The firm provides specialised development, maintenance, and consulting services in compiler design, as well as in areas related to the processing of programming languages.
By Srinath Srinivasan
A market rarely noticed by coders and IT specialists is the market of the compilers. Here, one can find Raincode Labs, a startup enabling large entreprises migrate their codes to various platforms of the present and future, by developing adhoc compilers.
Talking about why this is rare, Darius Blasband, CEO of Raincode Labs, says, “People have millions of lines of codes developed over 20-30 years. They’re gigantic. Then the platform, the database, the language or the operating system is no longer supported. Even if they are supported, it is not affordable to keep the codes with growing workload. The naive way of solving this business problem is to rewrite the codes, but it is wrong most of the time.”
So how do you save a software system that’s under threat? “This is where the business is,” says Blasband. “Mapping a programming language to another may not be possible all the time but what we can do is, provide a compiler for that language which can help enterprises move away from the platform they are currently running on.”
While a few of the largest tech enterprises do this in-house, most others outsource this job. This market appears to be large in South Asia as it is with Europe and the USA, which attracts companies like Raincode Labs to set up offices in the tech hubs of Asia. Last year, the company made a turnover of over $5 million with only minor operations in Asia.
Blasband says that due to the nature of the industry, the business isn’t focused on quarter-to-quarter performance. He is also required to stay with his clients’ business for the next 10-15 years till the compiler stays in vogue.
“It takes a lot of patience and passion to develop compilers and that keeps most people away, hence the competition is sparse in this market. It’s a really well-paying hobby, to put it in simple words!” quips Blasband.
What challenges their business is finding like minded people with in-depth knowledge. Blasband believes that the ones who are extremely talented and passionate, and want to make a living out of developing compilers, invariably find him, somehow. As with any niche market, it requires time to see how players generate a sizeable demand and fight for market share in this space.