ApacheConNA: First keynote
All three ApacheCon keynotes were focussed around the general theme of open
source communities. The first on given by Theo had very good advise to the
engineer not only striving to work on open source software but become an
excellent software developer:
- Be loyal to the problem instead of to the code: You shouldn’t be
addicted to any particular programming language or framework and refuse to work
and get familiar with others. Avoid high specialisation and seek cross
fertilisation. Instead of addiction to your tooling you should seek to
diversify your toolset to use the best for your current problem.
- Work towards becoming a generalist: Understand your stack top to bottom -
starting with your code, potentially passing the VM it runs in up down to the
hardware layer. Do the same to requirements you are exposed to: Being 1s old
may be just good enough to be “always current” when thinking of a news
serving web site. Try to understand the real problem that underpins a certain
technical requirement that is being brought up to you. This deep understanding
of how your system works can make the difference in fixing a production issue
in three days instead of twelve weeks.
The last point is particularly interesting for those aiming to write scalable
code: Software and frameworks today are intended to make development easier -
with high probability they will break when running at the edge.
What is unique about the ASF is the great opportunity to meet people with
experience in many different technologies. In addition there is an unparalleled
level of trust in a community as diverse as the ASF. One open question that
remains is how to leverage this potential successfully within the foundation.