Pryce Turner

Unleashing the Power of Community: An Engineer’s Journey from Open Source to Full-Time Engagement

Employee: Pryce Turner 

Pryce recently joined the Union team as a Solutions Architect. He uses his experience as a member of the Flyte community to help build customer-centric solutions on the Union platform. 

Q: What originally brought you to the Flyte community?

  • I was in the process of refactoring my personal project, and the prototyping and tech debt I incurred with the infrastructure I’d been using was causing some major pain points. I wanted to make workflow orchestrators work in a Kubernetes environment but ran into a number of issues. I looked at Airflow and initially settled on using that but then I randomly stumbled onto Flyte. 
  • The Flyte console really caught my attention. The hard things I was originally up against suddenly became easy in this console. Data tied to the workflow more intimately, and I didn’t have to handle the io myself like I did in Airflow. Flyte ended up solving problems I didn't even know I was going to have. I knew that I had a somewhat obscure use case, and the Flyte community was able to really help me through that. 

Q: Why pick up the phone when Union reached out? 

  • Ketan, Union’s CEO, contacted me directly to thank me for being part of the community and eventually ended up contacting me about the role here. Hearing from any CEO is flattering, of course, so I was willing to take the call. 
  • I consider myself a huge OSS fan. The world runs on Linux, and more work gets done in the open. So many people are innovating across the world and if we could solve the coordination issue and connect all of these minds, we would accelerate progress significantly. Cancer research is just one example of this. 
  • I joined because I was interested in contributing to something that could accelerate meaningful progress in human health, and felt that building this platform well could be a major step in that direction  

Q: You have a bioinformatics background. What sparked your journey into that field? 

  • I got into the bio field by accident, really. Senior year at the University of Washington, I took a genomics class under genetics pioneer Mary-Claire King, who was absolutely inspiring.  
  • I have a personal attachment to this field and have been building my own OSS product, Coacervate, which uses a global compute marketplace to process genomic data at a fraction of the cost of traditional cloud providers.
  • I saw my educational background, personal passion for this field and the OSS community as a way to really tap into this latent pool and build something special with it. 
  • The goal is to make tools more accessible and reproducible for everyone. Flyte’s ease of use and reproducibility helps lower the barrier to entry so more citizen scientists can contribute to solving problems in genomics. 
  • I believe that open infrastructure is the future. 

Q: What motto do you live by?  

  • Simply put, I love to build good stuff, and I believe in starting with how you can generate value in the work you do versus jumping to how you can extract it.