Hi folks! I’m Eric Rowell, and I’m really excited to share what I’ve been working on: https://www.second.dev. Second is a developer platform that connects your GitHub account to a bot that can generate new web applications or add features to existing ones. You log in and configure the features you want, and this prompts a bot to create and modify code files using a combination of compilers and GPT-3, then raise a pull request or commit the changes directly to a repo.

You can use Second to create a brand new web application, or you can connect it to an existing web application. They run in the cloud and connect directly to your Github, so you don’t have to install anything. Here’s a demo video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR9JUxznEC0.

Disclaimer! Second is still very much in alpha, so if you want to connect a Second bot to an existing repo, please only use test repos!

I’ve been building for the web for over a decade, including developing the Yahoo video player, architecting the LinkedIn homepage, and leading data visualization efforts at Workday. I’ve created several popular open source projects like KineticJS, BigOCheatSheet, and El Grapho. Most recently I was the co-founder and CTO of a no-code platform for enterprise companies.

Over the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with the idea of enabling developers to create large volumes of high quality software fast. Today, developers utilize libraries, frameworks, new languages, DSLs, no-code platforms, and most recently IDE code assistants like GitHub CoPilot. These are all great, but I think we can do better. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just tell a bot to go off and implement a full-stack feature, sort of like having your own dedicated second developer up in the cloud?

There are too many things that humans are writing code for that they shouldn’t be. This includes commodity features and integrations like authentication, forgot-password flows, subscription billing, database setup, CRUD pages, collections, data tables, etc. Human developers should be focused on the code that is special to the product. Bots should take care of the gruntwork.

Moreover, the world needs more software than there are engineers to build it all. Web applications are complex enough that traditional no-code and low-code solutions, which output runtimes, are not viable. The output must be source code. Unlike no-code tools which try to offload software development onto non-programmers (which works ok, but only up to a rather low complexity ceiling), Second is a higher-level programming tool, meaning it raises the level of abstraction for engineers, which is how most gains in programming productivity have been achieved over the years. Second produces source code that can be modified at any time by developers, with no “special” parts of the code base that are off limits.

So how is it possible to create multi-file full-stack features using GPT-3 when token limits are still really small, i.e. 4k tokens? Well, we can lean on one of the most common strategies for complex problems in computer science—divide and conquer. Rather than trying to construct one giant prompt to get one giant response, I’m using imperative programming to model the general approach to each full-stack module, using GPT-3 to figure out what files should be created, modified, and where they should go, and then using a combination of compilers and GPT-3 to generate and modify each file piecemeal.

Thus far, five YC companies have used Second to build their initial web application foundation. Customers have used Second to set up ticket management systems, CRMs, workflow screens, interfaces on top of generative AI and LLMs, etc. The Starter plan is free and our paid plan is $299/project/month. I’m currently running a promotion and taking 50% off, which ends tomorrow. A project is tied to a specific Github repo.

I would love for you to try out Second and let me know what you think! Please be gentle, it is very early. I’m looking for early feedback to figure out what features should be built next. Thanks!