This week we’re taking you to the hallway track of All Things Open 2022 in Raleigh, NC. Let’s set the stage, here’s what we like do when we go to conferences — we setup our podcast studio at our booth where all the other vendors are and we talk to everyone we can. We give out t-shirts, stickers, pins, high fives…and it’s a blast.
Today’s anthology episode from ATO features: Arun Gupta (VP and GM of Open Ecosystem Initiatives at Intel), long-time friend Chad Whitacre (Head of Open Source at Sentry), and Ricardo Sueiras (Principal Advocate in Open Source at AWS).
The common denominator for each of these conversations is advocating for and supporting open source. Special thanks to Todd Lewis and team for inviting us to come back to ATO. We enjoyed meeting long time fans and new ones too.
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Square – Develop on the platform that sellers trust. There is a massive opportunity for developers to support Square sellers by building apps for today’s business needs. Learn more at changelog.com/square to dive into the docs, APIs, SDKs and to create your Square Developer account — tell them Changelog sent you.
Retool – The low-code platform for developers to build internal tools — Some of the best teams out there trust Retool…Brex, Coinbase, Plaid, Doordash, LegalGenius, Amazon, Allbirds, Peloton, and so many more – the developers at these teams trust Retool as the platform to build their internal tools. Try it free at retool.com/changelog
Fly.io – The home of Changelog.com — Deploy your apps and databases close to your users. In minutes you can run your Ruby, Go, Node, Deno, Python, or Elixir app (and databases!) all over the world. No ops required. Learn more at fly.io/changelog and check out the speedrun in their docs.
- The Changelog #87: Sustaining Open Source and Building an Open Company
- The Changelog #123: Gittip and Open Companies
|1||00:00||This week on The Changelog|
|3||02:18||Start the show!|
|4||03:52||Brands forget to tell their story|
|6||06:54||The gift and the curse|
|7||09:21||Challenges on the inside?|
|8||11:42||Ways Intel can support open source?|
|9||12:48||Open source mentorship|
|10||14:01||The importance of non-technical skills|
|11||19:36||Advice on ways we can improve ourselves?|
|13||24:41||Conflict resolution and adaptability|
|14||27:13||Who moved my cheese?|
|15||28:35||Mindful talking and reflective listening|
|16||30:45||Conflict resolution requires connection|
|17||34:40||Check out open.intel.com|
|19||36:54||Chad, it's been awhile|
|20||37:43||Insider baseball on Changelog happenings|
|21||42:22||What's new with Chad?|
|22||46:22||Funding OSS with no strings attached|
|23||48:53||How do you determine how much to fund?|
|24||51:56||OSPOs are burgeoning and need examples|
|25||56:35||GitHub Sponsors is status quo|
|26||57:54||Give $1-2k per dev back to OSS|
|28||59:59||Something "midly" controversial|
|29||1:00:24||From the archives - It's "Gitip"|
|30||1:02:32||If the value changes so does the gift|
|32||1:05:09||You're making my whole year!|
|33||1:06:14||Working open source for 20+ years|
|34||1:06:45||Advocating for open source|
|35||1:08:17||I'm quoting from you guys|
|36||1:08:46||How do you keep up the energy?|
|37||1:11:11||Jerod's fear about software podcasting|
|38||1:12:46||Richardo is working with students|
|39||1:14:20||Connect with Richardo|
Click here to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧
Let’s talk about Intel, because when I think of Intel I think of an industry giant, I think of microchips, I think of Intel Inside… I think of hardware… I don’t think of open source much, but I guess you’re changing that narrative, helping us understand what Intel does for the developer communities, for the open source community etc.
Yeah. I joined Intel about six months ago. I run the open ecosystem team at Intel, and the funny part is I call my role as chief storytelling officer.
Intel has done open source for over two decades, actually. We were influential in creating Linux Foundation, we are part of 700+ open source foundation and standard bodies… For the last 15 years, we are the top corporate contributor to Linux Kernel.
we are among the top ten contributors to Kubernetes, we are among the top contributors to OpenJDK, PyTorch, TensorFlow, LLVM…
I didn’t know any of that.
These are the projects that sometimes you don’t realize that Intel is contributing.
So we have always been there… So my role really here is to make sure we tell the story better. That’s it.
Right. This is a challenge for many brands in tech, really. they they have such a focus on selling their product, that they forget to tell their story. And I think that’s part of the story. you’re not just the microchip manufacturer that you are, and like the heartbeat of most computers… It’s beyond that; it’s the community partner, community citizen, and like how are you cohesively involved… And I think brands just forget to really tell that part of the story. The chief storytelling officer I think is an amazing title. We should have more out there, because that’s kind of what marketing does, but it’s not their job. Their job is to help people be aware what the product is, not necessarily a brand story… But they kind of go together. How do you deal with that challenge, with like marketing and storytelling and whatnot?
Very much so. And actually, the part – and I work with our marketing team very closely…
…helping them understand that mindshare is what gives you market share.
I like that.
Helping them build that understanding that funnel is very important, because all along - over the 20 years, open source has only grown. And it is sort of the primary way – open source developers are the new decision-makers. You no longer go to CIO and they say “You know what - sign a bill”
If the developers are happy, if they are engaged – exactly. If they’re engaged in the community, if you have showed them the right skills, they’re gonna make the change in the organization. And most of the time these days developers are building their applications on a CSP: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, private cloud… Whatever. Edge. Intel is prominent across all of these; Intel architecture is prominent across all of these venues, and that’s exactly what we do, is we contribute to all the projects that I talked about earlier. We want to make sure that these open source communities are fully optimized, and run in the most efficient manner for the developers. We just have to do a better job of storytelling.
Do you get involved in the OSPO-related matters? We had Chad Whitacre on from Sentry earlier, and he was talking about how they give back… And it’s $2,000 per developer they have on their team. Now, obviously, Intel’s probably got more than 2,000 developers. I don’t know, how many developers does Intel have at large?
So Intel has over 19,000 software engineers.
[06:02] Over 19,000 software engineers. And OSPO is part of my team. So one of the teams I have is open source program office. I’ve actually built and ran OSPOs at Amazon and Apple… So I’ve built my career over the last 20 years exclusively on open source. So I kind of have been around for a while. And here honestly, the part that gets me most excited is Intel has done so much in the open source world. When I was given an offer to join Intel, I was “What does Intel do in open source?”
That’s what I was thinking.
And now I’m like getting goose-bumpy moments every day, as I talk to maintainers, as I talk to executives across the company. We’ve just got to do a better job of storytelling.
So how long have you been at Intel then?
Over six months now.
Six months, okay. So you’re getting started…
I’m just getting warmed up.
So I guess the gift and the curse of a strong brand and a long-standing history is that it can be very – the gift is that it’s strong and long-standing, and so you’ve been cemented in the mind of people. The hard part is changing that perspective. We’ve watched Microsoft transformed slowly from evil empire into like open source supporting pioneers, in certain senses… Some people still don’t believe that narrative, but we’ve seen kind of the mind of developers slowly change about Microsoft over the last 5-10 years. And so I’m just wondering how you attack the challenge of people who think Intel and don’t think anything – “We don’t think about software, we don’t think about open source, I had no idea that they contributed to Linux kernel and Kubernetes, and all these things.” And that’s an awesome story, but how do you get that story out there and sustain it and actually get people to realize it and change their minds?
Right. And that’s exactly my job. That’s exactly – so I have an OSPO team which is all on the open source compliance processes part of it. I have an events team… So this event is sponsored by Intel out of my team and my budget. We were at KubeCon last week, we are going to be at LF Member Summit next week… I’m also part of several foundation boards. So I am on the CNCF governing board, and the governing board chair. I’m also on the open SSF governing board. I’m the alternate on the Linux Foundation board… So really, meeting our industry peers influencing the direction, wearing like an Intel t shirt…
There you go.
