Interview with Peter Krumins, CEO of Browserling

Peter Krumins
At Tips2Secure, we have done many interviews of software influencers. Continuing the journey, today we have someone very special, Peter Krumins. He’s the CEO of Browserling and the Hacker-in-Residence at Hackers/Founders (world’s largest startup network).

If you’are a programmer, you’ve probably heard his name before as he also runs one of the world’s most popular programming website called catonmat.net. According to Feedspot (the most popular RSS reader), catonmat is the leading programming blog in the world.

Today he is with us for a small interview where he talks about him, his new start-up Browserling and how he became an entrepreneur.

Let’s start with the interview of Peter Krumins!

Q: Tell us a little about yourself

Peter: I’m Peter Krumins. I’m a hacker, founder, writer, blogger, and all around good guy. I’m the CEO of a cross-browser testing company called Browserling. I’m also author of 4 books, including Perl One-Liners published by No Starch Press on getting programming tasks done as quickly as possible. I’m entirely powered by Mars bars and coffee.

Q: When you started with Browserling and how it happened?

Peter: I started Browserling in early 2010 with my friend James Halliday with an idea to make virtual machines usable from a web browser. We got the tech working, but we run into an issue of how to actually generate revenue with this tech. We quickly realized it would be awesome to make smaller products based on this tech. So we created Browserling as the first product. Browserling streams just the browsers to your browser. It lets you cross-browser test websites interactively in all Internet Explorer versions and other browsers. It gives you the same experience that the real browser will provide except you don’t need to install anything or maintain browsers and virtual machines yourself.

Q: Have you raised any funding for Browserling? If yes, please share some insights

Peter: Yes, we raised a small seed round to keep us going. I also invested some money myself in early start to get us going. We raised 55k from some of Silicon Valley’s leading investors including David Weekly, Mike Tsao, Nick Heyman, Rebecca Lipon Weekly, and Ulrich Gall. The seed funding was raised in Feb 2011 and currentlyBrowserling is profitable and kicking ass!We also setup a kick-ass advisory team that includes Adam Rifkin, Laura Nelson, and Jonathan Nelson.

Q: Who is your target customer and how you are capturing the market

Peter: Browserling is intended for web developers. It solves a problem that every web developer has. When they make a website, they’ve to make sure it works in all the browsers. There are many different browsers – Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc., and each one of them is a little bit different. Plus there are dozens of different versions – Internet Explorer 10, Firefox 40, Chrome 50, etc. Plus every browser can run on a different platform – Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, Mac, Linux, etc. Plus there are mobile devices, Androids, iPhones, and mobile versions of all these browsers, and more. Instead of installing all these platforms and browsers yourself, Browserling offers quick access to them online. Developers save a ton of time and money.We have a dozen different marketing strategies going on to capture market. We should do another interview just about that.

Q: How long it will take for Browserling to test a 10 pages website

Peter: In the current environment, it should take less than 10 minutes. Just open the browsers one after other and get things tested.But our team is also working on a tool which will give screenshots of all the browsers all at once. That will save developers’ time as they’ll be able to inspect all screenshots in like 30 seconds, and then click a screenshot and jump into that browser in live mode and debug the issue.

Q: Can someone try Browserling free to test for their requirement?

Peter: Yes, Browserling can be used for free with some limitations. You can just go to Browserling’s home page and start testing in 5 seconds. The free plan lets you access just a few browsers, but if you need all of them, then you need to get a developer or team plan.

We also do all kinds of crazy custom browser projects. If you are looking for anything custom, feel free to email us at hello@browserling.com!

Q: What’s your development environment?

Peter: I have a dual Windows/Linux setup. I use Windows 7 at my workstations and SSH to Linux servers. I use VIM as my text editor with a bunch of plugins. Here are some of my favourite plugins:

  1. surround.vim (quickly edit surrounding text)
  2. repeat.vim (repeat surround commands by pressing “.” (dot))
  3. matchit.vim (extend what % key matches)

Then I use UNIX shell and automate everything with Perl scripts.

Q: When not coding, what is Peter fond of doing?

Peter: I am a fitness freak and love to keep myself in shape. I like to do track and field and enjoy.On the days when I do many 60m sprints, I get energized for 10-12 hours and I code through the night and produce 50 commits. I also like to compete in real competitions and run 400 and 800-meter distances (one lap and two laps). I also love to make comics for nerds. Here’s one of my latest comics about modern web development that went super viral (millions of views):

Q: Which are your favorite books on software development?

Peter: I am a bit crazy about computer and programming books and every few months I try to find new books.If I have to choose my top five books, then these are on my list:

  1. The New Turing Omnibus
  2. Programming Pearls
  3. The Little Schemer
  4. The Elements of Programming Style
  5. The Little Book of Semaphores

Q: What advice you would like to give to the younger developers?

Peter: Here are the few pieces of advice I would like to give based on my long and successful experience:

  1. Break tasks into tiny pieces. Get each piece done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Merge results and move on.
  2. Don’t do things that don’t create value.
  3. Start a programming blog as soon as possible.
  4. Release early and often

 

Thanks for your time Peter for answering these questions and we wish you good luck towards the success of Browserling!
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