Building And Growing Nylas with Christine Spang - Episode 156

Summary

Email is one of the oldest methods of communication that is still in use on the internet today. Despite many attempts at building a replacement and predictions of its demise we are sending more email now than ever. Recognizing that the venerable inbox is still an important repository of information, Christine Spang co-founded Nylas to integrate your mail with the rest of your tools, rather than just replacing it. In this episode Christine discusses how Nylas is built, how it is being used, and how she has helped to grow a successful business with a strong focus on diversity and inclusion.

linode-banner-sponsor-largeDo you want to try out some of the tools and applications that you heard about on Podcast.__init__? Do you have a side project that you want to share with the world? Check out Linode at linode.com/podcastinit or use the code podcastinit2018 and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers. They’ve got lightning fast networking and SSD servers with plenty of power and storage to run whatever you want to experiment on.


GoCD is the on-premise open source continuous delivery server created by ThoughtWorks and modeled after the ideas in the Continuous Delivery book by Jez Humble and David Farley.

With GoCD’s comprehensive pipeline modeling, you can model complex workflows for multiple teams with ease. And GoCD’s Value Stream Map lets you track a change from commit to deploy at a glance.

GoCD’s real power is in the visibility it provides over your end-to-end workflow. So you get complete control of and visibility into your deployments, across multiple teams.

Say goodbye to deployment panic and hello to consistent, predictable deliveries.

To learn more about GoCD, visit gocd.org for a free download. Professional Support and enterprise add-ons, including disaster recovery, are available.


When your website experiences an error, Airbrake alerts you in real-time, and gives you all the details you need to fix the bug fast. Some of the most useful tools that Airbrake provides for faster resolution are:

  • Exception aggregation to understand the how many users are being affected, so that you can prioritize the work you are doing to have the biggest impact
  • Contextual information to understand how certain states of the application contribute to the exception being raised, and which environments are affected
  • Deployment tracking so that you can easily see whether a new feature is the source of an error
  • Integration with all of the other tools that you use, such as automatically creating issues in GitHub and linking to the line of code where the error came from

Right now, Podcast.__init__ listeners can try Airbrake free for 30 days, plus get 50% off the first 3 months on the Startup plan. To get started, visit airbrake.com/podcastinit today.


Preface

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so check out Linode. With private networking, shared block storage, node balancers, and a 200Gbit network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to podcastinit.com/linode to get a $20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute.
  • Finding a bug in production is never a fun experience, especially when your users find it first. Airbrake error monitoring ensures that you will always be the first to know so you can deploy a fix before anyone is impacted. With open source agents for Python 2 and 3 it’s easy to get started, and the automatic aggregations, contextual information, and deployment tracking ensure that you don’t waste time pinpointing what went wrong. Go to podcastinit.com/airbrake today to sign up and get your first 30 days free, and 50% off 3 months of the Startup plan.
  • To get worry-free releases download GoCD, the open source continous delivery server built by Thoughworks. You can use their pipeline modeling and value stream map to build, control and monitor every step from commit to deployment in one place. And with their new Kubernetes integration it’s even easier to deploy and scale your build agents. Go to podcastinit.com/gocd to learn more about their professional support services and enterprise add-ons.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email [email protected])
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, tell your friends and co-workers, and share it on social media.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Christine Spang about Nylas and the modern era of email

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you explain what Nylas is and some of its history?
  • What do you think it is about email as a protocol and a means of communication that has made it so resilient in the face of technological evolution?
  • What lessons did you learn from your initial offering of the N1 mail client and how has that informed your current focus?
  • Nylas as a company appears to have a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. Can you speak to how you encourage that type of environment and how it manifests at work?
  • What are some of the ways that Python is used at Nylas?
  • Can you share some examples of services that you have written in other languages and why you felt that Python was not the right choice?
  • What are some of the use cases that Nylas enables?
  • What are some of the most interesting or innovative uses of the Nylas platform that you have seen?
  • How do you manage privacy and security in your sync service given the sensitivity of the data that you are handling?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges that you are currently facing at Nylas?
  • What do you think will be the future of email?

Keep In Touch

Picks

Links

The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA