Simplifying API with Tyny.dev Founder Patrick Pittich-Rinnerthaler  by@jackboreham

Simplifying API with Tyny.dev Founder Patrick Pittich-Rinnerthaler

Patrick Pittich-Rinnerthaler joins us in this Slogging AMA to talk about his API technology tyny.dev. The API technology makes building a custom API easy, without the need for coding skills. The AMA occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.
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Jack Boreham

I'm a journalist and writer. You can check out my work on my website: https://jackboreham.com/

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Totally Nerdy founder Patrick Pittich-Rinnerthaler joins us in this Slogging AMA to talk about his API technology tyny.dev.

tyny.dev is an API technology that makes building a custom API easy, without the need for coding skills. You can find out more about the software here.

This Slogging thread by Jack Boreham, ex_pat_pat, Abeer, Mónica Freitas, Limarc Ambalina and SuperSaiyanProgramming occurred in slogging's official #amas channel, and has been edited for readability.

Jack BorehamJan 27, 2022, 12:00 PM

Hey @channel, please join me in welcoming our next AMA guest, ex_pat_pat the founder of Totally Nerdy, a software company based in the UK. Totally Nerdy are the creators of http://tyny.dev a JSON API software that allows you to build a custom JSON API in minutes without coding skills.

Please feel free to ask Patrick anything about:

  1. What a JSON API is
  2. Why he created http://tyny.dev and what it does
  3. What the life of a software developer looks like
  4. Startup businesses
  5. Anything technology related!
Jack BorehamJan 27, 2022, 12:02 PM

Hi ex_pat_pat, a pleasure to have you with us. Can you explain a bit about yourself and your background to start off this AMA?

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 12:03 PM

Jack Boreham Hi Jack, thanks a lot, likewise! I’m happy to

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 12:09 PM

Where to start, let’s see: I’m a tech guy, first of all, working on different things all the time. Interested in various tech topics from Gaming over Smart Home to web technologies, embedded devices and all that stuff. As Jack mentioned I’m the Managing Director of a UK based Software Company mainly doing web and app stuff. Besides that, I’m very fresh in the startup biz with our new product http://tyny.dev. This whole career I started almost 20 years ago.

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 12:12 PM

I was born and raised in Germany and my beautiful family and I just recently moved to the country we love, which is the UK.

Jack BorehamJan 27, 2022, 12:14 PM

ex_pat_pat So what made you create a startup? After all that experience, it's definitely not an easy thing to do!

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 12:19 PM

Jack Boreham It’s quite the opposite I’d like to say, all the experience of 20 years of software development especially for the web made me create the startup in the first place. Because we saw a gap in the market which we try to fill with http://tyny.dev.

Jack BorehamJan 27, 2022, 12:34 PM

ex_pat_pat that's interesting, so what gap did you see? How did you come about finding it?

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 1:07 PM

Jack Boreham To explain “the gap” a bit more, I’d like to talk about how software architectures in the modern web are structured, just briefly. Because to understand what http://tyny.dev does and why it fills this gap you simply need this background knowledge. Bear with me, I try to make it as “non-technical” as possible.


Starting on the user side of things, you normally interact with some kind of client, a browser, an app, or a desktop application - the Frontend. These clients talk to interfaces that hold your business logic, the code which does something for various use cases - the Backend. On the web, we talk about APIs. Application Programming Interfaces. But it’s not a web thing only.


When you now start the process of developing an app, for example, you think about all those different components you’d need to finish your product, a nice looking frontend, APIs to handle your use cases, a database to store information….and off you go, the development begins. But what you don’t might consider from the start is how is your product going to evolve, what are things which might change in the future. And what are the things which a Product Owner (a non-technical person) might like to change without writing code?


That’s one thing which http://tyny.dev does focus on - controllability of your product going forward….in the most standardised way there is, which is in form of a JSON API.

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 1:25 PM

Jack Boreham…because of the fact that we couldn’t find a product out there which fosters this idea. There are big players out there that offer you an API as a service for your headless CMS but this approach targets different use cases, like structure data which you need to store all of your data. In the case of Hackernoon, these might be the articles, accounts, etc. not so much unstructured data to control certain things.


And then on the other hand you can speak to your developers and write everything from scratch which does make sense a lot of the time but not always.


Therefore http://tyny.dev gives you an affordable option to have that API for unstructured data together with an easy to understand WYSIWYG editor out of the box.

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 1:28 PM

Jack Boreham The answer to how we found this gap is up there as well. Way too often did we join projects where only the final product was in focus, not so much the Evolution of it. And you re-iterate and re-iterate and lose a lot of money.

Another aspect can be that you might not really know yet if your product is going to fly, so therefore reducing costs and time for developing your product is worth it.

AbeerJan 27, 2022, 3:17 PM

Hey Patrick. It’s great to have you here. I’m curious, as a software developer, how did your day to day life look and how did it change after starting tyny.dev?

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 3:28 PM

Abeer Hi there and thanks for your question. Great one. I’m still hands-on developing day today. You see. http://tyny.dev has just started off and 100% of my time is still working as an Architect/Developer/Consultant for clients of Totally Nerdy Ltd. To make the money I need 😉 It’s as practical as that.


So the other 30% of my time (yes, you calculated correctly, it’s more than 100% ;)) I spend building the company and the product.


