I can’t believe it’s already the middle of December! As I reflect on our contributions over the year, I can’t be more proud of my team of employees, contractors, and volunteers, who are passionate about FreeBSD and dedicated to supporting the FreeBSD Project and community.
From our humble beginnings in 2000 with only three board members to our current team of 10 staff members and 8 board members, we’ve been able to increase our support in many areas of the Project. However, I’m especially proud that we’ve been able to further the advancement of FreeBSD, while supporting the community around the globe. We’re still a small 501(c)3 organization focused on supporting FreeBSD and not a trade organization like many other open source Foundations.
This year, we increased the number of software developers that we are funding to step in to fix issues; improve and maintain areas of the software; and improve developer tools such as continuous integration and increasing test coverage. We’ve also expanded FreeBSD education and awareness around the world.
In 2018, your support helped us continue our efforts of supporting critical areas of FreeBSD such as:
- Operating System Improvements: Providing staff to immediately respond to urgent problems and implement new features and functionality allowing for the innovation and stability you’ve come to rely on.
- Improving and increasing test coverage, continuous integration, and automated testing with a full-time software engineer to ensure you receive the highest quality, secure, and reliable operating system.
- Security: Providing engineering resources to bolster the capacity and responsiveness of the Security team providing you with peace of mind when security issues arise.
- Release Engineering: Providing a full-time release engineer to oversee the release process and team, resulting in stable and reliable releases you can plan around. In fact, we funded a large part of the recent 12.0 release effort.
- Growing the number of FreeBSD contributors and users from our global FreeBSD outreach and advocacy efforts, including expanding into new regions like China, India, Africa, and Singapore.
- Improving diversity in the Project by promoting FreeBSD and teaching workshops at more women in technology conferences.
- Providing face-to-face opportunities such as developer and vendor summits and company visits to help facilitate collaboration between commercial users and FreeBSD developers, as well as helping to get changes pushed into the FreeBSD source tree, and creating a bigger and healthier ecosystem.
Having a team comprised of people from around the world has allowed us to meet with and talk to a wide variety of people about FreeBSD. From our many conversations, we’ve learned what people are working on, why companies are using or switching to FreeBSD, what FreeBSD features and support is desired, and what are the long-term interests from users, government, universities, and companies. All of this information has not only validated the important work that we’re doing to advance FreeBSD, but it has also helped us determine the areas the Foundation will focus on in 2019, including:
- Increasing our software development work
- Improving FreeBSD testing and infrastructure
- Offering FreeBSD workshops and presentations at more conferences, meetups, and universities
- Recruiting more contributors and users
- Promoting FreeBSD at even more conferences around the world.
I’m excited about the work we’ve accomplished this past year, but more importantly about what we can do to grow the community and make FreeBSD even better. However, we need your help to continue and increase the work we are doing. Your support directly impacts the Project.
If you love FreeBSD like we do, please help us spread the word and, if you haven’t already done so, make a donation today.
P.S. If your company uses FreeBSD, please consider sharing information on our Partnership Program.
Together we can accomplish even more for FreeBSD.