and used as a centralized dashboard for reporting on software maturity.
  • Other companies don’t really use the catalog of Backstage at all, but they use Roadie’s Scaffolder, which automates the creation of new software faster and also has templating functions that bakes in the best practices of the organization.

Benefits of contributing to open-source projects:

  • Contributing to open source is very important to Roadie. They want to provide stewardship and give back to the open-source projects that they use and benefit from.
  • Roadie is the second largest contributor to Backstage (after Spotify).
  • As a contributor, you’re widely known in the project community. The project community is a primary source of leads and potential clients.
  • Roadie has become a trusted source in the Backstage community. People know that they’re experts in the tool, so they trust them to manage their Backstage instances or SaaS platforms for Backstage.
  • Sometimes, customers want to make modifications or add functionality to Backstage for their own use cases. Instead of relying on Roadie to deliver that functionality, they can always contribute it to Backstage and Roadie will roll it out shortly thereafter.

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.

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