Whatever story I tell, as long as you’re wearing that Intel brand… It’s a long journey. I’m not in it for the short run. I’m a marathon runner, I’m not a sprinter… So I’m like really pacing myself. And open source developers are always skeptical. I’m an open source developer myself. I need to hear that message through my multiple channels in order to start believing it.
And see it for yourself for a while, too.
Exactly. So that’s sort of the approach here, that we’re gonna start making ourselves prominent across these different channels. Why it matters, how it matters… Cathy Zhang, she is part of the CNCF Technical Oversight Committee, elected member over there… She gave a keynote at KubeCon last week, and I think she said it well… That we want to benefit the open source community as much as open source community has benefited us. So that’s sort of the party line on how I see this going… Because then it’s a fair relationship.
Symmetrical. Do you think part of your – I guess since you’ve got six months in so far, do you think part of your journey and part of your challenge with Intel might be changing the inside of Intel to better embrace open source and better understand the story? Is there any uphill battle within Intel you have not just externally, like getting other developers of the open source community to understand Intel’s story in open source, and how you support open source, is part of your struggle and challenge from within?
I don’t think so at all, actually.
Well, that makes it easier…
it’s the world-changer. It’s the game-changer.
Because you’re so prolific and you’re so embedded, you personally, and I wonder if like a lot of the gain and benefit is - not so much just you, but you bring a lot to the table, right? You bring a lot of skin in the game, a lot of trust from past experience and how you’ve personally been in the trenches for so long… I just wonder if they’re aligned; if your experience and what you bring, and what Intel brings - obviously is they’re big, but do they align well? Maybe that’s why you took the job.
[10:15] No, they do. They do. They very well do, actually. And throughout my career, I’ve always – like, I’m a runner, okay? So as a runner, I like doing uphill runs. I don’t like downhill runs. And they are required, because –
How about flat? [laughs]
Well, flat is okay. Flat is boring. I’m an uphill runner.
A 10% grade.
I’m not much of a runner though…
Yeah, I love uphill runs. So I really see this as an uphill run, and I’m really enjoying it. If you hear Pat and Greg Lavender, our CTO, talk about their strategy as the company is pivoting towards a software-first narrative, open ecosystem is front and center of the strategy. So having that top corporate alignment across the company, having a leader like Pat and Greg at the top, with such a strong conviction - actually, you don’t have to do much. You just have to kind of rally up people, build a strategy and say, “This is what we’re going to focus on for the next year.”
So I think internally - there always going to be naysayers, so you have to kind of work them along, nudge them along… And I worked at companies like Amazon and Apple build open source narrative over there, so I’m not at all afraid in that sense… But I think it’s a lot gonna be how do we make ourselves accessible, available, transparent to the open source community, so that they start believing us. Because as they say, the first person to stop fooling is yourself. But we believe in this very strongly, and we hope that passion comes across clearly to the open source community.
Yeah. So you’ve talked a couple of ways that you’re supporting open source developers; one is direct committing to the projects. That’s the best form of support, is “We actually submit code to the Linux Kernel.” The other one is sponsoring events and conferences like this one… What are some other ways that Intel can support the community?
Oh, yeah. I mean, code is king in the open source community, so contributing code is the best way by which you can do that. Sponsoring events is what makes open source thrive, because that’s where you find out about it. As I said, we are part of several foundations as well, so we continue to do that over there… We do a lot of open source mentoring, multiple ways we engage - pull requests reviews, giving keynotes, talking to other developers… And not just for us, but how do we make the broader open source community better? So that is sort of a personal goal of myself, that I would love to do. I’ve been doing open source mentorship for a while. We want to do more of it. As they say, the rising tide raises all the boats… So I’m really looking at “How can we raise all the boats together?”
Sure. So you’re still early… But what might that open source mentorship look like, or manifest as, as you establish it?
We don’t know yet? We’re very early in the cycle.
But really, the focus for now is going to be tell that story in a very authentic, very connected, very transparent way… And course-correct if that story is not gelling with the developers. Like, we can’t go with a very strong mindset that this is our story. I’m always looking for change. You know, what is gelling, what is it not gelling? And being able to tune our messaging, still keeping true to ourselves.
What does your team look like? What do you break down? Like the OSPO, and other things that are involved under your role - what is that like? How many people are involved?
We don’t share the number of people usually, but I have an OSPO team that is for all typical OSPO-related functions. I have a community and a dev rel team, that maintains open.intel.com. That’s our public-facing website; blogs etc. over there. And I have a team that is all focused on internal strategy and alignment, where we work across multiple BUs to bring them on the same page or understand what the strategy is. So a lot of internal alignment.
Alright, belabored segue here… You’re talking about telling Intel’s story; that’s the communication skill. Communication skills are non- technical skills… You just gave a keynote about non-technical skills and how important they are… Let’s talk about that.
[14:15] Sure. Well, as I said in the keynote, non-technical skills are really a force multiplier to technical skills. And an open source community which is so globally diverse, so inclusive - these non technical skills are really your differentiator.
And in the keynote, I particularly talk about kindness and gratitude. I think as an industry we don’t do a good job of talking about kindness and gratitude enough. We can only be more kind, only be more gratuitous.. So that’s the skill I talked about, and how that brings a more meaningful connection at work, how it gives you more serotonin, how it produces endorphins as a painkiller, cuts down your cortisol level… All of that. So kindness and gratitude truly has benefits at work, at your personal life… But then, later today at 12:45, I’m also giving a talk which talks about three other skills: communication, conflict resolution and adaptability.
Yeah. Conflict is a big one, it’s a challenging one. So if you’re looking at non-kindness, let’s say… Give me an example of like a non-kindness and a way you would respond with kindness, and an example of a kindness and gratitude when you speak of that. How do you see that manifesting?
Yeah, so in a particular work setting, let’s say you see a new employee join in, and them struggling out how to navigate the org, or them not being able to ask a question, because they feel threatened… They have impostor syndrome… Whatever it is, right? Just talk to them one-on-one; just help them understand that, “Hey, you what - I know you are new. Sometimes these things could be overwhelming.”
My son is a junior at UPenn, and as he did an internship this year, he was saying, “I don’t understand the org structure.” So there was somebody else who helped him understand the org structure. I think that’s the simple example. You see somebody struggling, you offer help, that “Hey, I’m gonna help you understand the org structure.” And let’s say if they are threatened to ask a question, if you are senior in the team, talk to your manager, “Let’s create space for these new people in the team who are early in their career.” Give them that flexibility, give them that space where they feel encouraged. Give them that psychological safety in the team.
I think that’s a very simple act of kindness - helping somebody, let’s say person new in their career, send a pull request. Say, “Hey, I’m gonna volunteer to do a code review”, and really help them understand how code – lots and lots of examples that you can do on a day-to-day basis.
So you’re talking about conflict resolution, dopamine, serotonin… These are neuroscience-related ideas and sciences… Do you study psychology, neuroscience? Like, how do you up your game when it comes to this background knowledge?
Yeah, I’m a runner, so I try to run every day, or lift… And one of the things that I love doing running is listening to a lot of podcasts. So I listen to a lot of podcasts, particularly around mindfulness. There is a podcast by Dan Harris, who was ABC News’ anchor for 20 years; he had a breakdown on national TV… And he changed his career from a news anchor on Good Morning, America. He runs a podcast on mindfulness. So I listen to a lot of that. And they talk about a lot of these elements over there.
Then I also listen to a podcast by Adam Grant. He’s an organizational psychologist at Wharton’s, and he wrote the book “Rethink.” I listen to a lot of his podcasts. And pretty much the theory and the concepts behind these podcasts is what gets me excited, that – it truly is. When you start reading the study behind it, that it actually releases those hormones, that makes it so much better… It’s very exciting. And it’s very – as they say, it’s a very eureka moment, that “Oh, I didn’t realize that it’s so simple.”
