David Duffett June 20th, 2012
Hello Asterisk community!
As you will have seen from Bryan John’s blog post some days ago, I am privileged to become the new Director for the worldwide Asterisk community.
I want to thank Bryan for the work he has done while in the role of Community Director, and it is good to know that he is still involved in the project.
Having been involved with Asterisk for some years, I have always felt an enormous sense of gratitude towards Mark Spencer (currently CTO at Digium), for creating Asterisk in the first place, and to the numerous people that have made contributions to the project – for giving us such an amazing communications tool kit.
I see Asterisk as an IP communications engine which is as flexible as it is powerful. I see it as a communications application development environment, that allows the rapid construction of solutions to satisfy all kinds of requirements – and although it is in large part deployed as a business PBX, I also see Asterisk as a kind of flexible filler or glue that allows the connection of disparate systems that would either have not been possible, or would have been too costly, in the past.
Coming from the computer telephony card industry, it was amazing to me to find that an application, such as IVR, that previously required a $10,000 telephony card, a number of (probably beardy) C programmers and a large chunk of time, could now be completed within a few minutes on a platform that was FREE.
Of course, nothing is really free – and Asterisk has cost Mark and many others lots of time. It has required the investment of expertise from a whole range of generous people – not just in developing the code for Asterisk, but for testing, documenting, bug-marshalling and the list goes on.
Along with the privilege of being the community Director comes the responsibility of serving the community and to do my best to consider, protect and enhance the interests of the community – and I will be looking to do this over the coming months. I am very enthusiastic about Asterisk, and about us as a community.
The place I would like to start looking for improvements is in the area of recognition. It seems to me that although the community is something we can and should be proud of, there is always room for improvement – and there has not been as much recognition of individual contributors, community-minded companies and innovative Asterisk-based solutions as there should be.
We now have a special e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for you to highlight the work of people, companies or neat Asterisk implementations that you think should be brought to the attention of the community for special recognition.
When I say recognition, this does not me we have a truck load of cash to distribute between all worthy community members (I did ask!), but it does mean that there are a number of ways in which appreciation can be shown – a public thank you from Mark at AstriCon, a private e-mail of gratitude, an award at AstriCon for a great implementation or a neat idea are all examples of how community appreciation could be demonstrated.
There should also be a recognition of where things can be improved, and I would like you to use that same e-mail address to send in your views and ideas about how the workings of the community can be improved, how Digium can be a better participant in the community and anything else you feel is relevant to makings things better as we move forward.
Talking of improvements, as you may have heard from Kevin Fleming, Digium has invested in better interacting with the community by creating a new role, and appointing a member of the Engineering team – Rusty Newton – to respond to the mass of communications that arrive by IRC, the various mailing lists and other electronic forums. Rusty and I will be working closely together to ensure that we both serve the community in the most appropriate way.
I would also invite you to contact me directly at email@example.com if there are things you feel strongly about. So long as our collective base-line is a genuine desire to improve things for everyone, I would love to hear from you.
AstriCon is approaching (do remember: if you are serious about Asterisk, you will be at AstriCon – it’s going to be in Atlanta this year, October 23-25, www.astricon.net) and I am looking forward to meeting you there, and to interacting with you via that various channels that we use in the community over the coming months.
Until next time,
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