When I joined OSS Watch a couple of years ago my role was to enhance the community development work we undertake. I, and the rest of the OSS Watch team, have worked hard to understand how to build viable open source communities in the academic sector. Personally I can attest to having learned a great deal, yet it still surprised me when my colleague, Gabriel, reported on our recent trip to ApacheCon by saying that he observed me bringing community development lessons form my OSS Watch activity to the experts in the ASF.
I guess this is one reason why the ASF board recently approved a resolution to create a new Community Development project and appointing me as Vice President of Community Development. I look forward to this new activity in the ASF allowing me to further cross-fertilise between the ASF and the UK HE/FE sector, whilst the launching of a new EC project focussing on a wider engagement of computer scientists in open source projects will allow us to reach out to other software foundations.