January 20-22, 2012, Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel

The Care and Feeding of an Open Source Community

Meghan Gill


An open source project is only as strong as the developer community around it. The traditional marketing strategies may not be applicable when dealing with a more discerning developer audience in the age of social media. So how does an open source project gain traction and usage? How do you fight FUD to build community around new technology? How does a project gain respect and mindshare among opinionated and fickle geeks? This session will examine these questions through a case study of the MongoDB project. Released for the first time in 2009, downloads of the open source database now exceed 100,000 each month and dozens of MongoDB events around the world have consistently sold out. Through bottoms-up developer outreach, MongoDB is seeing broad adoption in both the web and enterprise arenas. Meghan Gill leads the marketing and community development efforts at 10gen, the company that develops and supports the MongoDB project. She’ll talk about how seeding local user groups, organizing meetups large and small, building a social media presence, identifying advocates, and handling critics. We’ll also discuss the challenges of balancing the growth of a commercial ecosystem alongside free adoption.

Presentation Slides: