Apache Flink is a project with a very active, supportive, and continuously growing community. Last year, Flink was among the top ten projects of the Apache Software Foundation with the most traffic on user and development mailing lists. Looking back, Flink started as a research prototype developed by three PhD students at TU Berlin in 2009. In 2014, the developers donated the code base to the ASF and joined the newly founded Apache Flink incubator project. Within three years, Flink grew into a healthy project and gained a lot of momentum.

In my presentation, I will discuss Flink's journey from an academic research project to one of the most active projects of the Apache Software Foundation. I will talk about the academic roots of the project, how the original developers got introduced to the ASF, Flink's incubation phase, and how its community evolved after it graduated and became an ASF top-level project. My talk will focus on the decisions, efforts, and circumstances that helped to grow a vital and welcoming open source community.