When I heard that the founders of Docker were building an amazing team to take another spin to the whole CI/CD space I was intrigued.
You see, CI/CD for me was this space where I had just “settled in” and decided it was supposed to suck. I was supposed to just deal with it, adapt to whatever was built, fix whatever issue I was facing (without any kind of testing) and move on. I thought: this is just how it works, you know. We have all these tools available that some people know how to use and they solve this problem in their own way. Some build bespoke pipelines with Jenkins. Some glue everything together with Bash and Makefiles. Some build CLIs and then orchestrate them with beautifully aligned YAML. Some don’t even bother building something at all because they find it a hassle and would rather spend their time coding.
I very clearly remember that this is exactly what was happening before Docker was introduced. We had tools for packaging applications that people knew inside and out and you had teams of folks that would dedicate big chunks of their time to figuring this thing out. Everybody was doing their own thing as well, using stuff like Packer, AMIs and a bunch of other tools mixed together. But then Docker was introduced and the game suddenly changed. Now there was a standardized way of packaging your apps that would work for almost anything you wanted to build. And what was best: it was straightforward enough that us developers could do it without thinking we were wasting our precious coding time.
“Changing the game” like Docker did is not an obvious thing to do. Linux containers had been around for over 10 years before someone figured out how to use them effectively to solve the problem of packaging and running applications in a standardized way. I’m not yet sure if Dagger is going to be a game changer as well, but if I were sure then I would be joining too late. Which is why I decided to take this leap to join the team and be a part of building something different.
After some time I’ve realized that I like to be in companies that prioritize the people and the product instead of blindly chasing challenges just for the sake of the challenge. In the case of Dagger I found that the company is filled with people that I believe are incredible. I talked to 11 employees (out of ~20 at the time) in all kinds of roles before joining and I left each meeting feeling energized and eager to get to work with them. This is not something that happens frequently to me. On the product side, what we are building is, for me personally, incredibly interesting. It is a new take on something that, as was mentioned before, I personally feel like as an industry we’ve left for granted and assumed it is just supposed to suck. We are at the stage where we are simply coping with it.
After the first conversation I had with Sam Alba I realized that there are so many things that can be done in a significantly different and better way, all we need is people that have enough resources, time and commitment to see it through. We still don’t know what the end state of all this will be and that’s okay. It’s part of the fun!
Be a part of it!
A big part of Dagger is being built in the open and you can be a part of it! We have an open source project on Github and you can join our Discord server where we discuss a lot about what we are building and what we will do next.