From Rocks Stars to Reality

“at #eclipsecon we were rock stars, now back to reality.”

I was sitting waiting for my flight leaving SFO when this great tweet came across my Twitter feed. It came from Kim Moir, and hit on a very important issue that many of us committers face when working on Eclipse.

Many of us work for companies where open source is a means to an end. We continuously fight to explain the value of what we do to business managers driven by revenue and profit, where they measure the price they charge for product based on the value it brings to customers. And frankly, old school businesses struggle to understand that providing free open source does actually bring value to customers. So we are often under the microscope and under pressure to fight for something we dearly believe in.

But at EclipseCon, the world is upside down. People we meet there are very grateful for what we do. We are the experts they want to talk to to get the information they need. They are the people looking to join us on our mission working to each other’s benefit creating great software. Yes, there we are rock stars, or at least the community makes us feel that way. And we dearly appreciate and are humbled by it.

It’s an incredible high and one of the reasons EclipseCon is always one of the best times of my year. And, yeah, it is a bit of a depressing feeling as you start on your way home. The show has ended again for another year and it’s time to go back to our quiet offices, fighting for what we believe in.

We all dream of a world where our work is appreciated there as much as it is in the community. But it is the reality we deal with year after year. And maybe why EclipseCon is such a great time as it brings us together to celebrate the fact we’ve survived another year. Here’s to surviving again and seeing you there at EclipseCon 2011.