Articles

Firebase Hosting & CLI Tech Lead (Pt.2) – #MeetFirebase


[MUSIC PLAYING] DOUG STEVENSON: Hey. Welcome back. We’re here with Michael
Bleigh from the Firebase team. We’re picking up the second
half of his interview right now. Michael, how did you end
up on the Firebase team? MICHAEL BLEIGH: Back
in 2012, I actually founded a startup
called Divshot. And I had been working in
sort of the open source world for a while and trying
to build things for developers. And I wanted to see if
I could do more there. So the first thing we built was
sort of a drag and drop tool for building bootstrap HTML. Unlike other WYSIWYG
tools, the idea was this would export sort
of clean, usable HTML. And as we were
building that out, we were looking for a place
to host the static content– so just the HTML,
JavaScript, and CSS– that would talk to the
various APIs that we used. And there wasn’t
really anything there. So we kind of
pivoted the company towards static hosting
for developers, which as it turns out was very
similar to Firebase hosting. And so the opportunity
sort of came along for me to join the Firebase
team with Divshot, merge the two products
together, and make something more ambitious. Because Firebase obviously
isn’t just hosting. It’s this entire
development platform. And so I’ve been working
in the developer tool space for a long time. And it’s just been
really exciting seeing how everything
has developed. DOUG STEVENSON: I was
in a similar situation. So I was at a startup
called Pulse.io, and we were making mobile
application performance monitoring tools. And then my startup– I didn’t cofound it, but
my startup was acquired. And that became what is known
today as Firebase Performance Monitoring. So we had actually very similar
paths into the Firebase world. So it’s a pleasure
to have someone who’s shared that
sort of developer focused prior
product experience. MICHAEL BLEIGH: Very cool. DOUG STEVENSON: So,
Michael, what are you watching on TV these days? MICHAEL BLEIGH: I mean
I watch a lot of stuff. I’m really pumped for the
new season of “Westworld.” DOUG STEVENSON: Yeah. I watched “Westworld.” Loved it. I heard they’re doing
something different this year. It’s not just “Westworld,”
but they’re adding another new world or something. Is that–? MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. I don’t know. I mean lots of myst– I think that they
can’t say too much, or they’re giving
away the mystery. DOUG STEVENSON: Yeah. MICHAEL BLEIGH: It’s
real interesting because the first
season is just sort of this really encapsulated,
meticulously crafted thing. And then it’s going to be
really interesting to see where they take it from here. DOUG STEVENSON: And it is
itself kind of a game, right? I mean one of the
characters treats it like a– not like an
escape room type game. But it has game-ish
qualities to it. MICHAEL BLEIGH:
Yeah, definitely. DOUG STEVENSON: The
other thing about that show is it also kind of
puts a spotlight on what happens when you have
really sophisticated AI. There’s always that,
what’s going to happen with very sophisticated AI? Are the robots
going to take over? They’re going to
think for themselves. I think it touches on
that just a little bit. MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: Now I
remember you tweeted about “Halt and Catch Fire.” MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. That’s a great show too. DOUG STEVENSON: I love that. And I think it really captured
the spirit of computing in the ’80s. MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. That show, I think–
for one thing, I was really surprised
it just got better from season to season, which
doesn’t always happen with TV. One of the things that I
thought rang really true about it is the way
that, even though this is set over a period of decades,
these people sort of keep looping back and
running into each other. And I’ve found that to
really be true in my career. It’s sort of you
meet certain people. And you really click
with them, or you do something that is
important to you together. And then those people are
there throughout your career. There are people
who work at Google who also worked at
Intridea, the first job that I got just out of college. And it’s just weird how
everything sort of converges. And it feels like
a very small world. DOUG STEVENSON: Yeah. I’ve noticed that. Some of my prior colleagues
would look me up on Google and say, hey. You remember me? And I’m like, of course I do. Welcome to Google. It is kind of a small world. And a lot does
converge here, I think. How did you end up
getting into computers? I’m very curious. MICHAEL BLEIGH: I mean
I’ve been fascinated by them my whole life. My parents tell me– I don’t remember. But I was two years old, and
climbing up onto the desk, and trying to put floppy
disks into an IBM XT. Like a lot of kids, I got
super into video games. And how do they work? How can you make them? And over time, I started picking
up programming from that. I wanted to really be able
to do a lot just by myself. And that’s sort of
how I got into the web and programming for the web. Because I felt like one
person could do so much. DOUG STEVENSON: Well, that’s
kind of similar to how I picked up computing, although
I don’t think I was two. There were no floppy
disks when I was two. But there were certainly floppy
disks when I was six or seven. And yeah, I played around
with Apple II computers at school and at the library. MICHAEL BLEIGH: “Oregon Trail?” DOUG STEVENSON: Yes. I’ve watched interviews
by the people who created it, talking about
their story of creating it. And I just found
that fascinating. MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. DOUG STEVENSON: Love that game. Well, Michael, thanks so
much for being on the show. MICHAEL BLEIGH: Yeah. My pleasure. DOUG STEVENSON:
It was a pleasure to finally meet you and talk
about video games and TV and stuff. And thank you for tuning in. Hope you enjoyed this interview. Be sure to subscribe right
here to the Firebase channel on YouTube to get more great
video content like this. I’ll see you next time. SPEAKER 1: [INAUDIBLE] DOUG STEVENSON: Is my code safe? It’s a yes or no
question, Michael. Yes or no? MICHAEL BLEIGH:
Look, man, I told you I wasn’t going to
answer this question. DOUG STEVENSON:
Just a yes or a no. That’s all I want. That actually gets asked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *