Goodbye To SCALE
When SCALE began 14 years ago, it was a small one-day event with two speaker tracks and about 30 exhibitors. It has grown into one of the largest free & open source conferences in North America. Thinking about all that the core SCALE team and hundreds of volunteers have accomplished over the last 14 years fills me with a great deal of pride. SCALE 14x was everything that I ever wanted SCALE to become and more.
Following this past SCALE, the team has seen some changes, with several members of the team choosing to step down. Thomas King, who had co-chaired the SCALE Audio-Visual committee. Tom was responsible for ensuring a top notch experience for attendees in the SCALE speaker sessions. Mike Maki and Stuart Sheldon, SCALE Technical committee chair and SCALE Technical director respectively, both responsible for ensuring the best possible technical experience for SCALE attendees leading up to and during the SCALE conference. These individuals have been instrumental in making SCALE into the amazing event that it has become and I have enjoyed working with all of three of them.
When I first participated in co-founding the event it was a very exciting time, figuring out how to create an event that we ourselves wanted to attend. An event that was reflective of our passion for the free & open source philosophy. Over the years it has been my pleasure and my honor to advocate for the non-profit & open source projects who attended SCALE each year and to help provide many individuals their first opportunity to speak at a conference. I took great pride each year in bringing new aspects to the show that increased the diversity of those attending the show by pulling from the different groups within the FOSS community. I consider my involvement in the Next Generation track, the UpSCALE sessions, and various mini-conferences for FOSS projects & groups such as Ubuntu's UbuCon, PostgreSQL@SCALE & the Ada Initiative's Ally Workshops as great accomplishments. A massive thank you to all those who were involved with those events.
Unfortunately the SCALE organization and the non-profit organization that oversees SCALE are no longer aligned with my free & open source beliefs and principles, so it is time for me to step away from my roles within SCALE. This was not an easy decision to make and one that have I struggled with for quite some time. I believe it to be the best decision for the organization and myself. I wish the team at large the best of luck in all their future endeavors and look forward to seeing what they accomplish.
UPDATE March 12th, 2016
I was asked by a few people to explain how the SCALE organization and the non-profit organization behind SCALE are no longer aligned with my free & open source beliefs and principles. For the past 10 years the non-profit organization behind SCALE has been controlled by a single person who has allowed no insight into the operational procedures or financial information. Even without a presumption of wrongdoing, the lack of transparency raises questions and concerns, and does not follow the free & open source philosophy. Myself and others attempted for many years to ensure openness and transparency but unfortunately were unable to succeed in this regard. Over the past decade, there have been times when people have been erased from the governing board without consent, when the board was made up of just a single person, and when individuals who had fought to bring more professionalism decided to resign. It is my hope that choosing to leave at this time may make it possible to highlight and thus bring about real change. It is not my intent to assign blame, obviously there are two sides to every story and this is mine based on the facts as I experienced them. Every organization, particularly those in the free & open source community have these similar issues and by sharing this, I hope those organization can learn from these experiences as I have.