April 29, 2024

By Deb Goodkin, Executive Director, FreeBSD Foundation

Hello Community! 

I just took a peak at what’s inside this month’s newsletter, and I couldn’t be more proud of my team for putting together the content to inform, educate, and highlight the work we are doing to fulfill our mission of supporting the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide. I thought I’d pitch in to discuss where we are spending our money this year and why. 

Last month, I shared our 2024 budget and wrote a blog post explaining how I developed it. But it may not present a clear picture of the why. Why are we putting our financial resources into certain areas? It’s because of you, our community, who are the heart and soul of the FreeBSD Project. Your contributions and feedback play a crucial role in our budget allocation decisions. 

In following our mission, we assist the Project in ensuring that FreeBSD remains relevant, secure, and reliable for the next 30+ years. How are we doing this? We’re investing in software development efforts to add features and functionality, fix issues, and stay on top of the latest vulnerabilities.  You’ll find updates on many projects we fund through our staff members and outside contractors. We have allocated $1,375,641 towards operating system improvements. That means over half our budget goes towards improving FreeBSD, a testament to the significant impact of your work on our community. Your contributions are what make FreeBSD what it is today.

A Strong Foundation for FreeBSD

Developing this innovative and reliable operating system takes more than software engineers. Improving the infrastructure, and ensuring it’s fast and reliable to build, test, and host the operating system is extremely important to provide the operating system worldwide. This means purchasing and supporting new hardware to host the Project’s infrastructure at the new NYI Chicago facility, where they have generously provided four racks to update and modernize our infrastructure.

FreeBSD Has a Bright Future!

Part of our job is to shout this out to the world with facts to back up this claim. 

So, the second largest area we fund is FreeBSD advocacy. Most readers know we sponsor conferences, organize and run FreeBSD events, and publish the FreeBSD Journal. But, we spend a significant amount of time and money to promote your work! We are focusing on increasing the visibility of FreeBSD, AKA getting the word out to a wider audience! We are creating more content to highlight the benefits of FreeBSD, writing use cases to share the stories of why companies and individuals are using FreeBSD and how it solves their problems, and getting articles published in publications like Infoworld to show business decision-makers why FreeBSD is an option for their use cases.  We have allocated $673,381 towards this effort.

We Have a Voice

Besides the software development and advocacy work we are doing to improve FreeBSD and increase its adoption and visibility, we are staying on top of government guidelines, mandates, and requirements. Our project follows practices that we want to share with others and include our voice in the decision-making process at the government level. By being involved in these discussions, we share what we are learning with the Project to ensure we comply with these new rules. Because FreeBSD is at the foundation of our digital infrastructure, we must continue to improve our processes to keep FreeBSD secure.