There’s a true connection. People forget they have a brain, right? We’re so human, we forget that we have a brain. The brain is the most powerful organism that we have in our body. If it didn’t do what it does, we would not do what we do.
And if you don’t have your brain, you’re not you anymore. Either maintaining it from your diet, your exercise, so that you don’t have dementia, or get like diseases that come from all these different things in life… And just – over time, things happen to our human bodies, but we forget that our brain is just such a critical organ that we have, that we’re just we like… We don’t think to study it. We don’t think to understand how it works, and how we work with it, and how it so much is exactly who we are.
And I think you brought up a really good point over there, because oftentimes we see the signals in our body, that “I’m feeling lethargic”, or “I’m gaining weight”, or “My arms are not looking good…” You can see those symptoms and start working out, physically working out. How do you recognize those simple for mental fatigue?
So I think as much as it is important for your physical well being, it’s very equally important - I would say rather more important for your mental well being. So feeding your mind this kind of content about general kindness, gratitude, being a nicer person… End of the day, the summary is just don’t be stupid, be a nice person. And we forget that sometimes.
Right. It does simplify down. I do like the way you describe the difference between technical and non-technical skills, in a way that’s easy to understand. The technical skills are what we know, and the non-technical skills are who we are. We have tried and true methods for changing what we know. Right? Like, you put your head in a book and you read it, or you go get some experience… Changing who you are can be a more difficult matter. Do you have any advice on changing yourself, so that you improve your skill.
Yeah. And I think, unfortunately, over the last three-four years is where – there are courses coming up where they talk about these non-technical skills, and why they are critical… But there is not a whole lot of material over there. I would say my personality has changed, evolved over the last few years as I’ve started listening to these podcasts… So I would really encourage people to start reading about it. And sometimes you don’t realize how consciously or subconsciously it starts impacting you.
Mindfulness is such an important thing… We don’t realize it. We are always either ruminating in the past, or being anxious about the future and spoiling our past for that. So how just being mindfully present in the current moment would really allow you to enjoy and soak it in, and move forward. I think that, to me, has really brought a lot of peace and calm to myself, within myself. And once you have that within you, then you’re a lot nicer person to everybody else.
We have a podcast in our network called Brain Science. And my co-host - it’s on a hiatus right now, but we’re actually in talks of bringing it back… Shout-out to Mireille… She’s a doctor in clinical psychology, and so I’m the layman, basically; I’m the non-neuroscience graduate, and she is the doctor, and one thing we say on that show is “Be your own scientist.” And I think what happened with you, and maybe part of your shift, was self-awareness. A lot of this question you asked, Jerod, and this change in who you are, the first step to changing who you are is being self-aware of who you are. Right? If you don’t know who you are, you can’t understand why you are who you are, and what you’re doing, and stuff like that.
[21:45] So as you become more aware, or self-aware of the things that perplex you, or upset you about who you are, or things you want to change - you can only change what you measure, and you can only change that if you’re aware that it exists, or whatnot. So I would say that maybe part of your change was the fact that you became more aware of knowledge and more self-aware of your mirror image from that knowledge. “This is what neuroscience says I am from a brain perspective, from a personality perspective. This is the knowledge out there, and this is who I think I am.” And through that, you’re like “Well, this is who I want to be.” And maybe through your running, and self-awareness… You probably have tons of time to think when you’re running, right? So while you’re running, you’re listening, you’re reflecting, you’re retrospectiving… And all these things.
How long do you run, generally?
Anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half every day.
That’s a lot of time to think…
Yeah. And I think, Adam, you brought up a really good point, because if you can’t measure it, if you don’t know what needs to be fixed… As they say, in software, the hardest problem is to find the bug. Once you know the bug, then you can debug it rather quickly and find the solution.
So I think – I would say to people that probably know you the best… I’m gonna give you good advice, controversial ones - your partner, and your boss.
And be very open and receptive to their feedback. Don’t go with a judgmental mind. Whatever they say, listen in, soak it in, and see what needs to change.
Truth. Truth, truth, truth.
Because that’ll make your work-life happy and home-life happy.
That’s all happy right there.
This concept of being your own scientist though is this concept of curiosity, right? If you’re not curious who you are, and what you are, then how are you going to reflect the world? How are you going to be a participant in community, a participant in your workplace, in your family, in your friend groups, whatever. You will be maladaptive, as Mireille says; she doesn’t like to say “bad”, she doesn’t like to say “negative”, she likes “maladaptive.”
If you don’t have this idea of curiosity, and this ability to say – the be-your-own-scientist. Be curious, and sort of like self-document who you think you are, and then reflect on that. It’s kinda like journaling, things like that. You hear this advice a lot. It’s almost painfully cliché to say, “Well, the way to get better is be self aware, and to journal, and things like that.” And it’s like, “I know that advice”, but it truly is true. If you know who you are, and it’s easy to understand who you are, and to change if you don’t like that reflection.
Absolutely. Look yourself in the mirror. Physically, you see, “I don’t like myself physically.” But you can do that mentally in a mirror. So look in a mental mirror. And I think your spouse and your boss are probably the best mental mirrors on how you’re operating, because they have the right perspective, at least.
Probably check in with your parents, too. They know you pretty well, depending on your age.
Yeah, it depends. Yeah.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think the parents thing is - they will never give you a critical feedback; but boss and spouse - they’ll give you a critical feedback, which is what you need.
So you mentioned the tea is for later, so no one listening to this show right now is here at this conference, so they can’t go at 11:45 and listen to your talk… But you mentioned conflict resolution, which I think is key, and adaptability. Can you kind of unpack just a little tease to what you’re gonna talk about?
Absolutely. When you think about conflict resolution, I think one of the biggest things in conflict resolution is how do you separate task conflict versus personality conflict? We’re all aware of the Peter Druckman’s model of forming, storming, norming, performing…
I’m not familiar with that.
I’m not either.
So there is a Peter Druckman’s model that if you are building a new team, there are four stages: forming, storming, norming, and performing. Forming is when the team is coming together, storming is when you’re trying to understand what everybody’s roles and responsibilities are…
Okay. And brainstorm. Gotcha.
Norming is when you really start like gelling with each other and performing as you’re performing at the top notch. Four stages, right?
So they say in the early stages is a lot of personality conflict, because you don’t know the people.
And less about task conflict. But as you go towards more advanced stages, personality conflict goes away, and it’s all become task conflict, and that’s what makes your team performing. That’s what allows you to be more productive… Because I am able to look through you as a person and say, “You know what - the problem is in the task, not in the person.” So I think that’s a very important element about differentiating between task conflict and personality conflict. So that’s what I’m going to talk about in that particular one.
[26:14] On the adaptability side, they talk about the survival of the fittest. That’s the Darwinian theory. But if the last three years have taught anything, it’s survival of the most adaptable. And there have been studies done… Again, I think there’s a talk by one of the doctors on TEDx… She talks about studying 10,000 living organisms; one thing that keeps them alive - and this is not humans; living organisms, like plants, trees, etc.
That is fundamental.
Resilience, adaptability… They’re synonymous in some way.
Absolutely. Absolutely. So I’ll talk about that element, on how adaptability at work – like, schedules change, teams change, somebody new joins…
Right. We were just talking about that with regard to artists, and generative AI, and where it’s like, you can’t go and change the fact of the reality that this stuff exists; artists need to adapt. And coders, as cogeneration becomes better and better and better, software developers are going to have to adapt, move up the value chain…
And artists are doing that. So you either adapt or you die, right?
Yeah. I mean, there’s a book which talks about “Who Moved My Cheese?”
Oh, my gosh… I was just about to mention that.
[laughs] He moved it.
He said first “I was gonna talk about that book.” It’s like, we’ve mentioned that book, obviously. You have to read it.
I love it.
