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Embracing Risk and Doing Your Part in Open Source: Lesson from Platformatic CTO Matteo Collina

In this episode of the engineering leadership series, Rob Ocel interviews Matteo Collina, the co-founder and CTO of Platformatic, a backend development platform that enables users to build APIs using open source tools. Matteo talks about how so many leaders struggle with the concept of risk, leading into a conversation about one of Platformatic's key features: a breaking change detector.

This tool leverages data from the user's open telemetry production system to identify potential changes that could disrupt their microservice system. Unlike traditional approaches that rely on fixed sets of information, the breaking change detector uses real data to provide a more accurate and reliable assessment of potential risks. By analyzing actual production data, it offers a powerful way to eliminate the risk of modeling reality inaccurately.

Matteo emphasizes the importance of understanding and prioritizing risks for engineering leaders. He believes that leaders must have a deep understanding of the potential risks involved in their projects and be able to make informed decisions based on that understanding. By effectively managing risks, leaders can ensure the success and stability of their engineering initiatives.

Furthermore, Matteo shares insights into his team's approach to staying on the cutting edge of technology. He explains that at Platformatic, they are often at the forefront of the Node.js platform, actively experimenting with and testing its experimental features. This proactive approach allows them to identify and address bugs before they become significant issues. By continuously pushing the boundaries and exploring new features, they can provide their users with the most up-to-date and reliable tools.

In addition to discussing technical aspects, Matteo also emphasizes the importance of contributing to open source projects. He encourages companies to measure and recognize contributions to open source, as it can lead to a more vibrant and collaborative community. By incentivizing engineers to contribute to open source projects, companies can foster a culture of giving back and create a positive impact on the broader engineering community.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights into the work of Platformatic and Matteo Collina's perspective on engineering leadership. The breaking change detector technology offers a practical solution for detecting potential disruptions in microservice systems, based on real data rather than fixed sets of information. Matteo's emphasis on understanding and prioritizing risks highlights the importance of effective leadership in engineering. Additionally, his team's commitment to staying on the cutting edge of technology showcases their dedication to providing the best tools for their users. Finally, Matteo's call to measure and incentivize contributions to open source projects serves as a reminder of the benefits of collaboration and community involvement in the engineering field.

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