I’ve been given a couple of reasons to think about what it is that I value about being a contributor to the Apache Software Foundation this year. Someone raised the question of "the Apache way" again today, and so I thought it was worth repeating my own opinions.
I value that projects are not islands. I also value that multiple projects are allowed in the same space allowing each to innovate, and for collaboration to occur on more natural rather than imposed terms. I value that there are a not a great number of rules and policies, but that there are enough to ensure the fundamental principles of the Foundation are unchanging.
I value that the ASF focuses on enabling, whether that be by bringing people together from across the world, by enabling others to build solutions on top of ASF projects through the Apache License, or by enabling change, such as the work in the JCP.
I value most the opportunity to work with, and meet in person, great people.
I’m a "true believer" in the concept of community before code. I don’t believe that means discussing instead of doing – but rather doing something openly, and being inclusive of developers, contributors, and users alike to seek the best solutions. I particularly dislike artificial barriers to openness. I believe open communities not only mature faster, but are generally more fun to be around.
Of course, not everyone has the same opinion, and it doesn’t always work out that way – but as an individual, it is how I try to guide my participation.