The Apache Software Foundation Blog

Monday May 22, 2017

On the State of the Feather

One of the great things about Apache is that we're all about the individual (contributor). No one has higher rank/status over another. We're not pay-to-play: no-one can "buy" their way in. Titles are for organizational purposes only: a Vice President of a project doesn't carry any more weight than any other member of a project management committee, for example.

We have diverse backgrounds, opinions, and experiences. Each person has their own preferences and personal style, and we celebrate that. Whilst we do adhere to The Apache Way, we don't impose "corporate conformity" directives on anyone, from our support staff to our executive leadership.

As technologists (and perfectionists), we're trained to look for bugs and are always looking for ways to make things better. And, in keeping with our tenets of openness, our matter-of-fact communication style can sometimes be perceived as too honest and transparent.

In light of that, it might be easy to misinterpret the intent of the State of The Feather presentation by ASF President Sam Ruby at ApacheCon last week:

This isn't another "the ASF is great" presentation where I will talk about how we do things differently/better than others.

Instead, this is a talk where I identify what works and where there is more work that needs to be done.

TL;DR

We've been around for 18 years.

We're continuing to grow by every measure.

We expect to continue to be around.

We expect to continue to grow.

...Perhaps even a bit too fast.

I'm not saying it is easy…


As with any organization managing dramatic business growth, meeting these challenges presents unique opportunities, which, at times, may not be an easy feat with an all-volunteer Board overseeing a nearly all-volunteer organization. Luckily for us, we are well-versed in the mantra "If it isn't hard, it isn't worth doing". With more than 18 years of successfully honing our process of developing, incubating, and shepherding projects under our belt, we are well prepared to overcome operational demands.

The Foundation's ongoing transformation is driven by existing Apache projects and an impressive number of new innovations undergoing incubation. The collective Apache community continues to be highly productive, as summarized every week. Our commitment to rise to the challenge is evident, as demonstrated at ApacheCon. We are proud of our achievements and look forward to sharing our successes in the upcoming Annual Report.

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