专栏首页第二层思考The Apache Way--Building Tech Community in China

The Apache Way--Building Tech Community in China

感谢暨南大学 JSLeung 同学义务贡献的翻译,让这个演讲从四六级的水准变为专业级水准。下面文字有差错的话,是我后期修改、降低难度的原因。

幻灯片地址:http://www.slideshare.net/moonbingbing/building-tech-community-in-china,也可以『点击原文』查看。


Good morning everyone.It's my honor to be here joining you at Apache Europe Con. Honestly speaking this is my first time to Spain,also this is my first time to deliver a technial talk in English.

Let me introduce myself first. I'm Wen Ming from China,but you can also call me Jack. I work as a backend developer for Internet Security companies almost 10 years,mainly in charge of the cloud security and anti-phishing platform, I have more then 40 patent applications in the security field. However I got more happiness from the open source world.

We began to use OpenResty since 2012, our company has many products are based on OpenResty. Last year, I founded the establishment of the OpenResty Software Foundation, which is a legal charity that has nothing to do with any company, because we hopes to promote the development of OpenResty in this way. I'm also a member of OpenResty project, and you can reach me through this email wenming@openresty.org, my twitter account(@_WenMing) is also presented below.

So before the presentation today.I'd like to conduct a survery on how many people have the experience of using OpenResty. Please put up your hands.

OpenResty is a full-fledged web platform by integrating the standard Nginx core and LuaJIT,so it has high performance and flexibility. OpenResty have widely used in CloudFlare, Sina, UPYUN and youku.

Thanks! And another one:How many of you have attended the technical conferences in China,such as QCon and ArchSummit? Both of them are the most famous technology conference in mainland China, and usually more then 3,000 engineers will attend each time.

I will share how OpenResty Chinese community started from scratch and the methodologies we implement and problems encountered; Also the prosperous developemnt situation of the Tech Community in China; and finally some thoughts behind the rapid development.

I hope you'll enjoy the story of the Chinese community and engineers today.

Okay,let's get down to the story of the OpenResty Chinese Community.I name it "mission impossible",which will be explained more later.

Although OpenResty is an open source project launched by a Chinese,but in China about a year ago,there was no OpenResty community at all,and therefore the communication is only via the Google mailing list. And because of the Great FireWall, most mainland Chinese engineers hardly have access to the mailing list. Meanwhile there only existed the API documentation in English, which became the barrier for Chinese engineers to learn about it, which makes OpenResty an icy beauty to Chinese engineers.

We endeavoured to build OpenResty community over the past couple of years, in order to create a platform for OpenResty users to learn and share.While the building process was actually started from a confusing and accidental stage.

Right after the Chinese New Year in 2015, half of the engineers on the team left, well the remaining haven't found a more suitable job, I suppose. There are many reasons for it, mainly because engineers worked their socks off,but didn't pay off.

So in order to help my colleagues find fulfillment outside work,I proposed a plan name"211",2 represents two open-source e-books,one on OpenResty, the one on the ELK. And the first 1 represents a Technical Sharing Conference,the second 1 represents the OpenResty Technology Conference.

After I told everyone, and they were like "Are you nuts?This is like impossible.” But soon we worked it out. "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing", at that time we want to write something worth reading.

We didn't give any publicity to this project at all since it was launched,because we thought even though nobody takes interest in this, we still can make the best of it for training new employees. But let's have a look at what it's like now. Actually the earliest users found this book via the search engine.Now this project has more than 1,000 stars on github as well as more than 40 contributors.In the most recent year, there are more than 70,000 of UV on Gitbook, nearly 50,000 downloads,which far beyond our expectations.

We left the QQ(software for chatting and file sharing) group number on the first page of the book and soon 100 people joined the group and then reached 500 people. Due to the upper limits on quantity of the group members, we now have three groups gathering nearly 3,000 engineers exchanging ideas on using the OpenResty.

This is not easy, because we want keep active as well as only tech discuss.

Compared to mailing list, communication on QQ and Wechat group is not friendly to Search Engine, however, in China, almost all the engineers use QQ and Wechat when they're at work for communication, while email to them might be too formal. In a word, QQ and Wechat help them talk about the technique in a more relaxing way, which is pretty much what we advocate.

So a question: How do we gather the problem discussed during the Instant Message flow? Let's get back to it later.

The success of the Open Source book and the QQ group boosted our confidence, I soon found another way to get more engineers to learn OpenResty, that is: online video course. In China, IT related online education is very popular, such as PHP, big data, iOS, H5 and etc., each lesson is about 15 minutes or so.There are free open class,as well as charged ones. For example, an engineer working in Beijing, can learn a new technology using the phone or ipad on the way to company. This is due to the popularity of 4G telecom in China, and their good paying habits.

