SaaS@Scale, an open collaboration platform for SaaS engineering

Think Silicon Valley, and you immediately picture a global center for high technology, a thriving engineering hub, and an ecosystem that fosters technology innovations and advancements. There is no dearth of engineering mixers and discussion forums in the Valley, hosted by the big guns like Google and Facebook.

India’s expertise in technology is no less. We’re present in every area of technology and are as competent as our peers from the Silicon Valley. The ecosystem has now advanced to such an extent that there are plenty of forums dedicated to almost every aspect of the growing Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) sector. But what was missing was a platform designed to focus on engineering development.

This is how we arrived at ‘SaaS@Scale’, a knowledge-sharing forum hosted by Freshworks, aimed at building a community, fostering excellence in the engineering field, and engaging with the next generation of innovative engineers.

Freshworks has always envisioned itself as a pioneer in the Indian SaaS space. From a six member team working tirelessly out of a boxed-up office in Keezhkattalai, on the outskirts of Chennai, to the Indian SaaS Unicorn we are today, it’s safe to say that we have come a long way.

As the Freshworks brand kept growing globally making its presence felt across businesses of all sizes, we wanted to share our learnings in order to help foster the technology ecosystem in India. We have an abundance of tech talent in India, and we want to assure them that it is indeed possible to be an engineering specialist/expert and build a successful career.

Why SaaS@Scale?

In the last 15-20 years, companies have relied a lot on open source technology for their infrastructural layers. While startups may closely guard their business and product plans, and rightly so, engineering as a function has been more forthcoming, sharing roadmaps and its execution.
With SaaS@Scale, we are tapping into this culture and engaging in healthy conversations on how to build scalable solutions, and how to scale engineering teams as you grow.  

This is not intended to be a hiring opportunity or a marketing event. We envisioned SaaS@Scale as an opportunity for various people from diverse tech backgrounds to come together and share their learnings and challenges with other companies.

This event has seen two editions thus far, which were themed around data and security respectively. Data@Scale was hosted on 5th Decemeber, 2018 at Bengaluru, and Security@Scale hosted shortly after at Hyderabad.  The pilot events gave us a sense of how the industry would take to such an initiative, and we were pleased to see that the response has been largely appreciative, with a definite interest towards being a part of such a collaborative ecosystem.

Collaboration within the engineering ecosystem

Bringing together CTOs, CIOs, technical architects, industry thought leaders, and peers under one roof, these sessions served the purpose of discussing not only our successes but also our shortcomings and challenges with each other. Opening the floor to suggestions and brainstorming sessions, all of us gathered at the event were keen to learn from individual contributors and other companies.

The core of our initial editions revolved around data and security, which are fundamental pillars of engineering. We hosted various sessions around how we transitioned from a single database to multiple shards, and went on to discuss other topics such as DevOps, site reliability engineering (SRE), shells, and the like. We wanted to be out there, sharing our experiences, allowing other experts to challenge our thought processes and share their learnings with us.

One of the biggest successes of SaaS@Scale has been the recognition that Indian companies such as ourselves are coming forward to evangelize tech at this scale.

No engineering solution has been derived without a think-tank coming together. We believe that with SaaS@Scale, we will be able to strengthen the overall SaaS movement, right from here in India. Ultimately we champion the belief that our CEO Girish Mathrubootham has always been an advocate of—Share your knowledge and help the ecosystem grow, and in turn the ecosystem will come together to help you grow.

This is the first of a series of blogs about the SaaS@Scale initiative by Freshworks. Keep coming back for more.