It’s like being a jack of all trades from time to time, writing code, thinking about the system architecture, answering questions about MongoDB (I do consultancy work related to that database), thinking about the content we should write next for http://tyny.dev, and working on marketing strategies. I’m literally done in the evenings! 🙂

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 3:30 PM

But I love those different aspects I must admit. And I couldn’t spend one day without coding myself 😉

Jack BorehamJan 27, 2022, 4:28 PM

ex_pat_pat thank you for the insightful and in detail answers. So you talked about tyny.dev use cases and how it can be used for unstructured data. What other use cases make it stand out from the crowd?

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 5:48 PM

Jack Boreham Thank you. Its biggest selling point is probably the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor for JSON together with the API that ships it. This enables non-technical people to work with JSON and manipulate it in an easy way.
Due to the abstract nature of JSON, the use cases are rather endless but we picked four of them which we actively use to explain the product:

  • Defining and controlling user interfaces
  • Storing and serving static unstructured data like textual contents
  • Rapid prototyping, if you just need an API to ship whatever data into your product fast….or as a first MVP
  • Domain-specific languages, this is a rather huge and abstract case and concludes the others in a way. Just use a more practical example which would be form generation, see https://rjsf-team.github.io/react-jsonschema-form/

In summary, what makes it stand out from the crowd today is that it concentrates on the above things which are based on programming paradigms and development processes rather than being your go-to-tool for building a whole product without code.

Mónica FreitasJan 27, 2022, 9:07 PM

Hi ex_pat_pat! What would you say are the main challenges you face in growing your company?

ex_pat_patJan 27, 2022, 9:44 PM

Hi Mónica Freitas, thanks for your question. That’s a really good one. For us at the moment I would say it’s finding the right balance between paid agency work for funding growth employee-wise and the investment we do for our product.

Jack BorehamJan 28, 2022, 9:51 AM

ex_pat_pat so are you saying anyone could pick up tyny and use it. No developers needed at all? 😁

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 11:14 AM

Jack Boreham In general ‘yes’, but you would need to have a product to integrate it with. Whether this product was created with another low-code/no-code platform (without developers) or written from scratch by developers doesn’t matter.

Mónica FreitasJan 28, 2022, 11:32 AM

ex_pat_pat, how would you like your company to grow? What's next for Totally Nerdy?

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 11:43 AM

Mónica Freitas first of all I like to grow it in the most organic way possible, which means without external investments and so on. After that I’m aiming to grow it in every direction, which means doing what we’ve always done, delivering solutions to clients, joining projects where our help was demanded and selling our product to people who need it. Therefore Totally Nerdy is potentially very interesting for young talents because we have it all, agency work and a product that we constantly drive forward. Who knows maybe we will become a company focused and evolving around one product in the future only but for now it’s “the best of two worlds”.

🔥 1
Limarc AmbalinaJan 28, 2022, 12:05 PM

Hey, ex_pat_pat have you ever tried Skyrim on Alexa? If so, what do you think about it? 😄

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 12:08 PM

Hi, Limarc Ambalina you’re speaking about Skyrim the Elder Scrolls game? On Alexa?! What does that look like?

SuperSaiyanProgrammingJan 28, 2022, 12:07 PM

Hey aside from HackerNoon, what are some places, forums, social networks where you posted about your startup to get the word out?

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 12:10 PM

Hey, SuperSaiyanProgramming we’re present in a few of the popular channels like LinkedIn, Google My Business and Twitter.

Mónica FreitasJan 28, 2022, 12:20 PM

ex_pat_pat Totally Nerdy is great for new talents. All recent grads want is an opportunity to jump into the job market. As we're on the subject, what type of talents do you feel your company needs the most at the moment?

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 12:25 PM

Mónica Freitas In general, I think we’re going to look for talent all over the board during this upcoming year, from Marketing over Community Manager to Full-Stack Developers. But at the moment we’re going to look at Full-Stack-Developers only to scale our workloads.

Jack BorehamJan 28, 2022, 12:36 PM

ex_pat_pat So you have mentioned future hires, but what does the next year look like for http://tyny.dev what milestones do you want to reach?

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 12:47 PM

Jack Boreham I’d like to reach a point where the product does carry itself, which of course means more paying users. This on the other hand will give us more funds for developing the product further. We do have lots more in store for http://tyny.dev feature-wise.

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 12:55 PM

In directly related to the product, I’d like all Product Owners out there to understand the reason behind it: controllability of code. And how this helps future iterations. Which is an approach I’m happy to illustrate and discuss with clients, even if they don’t want to use http://tyny.dev because they like to implement such a solution themselves.

Limarc AmbalinaJan 28, 2022, 3:30 PM

Yeah ex_pat_pat you mentioned "Gaming over Smart Home" and that was the only smart device game I knew of. It's like this:

But not as dramatic lol. It's a real game

ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 3:49 PM

Limarc Ambalina Oh sorry, my bad. I didn’t mean “Gaming over Smart Home” I meant “from Gaming to Smart Home” when listing my interests 😉. That’s a funny ad from Bethesda though. Like it!

:rolling_on_the_floor_laughing: 1
ex_pat_patJan 28, 2022, 3:51 PM

Limarc Ambalina Speaking about Gaming though, I recently discovered Google Stadia as a great platform to satisfy my casual appetite for the newest games. Great platform, with flaws though.

Jack BorehamJan 30, 2022, 2:29 PM

ex_pat_pat Stadia is great! Thank you for this AMA Patrick a pleasure to have you join us. Where can people find you and check out tyny. dev? 😄

ex_pat_patJan 30, 2022, 9:28 PM

Jack Boreham Thanks for having me. The pleasure was mine. http://totally-nerdy.com is the company website, http://tyny.dev the product website and we’re available on all major socials. I’m more than happy to connect, thanks again for the great conversation and for inviting me.

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