by billhilf on April 09, 2007 02:09pm
When we started Port25 a year ago we certainly had no idea how it would turn out. The process of creating, launching, and evolving Port25, I believe, has many similarities to an OSS project: small group of motivated individuals, loosely coupled development model, organic growth, and meritocratic guidance and leadership. These things helped us quite a bit as we broke some new ground for Microsoft and I’m proud of where we are at one year in.
Our goals list growing an online community, but let me tell you a little secret, Port25 was just as important for inside Microsoft as it was outside. Giving Microsoft employees like Sara Ford, Steve Marx, Bruce Payette, Mike Hines (and others) a forum to talk about how their work relates to the community is part of the internal goal. Showing other Microsoft employees how we can have open and real conversations and even debates with technologists in the OSS community is part of the internal goal. Providing a place for critical analysis and learning of software built in different development models is part of the internal goal. And, one that I that I haven’t shared with anyone until now, showing people at Microsoft and in the OSS community that we have to keep all this damn stuff in perspective: it’s important, but it is just software after all.
I’ve spent a long time in open source and commercial software development and businesses. Over these years I have seen positive evolution across the board. Port25 is part of a journey for Microsoft, and we are learning with each and every step. Thank you for listening, participating and creating.