As a company, we always ask ourselves - why should we participate in this or that event as an exhibitor?
Since open source projects should also ask themselves this question (and need to be clear about their target groups), I have published my thoughts on this using two events as examples and as part of the openHAB community in a guest post on the openHAB blog.
The short summary: There are at least three target groups that OSS communities address.
- The "invisible" members of a community who do things and also like to work with the software ecosystem, but do not get involved within the community. The goal here is to turn the "me and you" into a "we".
- The "beginners" in the thematic field that the OSS community plays in. Pointing out existing solutions and inviting people to join in (instead of reinventing the wheel) is the goal here.
- The "closed source software providers", who can be shown the advantages of a strong open source community for their own products. The time for bashing is over and it is more important to extend an invitation to participate.
And because there are at least these three target groups, the participation of the open source community in diverse events should also be a matter of course "outside their own bubble". That it is nevertheless not easy to win the critical mass of volunteers as ambassadors for open source software is something I experience regularly as part of the various OSS communities. I will write a separate blog post about this when the opportunity arises.
BTW: I was particularly pleased that our student intern Finn came third in the #buildings category at the Bosch Hackathon together with his colleague Elias. Congratulations once again.