It’s an hour or two, maybe, read. It’s short guide.
It’s 90-page, short, a guide…
Everyone who deals with change, which is every human, being should read, or at least read a summary of that book, because it’s such a good book to understand change. You have to adapt.
Yeah. And in that book, Spencer Johnson makes a quote. He says, “If you do not adapt, you become extinct.”
Yeah. There you go.
That’s exactly what is true. We have seen what happened to BlackBerry, Blockbuster… Steven Spielberg - this guy was rejected by USC Cinematic Arts School, and now they have a building in his honor.
Michael Jordan. He was cut from his freshman high team, or their sophomore high team. We know who Michael Jordan is.
So if these people would not have adapted, there would be nowhere.
You can’t just sulk and cry. And it’s okay to sulk and cry…
Right, but then get up and change.
Get over it and change, exactly. And the last – the first skill that I talk about is communication. And in that, we talk about how it is important to do mindful talking, and reflective listening. It is super-important that when you’re talking to somebody, there is an intent, and there is an impact. Are those two aligned? Because there could be several factors around you. The other person may not be hearing it well… Are you doing it well? And then the second part is the reflective listening. Am I listening to you, as opposed to – I mean, as Stephen Covey said, most people listen with an intent to reply back, as opposed to understand the point of view.
Right. They’re waiting for their turn to talk.
Right. “Like, can I finish my sentence?”
I almost cut you off there. [laughter] I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. I had to do it. My bad.
No, no, no. Hey, it’s all good. It’s all good.
We do that. We do that as podcasters often, because we do this every day… So we listen to a lot of people, and we had to respond. But we also have this pressure to be smart on these microphones, to have a point to say, to say it eloquently, and to be heard… And sometimes you don’t listen very well, because you’re just kind of like –
…you want to bring up the cheese book.
Exactly. Or Plausible Science, or something.
There’s a question lingering in your mind…
Precisely. And the desire to make the conversation good though, too.
In everyday conversation you’re not on the microphone, it’s not recorded and played back to thousands and thousands of people all over the world, so you don’t have that pressure… But in our case specifically, we do have that pressure. So we do want our shows to be well received, and liked, and a good narrative, a good story arc to the thing, too. We have an agenda of sorts we have to maintain.
[30:09] No, I agree. I completely agree. Imagine somebody is talking for 45 seconds. You listen to the first 15 seconds, and then the question is lingering in your mind… You have not paid any attention for the next 30 seconds. That’s not mindful talking or reflective listening.
It’s hard to hold on to that question, but still continue forward, and go with them…
Yeah, it is. Well, put it in a notepad; write down the question. Because oftentimes, you are wanting to jump in with the question because you think you will forget the question. Have a notepad, get out your phone, put in a note, that I want to ask that question. You can always come back to the context.
Speaking of note, I do that in my brain when we talk… So I have this virtual notepad that I write a question on, or write a note on, and that one is conflict resolution. I’m gonna go back to this thing that we were talking about there, because one thing with confidence that’s interesting is that – and you mentioned with this… What is the –
Peter Druckman’s model: forming, storming, norming, and performing.
Right. So as part of that, that initial stage, I imagine it kind of like a puzzle, right? When you put a puzzle piece together into it, it doesn’t always perfectly go in. You kind of have to ship it, and –
Merge it in, yeah.
…and so what happens is you go from disconnection to connection. And conflict usually happens when you’re disconnected, right? You become disconnected. So I want to kind of go back to that point. I just wanted to –
You were holding on to this question about confidence…
I’ve been holding on to that, so I wanted to use your point to go back to that, if we could…
Thank you. I was reading a story about the Wright Brothers, on how they created the first plane. And in that story, I was reading about conflict resolution, that these two brothers had only task conflict; they would fight with each other like hell, but on a task. End of the day, they will still sit down together and have a beer, and that’s how they came up with a plane.
That’s a good story, yeah.
There are so many stories where conflict resolution is a key.
And it seems like their ability to do that has to have something to do with disconnecting from the task at hand, like their personal identity… Because you can actually not like my idea, or my process, and say “That’s a bad process. Here’s a better one”, and I can take that, and I can adapt and change and agree with you. Or I can say, “Well, that’s my idea. That’s my process. You’re attacking my process, therefore you’re attacking me.”
But what happened though was at the end of the day, they went back together, and had that beer.
Right, that connection.
They remained connected.
Well, they were brothers, right.
When you disconnect, you don’t have communication… So if you will walk away, or they walk away assuming, “Well, he’s stewing, they’re stewing, I’m stewing”, whateveer… So much assumption, and it’s not true. And when you come back together, and you say, “Well, let’s continue this day or this beer”, like you remain connected, you remain united in your efforts of whatever it might be… It’s the act of connection that brings us back together and resolves conflict.
It does, it does. And I think it’s a lot harder in this Zoom world…
…where as long as the discussion is over, you just shut the laptop down and you’re liike “I’m just walking out of here.” No.
Or text communication. Ever harder, right?
Yeah, exactly. I remember – I think KD, who joined the San Francisco Golden Gate Warriors team…
So he sent a message to his teammate when he was leaving OKC Thunder over a text message. He said, “Hey, I’m leaving the team.” Ouch. Dude, you were the star players of OKC Thunder for so many years.
You can’t do that kind of stuff disconnected.
Face to face.
Pissed off. Conflict.
Of course, yes.
So I think if we realize these are day to day situations, day to day things that we can always do better.
Well, it seems like one of the skills of communication is picking the right medium for communication, right?
His message there would have probably been much better received personally… Because it’s important, right? And he picked the wrong medium for communication. And that delivered his - I don’t know - lack of care… It itself was a message; the fact that it was a text message. And so that’s such a struggle sometimes, knowing “When do I put the texting down and pick up the phone?” Or “When do I hop off the phone and drive over to their house?” The Wright brothers had two things going - they were brothers, which means they had a connection, but also, they were sitting with each other. Difficult for us in the digital age, like you said.
[34:14] Well, I think one thing I would recommend is put yourself in the recipient’s shoe.
Exactly. Would you like to be in that position, that somebody texted you, my five-year-old-friend, where we were competing in the court every day together, practicing everyday together, and texting me… How would you feel it?
So have that empathy, and that goes a long way.
Yes, yes. Well, we can’t invite everybody to your talk, but you do write on the blog for Intel, so it’s open.intel… Is that where blog is at?
I didn’t pay attention to the link. I saw the page, I didn’t pay attention to the URL it was going to. So open.intel has your posts and other posts from your team there… I’m sure this talk you’re giving will be on YouTube as part of All Things Open…
Where else can people catch up with you or pay attention to your journey at Intel?
Yeah, my Twitter handle is the best. @ArunGupta. That’s where I tweet prolifically. I try to. So catch me there. My DMS are open. I think Brian was talking about it. I’m a servant leader here… So reach out to me. I’m happy to talk about anything, literally anything around the world.
Well, I can attest to your DMs being open, because I just DMed you earlier this morning, and here you are. It works. Taht’s how it works.
Literally within an hour we made this happen…
How cool is that?
So I think that’s where the opportunities are sitting.
Yeah. Well, thanks so much for joining us. This has been awesome.
Yeah, thank you so much. It was awesome.
Thank you for having me.
So Chad, it’s been a while, man.
Yeah, it’s been a few years…
I wanna say I missed you.
It’s been a few years…
You’re one of my favorite people out here, you know? For real.
Aww… Come on, Stac.. Come on now.
Yeah, for real.
You’re making me blush.
This is a moment right here.
You’re making me blush, you see that?
This is a reunion…
This is why it’s a podcast and not a video, so you can’t see me blushing.
This is a reunion, and I think it’s special, too; I’ve been watching what you’ve been doing a Sentry, and I’m happy that you’re there…
…and I’m happy for all the hard work you put out there, regardless of the road it took, and how it ended…
Thank you, yeah.
