Interview With Gabriel Monroy

25 Jun 2015

Hello! Welcome to the new blog. My name is Noah Slater, and I’m your friendly neighbourhood blog editor. To get things started, I’m going to chat with Gabriel Monroy, creator and current Benevolent Dictator of the Deis project.

Gabriel, why don’t you introduce yourself?

I’m Gabriel Monroy, the CTO at Engine Yard and the guy who started Deis back in 2013. I live and work in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, but I spend a lot of my time in San Francisco, New York City, and at tech conferences around the country. I love airplane wifi.

Okay, first things first… How do you pronounce Deis?

It’s pronounced DAY-iss but I’ve heard about every pronunciation you can think of. Some of the more common ones are "dice" and “DEE-iss”, which make me cringe a bit. But at this point I’ve given up on trying to correct people—I’m just happy they’re using it!

Engine Yard recently acquired OpDemand. As an Engine Yard employee, I think the whole thing is very exciting. How do you feel about it?

It’s thrilling but also very humbling. Engine Yard has been doing PaaS since 2006. They’ve helped scale some of the largest web properties on the Internet. The amount of domain expertise here is so impressive. I can’t think of a better company to join forces with.

What does all this mean for the Deis community?

It means the Deis project is getting a massive boost. Given the number of folks who rely on Deis to run their production applications, it was really important to me that we partner with someone who shares our deep commitment to open source. We’ve done that.

However, the Deis community needs to judge us by our actions. If you look at the hires we’ve made, the announcements we’re about to make, and the introduction of the open roadmap and planning process, you can see how serious we are about open source.

How are you finding it as CTO of Engine Yard now? Can you share any plans?

I don’t get as much time to hack on open source. I miss that. Though it’s probably for the best, since I was never a great coder anyway, and the Deis core team is amazing! I do get to spend a lot of time with customers and large-scale Deis users. That part I really love.

With regard to plans, we have some truly next-level stuff in the works but I don’t want to share too much. Suffice to say, we are just getting started.

What are you most excited about at this point?

I’m excited about the next 3 years.

The whole "container" movement is less about containers themselves and more about the type of distributed applications they facilitate. I think we’re going to see a big shift in the way software teams write applications—not just the trendy companies in Silicon Valley, but the more conservative software teams around the US and the rest of the world.

I’m excited to help those companies succeed in this new world of distributed applications.

Do you have your eye on any cool OSS projects at the moment?

I’ve really fallen in love with Kubernetes over the last few months. The Google container team is doing fantastic work. I’m also keeping a close eye on unikernel development. I think projects like MirageOS and Clive are really onto something.

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