Company Origin

Jul 20, 2022

Jul 20, 2022

Jul 20, 2022

Zero Overhead

Andrew Fong

In 1996, my parents gave me a Performa 6115 Macintosh for my 15th birthday and a subscription to Dr. Dobbs, a magazine about programming that ended in 2014.

I learned about Linux from those publications and decided to install it on my Macintosh. Now, this being a Mac, I had to use MkLinux, which I downloaded on my 56 Kbs dial-up modem.

After creating a bunch of floppy disks, I got to work installing Linux. At some point in this process, I was asked to compile the kernel with “make config.”

For anyone that has not built a Linux kernel, “make config” takes you through a series of y/n prompts without any real context or ability to go back.

For 2 hours, my 15-year-old self had to answer esoteric questions with y or n. Needless to say, I had to restart the process many times after screwing it up.

I was frustrated, upset, and annoyed. It was such an awful experience that I remember it vividly 27 years later.

I have been working in technology for the past 20+ years after graduating with a Computer Science degree in 2003. I’ve held roles as an engineer, SRE, and senior leader at AOL, YouTube/Google, and Dropbox respectively. Through these experiences, I have been a part of and led teams that have scaled infrastructure, dealt with cloud migrations, and built foundational pieces of the internet. These were the good times.

I have also seen teams struggle to put together pieces of the cloud as frustrated as I was in 1994.

For one group of exceptional interns, this boiled over into tears in 1:1s as they struggled to get their development environments working. The environments were incredibly hard to configure and understand. Rightfully so they were worried about not shipping, and therefore, not getting return offers!

I could not help but recall how I felt in 1994 trying to set up MkLinux.

Resolving this complexity and giving a great experience for building and deploying became my personal mission. It’s what has fueled me since 1994.

Setting up a system in 2022 should not require you to be an expert in esoteric systems, understand the intricacies of how cloud infrastructure is put together, and definitely not have YAML files that are not much better than the make config of the Linux kernel.

Enter Prodvana. Prodvana exists to provide an abstraction over the cloud in the form of an application management platform. It is designed to help you accomplish your goals and grow with you — not dump you in the deep end and hope you can swim.

We are devoted to the mission of reducing the overhead and complexity of continuing to build a better world through technology.