Episode 93

Dan Lorenc and OSS Supply Chain Security at Google


October 1st, 2021

36 mins 23 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Dan Lorenc


Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source for the long haul. Today, we have a very special guest, Dan Lorenc, who is a Staff Software Engineer and the lead for Google’s Open Source Security Team. Dan founded projects like Minikube, Skaffold, TektonCD, and Sigstore. He blogs regularly about supply chain security and serves on the TAC for the Open SSF. Dan fill us in on how Docker fits into what he’s doing at Google, he tells us about who’s running the Open Standards that Docker is depending on, and what he’s most excited for with Docker with standardization and in the future. We also learn a little more about a blog post he did recently and what he means by “package managers should become boring,” and he tells us how package managers can help pay maintainers to support their libraries. We learn more about his project Sigstore, and his perspective on the long-term growth of the software industry towards security and how that will change in the next five to ten years. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out much more!

[00:01:09] Dan tells us his background and how he got to where he is today.

[00:03:08] Eric wonders how Docker fits into what Dan is doing at Google and if he can compare Minicube and his work with what the Docker team is trying to drive. He also compares Kubernetes to Docker and how they relate.

[00:06:13] Dan talks about if he sees a shift of adoption in the sphere of what he’s seeing, and Eric asks if he feels that local development with Docker is devalued a little bit if you don’t use the same Docker configuration for your production deploy.

[00:08:49] Richard wonders in the long-term, if Dan thinks we’re going to continually keep making Dockers, better Kubernetes, or at some point are we going to decide that tooling is enough.

[00:10:35] We learn who’s currently running the Open Standards that Docker is depending on and Dan talks about the different standards.

[00:12:13] Dan shares how he thinks the shift towards open standards in particular with Docker, influences open source developers who are in more smaller companies, in SMEs, in medium-sized companies, or solo developers out there who may not have the time to get involved in open standards.

[00:13:45] Find out what Dan is really excited about in terms of Docker, with standardization or in the future that will lead to a more sustainable ecosystem.

[00:15:17] Justin brings up Dan’s blog and a recent post he just did called, “In Defense of Package Managers,” and in it he mentions package managers should become boring, so he explains what he means by that.

[00:18:01] Dan discusses how package managers can help pay maintainers to support their libraries.

[00:22:03] Richard asks Dan if he has any thoughts on getting other ways of recognition to maintainers down the stack than just paying them. He mentions things that he loves that GitHub’s been doing recently showing people their contribution history.

[00:23:46] Find out about Dan’s project Sigstore and what his adoption looks like so far.

[00:26:35] Richard wonders if Dan thinks it’s a good idea to have that ecosystem depend upon a few brilliant people like him doing this work or if there’s a larger community of people working on security supply chain issues. Also, who are his colleagues that he bounces these ideas off of and how do we eliminate the bus factor here. Dan tells us they have a slack for Sigstore

[00:30:03] We learn Dan’s perspective on the long-term growth of the software industry towards security in general, how will that change over the next five to ten years, and how his role and the role of people like him will change.

[00:31:35] Find out all the places you can follow Dan on the internet.


[00:10:14] “You kind of move past that single point of failure and single tool shame that’s actually used to manage everything.”

[00:12:44] “So, they kind of helped contribute to the standardization process by proving stuff out by getting to try all the new exciting stuff.”

[00:16:33] The “bullseye” release actually just went on a couple of days ago which was awesome.”

[00:17:04] “It’s a problem because there’s nobody maintaining, which is a really good topic for sustainability.”

[00:24:46] “But nobody’s doing it for open source, nobody’s signing their code on PyPy or Ruby Gems even though you can.”

[00:29:50] “These are not the Kim Kardashians of the coding community.”

[00:30:25] “Something that we’ve been constantly reminding, you know, the policy makers wherever we can, is that 80 to 90% of software in use today is open source.”

[00:30:51] “And even if companies can do this work for the software that they produce if we don’t think of, and don’t take care of, and don’t remember that these same requirements are going to hit opensource at the very bottom of the stack, and we’re kind of placing unfunded mandates and burdens on these repositories and maintainers that they didn’t sign up for it.”

[00:31:11] “So we’re really trying to remind everyone that as we increase these security standards, which we should do and we need to do, because software is serious, and people’s lives depend on it.”


  • [00:32:32] Eric’s spotlight is a game called Incremancer by James Gittins.
  • [00:33:35] Justin's spotlight is Visual Studio Live Share.
  • [00:34:04] Richard’s spotlight is the BibTeX Community.
  • [00:35:03] Dan’s spotlight is the Debian maintainers.



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