Hello fine people… I’ve just walked through Ghent in the snow back to my hotel cause some of us need to earn a living…
Whilst walking I was thinking to myself… Whats the point?
Not in a depressing shrug of the shoulders way, but more in a “I’ve just left the event and if I was a puppet, ansible, chef user, why would I bother looking at Juju?”
Mark gave a very interesting Keynote explaining how it’s taken a few attempts to get Juju to where it is today and internally the focus is on Openstack/K8S stuff. Which is fair enough and makes perfect sense.
So when I arrived this morning there were a few things on the stands, nothing I saw was juju related, but I didn’t look very hard, so maybe I missed something. The stand is entirely branded Ubuntu, the poloshirts are Ubuntu.
Mark then gives a talk about Juju, there is no connection there. I’m assuming that in turning up to Cfgmgmtcamp there is a general plan/hope to get people using the platform.
So if an Ansible user walks up and asks, what are the differentiators? I dunno, maybe the guys know, but why isn’t there something there for people to take away to help them realise that Juju can help them? Either by wrapping or replacing their extra code.
Similarly, as an application developer, whats in it for me, why should I use Juju to deal with the deployment? I know my answers but if you’re new to the platform they are hard to discover.
Currently there is an amazing platform, a great charm store, a great GUI to show this stuff working and some amazing stuff coming through the pipeline in terms of K8S charms etc. But currently from a messaging point of view there is a gulf in terms of messaging. Sure I know you’d all rather show off the Ubuntu logo “because everyone knows it” but surely its better to get 5 people to remember Juju than 50 people remember Ubuntu was at a Config Management Camp? Redhat had an Ansible table, branded something like Ansible by Redhat.
I remember ApacheCon in Miami, there was a great stand with Juju on it, just lack of traffic, but in reality thats probably not the right place. But since then Juju seems to have gone away to be replaced by Ubuntu, and thats pretty sad.
There’s a lot of charms in the charm store, and soon to be more in the K8S store, that without maintainers will become stale, stale charms will mean no users. Canonical can’t be on the hook to maintain all the charms, that doesn’t scale. So what can we do to get more maintainers onboard?
Other questions crossed my mind, that we’ve done with the Hadoop charms over the last few months. Has anyone bothered to ask Puppet/Ansible users what it would take to get them to test/use Juju, what do they see that puts them off?
If K8S Charms become a reality and you have an active Helm community, what would it take to get some of them to migrate to K8S charms, how can you sell K8S charms to Helm users etc?
So going back to my initial question, What’s the point? If the stand isn’t going to push the product, why bother? The time and effort would be better spent doing direct evangelism or not at all.
It feels like Juju is stuck in a place where the dev teams all run full bore, but the messaging and marketing is very confused as to what message to push, or if there’s any message at all. Maybe thats not an issue, maybe it is. Couldn’t help but mull it over on the way home.
Without a community driven from the outside in, what’s the point?