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From Niclas Hedhman <>
Subject Re: Why the Apachecon (was Re: ApacheCon NA CFP closed)
Date Wed, 04 Feb 2015 14:54:52 GMT
On Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 4:42 PM, Pierre Smits <> wrote:

> Let's face it: the event costs... It cost effort to organise, it uses
> precious ASF resources. And net-wise it should be beneficial to both the
> projects and the ASF regarding supporting the projects. Meaning adding to
> the budgets, or at least be cost neutral, and leading to more contributors
> to the projects.

Sorry for nitpicking (although I welcome you raising the question), but
ApacheCon doesn't need to "be cost neutral". "Cost is what you Pay, Value
is what you Get.", so as long as we "Get" more than we "Pay", it is a Win
for the Foundation. Now, what "Get" includes can be hard to define in
dollar terms (unlike the "Pay" part).

My view of ApacheCon goals;

  - Community Face Time!!! I have only attended two conferences (distance
plays a huge factor for me), but those are unforgettable days. People are
much different in real life, and we get along remarkably well.

  - Hackathon - talk project, new ideas, hack on bugs (bugathon), discuss
collaborations across projects, seek advice from some project expert, and
all that good jazz. Don't know a community? Just sit down and strike up a
conversation... Build lasting relationships, sign PGP keys.

  - Educate "Management". On licensing, on adoption "Use --> Modify -->
Contribute", on Non-profit Org status and tax breaks, on sponsorship
programs and so on. Corporations can contribute more resources, IF they are
aware of the value it brings.

  -  Industry Use-cases. People like to hear about someone else did
something, and what were the results. "We changed from 200 MySQL servers to
Cassandra. Here is what we like, and here are what we had problems with."
kind of presentations always inspires others in similar situations.

  -  Apache Content to Developers. All the classic project presentations.
IMHO, this shouldn't be more than 50% of all activities.

  - Innovation. When smart people come together (with beer) innovation
happens (The crux is to remember the great stuff next morning.). Seriously
though, it should be possible to 'inspire' innovation some way, by creating
a marketplace and/or a nursery of (crazy) Ideas, and give those who "click"
on a given idea, the necessary space to run with it. Not entirely sure
about the mechanics, just a vague concept in the back of my head at the

  - Marketing. Apache needs marketing, and ApacheCon is a reason to contact
every technology firm within the catchment area. For some of us, we may use
this as an opportunity to meet potential customers or strengthen ties with
existing ones.

Personally, I think ApacheCon should be moving towards a brighter future.
Apache is home of ~200 projects, many of which are exciting and fresh. This
should interest the public, and with a decent location and good marketing,
it should be impossible to drive record numbers to the Event. A couple of
thousand should be a reasonable goal, and if JavaZone in Norway can do that
on an all-volunteer basis, Apache should not set the goals too low.

Hope to see you at ApacheCon "soon"


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