“The amazing vibe of the community has never changed”

Pedro Alves, Pentaho Community Manager
Pedro Alves, Pentaho Community Manager

Don´t ask Pedro Alves about his talk. If there is one thing I have learned in organizing all the Pentaho Community/User Meetings in the last years, it is this: the creator of Pentaho Ctools will decide spontaneously what he will talk about at Pentaho Community Meeting. One reason more to join the event – and many others according to Pedro.

This is the 10th edition of Pentaho Community Meeting. How did it all start?
The beginning was simple – a small bunch of passionate people with something that connected them, Pentaho. We were working and talking on a daily basis and the suggestion came almost naturally: “Hey, instead of typing, why don’t we get together on a weekend and chat over a couple of drinks?” And after all these years, we’re still going!

How did the Community Meetings evolve if you compare the last with the first one?
It’s definitely different – which, IMO, is a really great sign. Just like the product itself, a community either evolves or fades away. In the beginning, it was a very niche product with a very technically hardcore set of dev-oriented people, some of them (most?) are still around. But throughout the years we’ve got a great balance of not only technical users interested in the bowels of the code but also business users looking for use cases and ideas of how to best leverage the product on their organizations.

Pedro during his talk at Pentaho User Meeting 2017 in Frankfurt
Pedro during his talk at Pentaho User Meeting 2017 in Frankfurt

There’s one thing that hasn’t changed though – the amazing vibe you get from that group. In a lot of cases, the main motivation for attending the community event is not even the product itself but the fact that people know they’ll find friends and familiar faces that want to spend a good and relaxed time while learning a lot throughout the process.

If you look back at Pentaho/Ctools back in 2008, what comes to your mind?
On Ctools in particular, it is absolutely unbelievable that something that was created almost by accident has grown so much. For Pentaho in general, it is the huge growth the company went through. In the first community meeting, the size of the company was around 30. Today, it is roughly 500 people and part of a group with over 20,000 employees. And the community / open source roots are still part of our DNA.

What will your talk be about?
Oh, no idea, I’ll figure it out! The good thing about these events is that they are very down to earth.

Last but not least: What do you expect from the event?
Oh, as usual, good conversations, learn a lot, do some sightseeing – all in all, spend great time with great people!