Kris Howard

Startup Engineering at Canva: Building Scalable Startup Technology

On May 6th, 2015, Canva hosted the first of a series of quarterly tech talks. Our goal is to bring together like-minded software craftspeople to share knowledge and experiences. The Sydney tech community already has an excellent range of recurring events (such as SydJS, Women Who Code, and Web Directions), but we’ve decided to maintain focus on topics particularly relevant to starups with this new event series. We aim to showcase speakers from both inside and outside Canva. Our first night of talks was on the topic of scalable startup technology.

Startup Engineering at Canva - May 6, 2015

At Canva, we know first-hand what it’s like to build a startup and then deal with rapidly increasing scale. After our public launch, we reached 1M users after 430 days, 2M users after 152 days, 3M after 64 days, and the trend has continued. We’re going to be learning a lot more as we scale to 100M (and beyond).

After an introduction from our visiting Chief Evangelist Guy Kawasaki, the inaugural Canva tech event focussed on application architecture in the first phase of the startup lifecycle: how to prepare for several types of scaling further down the road, and how to infuse an architecture with the ability to continuously adapt to change. These talks are available on the Canva YouTube Channel as well as embedded below.

Guy Kawasaki - Chief Evangelist @ Canva, former advisor @ Motorola business unit of Google & Chief Evangelist @ Apple


Start Small: Designing for an uncertain future: Alex North - Founder @ First Order, former VP Engineering @ Posse & Tech Lead @ Google


Expecting the unexpected: Dave Hearnden - Head of Engineering @ Canva, former Tech Lead @ Google


Adaptive Architecture: Josh Graham – Chef de Technology @ Canva, former SaaS Architect at Atlassian and Director at ThoughtWorks


The next event in the Startup Engineering at Canva series was on August 28, 2015 and focussed on frontend architecture in a startup. We’ll be posting the videos on YouTube soon!