Last year we created 30 OpenResty courses with StuQ, which is an amazing online education company. Not only did they brought together a group of specialist, but also organized a very interesting Open Source project--- The Skill map, which have more than 4,000 stars on github. All of them are designed and collaborated by all the experts in that field. So if an engineer wants to dive deep into a skill, Skill map is the best choice.

Through open source books, IM groups, video courses, we already brought OpenResty lovers together.And the next step is to dig out some OpenResty use case, so that to facilitate the users group.

We first asked the members in QQ groups and WeChat groups to modify their nicknames into the following format: nickname--company name. We found that almost every Chinese Internet company we heard of is using OpenResty,along with many startups. This is very exciting news.Because before that we all thought we were lonely OpenResty users, but it turns out to be that everyone is using, we just do not know each other.

This led us to the idea of launching the OpenResty Software Foundation, where we need to bridge the community and the companies, and we need to focus our energies on propeling the growth of open source projects. But it was difficult to set up an NPO in mainland China, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation took more than five years to get a legal status in mainland China.

At that time I had two options: bite the bullet to apply for a legal status of the NPO, or skirt the line,to take advantage of the gray area of the law. No hesitation, we chose to do the NPO, which will be the only way that allows the OpenResty community to go further.

So we started our "journey" applying for the NPO both in HK and mainland China.It was kinda tortuous so to speak. Last October, OpenResty committee submitted an application to the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department, October this year we got the formal tax-free approval. China's charity law was established two months ago, so we set up an NGO in advance: Zhuhai Open Source Software Technology Promotion Center, ready to turn to NPO in accordance with the legal rules.

All the law case were handled by myself, as we could not afford to hire a lawer.

Fortunately, at the end of Dec. last year. Smartisan would donate 1 million RMB to the establishing OpenResty Software Foundation. This is a respected OME of mobile phone,that once donated 3 million RMB to OpenSSL, and another 1 million RMB to the OpenBSD Software Foundation.

In addition to the communication online, offline meetups are also considered necessary. Face to face is the most efficient way that will help people get to know better about each other. In November last year, we held the first OpenResty conference in the name of our own, with 300 engineers and OpenResty authors attended. Besides the annual General Assembly,we also have the meetup every month started this year.

Over the course of more than a year running the OpenResty Chinese community, I met many other technical community organizers and participated in their community activities. There are a lot of technology community activities offline in China nowadays, so if you are in Beijing, there should be like three or four meetups or technical conference every weekend. If you are not, that's okay, you still can join them via the live broadcasting in an interactive way.

Some say 2016 is the first year of the Chinese technology community. And next I'm going to to analyze the motive force behind the rapid development of China's technology community according to my own experience,which may be partial and omissions.

Let's talk about the background first, for the last two to three years,the most heated topics in China's technology circle are "mobile Internet" and "startups." With the popularity of smart phones and the flowing of the hot money, it gave birth to a large number of start-up companies. People joke that if you go to Zhongguancun,which is the sillicon valley in China a few years ago, you'll be asked to buy a computer or a mobile phone, and now you'll be asked whether you have the ambition of start a company.

In this context, senior engineer becomes very rare, after all, experienced engineers can not be copied in bulk. So a large number of start-up companies began to enhance the technical capabilities in two aspects: Cloud Computing and engineer's participation in technology communities. Their involvement in the technology community is to use the most up-to-date technology, such as ELK, Docker, React Native, to solve technical problems, after all, they do not have any technical debt.

Simultaneously, there emerged a large number of startups that provide service for other startups, and they also take active part in the development of the community.Their users are the developers. For example,Qiniu, a PasS startup,providing cloud storage service, is the earliest evangelist of Golang in China and has been acting on Golang themsevlves too. Another example is UPYUN, a CDN starup company. It has been two years since they lauched the UPYUN Open Talk program, which is held every month on a regular basis.

There are startups that build up projects on some well-known open-source projects such as Apache's top project Kylin, NewSQL database TiDB, and Vue.js, all of them are masterpiece of Chinese. So the internationalization of these open source projects and commercial development itself set a good example for Chinese technology community.

In addition, online education and video broadcasting serve as the subsidiary help for the development of China's technology community.The StuQ metioned just now, is an online education system in miniature representing the manies in China. They invited senior engineers in different aspects to join their program and afterwards summarise up their experience and made those into a series of courses. This is the trend, almost all the communities have live broadcasting program for it can brign together more engineers for free.

To qoute someone:"To bring people together to learn together and grow together, this is the definition of the community." and I think the online education and live video broadcasting definitely accelerated it.

WeChat also plays a big part in this. For almost all the community would use WeChat group text-sharing and their official account to pulicize their idea. There are several well-known communities really took off this way. Such as the "ArchNotes" and "FreshmanTechnology", These two groups are initiated by engineers, and they have attracted several thousand engineers.

