Tim Sabat, Alex Vazquez, and I answered a ton of questions over on Hashnode yesterday. There is stuff in there like Tim detailing our tech stack and some likely “next steps” for CodePen.

Here’s a few others with snippets of our answers.

Sandeep Panda asked:

What are some super important insights that the team has gained while running CodePen?


Find the minimum amount of process that works to coordinate your team and formalize it. We were pretty ad hoc when we added people to the team and it felt inefficient. We’ve come up with processes we follow when doing our work and it’s helped how we communicate. Everyone understands how we decide what to do and when we do it. Add the fewest number of steps you can. Team happiness is still the most important thing.

Jack Kim asked:

Will CodePen be more than just front end playground in future? If yes, how soon? If no, why not? One should be able to create Java, Python, RoR, etc pens/projects on CodePen.


We’ve always been focused on the front end of the web because it’s what we know and love. Focusing on just front end languages allows our small team to create a quality product. There is still a lot left to accomplish to support frontend technology on the web.

Backend languages bring unique security problems we’d have to tackle to properly support them. We just released CodePen projects that use Docker containers to run code securely. We could use this tech to support backend languages in the future.


To me it feels like a big risky gamble. The kind of thing you take a huge pile of funding to do. You hope you can pull it off in a way that catches on, and if not, oh well, you just lost some rich people’s money. I like the idea of moving a little slower and releasing things we know we can do well and that people want and making a healthy (if smaller) business out of it.

Anuj Sharma asked:

Any suggestion to build a startup in early stage?


Find people you want to work with. If the thing is successful, you’re in it for the long-haul. Better enjoy their company, otherwise it will be a long series of awkward silences.