You were always a hardwork– you always had a good heart in the mix. We need more people like you out there, doing the work, for real.
I appreciate it.
And I’m happy you’re here.
Well, like I was just saying before we jumped on the mics, it was probably – it was 2017. I was here two years. I forget… It was like ’16-’17 or ’17-‘18. But yeah, I remember last time I saw you guys here, you had just launched a new brand… Because I don’t want to say that you guys were scrappy, but you were scrappy at the beginning, you know what I mean? And then you came out with The Changelog brand, and you had like – you really invested in it, you know what I mean? And took it to the next level.
And it was like “Alright, these guys - they mean business. They’re gonna do it.”
Maybe more. 2016 was the new brand.
Is that what it was? Yeah, that was probably it.
2016 we were here… It was October… We literally were just launching it… The website was maybe live a day, maybe a week… It was not long.
The website was the last thing.
And we had the thin banner only, not this big banner behind us… We had a thin one… And it just said like “Hacker to the heart.” Because we are.
Hacker to the heart…
You are now – so how many podcasts do you guys have now? Can you even keep track?
You know, you’re losing them underneath the couch cushions at this point…
Yeah, exactly. Right.
We do five weekly shows.
“Oh yeah, that podcast. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah…”
Five weekly… Wow! It’s an operation.
So we got to one a day, but across different podcasts. Not like The Changelog five times a week. It’s like little verticals, you know? That was our move. And it’s worked out pretty well, because we have a lot more voices, a lot more diversity in the topics, everything… Than if it was just us two doing five shows a week.
And more burden to share, too. If we’d try to do five shows a week and do all the work, it would never work.
Yeah, of course. No, you’ve gotta scale it up. Well, because open source is a community of communities, you know what I mean? It’s an interesting thing to think about the open source community and what it means, because people have different takes on it. But I like what you guys are doing here; like, you’ve got the umbrella, but then you’ve got the different - like you said, the voices in it, bringing it all together…
Exactly. I think it works pretty well. Obviously, there’s sub-communities that we don’t serve, because you have to add another podcast to do that.
And you’ve got to find the right person to partner with, and…
There’s lots of things to do to get that done… But at the same time, we’re doing what we can, and we’re reaching the communities we reach, and then like you said, we have kind of the umbrella… The Changelog is always going to be for everybody…
How’s the community around it? Because I remember you were launching like the Slack, and the other stuff like that, and the website with it…
Slack’s still great. It’s active every day. There’s a lot of people every day.
You didn’t jump to Discord? You’re still on Slack?
We did not.
We’re on that fence, because it’s a struggle…
Are you gonna go back to IRC?
We did not… We’ve had a few people tell us to go to IRC..
It’s a struggle, because it’s hard to switch.
Slack doesn’t keep us with features necessarily, they keep us with pain to move.
Right. Of course.
And you’re gonna lose people in that movement… And Slack is well-known, and a lot of people use it… So it’s like, well, I know you all have a Slack, we have a slack, other brands who we work with have a Slack…
So it’s like, how do you choose where to put your community real-time messaging, basically? We want to be more open source-aligned, we want to be more community-focus-aligned, but it’s hard to make that switch when we’re so embedded.
That’s true yeah. unintelligible
It’s almost worth just paying for, really. We would entertain a community partner who would be like “We’re sponsoring the community Slack”, or the community, wherever that might be, and find a way to do that… And that way, it’s like x per month, and then maybe we profit a little bit… Maybe just kind of surplus more or less to cover like higher months… Because Slack will go up or down based upon usage.
We pay you guys, right? Doesn’t Sentry sponsor?
Sentry sponsors, right?
I hope so.
Yeah, for sure.
No, we love you guys.
We love you, too. Are using Sentry?
Yeah. I use it a couple of times a week.
What’s your stack?
Every Monday, for sure.
Oh, that’s right. I think I saw it; you were getting into the Phoenix stuff…
Yeah. It’s nice. We’ve been on it ever since 2016… I don’t really have any complaints… I’m slow to adopt the new stuff. They’ve got a lot of new stuff in the Phoenix world, with live view, and a lot of the new components stuff… But I’m just – we deployed in 2016 and just keep working on it. We’re going to do a redesign here soon and probably rethink some of our stuff…
So that was pretty early…
[42:06] Yeah. We were the only open source Phoenix app for a while that you could actually like look at and see how to build one, kind of soup to nuts, that was in production. Now there’s a handful of them. Plausible is a good one.
I like plausible.
Yeah, they’re awesome.
So what’s new with you?
Sentry, man… Sentry, day and night.
How long has it been? You’ve been there - what, nine months?
I’ve been at Sentry for two years.
Believe it. Believe it.
You’ve been hiding then. So maybe like nine months ago you came out of the woodwork…
So here’s the story, here’s the story… So after Gitip, Gratipay, that wound down at the end of 2017.
I thought it was Gitip.
Well, that was the huge controversy. That’s why it didn’t go anywhere. We couldn’t figure out how to pronounce that…
Alright, I digress… Okay, continue.
Yeah. Gitip, Gratipay… Yeah, so I wound that down at the end of 2017, and then had a little bit of rebuilding year in 2018. And then I went to work as an engineering manager at a security company called Proofpoint for a couple years… 2020. November 2020 is when I started at Sentry. And I came in as an engineer on the open source team. Because Sentry, as you guys know, but somebody ends up listen to this… Sentry started life as an open source side project in 2008. Way back. So Kramer, 70-line Django plugin… You know, and it was just a community open source side project for years. It didn’t start commercializing until 2012. That happened on Heroku. I don’t wanna say RIP Heroku, but Heroku… And you know, $5 a month plugin on Heroku. That’s when I started using it.
And then… What – let me fast-forward. 2012 commercialized, 2015 raised funds, 2016 came out, “Hey, we’re a startup now.” Now we’re 300 people, fast-forward. I joined when we were at like 130, and I joined as an engineer on the open source team, helping do release management around Sentry, so people could still run it themselves. And then that evolved… So I was there for a year as an engineer, and then stuff kind of shifted, the fellow I was working with, he moved on, my boss changed what he was doing, and that’s when I started the OSPO at Sentry. So I was there for years as an engineer, and then said, “Hey, let’s start a true OSPO”, and they said, “Alright, why don’t you run it?” So now I’m head of open source for a year. So it’s been a year, right? Yeah, today is November 1st, right?
It feels like nine months in my brain, but I think 12 months is probably more accurate, that I’ve seen you be out there more…
Well, the thing that kind of put me out there was the funding stuff… I think that’s what we’re getting to.
So a year ago I published this thing about Sentry’s funding of open source software, which had always been there, but was kind of disorganized.. And so a year ago is when we really got it organized and put together a right proper program around funding open source. So that was a year ago, and then last year – excuse me, last week, we just announced the second go around to that. So Sentry’s committed, and we’re doing it again. Last year we did 155k, this year we did 260k… We’re kind of tracking our growth as a company… So yeah, man, having fun.
It’s great. So funding is a big part of it. But at Sentry, our whole product is open, so a lot of what I’m working on now is helping our engineering culture scale to still have those conversations on GitHub, still have those discussions… Because when you’ve got 100+ engineers it’s really about helping Sentry engage with our user base, with the open source community, with the developer community on those open source channels, primarily Gitip. Excuse me, listen to me ‘Gitip’. Primarily GitHub… You know what I’m saying.
Well you know, when you say ‘Git’ you think ‘tip’, you know what I’m saying? I don’t blame you…
[45:57] But shout-out to Charly Changaco who is still running Liberapay. Do you guys remember this? Forked Gratipay… When Gratipay went down he forked it, like the business and the code… Because it was an open company, right? So he forked it, and is still running with it. Liberapay. So it’s still out there. You can still fund some free software folks on Liberapay, keeping the dream alive…
That’s cool… Liberapay. I didn’t know that.