There will be engineers sharing their ideas for about an hour via instant messaging and people can put up questions and pay the engineer for their excellent response. The next day, there will be a part-time editor writing a neat and clear article on the topic based on the sorted out messages and questions as well as the answers. Then it will be published on the official accounts. Now let's get back to the question: how did we collect and sort out all the information via Instant Messaging? I think the answer is pretty clear now. We have a special editor in charge of it.

Actually there are so many ways to realize the goal, it is also consider normal to set up a company form technology community. Do we have any NPO similar to Apache Software Foundation? Of course there is. Such as the TechieCat, TechieCat is an Internet technology community for woman in tech, its founder is a 20-year-old girl still in university; also the Go China Foundation, which mainly sponsor the projects in China and Golang related open source projects, the Foundation and Go Community have nothing to do with Google,in fact, it's initiated by a Chinese engineer. Yeah, the same with OpenResty Software Foundation. As far as I know, the OpenResty Software Foundation is the only legal software Foundation in China , after all, establishing charity in China is not easy, OpenResty Software Foundation also hopes to facilitate many more projects and communities as charity.

In China there is a technology community alliance. Here is the photo when it was established, these are representatives of the Chinese technology community. The alliance is started by Geekbang,which includes the open source community, start-up companies, official accounts on WeChat, NPOs and so on.There goal is to gather different kind of resources and make use of it so as to promote the development of the community and the skillset buiding of the engineers.

China's technology community managed to take an internationalized look. Geekbang, for example, acquired InfoQ's business in Greater China. Another example is that the "China Technology Open Day" held annually in Japan and the United States. Chinese technology communities also hope to enhance international exchanges, so that more companies and engineers to get to understand the progress in China.

From what we've talked about that we can tell that during the past two year that the development of the tech community in China is accelerating. But we need to calm down, and really think about what is worth thinking behind the burgeon.

The first is the conflict between personal branding and traditional Chinese culture. Whether to develop an open source project, or operating a community,one or two engineers are necessary to take the lead, in addition to programing, writing documents, blog, do the presentation on technical conference, they also need to make the best of a variety of resources to reach more engineers. In the process, they are actually building their personal brand.

There is a Chinese idiom:"The shot hits the bird that pokes its head out", which means the nonconformity gets punished. So they might suffer from disparage and peer pressure, especially when the community they devote themselves for has not much to do with their career.

Take me for example, I'm an engineer of an Internet Security company, active in Python and OpenResty communities. So they might think: why would he have time for this? Why wouldn't he just focus on his work? How will you reply to them? Maintain reticent and follow your heart is the best reply in China.

And the second is that the engineers' understanding towards OpenSource.

For example, what does it mean to have contributions to the Open Source Community? Well, a lot of engineers think code contribution is the only valid way, as the document translation, writing test case, organizing activities for the community shouldn't be taken as contributions. Another example is that when attending the tech conference, many engineers would love to share some of the coding skills, while they consider it no value at all sharing something like what I talked about today.

There are certain things in common among Chinese engineers: such as the bias on programming languages and tech stack. See, the best way to stir an argument in them is to state that "PHP is the best programming language in the world. "

It takes a certain period of time to transform the thinking,which is another aspect that Communitties in China need to work hard on.

And the third is that the Chinese Internet company has changed its thinking towards OpenSource.

Alibaba initially removed "IOE", and Huawei substituted their private project with OpenStack, providing full support for all kinds of open source community, which all had great impact on the Internet companies in China, and laid solid foundation for the development of Chinese technology community.

Nowadays, large Internet companies in China have committe composed of engineers responsible for the technology section. Before some of the Chinese companies adopted the overall solution provided by Microsoft and IBM which late all turned out to be replaced by open source project. In Alibaba and Qihoo 360, there are special open-source committee encouraging engineers to open source their code and actively contribute to the open source community.

Last but not least is the impact from the Post-90s generation.

This generation, university, it is China's popularity of computers and the Internet, they are luckier than me, in addition to Chinese education, exposure to different cultures and ideas, with an international perspective, is also the most personal awareness Of the generation. My 90 friends gave me a great impression. Such as GuXi, TechieCat founder, when she was in high school, and several students to study PM2.5, completed a report to the National People's Congress, and was adopted. I really like her approach, although many people think it's crazy. China's technology community more than some of this 90, the future is full of hope.

To sum up, China's low-key culture, and the GreatFireWall, can not hinder the rapid development of Chinese technology community, as well as the process of internationalization, can not stop young people chasing their dreams. Hope that there will be more open-source projects from China that became the projects of the world!

In the end, thank you for your valuable time.

本文分享自微信公众号 - 第二层思考(gh_dc49a09b332d),作者:温铭

原文出处及转载信息见文内详细说明,如有侵权,请联系 yunjia_community@tencent.com 删除。

原始发表时间:2019-05-07

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