Life on Mars - A podcast from MarsBased
Oct 12, 2020 56 min
013 - Keeping the fire alive after 10 years, with Pieter Omvlee (CEO @ Sketch)
Pieter created Sketch about 13 years ago as a remote-working company. In fact, he never met his co-founder until the day they launched the first version of the software, almost three years later. Now, Sketch sits at 120 people scattered across the globe, as an example of an all-remote company with a bright future ahead. Entirely self-funded for many years, they raised a Series A round with Benchmark Capital to help them grow and conquer new heights as a company. In this episode, we talk about bootstrapping, decision making when you're two co-founders, the struggles running an all-remote company, changes in the culture as you scale and as you receive investment, relationship with a board you didn't have before, and Àlex struggles to pronounce Pieter's full name correctly.
Sep 28, 2020 1 hr 1 min
012 - One SaaS to rule them all - Controlling access, expenses and more with Brad van Leeuwen (Cledara)
SaaS is becoming messy. Companies tend to hoard them unvoluntarily just because they're cheap and easy to sign up for, so it's easy to subscribe and forget. Have we reached the point of SaaS fatigue? Difficult to say, as there are several actors within companies signing up for SaaS, so we might not know everything we signed up for unless we're in the finance department and audit them thoroughly. In fact, as a company, we also need to control not only what we sign up for, but what our team uses individually. Sometimes SaaS infiltrates companies through individual B2C usage, like it happened with Dropbox many years ago, or Mailtrack in sales teams. Brad van Leeuwen, COO and co-founder of Cledara, a SaaS that helps businesses to manage all of their SaaS subscriptions, explains in this episode how to keep expenses under control, how to control accesses and regulate governance within companies and most importantly, how to pronounce his surname. We also learnt how to build SaaS by asking feedback to your clients and keeping a healthy balance between all clients' requests and your own roadmap in a sensible way.
Sep 14, 2020 44 min
011 - No-code: what, why, when and more, with Ben Tossell (Founder @ Makerpad)
No-code, low-code, less-code, zero-code... you name it! There's a trend of building applications - and even companies - without having to actually code anything, thus enabling less-technical people to assemble prototypes and MVPs to test their ideas for free and without technical chops. But... what's all the fuss about it? When should we use no-code, or for whom's it the right approach? Is there a moment when you should stop using it? What profiles know how to deal with these tools? Ben Tossell is CEO and founder of Markerpad, a platform for no-code projects that has built one of the biggest communities around this movement. So big, it's now launched a fund, to invest in no-code tools. Follow us in this conversation with Ben to dispel some myths and talk about the present and future of no-code.
Aug 31, 2020 59 min
010 - How to transition from senior developer to CTO, with Rob De Feo (AWS)
A few years back, the industry of developer bootcamps emerged and went boom. Tonnes of new developers were manufactured to be poured into tech ecosystems around the world and help startups and tech companies scale up their development teams. This solved the problem of needing more developers in an ever-growing industry, demanding more and more professionals than there were available, but most of these bootcamps focus solely on getting them started. It's been a while since the first cohorts were started, and now, some of their people are getting senior positions as senior developers, tech leads or even CTOs in smaller startups. In this episode, we discuss with Startups advocate at AWS, Rob de Feo, about how to build a career in the development industry: learning from people above you, seeking counsel, learning constantly, do's and don'ts and much more.
Aug 19, 2020 52 min
009 - Manufacturing developers on a global scale and the role of dev bootcamps in society, with Ariel Camús (CEO @ Microverse)
When the first developer bootcamps appeared, no one could foresee the impact they would have in society henceforth.A few years later, we have seen their huge influence in making the software development world more accessible to a broader percentage of population, and their efforts to help underrepresented groups cannot be overlooked.As it happens, there's always both sides of the coin, and whilst most of them are created with good intentions, others have simply been created as a business opportunity to milk the tech market even further, and they're contributing to corrupting the model.To talk about this - and more - we hosted Ariel Camús (CEO @ Microverse), one of our favourite bootcamps. Microverse has been founded on very strong moral values and a solid company culture, which feeds from the likes of Gitlab, Basecamp and Buffer, just to name a few.We discussed with Ariel how to avoid losing value with scale, building a dev bootcamp using no-code tools, their techstack, their role in society, a bit of social mobility and much more!