But when you’re talking about the Sentry stuff, you talk about it from a numbers perspective so far. How do you talk about it from an impact level? I know you talked about community and engagement, but how do you get specific with the impact of dollars in open source?
Yeah, on the funding side and the impact.
I know that’s been a big issue for you your whole career…
…so how do you quantify it there?
Yeah. So I think with Sentry specifically – you know, we’re trying to do breadth and depth. We’re trying to give some folks a really significant amount of money. $5,000, $10,000 $20,000… And then we’re also trying to go broad, let’s say… We pull our employees and say, “Hey, what are the projects you like?” We try and give at least a little something to everybody, you know what I mean? To try and grow it from both sides.
But really, when we look at – like, a lot of people say impact in funding, and there’s this idea in open source funding that it’s like “Well…”
No, what I want to say is like the strings attached, right? It’s like “So I’m gonna give this money, and then what are you going to do with it? I’m gonna follow up and – what, did you do more pull requests? What was the impact?”
I see, yeah.
And the way we think about it, the way I think about it is like, look, I already got value from you…
Here’s a free gift right back.
Yeah. Because you gave me the free gift. We spent this past year building on –
That’s a good point…
I was talking to Josh, he came up to me from TypeScript ESLint, right? It’s like, we’ve been getting value out of TypeScript ESLint all year, and this is giving back for that value that we received. So he asked me “What can we do to thank you?”, or whatever. It’s like, just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s no strings attached; keep doing it. And if we stop using your stuff, then we’ll stop paying you.
I appreciate that perspective, because it’s very much more on the just appreciation side than it is on any sort of quid pro quo, or any weirdness that goes on. It’s like “No, this is for you. I already got my value…”
Because it can get weird, right?
Like, if you bring money in… And some folks don’t want the money, and that’s fine… You know, going back to this idea of open source community and the different ways to slice it… Like, I do you think of the open source community having a commercial aspect, and having a community aspect, and a community-supported aspect, right? Some folks don’t want any money; that’s fine. Some folks like Sentry - we think of ourselves as building open source software. We’re doing it commercially, right? But then there’s this community-supported part of the open source community. So I think of it as one community, with these different aspects to it. And Sentry - we see ourselves as part of the community, and so we’re trying to take care of that community-supported, that part that’s depending on that. Do right by the community, you know?
How do you determine numbers?
Since you run the Ospel… Not Ospel.
I don’t know why I was talking about gospel… [laughs] So you run OSPO, right? How do you interface with the business side of Sentry? Now, of course, developers started the organization, so it’s a little easier, but not all OSPOs will have the luxury you have, in a dev-oriented organization, right?
I’m so lucky…
But how do you say “Give us this much money to put back?” How do you quantify dollars? Is there some sort of like 10%…? How do you think about it?
So again, I’m super-lucky, because David Cramer and Chris Jennings, the founders of the company are all-in on open source, so they’re setting that tone from the top. And Sentry - again, open source is a core part of our company identity. It’s where we locate ourselves. We’re a commercial open source company; we think of ourselves as an open source company. Okay. That said, I actually did some napkin math towards the end of Gratipay, Gitip… And I tried to think about it from a first principles approach… What is fair, right? There’s all this talk about fairness, and companies making all this money off the backs of open source labor… It’s like, alright, so timeout; let’s have the conversation. What is fair? What would be an amount that you saw a company giving, and you as part of the community side of open source, community support side, would be like “Yeah, alright. That’s cool. That’s fair.”
The number I came up with at the time, that Sentry has picked up with, is $2,000 per year, per developer employed at Sentry. Let me unpack that. That was a lot right there, right?
Yeah. So $2,000 a year… And the thinking is – alright, how do we value this? There’s a few different ways to value it. Here’s how we’re gonna think about it. What we’re doing is making our developers more productive. Because if that open source software didn’t exist, what would we have to do?
Write it yourself.
Write it ourselves, right? Or pay somebody else for it.
So kind of – and you know, maybe put some links somewhere if this goes anywhere… But like, yeah, that’s what we ended up with. It was like looking globally, making a bunch of assumptions, what’s the amount that our developers –what’s the amount by which their productivity is increased because of the open source software that they have available? And the number we came up with was $2,000 a year. That that’s the increase in their productivity.
Now, you can argue that, you can differ, but the point is, let’s have that conversation to say, first principles, like what is fair? So let’s start from that. And so we did 155k last year… So last year was like “Alright, we’ve got 75 devs. We’ve got 2000 bucks a pop. 150k is our budget.” Now we figure out how to spend it as a separate thing. And so this year - we set the budget a while ago, but yeah, we put it at 260k, so it’s roughly in line with our growth as a company. But it’s pegged to $2,000 per engineer on staff. Does that answer your question?
Yeah, it does. Because a lot of what’s happening with OSPOs is burgeoning. It’s new. So organizations are taking this more seriously, taking the principles of giving back to open source more seriously… And as you see more and more folks like you guys be examples to follow, you’ve gotta think “What’s the science? How do I determine my number? Is it per the money we make? Is it revenue? Is it a tithe? Is it 10%? How do we quantify the dollar amount…?” And I think it’s a good number, because you do base it on engineers… Obviously, I can’t think of one engineer who would develop anything and not use open source. So obviously, there’s a touch point there…
Yeah, it’s everywhere now, yeah.
So that’s a key metric, right?
To come up with something, right?
Yeah. And it’s something that somebody can adopt pretty easily. Okay, 2k… And maybe it’s like “Okay, we can’t do 2k, but we’ll do 1k. But we’ll base it on our engineers. We have 50 engineers, 1k each, it’s 50k dollars.”
Right. So that’s how we think about it. Again, different ways you could… You could do a percentage… 10% would be high, of – well, it depends on what you do it, but… So that’s how you set the budget side. And then there’s how you divvy it up, right? And what I like here is we’re getting better and better tools, right? You remember five years ago, six years ago when we were talking, like – GitHub Sponsors, did that even exist? Open Collective, barely… You know, Gitip, Gratipay was winding down, some others, Liberapay was coming up… Patreon was still pretty early days… But now we’ve got GitHub Sponsors, we’ve got Open Collective, and what I love now is these new platforms… Thanks.dev… So shout-out to Thanks.dev and to StackAid, two new platforms that we did pilots with for this year’s Sentry funding programs.
So we do our foundations, like direct payments to Python Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative… But then we use these four platforms to give out these donations to kind of the long tail, right? Anywhere from six, seven dollars for the year, down to like 100 bucks for the year, right? The long tail. Again, going back to that depth and that breadth. And what enables that is these platforms.
[54:00] So Open Collective and GitHub Sponsors are kind of that – I want to call it the first generation, and maybe Gitip was like the zero generation, or something. There’s even older ones, too, right? Pledgie. Shout out to Pledgie. Remember that one? They were integrated into GitHub.
They had a partnership with GitHub where they were like in the sidebar. You remember that?
Good old days…
Old school, right? Yeah…
Guess who else was integrated on the GitHub?
github.com/explore. Was it /explore or /trending?
Tell me the story.
The early days. Like, this is way way early days. So our RSS feed of our podcast was live – like, it would take the RSS, and turn to HTML, on /explore, in the sidebar.
GitHub. They changed, you know…
Microsoft bought em…
It was before Microsoft days, but…
No, it makes sense, but… Well, it was fun.
It was great while it lasted. It made sense.
That’s awesome, man. Well, here’s a fun little sidebar then… Last year we did our funding program, and then we did a follow-up, like virtual event with half a dozen maintainers, and it was hosted by myself and Jessica Lord - shout-out, Jessica - the PM for GitHub Sponsors, right?
