I am Mitchell Hashimoto, Founder and CTO of HashiCorp. Ask me anything!

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Kenechukwu Nnamni's photo

How did you get that first idea to start working on Vagrant which is your first project. At the time what did you think you were building?

Mitchell Hashimoto's photo

At the time, I worked for a consultancy with many clients on different tech stacks. My dream was a one-click solution to setting up a development environment for a client. I felt it was taking too many hours to context switch between clients. At the same time, I wanted a way to run quick Linux-based workloads for school (I was a CS student at the time and diving into operating systems and so on and it was tough to work in the lab setting).

I had actually just learned about virtualization maybe a few months prior. And I chose VirtualBox because it was free and I was a college student that had to pinch every penny I had.

Then I just started building, trying to make that dream a reality. I failed a good many times privately before inching closer and closer to what was eventually released. I think "eating your own dog food" is really important and I did that throughout: using Vagrant as much as possible. That led me to some things where I thought "wow, yes, this is really good" and some other things where I felt "this is not right, this is bad work."

Vagrant 0.1 wasn't great, so don't get the wrong idea that I shipped something amazing. But it worked, and I kept iterating, and it got a lot better.