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Building Software at Warp Speed: The "Depot" Solution

  • Slow software building is complex and creates frustrations. Depot is the answer to those nagging slow build frustrations.
  • Founded by Jacob Gillespie and Kyle Galbraith, offers a game-changing solution, speeding up software building up to 20 times and making developers' lives easier.
  • Established in 2022, to empower developers to build faster.

Imagine you're building a complex LEGO structure, and it takes a really long time to put all the pieces together. This is similar to how creating software works, and it can be slow, especially when you're making changes or improvements.

The problem with the traditional way of building software is like trying to construct your LEGO masterpiece with a limited number of bricks, and possibly without a manual to help you. It takes ages.

You also need to wait for someone to deliver those special LEGO bricks each time you want to make something new. It's not efficient at all, and you spend a lot of time just waiting. 

And for those of you nerds who understand complicated tech jargon, building Docker images in CI providers like GitHub Actions, CircleCI, etc. is slow: Saving and loading layer cache is slow. Transferring the cache over the network to the ephemeral CI runners eats away at any cache time savings.

Runner resources are constrained, with limited CPUs, RAM, and disk space. Multi-platform and Arm build require emulation. Emulation is orders of magnitude slower than native, and Arm is increasingly important with the rise of popularity with devices like MacBook M1, Graviton, etc.

Founders

As software and platform engineers, the founders, Jacob Gillespie and Kyle Galbraith, absolutely hate slow CI builds. Everyone has their own internal timer for what classifies a slow build, their own is 5 minutes, “if it takes longer than that we get annoyed”.

They have experienced first-hand the pain and challenge of keeping Docker container builds fast, optimizing/re-optimizing pipelines and Dockerfiles, and implementing custom runners for multi-platform builds. It’s all annoying, unnecessary, and a drain on developer happiness.

The Soluti0n: Depot - (Super-Fast LEGO Delivery?)

Here's what Depot does:

1. Building Faster: It's up to 20 times faster than the traditional delivery. Depot didn't just claim to be fast; they proved it. For example, a project called Temporal was 14.5 times faster with Depot, saving 7 hours over the last 10 builds.

2. A Secret Recipe: Depot's secret to being so quick is a special method called "BuildKit". It is a backing build engine for Docker. 

3. No emulation: We launch both Intel and Arm VMs for each build, allowing you to build native multi-platform or Arm images without any slow emulation.

4. Make customers happy: Many companies, like PostHog, Better Stack, Appsmith, and Novu, use Depot because it saves them a ton of time.

Depot is all about making software development much faster and more efficient. It's a game-changer for anyone in the software development world.


Edited by Shruti Thapa

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