Session: Creating Community: A frank discussion between a megacorp and a start-up

Creating community is hard. But is it equally hard? In this session, Karen (from mega-corp Microsoft) and Matt (from tiny start-up Fermyon) get together for a frank discussion about fostering open source communities from two very different angles. Microsoft has (for historical reasons) often encountered negative perceptions about its goals, intentions, and methods. Fermyon has faced the opposite challenge of having to build a reputation from scratch. Having collaborated in the cloud native space since 2015, Karen and Matt will compare notes and talk about their challenges when engaging in open source work from different angles and the strengths that can come from working together. Some things don’t change whether you’re a big or small company while other things require you to have a tailored approach depending on your company size.

Things that are different:

  • Budgets: Big vs small
  • Conferences: Sponsorship, floor space, etc
  • DevRel and Dev evangelism: Convincing internal DevRel vs building a team
  • Perception by open source developers: Borg vs. “who are you, anyway?”

Things that are the same:

  • Reaching Developers
  • Social media and GitHub
  • Handling community growth
  • Tools for tracking community (, Google Analytics)


This track proudly sponsored by