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"Make Other Developers’ Lives Easier" Valerio Barbera, CTO at Inspectorby@valerio-barbera
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"Make Other Developers’ Lives Easier" Valerio Barbera, CTO at Inspector

by Inspector.devSeptember 8th, 2021
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Inspector is a tool that helps software developers to identify bugs and problems in their applications. The most important part of the company is to be able to build a sustainable SaaS community. The company has two main branches in the U.S. and Singapore, and the rest of the world, with the help of a global team of engineers and software developers. Inventor is based in New York City, New York, New Jersey and London, and can be found at http://www.hackernoon.com/ninja.

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HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

Hi, I’m Valerio, software engineer, bass player, and CTO at Inspector.


I spent the last 10 years working as a software developer in Europe. Since the beginning of my career my dream was to build a sustainable SaaS company able to make other developers’ lives easier.


After two years as a software engineer at Ericsson I left my job to start my own company with two friends and follow my dream. I have published many MVPs and the first times were obviously failures but I learned many lessons and now I’m running Inspector.

What's your company called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

Inspector is a Code Execution Monitoring tool that helps software developers identify bugs and bottlenecks in their application before users stumble onto the problem.

What is the origin story?

The idea behind Inspector was to create a monitoring environment specifically designed for software developers avoiding any server or infrastructure configuration that many developers hate to deal with. In fact, thanks to Inspector, you will never have the need to install things on the server or make complex configuration at the infrastructure level.


It works with a lightweight software library that you can install in your application like any other dependency based on the framework you used to build your backend (Laravel, Symfony, Nodejs, etc.).


I myself am one of those developers who hates installing and configuring software at the server level, because these installations are out of the software development lifecycle, or are even managed by external teams.


Forcing teams with different goals (Developers, IT infrastructure, Cyber Security, etc.) to work on the same tools can cause confusion or compromise the ability of developers to quickly identify and resolve problems within applications.


Inspector allows developers to have a code-driven monitoring environment completely under their control.

What do you love about your team?

Two things probably closely related to each other:


  • Their ability to listen;
  • Their minds are open to change;


Working together for eight years we have created a safe space to post any doubts, questions or experiments trying to build a better future for the company.

If you weren’t working at your company, what would you be doing?

I would certainly work in the technology space. I’ve experienced working in a big enterprise but it isn’t the right environment for me.


Without my company I would be on the team of a startup somewhere in Europe.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

Our business has two main branches where success is measured in different ways. The SaaS platform, with a plug&play experience perfect for startups, small/medium developer teams, and the on-premise installation for big enterprises with dedicated technical support.


The enterprise segment moves slower than the SaaS, so in terms of speed of growth SaaS is the most important unit of our business.


The SaaS segment is built around the typical metrics of any subscription based business (LTV, CAC, etc). But the most important component of our success is “Content Marketing”.


Transfering our experience in valuable contents that other developers can read and replicate is the real driver of our growth. It’s our way to help our community to overcome their bottlenecks and use our product with the highest return possible.


Measuring the trend of the organic traffic is like measuring the trend of the trust that developers have in our work.

What’s most exciting about your company traction to date?

The most exciting thing about our journey is the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals all around the world.


It’s the SaaS model DNA I think. Our customers come from Singapore, USA, Chile, Kenya, France, Germany, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and many other countries.


Thanks to the web you can be global from day one. Awesome!

What technologies are you currently most excited about, and most worried about? And why?

We are a team of PHP enthusiasts. Inspector is a PHP application itself.


Since the release of PHP 7 we have seen a professional growth of this ecosystem and it was the first technology supported by Inspector. It is a full-featured object oriented programming language with excellent performance and the largest offering of open source libraries and tools.


Recently we have implemented a little micro-service in NodeJs to optimize the performance of a particular task inside our system so we used this experience to implement Inspector’s NodeJs integration library. It’s an ongoing project because the asynchronous nature of NodeJs makes it a really tricky technology for backend development.

What drew you to get published on HackerNoon? What do you like most about our platform?

I personally dedicate up to five hours per week to reading the experiences of other founders. I’m always looking for new ideas, ways to avoid mistakes, and evaluating new strategies that could help me to obtain concrete results.


I believe that learning from other’s experiences is an extremely valuable process.


HackerNoon is one of the most relevant containers of this great content and has helped me to satisfy this need. So I love the opportunity to be an active part of this community and help others as well.

What advice would you give to the 21-year-old version of yourself?

Start to learn things outside of the institutional environment (family, school, university, etc.). Read books, join in more communities, don’t judge, and keep your mind open.

What is something surprising you've learned this year that your contemporaries would benefit from knowing?

If I had to be honest it’s not in the professional field. I learned of my father’s illness so in 2021 I began to understand how much value there is in small daily gestures.


This experience helped me to face difficult moments with a different approach, listen more, and turn off unnecessary hysteria when faced with a problem. In a way, I have reconsidered the meaning of the word “problem”.


I have certainly become more sensitive to the requests of my collaborators and feel a duty to help anyone who has the strength to ask for help.


You can also vote for Inspector to become the Startup of the Year in Naples, Italy