ApacheCon US 2009

Brian Behlendorf


Brian Behlendorf has been a geek since he sat down at his dad's TRS-80 Model III in 1981 and wrote "10 PRINT HELLO, STUPID!; 20 GOTO 10". He was grateful for not getting onto the Internet until he got to college at Berkeley in 1991, otherwise he would have never graduated high school. His time-destroying passion for electronic music and a desire to share that with everyone led to a gig at Wired Magazine building its first web site, then one of the first ad-supported websites, HotWired, in 1995. Bored with building an awesome web site for an awesome magazine, Brian joined Cliff Skolnick and others to start Organic Online. Organic built websites for corporate behemoths, but it was mostly a cover to allow Brian and Cliff to rabble-rouse other geeks into starting a bizarre capitalist-nerd experiment dubbed "Apache", shamelessly stealing an entire prehistoric culture's symbology just to sound cool. Brian's actual coding skills are pretty weak, so he focused instead on being "sysadmin to the stars", supporting Apache's infrastructure, jealously guarding the root password and keys to the server room, and becoming a pointy-haired boss in the Apache Software Foundation. Despite all that, people seemed to actually like this Apache thing, so Brian then started a company in 1999 called CollabNet, intent on creating new baby Apaches all over the place (as in, more open source communities, encouraging businesses to be more open in their development practices, you know, spreading the vibe!). After an instant (eight years) smash success with that, Brian handed off the founder & CTO reins to chill out and travel, and discovered all these new open source projects solving real-world problems in new ways. Brian started to write about this, and advocate for the idea of open source collaboration as a key to solving some big problems in the world. Brian's conversion to wanky marketing talking-head droid complete, he has been in Washington DC since February 2009 advising the federal government on ways it can be more transparent, collaborative, and participative through and around technology.