A simple cloud backup for developers, and how we work on it at Yandex Tolstoy Startup Camp

    Make a backup in 1 minute - a key concept of our product. With the development of technology and the constant emergence of new development tools, each of us should spend more and more time on maintaining a number of competencies. New frontend and backend technologies, server architecture, data security. Our product allows you to quickly configure backup copies of the database, configurations and server file system. We believe that for a number of projects there is no need for complex custom solutions with scripts. In turn, simplicity, speed of tincture, flexibility, price are important.

    We provide a solution that can be raised in one minute. By simply entering one command in ssh or providing username and password from the server, you get a snapshot of your file system and server databases (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL). You note what needs to be maintained and at what frequency. No need to write or search for scripts, buy a server or search for hosting.

    Product Technical Side

    You install the python daemon on your server, the code of which is available on github's github.com/bitcalm . The client takes the “image” of the file system (directory and file structure) and sends it to us on the server via an https connection. We store it on the server in Redis. Daemon asks the server every 10 minutes if there have been changes to the schedule, and if there are, updates it (in the future we will use Amazon SNS for these purposes). By schedule, daemon compresses files / databases and sends them to an encrypted and isolated bucket on Amazon S3.

    Life at Yandex Tolstoy Startup Camp

    The bitCalm.com team is currently accelerating at Yandex Tolstoy Startup Camp. Before you get to Camp, read the article. Everything that was described in it seemed to us very fascinating and interesting. At the time we applied for participation, there was no guarantee or expectation that we would pass the selection. However, after a couple of weeks, a written invitation came to participate in a skype interview. After passing the interview, 2 weeks later, they received a final confirmation of participation. In total, more than 400 people submitted their candidatures and 55 passed. Many passed 2 tasks: both for the developer and for the manager. After final confirmation in the next 2 days, you need to confirm your participation, after which you need to take leave for work for 2 months or quit, and live on the reserves that you saved up earlier.

    When everyone became aware of the lists of past participants, it was decided to organize a pre-party meeting. Since, many of the participants are not from Moscow, of course we went to Red Square.

    The next day, Yandex Tolstoy Startup Camp started !

    It began with meeting those who did not succeed in meeting earlier. A lot of guys came from different cities: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tashkent, Minsk, Kharkov, Vologda, Paphos (Cyprus), Kemerevo, Yekaterinburg, Pskov, Izhevsk, Saratov, Almaty and even Nikolaev.

    The first couple of days were devoted to introductory trainings. We join the expressed opinion of our colleagues about how cool Natalia Zverek conducts trainings. Feedback from the article participants :

    The trainings of Natalya Zvereok, Yandex Deputy Director for Personnel Development, left a completely special impression in the first weeks of the camp. She taught us the most basic things, which, in theory, a thirty-year-old man should already know from his own experience, but at the same time constantly opening up new sides and showing new ways of communication and interaction. It was very cool. About fifteen years ago, I paid for some kind of NLP training, but I was expelled from it after an hour and a half, because I was deeply disgusted by the brainwashing technique and the nonsense that the coach carried. In a natural way for myself, I expressed all this three times publicly and did not go to such events more. However, Natalia’s trainings were completely opposite in terms of empathy. I can’t speak for all the participants,

    We joined the process of everyday learning, started working on ideas and formed teams. A week later, we came to voice the initial versions of the projects. (Spoiler: initially there were about 30 ideas, after the first week their number decreased to 22, and after the first demonstration day there were 12.) One of the mentors, the notorious Bobuk, walked with special feeling about our ideas. You can see it in the photo on the left. Those who did not lose enthusiasm after that were able to refine their idea. Not every day you can hear so many specifics. Examination is extremely useful and important.

    But alas .... The score was not equal.

    After a couple of weeks of work, we finally divided into teams and presented ideas at the first presentation day. Let me remind you that only those teams whose ideas survive that day remain on the project. As a result, after the end of the presentations and selection, about 45 people remained. Someone left right away, someone later (after 1-2 days) for personal reasons, someone did not calculate the budget, and someone needed to finish urgent business at their main job. So the composition of the participants was a little thinned. In principle, you can always join the project of another team, agree with someone.


    And then the hardcore started!

    Life in the accelerator is a constant rush. Over the past four weeks, our team has been working seven days a week from 14 hours a day, but still not enough.

    You come in the morning and you see a picture of how everyone works; when leaving work, it’s about the same. As a rule, everyone arrives before 10 in the morning and leaves after 9 in the evening.

    Along with the work on the product, we listen to lectures by industry professionals - mentors and methodologists. Their roles were: Grigory Bakunov, Natalia Zverek, Ilya Krasinsky, Ilya Korolev, Alexander Zverev, Bayram Annakov and many other famous people.

    Each mentor and methodologist shares useful knowledge for an idea, product and team. Replenishes our knowledge base with something of our own. He talks about his successful projects and interesting hacks. Typically, the day begins with lectures on the right approach to product development and its value range, the so-called customer development. After all, in fact, remember how a product is usually created? We find our personal narrow problem, come up with a solution, write the code for several months. Only after that we think about who needs this product? And here a stupor arises: to whom to sell, and does our decision need someone other than ourselves? In turn, the correct approach is based on the problems of people and the search for their main “pain”. In addition, a large number of lectures are devoted to project metrics and its possible scaling. For example,

    This is an example of one of the simple daily tools used to build a business model for a project. Helps to answer all key questions and better present the product to investors and critics.

    Often we ourselves receive a wave of criticism of our projects, but it is extremely useful to better understand the weaknesses of the product and the team. Also, every week on Fridays we share the results of the work done with all participants and methodologists. This allows you to better see progress and pay attention to those details that were previously invisible.

    In addition to hard work, periodically organized general “trips” of all participants - to walk, relax, share something other than work. It is always fun and interesting.

    As our product developed, we needed expertise not only from our future customers, but also from market leaders. We were well received and had a nice chat with Gaidar Makdanurov in Acronis. We got an extremely useful feedback. It should be noted separately that people from the IT industry are quite open. Just by writing an intelligible letter, you can arrange a meeting with many famous people.

    How to try our product?

    Currently, we have opened registration by invitation and, as far as possible, we send invites to those wishing to use the service. Already now you can leave a request for connection on our website .
    We strive to release a product with open registration as soon as possible, but its quality is extremely important to us. It is for this reason that we send invitations to connect in a limited number.

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