Infrastructure Wars with Sheng Liang

Sheng Liang was the lead developer on the original Java Virtual Machine. Today he works as the CEO of Rancher Labs, a company building a platform on top of Kubernetes. Sheng joins the show to discuss his experiences in the technology industry.

The container orchestration wars had many victims. The competing standards for how an enterprise should manage its numerous containers caused several companies to go down a path where they were building infrastructure which eventually had to be replaced.

As Sheng discusses in today’s episode, the container orchestration wars almost killed his company. Rancher was originally built on top of a different container orchestrator, and the migration to Kubernetes required a massive rewrite of the Rancher platform.

The container orchestration wars were not the first technology battle that Sheng has seen in his career–and it won’t be his last. In today’s show, we discuss the nature of technology wars. Are they necessary? How can a software company minimize the damage caused by a war between competing standards?

Sheng was an excellent guest and we didn’t cover nearly as many subjects as I wanted to, so we will have to do another show in the future!

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Transcript

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