I’m so excited to be in the opening keynote at ApacheCon – or rather, what we now call Community Over Code (COC), the conference where all our project communities across the ASF gather, learn, eat and drink together, and maintain all the personal relationships that truly build communities. For many of us who’ve been working on ASF projects for years, this is truly a conference where we spend time not just with our friends, but folks who have become like family to us in our communities here.
If you’ve never been to an ApacheCon in the past, it’s not like your traditional tech conference. When we rebranded the conference as Community Over Code, it was intentional – because the point of our events are the people. So much of open source work is done online, without direct human contact. ASF events have plenty of technical content, but the real value to the ASF as a foundation are the personal connections people make and strengthen, and the community building that happens. That’s also why we always have a number of non-technical tracks, like Community and Sustainability to really help our contributors better understand how to manage their own communities across the ASF.
I’m doubly, no, triply excited to be back at COC after the long lonely days of COVID in the past few years. It wasn’t just the excitement and learning that I find at ASF events; it was missing all of my friends and family. While many conferences have hallway tracks and evening events, the strength of community in many ASF communities means something different. There are so many different relationships we each have in different projects, and so many truly strong friends to be found here. And it’s not just the folks you have drinks with after dinner; it’s all those people who have become friends in real life, outside of technology – all the people who say “Hey, I’m vacationing in Boston, are you around?” and I get to host them.
For those here at COC, I’m excited to meet you (or see you again, dear friend) at the event. I’m easy to find, I’m wearing a Hawaiian shirt. For those not at COC this year in Halifax, we’ll see you in Europe next fall!