By Keith Kurson

April 5, 2024

A look into building Glitch over the last 5 years

I’m Keith Kurson and I’ve been the lead engineer on Glitch for the last two years, and just celebrated my 5th year at Glitch 🎉. It’s also my last day working at Fastly and Glitch, which is a bittersweet moment. I wanted to share a little bit about what I’m so proud of from working with this team, and why I’m so excited for where Glitch is headed.

Before Glitch (BG in my mind, it’s been so long) I worked on state and federal government projects to bring the ease of the internet to people applying for benefits or attempting to navigate complex bureaucracy. And, in one of these projects I needed to build something fast and securely to share with my team, and I didn’t want to use a dev environment. I reached for Glitch, and the rest is history!

Coming to Glitch was an easy transition, the problem spaces were really similar! Helping people with tools to find and build a safe, fast, and easy to use internet to build the community that we’re all working for.

Me looking thoughtfully at my first Glitch onsite in 2019

It’s been two years since Glitch was acquired by Fastly. Going from a small startup to a company the size of Fastly has been an adjustment, but we’ve been successful at bringing our glitchy spirit to the rest of the company. Our team is now integrated at all levels of the company, giving feedback and technical direction on all things developer experience from testing tools, the onboarding experience and the Fastly CLI. Glitch is part of the DNA of the company now, used in internal trainings by Sue Smith, who came over in the acquisition as well, and now does developer education for all of Fastly. And we’re getting more and more helpful to the sales teams in closing sales for Fastly services, which is exactly the kind of thing we were hoping to be helpful with in joining the company. I’m excited that the team is involved in helping discover the future of the WASM component model, and how an editor experience like Glitch might work.

The Glitch Zine: Looky what we made

That’s all in just the last two years!!! I just want to take a second to acknowledge the amount of work it’s taken to get all of those initiatives up and running. And ... it’s all things that are invisible to our incredible and patient users.

Fortunately, the team is getting more resources to focus on Glitch in 2024. It’s not the same Glitch we were building five years ago, but an entirely new focus on exploration, discovery and bringing back ✨ fun ✨, based on what we’ve learned since then. You can read more about the upcoming container updates here, that will bring modern tech stacks to the aging Glitch container. I’m particularly excited to get Bun on the container, but now I’ll get to be one of the people in the forum asking “is it here yet?!” 😉

If you haven’t already, join the forums and keep an eye on the Building Glitch category, where the team is actively working on the future of Glitch with the help of the community.

The entire team came in together to Fastly when we were acquired, and they’ve launched some killer features (and side projects) so now it felt like the right time for me to step back and give the team the space to accelerate on all of these new and exciting directions. With Glitch on solid ground, it feels like a good time for me to jump back into my personal mission-driven work trying to have an impact in the areas of the world that are most on fire right now.

We’ve got a tradition of saying “See you on” when we finish our team meetings that has lasted for years! And may have originally been an ironic joke... but now I say it earnestly at the end of every meeting. And starting today, I get to say it and mean it as a user: I’ll see you all in the forums in the building Glitch category, and at future in-person developer events.

So to all of my teammates at Fastly, and to the entire community, I’ll see you on 🎏

I’m glad I never have to look at this terrifying turtle, a glitch mascot and team favorite, again