An Interview with Johan Eliasson, creator of NHost

Johan Eliasson
Johan Eliasson

Today I would like to welcome Johan Eliasson creator of NHost a fully managed backend with modern, open-source technologies to improve the productivity of developers.

Hello Johan, Please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m from Sweden and right now I’m a startup founder of Nhost which takes up most of my time. When I’m not working with Nhost I like to spend time with my family and friend, workout (running, gym and football), read books, and follow Naval Ravikant on Twitter.

At what age did your interest in computers and computer programming start?

It started when I was about 17 years old, 13 years ago. I borrowed a PHP and MySQL book from the library and started out building a web-based order system for my father’s company. This made me realize what a superpower it was to build.

Could you tell me about your day job and how you got to where you are now?

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Nhost. Right now we are focused on product, building out our infrastructure and marketing. The idea of Nhost started with me being frustrated at Google Firebase. Google Firebase’s developer experience is awesome! But I had issues with 3 things from Google Firebase: NoSQL, REST, and vendor lock-in. 

When I found Hasura, which is one of the software that powers our customer’s GraphQL AP, I quickly realized that I could build a service like Firebase, but for developers who want: SQL, GraphQL and Zero vendor lock-in (all our software is open source)

What inspired you to build NHost and how would you describe it to someone who may never have heard about it?

With Nhost you can focus on building your app, instead of worry about renting servers and configuring your backend. You can just start using it. You get a PostgreSQL database, GraphQL API, authentication, and storage out of the box.

What is the tech stack behind NHost?

We use the exact same tech stack internally that you get with a Nhost project, which is:

Have you been working on anything new that you would like to share?

All my time is devoted to Nhost, to help developers be more productive.

Web development is evolving so rapidly. What changes would you like to see in the next 5 years?

Yes, it’s evolving rapidly, but not everyone uses the latest technologies. GraphQL has been around for some years but I still meet experienced and good developers who does not know what it is.

The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.

So I’d like the current technologies to be adopted more broadly in the next 5 years, making developers more productive and happier.

What are you learning right now?

Right now I’m planning an online course about building web apps with Nhost. So I’m researching everything around creating an online course. From good microphones, to video editing, to content creation etc.

What are your future goals?

I’d like to enable more developers to build powerful and modern apps with Nhost.

For my self, I’m just picking up playing football again and planning on being in the starting 11 by next year in my local team.

What is the best advice someone has given you?

Read books.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a career in web development?

Just do it! Learn by doing. Come up with small projects and build. There are no shortcuts. Also, don’t be afraid to buy courses from place such as Udemy. It can help you to quickly get the information you need to learn.

Are there any podcasts, books, or websites you would like to recommend?

Oh my, don’t get me started 😀

Books:
Skin in the Game, Nassim Taleb
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridely
Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, David Goggins
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport

Podcasts
Sam Harris
Jocko Willink
Sean Carrol
Naval Ravikant

How can readers find out more about you and your work?

Twitter

GitHub

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