☀️ The Begin master plan

Ryan Block’s avatar

by Ryan Block

Path through the woods photo by Ugne Vasyliute

When we got started in 2015, we didn’t set out to build a serverless application platform.

We were working on an application with some hardcore real-time, natural language processing, and scalability requirements, and we chose to base it on a brand new thing called cloud functions.

Those requirements forced us to solve all kinds of mission-critical problems up and down the serverless stack. And it worked.

From that project we extracted Architect, our vision for an open source, primitives-first serverless framework, now hosted at the JS Foundation. In doing so, we came to the realization that cloud function apps built with Architect possessed a unique and amazing collection of properties we’d never seen before in one place:

  • Instantaneous global deployments
  • Fully isolated logic, logging, and environments
  • Effortless (auto)scalability
  • Immediate provisioning of new resources (without the need for config)
  • Robust local, offline workflows

Equally wonderful was what we didn’t have:

  • Scheduled downtime for making systems changes
  • Slow, rolling deploys
  • Hidden, endless costs associated with server / container maintenance
  • DBAs on call to help us through spiky traffic events
  • Capacity planning meetings, and mounting bills spent on idling machines

We quickly recognized what we happened into: a future where building for the internet would be characterized by ease of use, iteration speed, stability, clarity, focus, modularity, and inherent security.

What we knew then is just starting to be better understood: serverless application architectures represent an inevitable and irreversible shift in how things will be created for the internet.

But today it’s still very difficult to get started building cloud function apps. So we got to work creating Begin, a platform for building and shipping applications based entirely on cloud functions.

The Begin master plan:

  1. Create lasting, lower-level, primitives-first serverless tooling
  2. Use that tooling to prove and demonstrate the next generation of software development
  3. Roll those learnings and patterns into a beautiful, easy to use, fun af application platform
  4. Build an open library of reusable apps, integrations, and sites that anyone can incorporate
  5. Help catalyze a future where the next billion makers effortlessly create for the internet

Right now we’re somewhere between steps two and three. Movements like this are rare, and require patience. This plan is going to take time — but that’s ok, because the transition to serverless infrastructure will come to define how software is built.

If you want a glimpse of the future, you can sign up today for the Begin beta.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll make.