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Building a Backend from Scratch vs. The Hasura Way

Since we’ve been learning a lot from the Close-up Magic meetups, we’ve decided to start writing a recap at the end of every event. We hope that these recaps will help you in your career development. Enjoy!

For our latest Close-up Magic meetup, we welcomed Praveen Durairaju, Senior Developer Advocate at Hasura to talk about:

Here are a few of our favorite takeaways.

Key Takeaways

Developer feedback is key to success 🔑

The road to Hasura was one that was filled with many paths. Hasura initially tried to solve multiple problems for developers, such as the need for better DevOps tooling, and also the need for a faster way to build apps with a data layer.

By collecting feedback, Hasura was able to find that data access was the biggest pain point developers faced. With this golden insight, the company pivoted to what is now known as Hasura, a Jamstack tool used and loved by large enterprises and exciting startups such as Philips Healthcare and Netlify.

Choose Hasura for a backend in minutes, rather than days 👏

There are a lot of moving parts involved when setting up a GraphQL-powered app from scratch. You have to set up a GraphQL server that describes your data, a client that specifies how you ask for the data, and then you need to connect the GraphQL server with a database you’ve built.

For those who are new to backend development, the thought process involved in optimizing data fetching, handling errors and caching with GraphQL becomes slightly more complicated than when using the well-known alternative, Rest API. This is because you’re pretty much reinventing the wheel of Rest API with GraphQL.

If you don’t have the time to dig into the GraphQL or your chosen database’s documentation, try Hasura. Like us, your mind will be blown away by just how easy Hasura makes it for us to build a backend with a readily available API.

Developer Advocacy is all about Developer empathy ❤️

Praveen’s journey from Engineering to Developer Advocacy felt inevitable.

As an early engineer at Hasura, he started helping developers solve a few of the pain points they faced with their tool. Pretty soon, he was helping improve Hasura’s docs and writing content to support developers in their integration phase.

“I believe in the product and love using the product as well. So there’s a natural progression that happened where I was helping out devs with documentation, finding out their pain points on using the product. And I think that’s where I started writing content, some documentation, some guides and tutorials to fix their pain points.”

Praveen thoroughly enjoyed doing all of this because he was passionate about using Hasura, and he couldn’t help but to evangelize the product to other developers.

As it turns out, these are the ingredients needed to become a Developer Advocate. You have to be sold on the value of the product. You have to be able to get into the shoes of a developer and understand their pain points. And you have to be passionate about solving their pain points in any way possible, whether that be answering their questions, improving the documentation or creating tutorials, or communicating the feedback internally.

Q&A Session

At the end of the talk, we received a great question from one of our listeners.

“What were some of the most challenging things about the development process of building Hasura from the beginning?”

Curious to know Praveen’s answer? Watch this recording of the fireside chat!

Interested in Close-up Magic?

If you ever want to be a special guest for Close-up Magic and talk about a tech you’re passionate about, schedule a chat with Maricris here. Until next time!

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