Interview with Nando Vieira (Codeplane)
Codeplane provides Git hosting for small teams and freelances. 2GB, unlimited users, unlimited repositories and one price. I interviewed Nando Vieira, Codeplane founder to find out more. This interview is the fifty third in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Nando for the interview!
How would you describe Codeplane in under 50 words?
Codeplane is a Git hosting that provides nothing more than repositories. You won’t find a code browser. There’s no fork. Just plain Git repositories.
What made you decide to found Codeplane?
By now, I have 167 private repositories. Obviously I don’t use them all at the same time, but is nice to keep them safe. Github’s pricing model based on the number of repositories won’t work here. Don’t get me wrong. I love Github. I use it everyday. I have 100+ public repositories living at github.com/fnando. But as a solo developer I just can’t afford paying $200+.
So that’s the main motivation. Saving me some money. :)
What’s your background?
I’ve been developing web applications since 1999. Started as an Interface Developer and coded PHP for a long time. I worked in some large Brazilian tech companies but now I started my own company called Hellobits. There is Codeplane, but I’m also developing an e-learning platform with audio + video + chat support. I have some other ideas that I hope I can implement soon.
What technologies have you used to build Codeplane?
I love Ruby and that’s what I use most of the time. The backend stuff (processing background jobs and backing up repositories to S3) is also done with Ruby.
How long did it take to put together Codeplane?
The whole process took about 2 months. That includes designing the interface, coding the web app, and setting up the server.
Do you have any new features in the pipeline?
I have some ideas. There are people that want a Github ripoff. I won’t do that.
But I need some features for myself like a bug/issue tracker. I also want to implement some sort of webhook and HTTP support (currently only Git over SSH is supported).
The current product iteration is working fine. It does what I need, but users are starting to ask for features like a bug tracker.
Has Codeplane got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Codeplane is sooooo small if you compare it to Github or Bitbucket. There are 3k registered users, and about 1k users that actually pay for the product. But that’s much more than I ever expected and I’m really happy. I created Codeplane for myself, so I think those people had the same problem.
Who do you see as your target audience?
I think Codeplane is a perfect fit for solo developers, small webdev shops, and students. I also have some friends that use Codeplane as a Github complement. Mostly for archiving repositories and backing up to their S3 account.
There are a few alternatives to Github out there. Who would you say is your biggest competitor?
There is Github. There’s also Bitbucket. When Bitbucket released their free plan, I really thought that was Codeplane’s end. But to my surprise, only 3-5 users cancelled their accounts. The cancellation rate was/is incredibly low. Maybe Bitbucket doesn’t have a nice interface, but I can’t really confirm that. :)
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
The biggest problem today is billing. Charging for stuff worldwide is so hard when you’re Brazilian. There are some really crappy companies and they only “work” for Brazilians.
So I had to use PayPal. And this decision kills a little day by day. Kills me more when I read some Hacker News post about account cancellation, money freezing…
I just wanted something like Stripe, but unfortunately they’re still accepting only US companies (I guess).
Can you convince the reader to start using Codeplane in under 50 words?
Just try Codeplane. We have a 30-day free trial. Git is nice and so is Codeplane. :)
Finished reading? Check out Codeplane!