Building from the Ground Up: The Journey to In-House Development at AirportLabs

September 8, 2023
Building from the Ground Up: The Journey to In-House Development at AirportLabs

When we embarked on our journey with AirportLabs, we faced a pivotal technical decision right from the outset: Should we rely on outside services, software development kits (SDKs), and libraries, or should we commit to developing everything in-house? This choice had profound implications for our business, our time to market, and even our hiring strategy. Today, as we reflect on nine years of innovation and growth, we can confidently say that opting for in-house development was not only the right choice but also one that has added tremendous value to our customers.  

The Road Less Traveled  

Choosing to build everything in-house is not a decision to be taken lightly. In the short term, it can significantly impact time to market. Instead of leveraging pre-existing solutions and services, we committed ourselves to designing, building, testing, and refining every component of our technology stack from scratch. It was a path less traveled, one that required a deep well of patience and perseverance.  As we embarked on this journey, doubts naturally crept in. Were we making the right decision? Could we compete with companies that embraced the convenience of off-the-shelf solutions and readily available cloud services? It was a daunting prospect, but we believed in the long-term benefits of our approach.  

The Impact on Hiring  

Another aspect that was directly influenced by our decision was our hiring process. Instead of chasing after engineers with a laundry list of cloud technology certifications, we sought individuals with a unique mindset and the skillset necessary to build scalable and robust systems from the ground up. We needed innovative thinkers and problem solvers who could thrive in a challenging, hands-on environment.  

The Payoff  

Fast forward to the present, and we can unequivocally state that choosing in-house development was a game-changing move. Here's why:  

1. Multi-Cloud Redundancy: Today, we stand as the only company capable of offering true multi-cloud redundancy. Our solutions seamlessly function on any public and private cloud, as well as on bare metal infrastructure. This flexibility empowers our customers with options and ensures business continuity, irrespective of their geographical location.  

2. Competitive Pricing: By developing everything in-house, we've been able to optimize our cost structures and extend the best pricing to our customers. This cost-efficiency extends across the globe, allowing us to offer competitive rates regardless of where our clients operate.  

3. Rapid Iteration and Innovation: Being in control of our entire technology stack has unlocked the ability to iterate rapidly and innovate continuously for our customers. We can swiftly adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands, ensuring that our solutions remain at the forefront of the industry.  

In conclusion, the decision to build everything in-house at AirportLabs was a challenging one, marked by short-term sacrifices and doubts. However, as time has shown, it was a decision that paid off in the long run. Our commitment to in-house development has allowed us to offer unparalleled multi-cloud redundancy, competitive pricing, and a culture of innovation that benefits our customers and sets us apart in the industry.  

As we look ahead to the next chapter in our journey, we remain dedicated to the principles that guided our early technical decisions. We believe that by staying true to our commitment to innovation and in-house development, we will continue to deliver exceptional value to our customers for years to come.