The Summit in Santa Clara

The Open Source Summit at the Santa Clara campus yesterday was great. I worked on the team that produced the event. Excellent experience -- both in project logistics and in open source development knowledge. I have so much to learn in this field, but what's really nice is that so many people in the open source community seem so willing to teach me and have me around. It's pretty humbling at times, to be honest. People have been coming up to me all day long. They loved it!

What was so cool about this event was seeing hundreds of Sun engineers from all our open source projects spending the day with with a couple of dozen leaders in the open source community. All under one roof. Well, three roofs. We had keynotes from Sun executives and open source community leaders, we had 18 five-minute "lightening talks" from Sun and open source developers, and we had more than a dozen breakout sessions and panels comprising a range of topics in open source. We even webcast the conference to Sun developers globally and communicated over IRC. Quit a day.

We all got together to share ideas and opinions. I was there to tap the experiences of other community managers, so I can learn just enough to not do dumb things as we open the Solaris platform. There were dozens of Solaris engineers there as well. I think we all learned a great deal, and I think it went both ways, too. I've become convinced, though, that no matter how much code Sun releases to open source, we still need to do more -- much more -- community building activities, and we need to be doing these activities at more levels throughout the company. It's a huge investment of time and resources, but it's necessary to realize the results. Internal conferences like this help. Blogs.sun.com helps. Building new communities around our software helps. It takes time, but I think we are making progress.

Special thanks to Simon and Danese for thinking up this little gig and pitting it together. And to the Software CTO's office for funding it, too.
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