I do a podcast called Feathercast, about technologies and people within the Apache Software Foundation. I do this for a number of reasons.
I love playing with technology, even when I don’t really understand it. Using it is the best way to understand it, and I’ve learned a lot about audio recording in this process, although I’m still far from an expert.
I get to talk with some amazing people, and ask them about stuff that’s truly fascinating.
And I enjoy educating. I like to weasel out the important details and teach people about things that they might otherwise have dismissed as unimportant. I like taking complicated ideas and explaining them in terms that everyone can understand.
In other words, it’s a mixture of selfishness and altruism, as are all worthwhile human endeavors. If we’re doing something entirely for ourselves, that’s no good, but it’s also important to have a passion for something, and for it to be fun.
Coincidentally, these are the reasons that I’m involved in the ASF. They happened in a different order – I got involved because I found an interesting technology and started writing about it. But along the way I’ve met some amazing people – Douglas Adams, Brian Behlendorf, Arthur C Clarke, Sanjiva Weerawarana, Mark Shuttleworth, Ken Coar, Deepal Jayasinghe, Larry Wall, and so many others it’s impossible to list them. Some of these people I’ve come to consider friends.
I’ve also had the opportunity to be involved in amazing technologies that have changed the way we communicate, play, and do business. The Web is, of course, built on generations of advances, and even more amazing things are to come, but it’s been a fascinating ride to be part of that.
Apache, and other open source technologies that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in, have changed the world, and I got to be part of that, because they are open source, where the willingness to participate is rewarded with the permission to participate, unlike so many other parts of our world. We get to be a part of things that matter, and the barrier to entry is that willingness to participate and make a difference.
It’s a great honor to be a member of the Apache Software Foundation. It’s a badge that I wear with pride, both because I know how hard I worked to achieve it, and because I’ve seen the other amazing things that the ASF has accomplished.
Happy Birthday, Apache. Here’s hoping the next ten years are as exciting as the last ten, and that I get the chance to be even more involved than I have for the last ten.