March 14, 2024
min read

How the team uses ngrok to supercharge their shipping velocity

Sam Richard

TL;DR: Maige uses ngrok to ship collaboratively and quickly–so quickly that they got their app up and running in six weeks. 

Maige is an AI-powered open-source tool, developed by the team at Rubric Labs, and designed to make the lives of open-source maintainers easier by reducing administrative overhead so they can focus on moving projects forward. You can check out the GitHub repo here. Maige does this by automating GitHub workflows–the team applies natural language processing to analyze issues and automate tasks like labeling, assigning, and commenting. Maige doesn’t just set up a workflow of what issues should come to maintainers, it also learns as it’s used, getting better over time.

The Rubric Labs team is small and distributed, but mighty. I sat down with CEO Sarim Malik and Co-Founder Dexter Storey to learn more about how they work and what they’re excited about building.

Our team is small, but we are all constantly pushing full stack changes.
Dexter Storey, Co-founder, Rubric Labs

This might create chaos at most startups, but not here. The team has a unique approach to constant full-stack changes– they call it “Multi-staging”. This means they’ve established a staging branch for every unique developer with ngrok endpoints. Every developer has an ngrok agent running, and can use a developer experience command to tunnel into a teammate’s code, check it against what they’re working on, and then leave.

Their specific workflow is:

Using this command Dexter can tunnel -> localhost:3000, allowing webhooks sent to to be forwarded to his local machine. This is the bones of the Local-[DEVELOPER] env.

Bonus points (~/.zshrc):

alias l='f(){ local port="$*"; ngrok http ${port:-3000}; }; f'

The Maige team gives each developer a local DB and their own set of auth tokens. Their full stack can be found on their blog here. 

Every developer has an ngrok agent running on their machine, and can use a developer experience command to tunnel into a teammate’s code, check it against what they’re working on, and then leave. The team can do this with every developer working on Maige, as well as the production app itself. “It’s a cool workflow that’s really a multi-lane highway of deployment, and then it all goes into main courtesy of ngrok,” says Sarim Malik, CEO of Rubric Labs. Note: The members of the Maige team have been using ngrok for almost a decade!

As shipping times get faster and faster, building software looks less like a waterfall and more like Slack. Solutions like multi-staging make sense for teams that want to ship and iterate with a small group of colleagues, and aspire to get something out and ready for feedback in roughly a month, like the Maige team. 

Maige is available in alpha with the Rubric Labs team working fast and furiously to get it in the hands of users. Add it to your repo today and get started.

You can learn more about how ngrok serves AI builders here. Stay tuned for more stories, or reach out to to highlight your project.

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