Why We're Canceling Forge: Supporting Wildfire Recovery & A More Expansive Vision
After much consideration, we’ve made the hard decision to cancel Forge, a multi-day conference that was originally scheduled for the end of October in Napa Valley. Everyone at Sentry has been so saddened by the devastating wildfires in Northern California, and we couldn’t imagine holding an event where people are trying to put their lives back together.
This afternoon, we sent emails outlining Forge’s cancellation and our contingency plan to everyone who had registered for the conference. But calling off the physical event in two weeks, despite being the hardest part, is actually just a portion of our Forge story for today.
If you’ve had the good fortune of speaking to our CEO, David Cramer, during the past few months, you’ve probably already heard his take on Forge as community and coalition: “Engineers glimpsing, then building the future of software development.” Instead of limiting ourselves to organizing our first user conference, we had already started to outline a loose set of values, with Forge being a hearth and hammer for greater, more lasting change.
Last week, we began to ask ourselves how those values held up in the aftermath of the fires and whether holding an event in Napa Valley would be the right thing. Although we had assurances that the beautiful venue we had booked was unaffected, and we heard from registrants that they were still excited to come out, we continued to mull over what we wanted Forge to be and what the best way was to bring together a community around new goals and practices.
In the interest of continuing to invest in and support the values of our local community, we’re matching employee donations to organizations helping Napa Valley recover from the fires and offering event registrants and sponsors the option to donate their refunds to Redwood Empire Food Bank and Napa Valley Community Foundation. We hope that everyone reading this takes to heart their opportunity to give, either to those organizations or to many others supporting recovery in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
We’re also revisiting and expanding the original plans for Forge. Although it won’t be a definitive two-day experience for a few hundred badass engineers at a winery, it’s still an opportunity to hammer out important guiding principles and vision for the future of software:
- We’re exploring ways to bring you the story and content from the speakers.
- We’re working on plans for local programming in San Francisco.
- We’re gathering details on how leaders in the field develop, operate, and observe software.
- We’re planning new ways for students and underrepresented community members to contribute.
- We’re seeking input from partners and others in the developer tools space on how we can drive the conversation around modern software.
- We’re planning ways to give more, including a service-oriented component for future events.
For all of us at Sentry, Forge is about how engineering is changing and becoming more malleable, in the service of building better, more durable and functional applications. That’s why we chose the name Forge in the first place.
Although the concept starts with Sentry’s users, it’s meant to extend well beyond. Forge is for both the engineers clearing paths through automation and observability as well as those looking for ways to drive productivity, speed, and user-centricity for the first time. That community is way bigger than any single summit, and we’re eager to see what we can do without that constraint.
We’ll share more details in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, we’re grateful to our registrants and sponsors for their commitment, and our thoughts are with all our friends in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Please stay tuned.