Ubuntu has been around for just over a decade. That’s a long time for a project built around a field that evolves at such a rapid pace as computing. And not just any computing –software made for (and by) human beings, who have also inevitably grown and evolved with Ubuntu.
Over the years, Ubuntu has changed and has lead change to keep thriving in such a competitive space. The first years were particularly exciting: there was so much to do, countless possibilities and plenty of opportunities to contribute.
Everyone that has been around for a while has fond memories of the Ubuntu Developer Summit, UDS in short. An in-person event run every 6 months to plan the next version of the OS. Representatives of different areas of the community came together every half year, somewhere in the US or Europe, to discuss, design and lay out the next cycle, both in terms of community and technology.
It was in this setting where Ubuntu governance and leadership were discussed, the decisions of which default apps to include were made, the switch to Unity’s new UX, and much more. It was a particularly intense event, as often discussions continued into the hallways and sometimes up to the bar late at night.
In a traditionally distributed community, where discussions and planning happen online and across timezones, getting physically together in one place helped us more effectively resolve complex issues, bring new ideas, and often agree to disagree in a respectful environment.
Yet Ubuntu is just as exciting as it was in those days. Think about carrying your computer running Ubuntu in your pocket and connecting it to your monitor at home for the full experience, think about a fresh and vibrant app developer community, think about an Open Source OS powering the next generation of connected devices and drones. The areas of opportunity to get involved are much more diverse than they have ever been.
And while we have adapted to technological and social change in the project over the years, what hasn’t changed is one of the fundamental values of Ubuntu: its people.
To me personally, when I put aside open source and exciting technical challenges, I am proud to be part of this community because its open, welcoming, it’s driven by collaboration. We are essentially peoplewho share a mission: that of bringing access to computer to everyone, via Free Software and open collaboration.
And while over the years we have learnt to work productively in a remote environment, the need to socialize is still there and as important as ever to reaffirm this bonding that keep us together.