About Us

Hi, we’re Stephen & Yun.

You can find out more about each of us below but first we wanted to tell you why we created Dist.

We are both software developers and recovering sysadmins, and over the past 20 years we have routinely used artifact repositories from Maven to container registries, APT & YUM repositories, RubyGems, and even CPAN.

Almost everyone uses repositories - most commonly public repositories such as npm, for good reason. There are many benefits of repository driven development, such as seamless distribution (promoting code reuse), proper versioning and dependency management, and reliable automation.

Whilst use of public repositories is common, private use of repositories within teams and for distribution to customers is much less common.

We believe all developers can benefit hugely from using repositories if they have a good repository manager to use.

But we found the existing options for private artifact repositories lacking. Existing options fell into two camps:

  1. Some were born in the pre-cloud era and were built for self-operation. We did not want to spend hours or days reading documentation, and learning to install, configure, and maintain such software.

  2. Some modern solutions are offered as a service but come with complexity – for example choosing a major cloud provider offering requires you to choose which region(s) you’ll deploy to, as well as learning their authentication and authorization architectures.

We wanted something that was simple to use, something we and other developers could immediately use without hours (or possibly days) of reading and fiddling. Hence Dist was born with simplicity as its overarching goal.

Dist strives to be the repository manager that just works. The repository manager you can start pushing to with minimum effort. It should do what you need without requiring hours of configuration or deep thought about trade-offs, whilst still being reliable, secure, and fast.

Reliability, security and performance are basic requirements for any production service. Your artifacts are a critical part of your development and deployment processes; your developers will likely push and pull artifacts regularly, and so will your CI/CD and production systems. Thus your artifacts should be treated with the same care as you would any other production system.

As we worked to build Dist we realized that other providers also introduce unnecessary complexity via their pricing. Many providers charge per GB of storage and/or bandwidth, and whilst it is true that using more storage or more bandwidth increases costs, the reality is no one wants to waste time counting bits and bytes to budget & forecast usage. As part of our drive for simplicity we decided to offer a simple per-user pricing model so you can easily know how much you’ll pay each month.

Now back to who we actually are. After all, why trust us with your vital assets?

Founders

Stephen Haynes

Stephen has a keen interest in system infrastructure and automation that began in the late nineties after reading Bootstrapping an Infrastructure. He’s been applying these ideas starting with custom scripts and CFEngine long before DevOps stared to gain traction. Much of his work over the last two decades has regularly involved understanding and working with programming language and operating system package managers and their associated artifact repository systems.

Prior to Dist Stephen worked at Yahoo!7 as a Service Engineer (a loosely equivalent Yahoo! version of SRE) implementing and automating release processes, ensuring continued availability and performance of all Australia & New Zealand hosted properties (including a number of prominent high traffic sites), and improving business continuity planning.

Stephen has also held systems administration roles at the University of Wollongong and AARNet where he designed and bootstrapped the international multi-PoP AARNet3 server network with automation, reliability, and out-of-band management as key goals.

Outside of Dist, Stephen has a keen interest in video games and the video game industry. This started with the Commodore 64 in the late eighties and early nineties purchasing Commodore Format and Zzap!64 magazines from the local newsagent to keep up with the latest news and demos on the included cover tapes. This has since moved on to many iterations of Sega, Nintendo, PlayStation and PC systems over the years.

Stephen holds a Master of Technology Management from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) and a Bachelor of Computer Science Honours (Class I) and University Medal from the University of Wollongong (Wollongong, Australia). His Honours thesis titled Design, Implementation and Testing of a Server Load Balancing System implemented a kernel based server load balancing system under the NetBSD operating system and used it to evaluate the most common request distribution methods and server scheduling algorithms.

Yun Huang Yong

Yun got his first modem in the BBS days and was introduced to the Internet via a Solaris shell in 1995. He learned to touch type thanks to the magic of ircII, EFnet and Undernet. Not long after, he downloaded Slackware onto a bunch of floppies, installed it on an aging 386, and has been a Linux (and later FreeBSD) user ever since.

Yun began his career at Yahoo! Australia & NZ as a developer, building and supporting content-driven sites such as News, Sports, Finance, and Australian Idol. These were the days when Apache typically referred to the web server, not the Apache Foundation.

Over time his role grew to managing teams responsible for platform engineering, security (aka the paranoids), and service engineering. Yun has done his time carrying pagers (the old one-way radio ones!) and having worked on prominent high traffic sites, performance, availability and security are always front of mind.

Outside of Dist, Yun is a reformed Team Fortress 2 addict and steered a popular Australian TF2 community for several years, running a small fleet of servers for roughly a thousand regular players. Yun has always had an interest in networks and finance, and holds a number of investments within the Australian telecommunications and technology industries.

Yun holds a BSc (Computer Science) from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia).