This edition of SingleStore’s engineer showcase puts a (guest) spotlight on Vedran Cindric, a Croatia-based founder and CEO. Hear how Vedran got his start in tech, his favorite tools, why he chose SingleStore, advice to developers navigating a crowded market and more.
Q: What’s your name, company and title?
A: My name is Vedran, full name Vedran Cindric and I'm the founder and CEO of Treblle — an API observability platform.
Q: Where are you located?
A: I’m originally from a tiny town in Croatia but moved to the capital of Croatia — Zagreb. I came to study and stayed there for the past 12 years.
Q: Give us a bit of background on yourself — the project, app or product you're working on, and how you chose SingleStore.
A: I’ve always been interested in computers. I started early on, like really early — around when I was 5. Back then I used to play PC games from floppy discs, and slowly started to code because I wanted to fix and hack a few games. As time passed I got interested in front-end development, back then that only meant HTML, some CSS and literally a whiff of JS. I started building websites for fun and moved over to learning PHP and MySQL by the time I was 15. The combination of the two always amazed me because it allowed me to create something from start to finish without anybody's help.
The only thing I was missing was design, so I went to study IT with a focus on design. The first year of college I met my current co-founder Darko. After we finished studying together we opened a development agency and ran that for the past 10 years. We’ve done more than a 100 websites/apps/projects with startups, as well as big name brands. We spent a lot of time working on APIs and we got tired of manually writing documentation, spending hours on debugging calls, providing API integration support, monitoring, measuring…So we started building a tool that would do all of that for us. You all know that as Treblle today 😃.
At its essence, the idea behind Treblle was to allow anyone working with the API to be able to see requests as they are happening, in real time. Emphasis on real time. So today you add Treblle to your API using one of our many SDKs and out of the box you get things like: real-time API monitoring, logging an error tracking, auto-generated docs, API analytics, quality scoring, testing tools and more…
Since we built our entire platform using PHP, MySQL and Laravel we needed to solve many traditional scaling issues. The main one of course being MySQL. I’m a big fan of MySQL, even though we’ve spent so much time trying to scale it. That’s essentially how I discovered SingleStore. When I landed on the website and saw the illustration I knew it was for us.
Q: What is in the future for your project? Any other plans for using SingleStore?
A: We’re working on what we call “v2” of our product, which will launch in October of this year. It will include a lot of cool and real-time things that we can actually now use because we switched to SingleStore. The new version of the product will put an even greater focus on making everyday life easier for anyone working in the API lifecycle.
Given the performance of SingleStore we plan to build our own segmentation tooling that connects directly to our database — so we don’t need to pay or integrate any other third party tools for that.
Q: What is SingleStore's biggest strength, weakness or something you wish was different?
A:  It has to be the performance. When you’re dealing with a high volume of data, SingleStore beats any other cloud service we tried. It’s allowed us to add so many analytical features into our product because it’s so fast and performant. I do wish SingleStore had foreign key support just like MySQL does. That’s my number one thing. Again, we can live without it but it would be nice. Another thing would be that we can change column types for COLUMNSTORE tables.
Q: What is your favorite thing about SingleStore? What made you want to use it?
A: For me the most important part was that it had MySQL, syntax and it scales much better than your traditional run of the mill MySQL database. As soon as I saw that SingleStore can handle 10M+ TPS — and usually we would get 1M TPS on our databases I was sold.
Q: Aside from SingleStore, do you have any favorite frameworks, languages or tools?
A: Our entire platform is built on top of Laravel, and we are really huge fans of Laravel at Treblle. We do use a lot of different tools that make our life easier on a daily basis, but for me Laravel and Laravel Vapor have allowed us to build Treblle so they have to be my favorite things.
Q: What advice would you offer developers as they navigate the crowded, often confusing database market?
A: The database is a key part of anyone's infrastructure and I think any developer should spend some time thinking about what their needs are today, and what they will be tomorrow. It’s hard but try to predict the things you’ll need and the volume you’ll need to handle, and test out as many providers as you can. See who fits the bill and go with them. Always test everything before making a decision and try to use as real of a dataset as possible.
Q: What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?
A: I’d have to highlight two pieces of advice that I think many developers overlook. Think first, code later would be the first. It sounds simple but is actually super powerful and interesting. As developers we like to start writing code as soon as possible, but sometimes you can save yourself a lot of time and money when you just think some things through before you start writing any code. Organize what you wanna do, almost write the code in your head and simply type it in your IDE.
The second one has to be about stepping back. Many times as a developer you’ll find yourself in a situation where you can't make something, fix something and things just don’t go your way. The best idea is just to step back, move away, go do something else and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes as they say.
Q: What technology can you not live without?
There are many things I could write here but I owe a lot to PHP. It’s literally been putting food on my table for the past 15 years and helped me complete around 100 different projects with our agency, as well as launch our startup. What I love about it the most is that PHP grew as I grew — and became 10x the language it was when I started.
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