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Envoy: an end user driven success story

Learnings from building the Envoy proxy community.

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Envoy: an end user driven success story

  1. 1. Envoy: An End User Driven Open Source Success Story Matt Klein: @mattklein123
  2. 2. What is Envoy? The network should be transparent to applications. When network and application problems do occur, it should be easy to determine the source of the problem.
  3. 3. Who am I? ● ~20 years of operating systems, virtualization, distributed systems, and networking across many companies ● Primarily closed source software development - minimal OSS experience prior to Envoy ● Envoy: winning the OSS lottery on the first shot! ● Lots of learning about OSS along the way...
  4. 4. Let’s do some OSS! We'll get together, have a few laughs, and do some OSS...
  5. 5. History 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
  6. 6. Envoy adoption
  7. 7. Why has Envoy become popular? ● Performance ● Reliability ● Modern codebase ● Extensibility ● Best-in-class operability ● Configuration API ● Community
  8. 8. Why are we doing OSS? Let’s be honest ● Everyone involved has different motivations - let’s be honest about them from the start to avoid heartache later ● Doing OSS well is no different from starting a company, and doing it poorly can be a net negative on your org ● Assuming “winning” is the goal, non-tech factors weigh very heavily
  9. 9. Be nice ● No really ● I mean it ● There is no single thing that has a bigger impact on community growth ● GitHub interactions, mailing lists, encouraging new contributors and maintainers, etc.
  10. 10. Website and documentation ● This is the first thing potential users will see ● Do not underestimate “first impression” impact, regardless of underlying tech ● Logo, grammar, spelling, polish, examples, comparison to similar systems, etc.
  11. 11. Do things in the open ● Seems obvious, yet is ignored time and time again ● Track issues/proposals in public ● Fix issues and build features in public ● Run all tests in public ● Do not “reverse merge” from private to public
  12. 12. PR / marketing ● It’s easy to make fun of Twitter, but it matters ● Same for blogs ● Same for meetups and conferences ● These are methods that build buzz, and the effects amplify over time
  13. 13. Envoy business model (or lack thereof) ● No premium version ● Technology first decisions ● Build an ecosystem that allows differentiated success on top ● But: funding can be complicated ● But: management can be complicated
  14. 14. Managing burnout and expectations ● A very successful OSS project Is no different from an early stage startup that blows up ● Scaling contributors and maintainers only way to survive (see: being nice) ● Maintainer burnout is a real problem in modern OSS with no easy answers (especially in the face of conflicting expectations with employers)
  15. 15. Why Envoy + Q&A ● Quality + velocity + operability ● Extensibility ● API driven ● No “open core” / paid premium version. It’s all there ● Community, community, community

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