it.gen.nz

Writings on technology and society from Wellington, New Zealand

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Celebrate!

Last night I went to the first ever New Zealand Open Source Awards. This was a great evening. There was a big turnout, including some of the luminaries of the New Zealand IT scene – David Cunliffe, Rod Drury, Pete Macaulay to name just three.

And then there were the finalists. As a judge – not sure how that happened, but I was honoured to be asked – I got to see the complete list of nominations. I had *no idea* there was just so much open source going on here, and much of it is playing on a world stage. Getting to the shortlist was staggeringly difficult, and choosing the winners was – well, I hope all finalists are still talking to me!

But the real message here was that New Zealanders are making open source contributions. As one of the winners put it: just about all the big open source project teams around the world have a kiwi in there. The Australians present were kind enough to say we were ahead of them in open source, and I wonder if it’s something to do with our #8 wire mentality, or #8 fibre as David Cunliffe put it. There are some simply stunning projects and people and I was humbled to see the breadth and depth of what they are achieving.

Others have written more than I about the event. I’m glad I went. It was a blast seeing those innovative people recognised. And it was a damn good evening.

Finally, big ups to the sponsors, and particularly to Catalyst IT, who supplied so much of the time of Don Christie, Mike O’Connor (great MC!) and Chris Daish. And no doubt many other Catalystas whose names I don’t know. They look like they are doing pretty well – who says open source is bad for business?

posted by colin at 8:28 pm  

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