Max R.


For 2 years until December 2020 I have been working at Vercel (formerly ZEIT, creators of the popular Next.js framework) to help scale the Vercel platform and deliver exceptional user experience and performance.

How it started

It was a dark and stormy night. I have been using Next.js for close to a year on nearly every project and deploying it to then-ZEIT platform, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience end to end.

Back then I was relying heavily on my phone and mobile web experience on the dashboard wasn't as good as it is today. Coincidentally, I was looking for a project to sharpen my React Native skills, since I haven't touched it in a while at that point. And what do you know, ZEIT had their API fully open and documented. And so, Now Mobile was born, an app that replaced the web dashboard.

Now MobileNow Mobile

I went all in on features, I'm talking:

  • Event history
  • Deployments view
  • Active aliases
  • Domains with Now CDN status
  • Usage statistics to date
  • Teams support
  • Spotlight search
  • Touch ID / Face ID
  • Today widgets (Instances, Usage)
  • Apple Watch app

Shortly after Product Hunt launch, I was contacted by Guillermo Rauch, the CEO of ZEIT and a few weeks later I was brought on board.

What I worked on

Lots of things. I worked extensively on product dashboard overall, the new Import Project flow that you land on when importing your Git repositories, the now retired Now Desktop app, Node.js client library used in Vercel CLI, the CLI itself, internal tooling and lots and lots of everyday features.
Also countless backend and API features, including but not limited to team member invitation flow, Google Cloud user integration, Git repo integrations, deployment logs and more.


Before online conferences became mainstream due to a certain virus going around, Vercel hosted a fully-online conference called backendlessConf_.

backendlessConf_ WebsitebackendlessConf_ Website

Unrelated to my direct responsibilities at Vercel, I have a fair bit of experience with video and streaming, so I helped out quite a bit with the streaming setup and mission control.

What about Next.js

I didn't work on it :D

I did work extensively with it though. Vercel dashboard is arguably the largest Next.js app in existence right now, and a very competitively sized React app in general. It had tons of unique technical challenges to solve and tech to develop.

Vercel Home PageVercel Home Page

One time I wrote an initial experimental implementation of swr, which we ended up shelving for a while since it was too experimental, until the amazing @shuding_ picked up the idea and made it all incredible.

All in all

My time at Vercel has taught me more than I could've imagined and has been an experience to remember. I'm looking forward to the company's future and what they come out with next.