Sourcing Angie Byron
It's not often you meet someone like Angie Byron.
In meeting her you are reminded that the success of any business model rests squarely on the strength of its underlying relationships. Mostly though, you are reminded of the gift some people have in sparking the good out of people. The kind of good which harnesses diversity and reins it seemingly effortlessly into a direction of cooperative and mutual benefit. Building. Building of people. Building of relationships. That is Angie Byron. Naturally.
Angie Byron is a web architect, a coder and one of the visionaries behind the free web platform Drupal. But watch her in action and you will begin to realise that Angie Byron is glue. The glue which exists between people in forming communities. One such example is in the Open Source community where both her soft and equally apt technical skills come into play. This year saw Angie awarded as "Best Contributor" at the prestigious Google-O'Reilly Open Source Awards.
Open source is essentially a group of volunteers who contribute their time by writing code for a particular software application. Such software applications are then publicly available for free and unrestricted use. The entire Linux operating system, Mozilla web browser and Apache web server are well known examples of open source.
Currently Angie plays a very active part within the Drupal open source community with thousands of contributors around the world. And yes, Angie is a major code contributor here too. Drupal is the freely available framework behind many well known websites such as Warner Brothers Records, Amnesty International and The New York Observer. To the roar of a 500 person audience at a recent Drupal audience held in August, Angie was nominated the "Drupal 7 Core Maintainer." A role which will see Angie guiding the technical vision of Drupal 7 as well as the orchestration of people and core team involved in this forging effort.
However with titles aside, the value this lady brings to such a diverse group of Drupal volunteers is remarkable. She glows with enthusiasm and the sincere willingness to encourage the growth of those around her. "The open source community is a system of relationships, karma and pride between contributors," reflects Angie. But there is also a very realistic aspect too. Developing and progressing open source software not only provides a free software but also creates opportunity for services providers. Such an example is Lullabot where Angie spends 50% of her working career in developing Drupal websites and training clients.
There is definitely something to be said about win-win models. And that is what Angie Byron models by perfect example.
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