And here’s the fun thing I’m trying to get to. Am I gonna tell the story? Yeah, Sentry’s creative director, founding creative director - he’s no longer there. Did great work. He came from GitHub, because Chris Jennings, one of our founders who came from GitHub, brought Cameron with him. And so Cameron invented the Octocat.
And then ended up at Sentry, did all the Sentry stuff; now has moved on. And so when we went to do this event together, we were like “Hey, GitHub, we want to do artwork that includes the Sentry character, and Mona, the Octocat, in one artwork.” And at first they were like “Yeah, no, we don’t do that.” And then we had some conversations, and long story short, you can go on – we’ll put the link in, or whatever… But yeah, that artwork made it out to the light of day.
So we’ve got a little Sentry/GitHub collab going on.
You know, just a moment… It’s not the feed, where it’s evergreen, but just like a little moment… And that stuff’s fun, right?
Yeah. We’ve done some collabs over the years with them. We had Jessica Lord on the show…
Yeah. I mean, really look –
As well as Devon Zuegel.
Oh yeah, sure.
We’ve done a show with Devon when Sponsors first launched, and then we did a show with Jessica when she took over…
I just think it’s so awesome to see – now it feels like status quo, right? Now it feels like GitHub Sponsors – which is awesome, right? It’s like, now we’ve got that baseline, and now what I’m seeing with thanks.dev, and with StackAid is like next-level, which is just what we need; we need to keep moving it forward, figure out how to make it easier for companies like Sentry. I’m doing a lot of gruntwork to make this work; the easier we can make it for companies… Like you said, find those simple – “Alright, here’s the simple story. Here’s the right amount. Here’s how you get it to the right dependencies…” The simpler we make it…
@hat I want to see is - I don’t want Sentry to be out front, like “Oh, good job, Sentry. You have this great program.” I want it to just be like “Of course. Everybody does this.” It has to be normal. That’s what we’re gonna really have that – this gets back to what you were asking about impact, and how we think about impact… Some of it is, yeah, the impact on the projects themselves right now. But look, let’s be honest; like $260,000 isn’t actually that much, you know what I’m saying? It’s a lot, but it’s not a lot. When you look at the Open SSF, that has like $5 million, like “Here you go”, right? The FAANGS and everybody, like Microsoft, they’re able to do these larger dollar amount things… But relative to the size of their company; that’s what we look at, and feel good about what we’re doing.
Have you ever thought about if more organizations that made sense now, like maybe really dev-focused organizations, took on this idea of 2k, 1k per –
Yeah, man, let’s do it. 1k, 2k…
I mean, in the sense that I started from that to get to the 2k, to be like “Well, here’s the value, and here’s the number of…” Again this is a few years ago I wrote this thing, but here’s the size of the tech industry worldwide, and here’s the 22 million software developers in the world, or whatever. And do that division. So from that point of view, starting there… But yeah, bottom up, every year we just need – like, Spotify just put out a program. Did you have them on? Did you talk to [unintelligible 00:58:39.09] from Spotify?
Not about that…
Yeah, so they did a thing… Even Chrome just did – well, GitHub did half a million earlier this year, and then Chrome did half a million for web frameworks…
44 billion. That’s how much it would be.
$22 million times 2k each?
If it was $2,000 times 22 million developers across the world… 44 billion dollars. I had to do the math, I’m sorry.
No, I appreciate you. I appreciate you. Think about it this way - the community-supported open source ecosystem/community, think of it as another sleeping tech giant. You’ve got how many tens of thousands working for Microsoft, for Meta now, I guess, Apple, Amazon… The open source community is like another tech giant, right? So look at how much revenue do those tech giants bring in, and use that as the benchmark for the value that the open source communities is bringing to the world. That’s a way to think about it.
Yeah, I guess it’s kind of good too to put that –
That’d be some impact, right?
You put that money back in the hands of the maintainers and the creators and whatnot…
Do you guys want something controversial? Mildly controversial?
Okay. There’s a discount… The flipside of this is there’s a tax. And it’s not the same for everybody. But when you average it out, there’s people that will work on open source software for a lot less than you would need to pay them to work on your proprietary software. So I think that factors into it, to be honest.
And this was me, because you remember when I was doing Gitip - I pronounced it that way for you guys.
Thank you. Thank you. I swear you said Gitip originally.
I’m sure I did, you’re right. I’m probably on tape with you saying Gitip. Yeah.
Yeah, I think so. We’ll go back.
We’ll go back. We’ll review the archives.
If we have it, we’re gonna put it here right now.
So we’re here today to talk about sustaining open source. Can you help us talk about that, Chad?
Oh, my heavens… Absolutely. Alright, so Chad Whitacre is my name, Gitip my game… Gitip.com is the website which primarily right now is being used by open source developers, and the companies that love them… And it’s a crowdfunding site where you can go and you can set up $1 a week, or $3 a week as a gift to someone whose work you love, and admire, and are inspired by.
Yeah, like, I was working for not very much money, really hard, on Gitip, because I loved it. Because of the intrinsic motivation, the passion, you know what I mean? And I think there’s something there. We don’t need to focus on that, but it’s like, yeah… What I think that means is that there’s a way to make this work. Let’s bring it back around of this - I think that we can actually get to the dream. And the dream is for - again, going back to that idea of there’s an open source community, there’s a commercial open suicide, there’s a side that doesn’t want any money at all, but then there’s that community-supported portion… We can make it work; we can make sure that those folks in the community-supported open source part of open source, that they get what they need, you know what I mean? That they get their - is it $70,000, $80,000, $100,000 a year, enough for the health insurance… You know what I mean?
[01:02:10.01] That’s what we’re trying to get to, is the careers, right? To be like - kid coming out of school is like “I see a viable option.” Jessica talks about this, from GitHub. Like, “I see a viable option to go into open source as a career on that community-supported level.” I think we can get there. Maybe not next year, but if we keep chipping away and it’ll tip. We’ve got to hit that tipping point.
And it’s predicated on the fact that your organization uses that open source. So you said if you stopped using X…
You just move your budget somewhere else.
And it’s not because you don’t value their work anymore, it’s because you literally don’t use their work anymore.
Yeah. Which basically is not valuing their work anymore, but not in the sense of like a personal thing.
Yeah, exactly. That’s what I mean by that. The work is still valued, but you’re not using ut anymore. So organizationally, you’re not valuing it, so therefore the dollars you put into the OSPO funding bucket, whatever it’s called, now gets allocated to the products you are using.
It goes somewhere else. Exactly.
…so that if you have users, you should have funding.
Yeah. I mean, jQuery. Somebody’s still using jQuery…
A lot of people are using jQuery.
Something like 83% of websites, a couple years ago…
That’s fine, man. There’s different parts of the tech curve… Yeah, I think we can figure it out. There’s still a lot of work to do. I appreciate you guys helping with the story.
To the road ahead. I’m glad to have you back on to explain it, because… Seriously, we missed you.
Yeah. Thanks, man. I missed you guys, too.
I saw you pop up 9 months, 12 months ago, and I was like “Whoa! There’s Chad, working at Sentry.”
And by the way, you all probably know this, Sentry is one of our sponsors. We love them. But I was like “Wow, there’s Chad, working at Sentry. That’s awesome.” And we love Sentry, and we use Sentry, and it’s amazing.
Thank you. We appreciate you guys too, man.
Good to see you, Chad.
Love you guys.
Love you, too.
Wrapping it up?
You guys are making my whole year doing this…
You’re making our year by saying that…
I’m being so genuine, you guys just absolutely kill podcasting.
Thank you man. We aim to please, so we’re here at All Things Open… We’ve got Ricardo…
Ricardo, yeah, that’s right. Ricardo.
How you say your last name, Ricardo?
Sueiras. It’s a Spanish name, but it’s actually from Galicia. When I go to Portugal, they get excited, because they think it’s a Portuguese name… But it’s actually Spanish. So… Sueiras.
Not a very common name.
