As we countdown the days and weeks to ApacheCon North America, we invited Rich Bowen, Apache Software Foundation’s Vice Present of Conferences, to talk about all the great things that we’ve got coming your way in Las Vegas at ApacheCon, 9-12 September. Also, be sure to check out Rich’s full interview on our Apache Feathercast podcast.

Q: ApacheCon will feature four days of Apache project content, including Big Data, Mobile, Machine Learning, Cloudstack, Cassandra. Share with us how ApacheCon has changed over time since you’ve been with the Foundation?

A: We've been working toward a completely project-led schedule for the last few years, which is a big change from the early days. I'm excited about this year's event because this is the year that this approach has really come to fruition. Our projects are actually running their own content, which is interesting to see.

What we do is ask our projects, "Do you want to put on your own conference? We'll handle the logistics. You bring the content." We had 17 projects this year say “yes”. We also have tracks on Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT).

In addition, we have the Community Track, which you'll be hearing about in an upcoming Feathercast interview with Sharan Foga. The Community Track answers the questions about what Apache is, how it works, and how can you build communities inside Apache. Ahead of the conference, we’ll be talking with many other Track Leaders including Giles Sirett who heads up the CloudStack Collaboration Conference, George Percivall who will lead the Geospatial Track, and Felix Cheung who will lead the Machine Learning and Streaming Tracks.

Q: How will the ApacheCon keynotes and tracks provide attendees the opportunity to learn about how “The Apache Way” and help projects thrive?

A: A lot of people in technology are working with one or more of our technologies already. But ApacheCon is the place to come and talk with the people who make that technology happen -- both to influence the paths that those projects take and to learn from the deep experts how to do your job better.

I'm especially excited about some of our keynotes for this year’s event. Award-winning author and futurist David Brin, "father of Java," David Gosling, and 10-year-old CoderBunnyz/One Billion Kids Can Code founder Samaira Mehta will share their expertise on a wide range of topics including STEM, AI, SETI, java programming, privacy and national security. It's a long-running joke around ApacheCon that I use it to gather my heroes on stage so that I can meet them. And this year is no exception.

Q: As the ASF looks to celebrate its 20th anniversary at ApacheCon, how has the “Apache Way” evolved over time? What kinds of "Tomorrow's Technology Today" projects can we expect to see at the conference?

A: The ASF was founded 20 years ago with just two projects and now we've grown to 200 projects. Over the years, we've seen several inflection points in technology that have been driven by the Apache Software Foundation. For example, Apache is very instrumental in the development of the machine-learning and artificial-intelligence software eco-system with Hadoop and Spark and other related projects – things in the news today.

What I’d say to potential attendees is that ApacheCon is the place to come to find out what you're going to be working on in the future. The future is invented at the ASF in our projects, which ultimately have a major impact in the technology world.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone in Las Vegas at ApacheCon. We’ll spend four days learning about the latest innovations from dozens of Apache projects and their communities.


-- Sign up at

-- Discounted Hotel Rooms: Book your room before 19 August! We are offering special room rates at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. Your options will be based on availability, or when the block is sold out. Book at

Finally, if you want to get involved, or have any more questions, there are several ways to get in touch with us.

-- Join our mailing lists:
-- Email the ApacheCon planners directly:
-- Follow us on Twitter: @apachecon
-- Visit the ApacheCon website: