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Author: Eric Anderson

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The origin story behind the best open source projects and communities.
85 Episodes
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Eyal Solomon (@EyalSolomo44643) is the CEO and co-founder of Lunar, an open-source platform which bills itself as the “first reverse API gateway.” Lunar allows engineering teams to monitor, manage, and optimize API consumption. According to Eyal, it’s very easy to integrate with APIs, but difficult to keep them maintained, and there was a clear need for a generic solution to control and scale every API consumed in production.  Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: How most companies think their API maintenance is a unique problem The importance of managing API consumption in the face of the AI revolution Why Eyal and his team decided to open-source Lunar Future plans for Lunar, including the development of autonomous optimization and pre-built flows Eyal’s thoughts on how to start conversations with potential enterprise clients Links: Lunar People mentioned: Roy Gabbay (LinkedIn)
Shirshanka Das (@shirshanka) is the CTO of Acryl Data and founder of DataHub, which bills itself as the #1 open-source metadata platform. It enables data discovery, data observability and federated governance to help tame complex data ecosystems. Shirshanka first developed DataHub while at LinkedIn, but has grown it into an independent project with a thriving community. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: How DataHub differs from traditional data catalogs Themes around why community members get involved and stick with the project Partnering with Netflix to develop runtime metadata model extensibility The influence of the pandemic on DataHub’s open-sourcing Dealing with the future of a project with big community and unlimited scope Links: DataHub The History of DataHub
After his first child was born, Matt Wonlaw (@tantaman) imagined giving his son life advice. What kind of life did he want his kid to lead? At the time, he was working for Facebook, and he decided that his own life needed a change in direction. So Matt started vlcn, aka Vulcan Labs, a research company that develops open-source projects like CR-SQLite and Materialite. vlcn has an unusual business model – Matt receives donations and sponsorships from users and clients. It’s all part of his mission to rethink the modern data stack for writing rich and complex applications. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: One reason that software is still too hard to write: Object orientations How CR-SQLite allows databases to be merged together and Materialite provides Incremental View Maintenance for JavaScript Why coding directly to relations can provide a more flexible and efficient approach to building applications Matt’s decision to build vlcn as a research lab rather than as a startup Thoughts for the future on PGLite Links: vlcn (Vulcan Labs) CR-SQLite Materialite fly.io PGLite People mentioned: Johannes Schickling (@schickling)
Amplication is an open-source development platform for scalable and secure Node.js applications. It allows engineers to skip writing boilerplate code and offers the flexibility to customize and add components. Amplification was created by Yuval Hazaz (@Yuvalhazaz1), a veteran developer who determined that low-code platforms save time but restrict freedom. Instead, Amplication uses code generation to reliably and consistently build robust production‑ready backend services. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: Yuval’s “secret sauce” for building an open-source community How platform engineers can use Amplication for company-wide standardization A baseline organic growth rate for open-source projects The role of generative AI in code modernization Links: Amplication
OpenBB is an open-source investment research platform created by Didier Lopes (@didier_lopes). OpenBB grew out of a project called Gamestonk Terminal that Didier began working on shortly before the Gamestop short squeeze in January 2021. Today, OpenBB has evolved into an infrastructure platform that allows users to build extensions and access financial data with automation and customization. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: What Vice Media got wrong about OpenBB Some major contributors to the project and the features or directions that they proposed How a machine learning engineer from Bloomberg reached out about OpenBB Different types of OpenBB users – students, retail investors, and other financial professionals OpenBB’s exciting AI roadmap Links: OpenBB People mentioned: James Maslek (@jmaslek11 Artem Veremey (@artemvv)
OpenTelemetry is an open-source observability framework for collecting and managing telemetry data. OpenTelemetry has been more successful than expected, becoming the second fastest growing project in the CNCF. It allows for flexibility and avoids vendor lock-in, making it attractive to startups and large enterprises alike. On today’s show, Eric (@ericmander) sits down with Austin Parker (@austinlparker), director of open-source at Honeycomb. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: How Austin’s interest in complex systems led him to the observability field and developer relations An X argument that contributed to the merger of OpenTelemetry and OpenCensus Why foundations help maintainers to strike a balance with their contributors Austin’s opinion on the secret to OpenTelemetry’s success Links: OpenTelemetry Honeycomb People mentioned: Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy) Christine Yen (@cyen)
OPAL is an open-source administration layer for Policy Engines such as Open Policy Agent (OPA). OPAL provides the necessary infrastructure to load policy and data into multiple policy engines, ensuring they have the information they need to make decisions. Today, we’re talking to Or Weis (@OrWeis), co-creator of OPAL and co-founder of Permit, the end-to-end authorization platform that envisions a world where developers never have to build permissions again.  Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: History of Permit and OPAL The benefits of an open-foundation model rather than open-core RBAC vs ABAC vs ReBAC Why developers would prefer to not have to deal with authorization Or’s own podcast, Command+Shift+Left Links: OPAL Permit Command+Shift+Left Terraform People mentioned: Asaf Cohen (@asafchn) Filip Grebowski (@developerfilip) Other episodes: Open Policy Agent with Torin Sandall Community Driven IaC: OpenTofu with Kuba Martin
FerretDB enables users to run MongoDB applications on existing Postgres infrastructure. Peter Farkas (@FarkasP), co-founder and CEO of FerretDB, explains the need for an open source interface for document databases. Peter also discusses the licensing change of MongoDB and the uncertainty it created for users. He emphasizes the importance of open standards and collaboration among MongoDB alternatives to provide users with choice and interoperability.  Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: The epic mountain adventure that inspired FerretDB Why commercial open-source can be additive rather than extractive How compatibility and open standards drives innovation and competition PDFs as an example of corporation-supported standards Three tenets for building a successful open source project Links: FerretDB Percona People: Peter Zaitsev (@PeterZaitsev)
Ben Johnson (@benbjohnson) is the creator of Litestream and LiteFS, two open-source disaster recovery solution for SQLite. Litestream is designed to provide continuous backups for SQLite databases by streaming incremental changes, allowing for easy data recovery in the event of a server crash. LiteFS, on the other hand, is built on LiteStream but uses transactional control to focus on replication and high availability. Join us as Ben discusses the challenges and trade-offs of open source contributions and the future of databases. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: The history of how Ben got involved in SQLite development out of “spite” How Litestream “works on a fluke” Different use cases for Litestream vs LiteFS Why fully open contributions isn’t always Ben’s style The greater server-side SQLite landscape Links: Litestream LiteFS Fly.io BoltDB  People mentioned: Philip O’Toole (@general_order24) Other episodes: The Social Miracle: rqlite with Philip O’Toole The Big Fork: libSQL with Glauber Costa
Tonic is a native gRPC implementation in Rust that allows users to easily build gRPC servers and clients without extensive async experience. Tonic is part of the Tokio stack, which is a library that provides an asynchronous runtime for Rust and more tools to write async applications. Today, Lucio Franco (@lucio_d_franco) of Turso joins the podcast to discuss his unique experience maintaining Tonic and contributing to the asynchronous Rust ecosystem. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: The challenges of async Rust and ways the community has addressed them Lucio’s plan on how to get a job in distributed databases How the Tokio team avoided power dynamics Problems around working on open-source in the corporate world Why Lucio encouraged a collaborator to go on without him  Links: Tonic Tokio Turso Tower People: Carl Lerche (@carllerche) Other episodes: The Big Fork: libSQL with Glauber Costa
rqlite is a lightweight, distributed relational database built on Raft and SQLite. Founder Philip O’Toole (@general_order24) decided to combine these technologies while working at a startup years ago. The startup no longer exists, but rqlite is going strong. Today, Philip is an engineering manager at Google, while he continues to be the driving force behind the open development of rqlite. Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: The biggest misconceptions about how rqlite differs from SQLite Why writing databases is more interesting than new programmers might think The tradeoff between a large community versus smaller, more focused leadership Reasons why open-source development progresses in bursts of energy How to really pronounce “rqlite” Links: rqlite InfluxData dqlite Litestream libSQL Turso OpenTelemetry People: Ben Johnson (@benbjohnson) Other episodes: libSQL with Glauber Costa
Kuba Martin (@cube2222_2) is Software Engineering Team Lead at Spacelift and Interim Tech Lead of OpenTofu, the open-source fork of Terraform. Terraform is a declarative infrastructure-as-code (IaC) tool that recently switched to a source-available license. Spacelift and other companies that heavily relied on Terraform came together to fork it into a community-driven project originally called OpenTF, which has now become OpenTofu and is governed by the Linux Foundation.  Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: Two kinds of forks How OpenTofu handled the opportunity to rethink their licensing and copyright Finding hundreds of pledges to the OpenTF Manifesto The benefits of a technical steering committee Recreating the community registry Links: OpenTofu Spacelift Terraform Gruntwork Harness env0 Scalr
Ry Walker (@rywalker) is the founder and CEO of Tembo, the Postgres developer platform for building any and every data service. To Ry, the full capabilities of Postgres appear underappreciated and underused for most users. Tembo is an attempt to harness the large ecosystem of Postgres extensions, and ultimately collapse the database sprawl of the modern data stack.  Contributor is looking for a community manager! If you want to know more, shoot us an email at eric@scalevp.com. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications! In this episode we discuss: Taking the “red pill” of using Postgres for everything Providing universal support for Postgres extensions Why Ry dislikes the current state of the modern data stack How databases across the board have mostly changed into application platforms What makes Tembo “Startup Mt. Everest” Links: Tembo OSSRank Citus Data Modal Supabase Wrappers People mentioned: Erik Bernhardsson (@bernhardsson) Other episodes: Clickhouse with Alexey Milovidov and Ivan Blinkov
Jan Oberhauser (@JanOberhauser) is the founder and CEO of n8n, the free and source-available workflow automation tool for technical users. n8n's flexible architecture allows users to avoid the limitations of other automation tools, while also opening doors for complex automation scenarios. The project has garnered over 30,000 GitHub stars and a thriving community of 55,000+ members. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: How Jan’s background in film effects laid the groundwork for n8n Why n8n uses a forum over Discord or Slack for a community platform Use cases from scheduling fitness classes to upgrading financial mainframes How n8n might stack up against the well-thought out Python script Why n8n uses a fair-code license rather than open-source Links: n8n n8n Community Other episodes: Temporal with Maxim Fateev From Orchestration to Building Applications: Conductor with Jeu George Rethinking the Workflow Problem: Windmill with Ruben Fiszel
Glauber Costa (@glcst) is the founder of Turso and the co-creator of libSQL, an open source, open contribution fork of the database engine library, SQLite. Most people believe that SQLite is open-source software, but it actually exists in the public domain and doesn’t accept external contributions. With their big fork, Glauber and his team have set out to evolve SQLite into a modern database with support for distributed data, an asynchronous interface, compatibility with WASM and Linux, and more. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: Community reactions to forking SQLite How Glauber was spoiled by starting his career developing for Linux The controversial decision to launch libSQL without writing a single line of code The plan for incorporating upstream changes from SQLite Examples of how application developers need to move code “to the edge” Links: libSQL SQLite Turso LiteFS Litestream rqlite VLCN People mentioned: Avi Kivity (@AviKivity) Dor Laor (@DorLaor) Ben Johnson (@benbjohnson) Phillip O’Toole (@general_order24) Matt Tantaman (@tantaman) Other episodes: Scylla with Dor Laor  Apache Cassandra with Patrick McFadin
Ruben Fiszel (@rubenfiszel) is the creator of Windmill, the open-source developer platform that lets users easily turn scripts into workflows and internal apps with auto-generated UIs. Windmill doesn’t force engineers to change their coding style or adopt a convoluted API, and its low-code design makes it accessible to non-technical users. Tune in to find out how Windmill offers speed, performance and flexibility, while avoiding the limitations of rigid tools. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: Why many engineers try to reinvent the wheel when it comes to workflow engines When Ruben first saw the need for a platform like Windmill while working at Palantir “Today is the nicest period to build open-source…” Ruben’s incredible presence with support and bug fixes Windmill’s generous open-source offerings and the future of the business Links: Windmill Retool Tokio Apache Airflow Apache Spark Other episodes: Prefect with Jeremiah Lowin Dagster with Nick Schrock Temporal with Maxim Fateev Temporal (Part 2) with Maxim Fateev and Dominik Tornow Apache Cassandra with Patrick McFadin
Jesse Clark (@jn2clark) is a co-founder of Marqo, the end-to-end, multimodal vector search engine. Vector search has exploded along with the rise of generative AI models, so Marqo’s arrival has had excellent timing. The project has quickly grown to almost 3000 GitHub stars, despite being less than a year old. Jesse and his team weren’t exactly expecting this level of immediate success, but they are well-positioned to continue developing Marqo as a fixture in the worlds of information retrieval and machine learning.  Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: Jesse’s journey from physics research, to Stitch Fix, Amazon, and finally starting Marqo Industry vs academia in the cutting edge of machine learning Why “almost any organization in the world would benefit from Marqo” Talking about machine learning language - tensors, vectors, embeddings How Jesse deals with the stress of knowing how fast the AI space is innovating Links: Marqo People mentioned: Katrina Lake (@kmlake) Eric Colson (@ericcolson)
Jeu George (@jeugeorge) is the co-creator of Conductor, the open-source application building platform. Conductor began as a workflow orchestrator and was originally developed at Netflix. Jeu also co-founded Orkes, a company which offers a cloud product based on Conductor. Tune in to find out how Conductor has evolved into an open-source, battle-tested distributed application platform. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: The core tenets of building Conductor - reliability, language and cloud agnosticism How Conductor enables teams to share and manage their custom modules The role of Conductor in Netflix’s switch from licensed to original content Jeu’s journey from Netflix, to Uber, and finally to Orkes How Orkes is focusing on integrations and AI orchestration moving forward Links: Conductor Orkes People mentioned: Viren Baraiya (@virenbaraiya) Boney Sekh (@boneyorkes) Dilip Lukose (@diliplukose)
Advait Ruia (@Advait_Ruia) is the co-founder of SuperTokens, the open-source user authentication and authorization framework. SuperTokens integrates natively into both your front-end client and your backend endpoint. This approach gives developers more control over the user experience and allows for custom workflows. Tune in to find out why SuperTokens aims to be the best of both the build and the buy argument for authentication solutions. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: How SuperTokens evolved from a blog post on session management into a full-fledged infrastructure company Why there is increasing demand for authentication providers Do founders need to be in the Bay Area? Advait’s advice for building community and providing support Areas where SuperTokens could use outside contributions Links: SuperTokens SuperTokens Product Roadmap People mentioned: Rishabh Poddar (@rishpoddar) Other episodes: Hasura with Tanmai Gopal
Loris Degioanni (@lorisdegio) joins Eric Anderson (@ericmander) to chat about Falco, the open-source runtime security tool for modern cloud infrastructures. Loris is the founder and CTO of Sysdig, and co-creator of Wireshark, the legendary open-source packet analysis tool. Today, Loris talks about all these projects and more - tune in to learn about some deep history and Loris’ predictions for the future. Subscribe to Contributor on Substack for email notifications, and join our Slack community! In this episode we discuss: How Loris began working with Gerald Combs as a student in Italy Why Loris’ teams name their products after animals The new non-profit Wireshark Foundation Parallel development of cloud technology and containers during Loris’ career The little things that make open-source projects go viral Links: Falco Sysdig Wireshark People mentioned: Solomon Hykes (@solomonhykes)
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