Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Growing Apache Communities

Around a year or so ago I posted an article on the Apache Community Development Project, a community effort to help newcomers to the Apache Software Foundation take their first steps on their way to being a part of our community. I think this effort needs to be visited more often by community members, if not to just expand Apache projects' mind share then to connect with the people using and contributing back to the common good. At Apache community is everything, so ensuring it continues to evolve, and grow is something that community members should all be actively engaged in.

So how can we do this? I tend to side with the think global, act local philosophy. So here are my suggestions:

  • Provide Seminars/Guest Lectures to your local college or university Computer Science, Engineering, or Information Technology departments (students make great audiences).
  • Join the Apache Local Mentors Program (who wouldn't like to have a protege?).
  • If available, attend Local User Group meetings where you can meet and assist users with Apache projects your familiar (Java or Linux user groups tend to be a great meeting place).
  • Give talks at local level industry meetings (ex. See Jon Anstey's BSides security talk).
  • Give talks within organizations you work (become your teams' Apache expert or champion).

I've had the opportunity to do most of the above list. Of these I've most enjoyed talking with students at my alma mater, and participating in the Apache mentoring program, assisting new contributors directly into Apache. In both cases it has involved talking about the ASF, meritocracy, contributing, and making the transition to becoming committers.

On October 18th, 2011 I'll be giving my third guest talk to a class of Computer Science students as part of their Software Methodologies course. If you live in or around the St John's area feel free to contact the class' professor to see if their is space available sit in on my talk (there is limited seating, with priority to enrolled students). Another Apache talk with the Computer Science department is also in discussion to occur in the January 2012 timeframe, I'll post details when they're finalized.

If you have suggestions for other ways to help grow Apache communities, or comments in general on Apache community, please feel free to leave it in the comments section below.

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