7 years ago I left Heroku. Heroku has had a lot of discussion over the past weeks about its demise, whether it was a success or failure, and the current state. Much of this was prompted by the recent, and on-going security incident, but as others have pointed out the product has been frozen in time for some years now.
I’m not here to rehash the many debates of what is the next Heroku, or whether it was a success or failure, or how it could have been different. Heroku is still a gold standard of developer experience and often used in pitches as Heroku for X. There were many that tried to imitate Heroku for years and failed. Heroku generates sizable revenue to this day. Without Heroku we’d all be in a worse place from a developer experience perspective.
But I don’t want to talk about Heroku the PaaS. Instead I want share a little of my story and some of the story of Heroku Postgres (DoD - Department of Data as we were internally known). I was at Heroku in a lot of product roles over the course of 5 yrs, but most of my time was with that DoD team. When I left Heroku it was a team of about 8 engineers running and managing over 1.5m Postgres databases–a one in a million problem was once a week, we engineered a system that allowed us to scale without requiring a 50 person ops team just for databases
This will be a bit of a personal journey, but also hopefully give some insights into what the vision was and hopefully a bit of what possibilities are for Postgres services in the future.