Ted Dunning Appointed Vice President for the ASF Incubator

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4 min read

Ted Dunning, Chief Application Architect for MapR, recently sat down to talk about his new role as Vice President for the Apache Software Foundation Incubator Project.

The Incubator project is the entry path into The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) for those who want their projects and code bases to become part of the Foundation's efforts. The incubator is the way that most projects have come to Apache over the last few years, especially when the projects have many contributors unfamiliar with Apache.

The Apache Incubator has two primary goals:

  1. To ensure all incubated projects are in accordance with the ASF legal standards
  2. To help develop new communities that adhere to the guiding principles known as the "Apache way"

Below are some of the highlights of the interview, where Ted talks about what his motivations are and what he wants to bring to the Incubator during his term. View the entire interview with Ted Dunning below.

What excites you about your new role?

Ted: Incubator is a really important function of Apache. People often ask me, “What’s the best software that’s going to come from Apache?” That question is instantly a contradiction with the way things actually work, because software doesn’t come “from” Apache —software comes “to” Apache. People bring projects, software donations, or small contributions to Apache all the time. But software comes _to_ Apache. Apache does not provide development resources. Rather, it provides a place for a community to crystalize—for people to come together and share goals around particular projects so that they can work together.

What motivates individuals to contribute to the Incubator?

Ted: There really are a wide range of motivations. Some people want to work on something cool; that’s all that really gets them going. They may or may not have a day job that supports that, but they’re not going to be able to stop working on it because it’s a really cool project. Sometimes, it’s the case where someone figures out a particular capability—it might be mathematical, it might be software, it might be infrastructural, etc., but they just want to share that capability because it’s really cool. It also might be that they’re working for a company that has a product that they would like to have more widely spread among the community. That sounds contradictory, but it’s actually a common case where a company has a product—even one which is one of their core products—and it’s actually better to share the load, the software, and the market. In general, there’s a huge range of motivations for working at Apache. Mostly, these are people who can’t help working on technical projects, so they just want to do it.

What is your goal for the upcoming term?

Ted: My goal is to help the Incubator work well. The Incubator is a difficult thing to manage, but it’s how most projects come to Apache. The problem is that people who come to ASF with projects generally don’t necessarily understand Apache, so there has to be some way for these people to have training wheels on when they first work with us. They have to be able to learn what it means to build an Apache release, as well as the subtle non-coding aspects of building Apache software.

Contact Ted via Twitter: @Ted_Dunning or send a Tweet to @ASFIncubator

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This blog post was published April 16, 2015.
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