No, I’ve seen that one before.
So open source, AWS… What do you do? Tell us.
Hi, everyone. Well, listen, first of all, I just want to say a massive thank you for inviting me on here. It’s a real dream come true for me.
We love having listeners on. Having listeners on the show is the best.
[01:06:12.17] Yeah, exactly. So what I do is I’ve been working in open source for over 20 years, and more recently I joined AWS as a developer advocate. And so what I try and do is I try and kind of act as the voice of the open source developers internally, and I hope - I try - to make AWS the best place to run open source technology. So a lot of the time I spend speaking with builders - we call builders people that actually do the hands-on stuff. So that could be a maintainer, it could be someone just doing some documentation for a project… Or actually just running it, and then really excited about how they’ve run it in a specific way, and want to share that with everyone. So I do a weekly newsletter, and I do a bi-weekly Twitch show where we try and get some of that energy out, so more people can know about these open source projects.
Is this all internal?
No, it’s external. So the Twitch session is external, the newsletter is external… And I try and feature the projects that people create. And they fit in lots of different categories, but a lot of them are developer experience. So AWS is a great tool for building stuff on, but sometimes people want to make things simpler, so they build an open source project that solves a lot of problems, right? And so I see a lot of that. I see a lot of these really cool projects that then people love using.
A good one from a guy out of Australia, Ian McKay - he created this open source tool called Former2. And that allows you to, from your console, reverse-engineer CloudFormation scripts through a GUI tool.
Yeah. So it’s tools like that, that every week – I’m amazed, right? Because I do a weekly newsletter, and I feature these in my weekly newsletter, and I’m always blown away by the creativity, the passion that these people have.
Well, you do what we do, basically, but you do it for AWS. We do it for open source at large. Or I guess software at large, right? But there is no [unintelligible 01:08:02.27] on digging.
You can do it and put it out there.
And actually, that’s why I love your podcast, because every every week I get to know about a new different open source project, or an insight that I didn’t know about before. And it’s not always just about the project, right? What I learned from you guys is the stuff around actually how you build the project, the inner workings of it, the things that you don’t necessarily think… But when I speak to customers, they want to know how this stuff works. And increasingly, I’m quoting stuff from your podcast.
That’s awesome. That’s the way to do it, Jerod. What do you think?
That’s a lot of pressure. I’m gonna have to start saying quote-worthy stuff more often.
[laughs] Oh, yeah. Well, you know…
You win some, you lose some… [laughs] Quote me on that.
But I’ve got a question for you. So you’ve been doing it for a long, long time, and every week you keep the energy, you’re just as enthusiastic. How do you do it? What is it that makes you kind of like get up and think, “Yeah, we’re doing another Changelog”?
I got it, man…
You’ve gotta love the game.
If you love the game, it’s easy.
That’s cliché to say, but if you do love the game, even if you get tired a little bit, you can still kind of show up for the most part. But if you love the game, you kind of come at it, and you enjoy it, and you find, like you do, with new passions, you see what people are making, and their energy gives you energy… The world of software’s just like always, always changing, so like every single year, it’s kind of the same, but kind of different. It’s the same in the fact that it’s technology, and it’s movement, it’s innovation… But what’s gonna be big this year? Generative AI? Web 3? Well, maybe not… [laughter]
Web 5 now. Web 5.
It’s like, you know, platforms, NoOps… NoOps required… A lot of things like that. Automation happening… So every year, every six months, it’s always something new, always something changing… So that sort of like constant change kind of keeps me going, personally.
Yeah, I would say mostly it’s the people… How can you not get excited to talk somebody who’s wicked smart, and like passionate, and driven, and interesting person who’s doing something in the world…? It’s hard not to be excited about that each and every week. Of course, sometimes, some days are easier to do it than other days, and some days we’re like – especially a week where we’re doing like JS Party, and maybe we’re doing a Backstage, and it’s like “How many podcasts can I record this week?” And by Friday, we’re kind of like –
And then ship.
Yeah, and then ship as well.
But it’s hard, because the thing is – I mean, I’ve been doing my weekly stuff two and a half years, and I know how hard it is sometimes just to get up and just go through it. But you’ve been doing it for more than two years, so… That takes something, right?
13+ years… And what I like as well is I like how you interject within the people you have and the stories you tell the stuff you’re doing with your own sites, right? You say “Oh yeah, we’re doing it this way, and we’ve tried this, and we’ve tried that way, and we’ve found this work… So what should we do?” I think that’s the key to a good podcast, is asking the right questions. You just know how to do it, and I think it’s because you’re practitioners; you do this stuff, right?
That’s exactly the thing. One of the things that – my fears as a podcaster about software is that I will turn into a guy who only asks questions, and not a guy who actually does stuff. So we build software, we’re developing things, and we can actually call to mind things that we were doing earlier that day, or that week, or challenges we’re having… And you can’t really fake that.
And so if we quit writing code, and we quit building stuff, and we just talk to people - well, you lose a bit of your edge. I’ve found that in university - a lot of the lot of the teachers there lost their edge. My best professor when I was in school was the guy who was adjunct, and he taught databases at night, because he was out there in the field, building databases all day; he couldn’t teach during the day, because he was doing databases… And then he came and taught us. And I was like “This guy knows his stuff.” Versus the guy who theorizes, and is smart, and eloquent, but doesn’t actually build databases all day… He was my best teacher, and so I was like “Okay, there’s something to this. We need people who are out there doing this stuff, talking about this stuff.” It’s so much more beneficial.
Yeah, that’s a good point.
In the trenches.
Yeah, in the trenches, for sure.
Yeah. But it’s hard though, because a lot of people – but that’s a good example, because I know in my past, when I was doing training courses… I didn’t do many of them, but the difference between a good one and a bad one was one that just basically went through the process, and the other one, when you ask questions… Because yeah, I do training three days a week, but two days I’m doing consulting, or actually doing this stuff… And then you actually bring back some of that work into the training, right? So it makes everything real and relevant.
And actually, I’m doing a lot of stuff with students at the moment, because I’m very passionate about education. I used to do a side hustle running a school… Not technology though, just as mainstream school.
Because I kind of like trying to – in the UK it’s very hard for a group of kids to… They kind of fall through the gaps, and they end up nowhere. So my school was for that kind of group of kids that kind of fell through the gaps. But they were lovely kids, right? They just needed a bit more support that normal school can give you. And one of the things I’m doing with students is teaching them open source.
Because I speak to customers, and they have a very wide knowledge of our open source, but there’s few that do it really well and know their stuff. The vast majority are in the middle somewhere. But too many just don’t know anything. So what we’re trying to do is go in and teach kids, students, age 18 and over, trying to give them some of the important, baseline… And also starting from the history, starting from the past - what is copyright? Where did open source come from? What is the Free Software Foundation? So that they don’t end up in a situation where they’re making poor choices, right?
Because you see that a lot. I sometimes see projects, and they make some schoolboy errors when it comes to their licensing, or how they think about community, and all this kind of stuff… So that education thing is really important to me at the moment, so I’m spending a lot of time with that. And even though I’m doing that and then AWS, I don’t really touch about as AWS as much as more generic open source. But it’s cool. It’s really cool.
Very cool. So tell us real quick, as we close up, tell us your newsletter, the Twitch stream… How can people connect with that stuff?
Yeah, so I’m on dev.to under the AWS… Unfortunately, I don’t have a very friendly URL I can share with you, but if you just google “AWS open source”, you should find the newsletter. The show we do every other week - it’s on Fridays, and it’s twitch.tv.aws. I’d love to see some of the Changelog family come along and check it out.
Yeah, for sure. For sure.
And again, thank you a lot, guys. This has really made my week.
We appreciate it.
We were happy to talk to you, Ricardo. So thank you for talking to us.
Oh my God, that is just – mind blown.
Is that it? High five, dude…
Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