Aug 04, 2020 1 hr 5 min
008 - Work ethics and the fraud of the gig economy, with James Bloodworth
Let's talk about politics. Politics and tech, or politics in tech, to be more precise. James Bloodworth worked undercover at Amazon, Uber and other companies with shady business ethics for six months to write Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain. He also wrote The Myth of Meritocracy, so we invited him over to speak about both books, the systemic problems the tech industry is perpetuating and how social mobility is just not working and only the sons and daughters of rich folks are getting the top jobs in the industry. Accompanied by our friend Josh Feldberg, we discussed for over an hour how we seem to be going backwards when it comes to workers rights in part "thanks" to the tech giants like Amazon, Facebook or Uber, who are thriving businesses at the expense of their employees' rights, driving costs (and thus salaries) further down every year and revoking worker rights our ancestors fought for not that long ago such as minimum wage or an eight-hour work day. That was a hell of a long sentence, by the way. If you are interested in James' story, how the tech giants profit from these despicable tactics, social mobility, meritocracy and unionising in the tech industry, then this chapter is for you.
Jul 21, 2020 1 hr 2 min
007 - How to keep the house clean: sunsetting legacy systems and tech hygiene, with Dorion Carroll (Amazon)
In this episode, we talk to one of our favourite tech experts, former CTO @ Zynga and currently VP of Customer Interaction Technologies at Amazon, Dorion Carroll. Dorion has been working on the development side of things for decades in the US, in companies like Oracle, Electronic Arts, Technorati, Postini, Zynga and more. For all these companies, he's been always advocating for keeping the house clean when it comes to technology. We discussed how to sunset old apps, how to deal with legacy systems, putting budgets against financials for new tech projects and the concept of tech hygiene. We also talked about how to pitch finance departments and/or CEOs big investments into technology, like a big refactor, a change of technology or a complete rework of the architecture of the platform. Dorion has also got one of the best beards in the industry. Period.
Jul 07, 2020 1 hr 2 min
006 - How to run one of the best tech podcasts in the universe, with Chad Pytel (CEO @ thoughtbot)
As developers, we learn by doing, and this is why we decided to interview one of our favourite podcasters: Chad Pytel, CEO and co-founder of thoughtbot, and host of the Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots podcast. Thoughtbot has over 100 employees and was founded in 2003. Their main business is development consulting, and of course they've been a huge inspiration for us in terms of culture and the way they go about work. They launched a bunch of podcasts in 2012, so they know what they're talking about. We discussed with Chad how to start a podcast, how to keep it running for so many years, his tricks for interviewing people and how they've evolved their podcasts over the years to reinvent themselves and avoid burnout and loss of motivation. Can Martians and Robots get along well? Find out for yourselves by listening to this episode!
Jun 28, 2020 56 min
005 - Stepping down as the CEO of your company, with David Okuniev (Co-founder @ Typeform)
Founding your startup and spearheading it as the CEO is far from being an easy journey. But it might be even tougher to know when it's the right moment to stop being the CEO of your own company. Some might even ask themselves "why should someone do that?". We sat down with David Okuniev, one of the two co-founders and former ex-co-CEOs (is that even a word?) to discuss how they did it at Typeform: how did they take this decision, who took it, how long did the replacement period go for, who was the replacement, what effect did it have on company culture and how they managed rumours going around the company - and a lot more! David rarely takes interviews, and this was the first one in about two years, so enjoy it!
Jun 11, 2020 1 hr 0 min
004 - Product people, who are they and where can you find them? with Howard Love (CEO @ LoveToKnow)
Howard Love is the CEO and founder of LoveToKnow Media, a US-based business that helps their users find the most useful information about a wide range of topics. LoveToKnow was founded over 15 years ago, and Howard has created more than ten companies and invested in over 50 of them. Howard has assembled a team of over 50 people in different countries, in a remote-friendly company buying and selling high-traffic portals focused on quality content, and therefore the range of products, technologies and methodologies in the company is so broad that they require only high-class product people. In this episode, we talked about this very particular kind of business and how Howard manages to hire world-class product people in today's competitive landscape.