Episode 96

Chad Whitacre and how Sentry is giving $150k to their OSS Dependencies


October 21st, 2021

37 mins 41 secs

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About this Episode


Chad Whitacre


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 the fabulous Chad Whitacre, who was one of the Sustain conference organizers in the first year and is currently a Senior Software Engineer on the Open Source team at Sentry, where he helps Sentry’s engineers and users collaborate to make Sentry even better than it already is. He is also the Founder of Gratipay, also known as Gittip. Chad takes us through his journey as we learn more about how he helped fund the first Sustain, and more about Gittip, Gratipay, Sentry, and what they’re doing to fund the open source projects that we depend on at Sentry. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more cool stuff from Chad!

[00:03:08] Chad fills us in how he first got involved with the idea of funding open source, what Gittip did, and gives a shout-out to Liberapay.

[00:05:46] We learn a little bit about Gratipay, what it was like shutting it down, and a blog post that he wrote about it that you can check out.

[00:08:31] Chad talks about his job at Sentry and what he does on a day-to-day basis.

[00:12:57] We learn more about the Business Source License and risk mitigation.

[00:16:47] Richard mentions a previous episode with Toby Langel to check out where he talks about the graph of what’s open source and what isn’t open source.

[00:17:46] Chad explains what Sentry is doing to give the money back to people.

[00:21:09] We hear how Chad made a list of open source projects Sentry uses. He also shares the origin story for Back Your Stack, and he tells us about his use of raw.githack.com.

[00:26:33] Chad shares a story that starts at the beginning of 2020, and Duane O’Brien from Indeed contacting somebody at Sentry before he started and offering a grant, and what we learn what happened with the money.

[00:29:22] Find out how Sentry donated $150,000 to open source!

[00:33:11] Find out where you can follow Chad online.


[00:10:53] “We have a great customer support team, but a lot of times there’s an anti-pattern, which is that I contact customer support and unfortunately their hands are tied, and so they say "I’ll let our product team know, but no promises." Or "I’ll let you know, if this ever ends up on the roadmap." That’s shutting the door in someone’s face - unfortunately we put customer support in that position to have to do that.”

[00:11:45] “So one of the big projects this year has been tracking triage time, meaning somebody creates an issue in our GitHub issues, and asking - does anybody ever answer that?”

[00:12:22] “Sentry is as open source as we can make it.”

[00:18:43] “We just gave $150,000 roughly into the open source community.”

[00:27:39] “The wider picture, the thing that we’re talking about, one of the big things obviously for sustaining is: companies need to fund open source.”

[00:27:49] “We need to figure out how to have companies fund open source because companies are the ones that benefit from it, companies are the ones that have the money. We just need to figure out the mechanics.”

[00:31:45] “It takes time to change systems.”


  • [00:34:11] Justin’s spotlight is the Sky Map App for Android.
  • [00:34:48] Eric's spotlight is the artwork on Sentry.
  • [00:35:56] Richard’s spotlight is timeanddate.com.
  • [00:36:41] Chad’s spotlight is Glimesh.tv.



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