2020 Reinforced that the 'community is bigger than just us'

Posted 2020-12-21  in Community
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When we began the year, we knew this would be an important one for DigitalOcean and our team was excited to do what we do best: help developers, startups, and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) be successful testing their ideas and building their businesses in the cloud. What we didn’t know was what this would mean to so many members of our community. 

With 2020 and the shift to a work-from-home environment, we all had to dramatically change the way we operated. Many developers and entrepreneurs across the world have been inspired to spin up new projects or businesses in the light of the pandemic. Their needs changed and our priorities had to shift to support them in this new way of working. 

This wasn’t the year we anticipated, but I am grateful and extremely proud of what our team has been able to accomplish in this unusual and unprecedented year. We stayed true to focusing on you and, in a time when the global community needed it most, we remained focused on simplifying cloud computing so developers and businesses could spend more time creating software that changes the world. 

Allow me to share a few highlights. 

Product innovation to power your success

With a focus on making our cloud even more accessible, reliable, and secure, our product and support teams worked hard to deliver key innovations and make your lives even easier.

We launched App Platform, a whole new take on deploying software apps. App Platform abstracts away the servers to allow users to focus on their code and deploy it with a click of a button. For our customers who didn’t want to worry about provisioning and managing infrastructure, App Platform is a great tool to speed up your work.

To simplify working with containers especially in Kubernetes workflows, we made DigitalOcean Container Registry generally available. This makes it easy to securely store and manage private container images, allowing for rapid deployment to DigitalOcean Kubernetes, and other destinations in future..

To help customers stay more secure, we released DigitalOcean Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), which allows customers to create multiple private networks for their account and/or team, along with our Trust Platform, where we provide honest and real information about privacy and security at DigitalOcean. We also joined the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) initiative for CDN and Cloud Providers to reduce common routing security threats and help make the internet a safer place. 

Finally, we introduced improved and different-sized Load Balancers products as well as Storage Optimized Droplets for customers who wanted VMs with larger, faster disks.

Investment in learning for the community of developers and entrepreneurs

Learning has always been a major focus of ours at DigitalOcean and this year we continued to invest in developer education to help our customers and community grow their skills through high-quality content. 

In 2020, we published more than 400 original tutorials and released 10 free eBooks, including reference guides on topics like SysAdmin needs and how-tos on new programming languages. We fielded more than 4,500 questions and 7,400 answers to help developers get the help they needed on specific questions, and hosted 63 educational Tech Talks throughout the year. 

We also held our first ever global community conference, deploy, to bring together our global community to celebrate the things we care about most: learning, building, and creating. 

Our community is bigger than just us

Our community is bigger than just us. This is one of our company’s values, and also one of our most important promises to the global community of developers and entrepreneurs. In 2020, our focus on community was also one of the most powerful things we did here at DigitalOcean.

We again hosted our Hacktoberfest (for the 7th straight year!) to bring the community together to celebrate open source software. The program looked a lot different this time around. We worked with project maintainers to shift the program to an “opt-in” model for open source projects so we could help improve the quality of contributions and we made Hacktoberfest 100% virtual. We also provided an option for participants to choose to “plant a tree” instead of receiving a t-shirt as a reward for participation. Close to 170,000 participants joined us from 135 countries worldwide, and together we made more than half a million pull requests and planted more than 6,000 trees. 

Last, but certainly not least, this year we introduced Hub for Good, a program near to my heart. Hub for Good encourages collaboration among people looking to solve the unique challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as social and racial injustice. 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us and we were happy to do our part to help where we could. The program connects educators and innovators to share their knowledge or experiences to help people in need, and to give developers a place to come together to serve their communities. So far we’ve accepted more than 1,000 projects into the program and provided more than $150,000 in support. 

Hub for Good is DO's most important commitment yet, to our community is bigger than just us. In 2021, we will expand the donation of our infrastructure to people around the world who seek to make our world, our community, a better place.

Excited for 2021

As we look ahead to 2021, I’m encouraged to see positive change on the horizon. With the vaccines, and other medical and social breakthroughs we hope to get back to a new kind of normal soon. But we will be sure not to forget the lessons learned from this unique year. 

As for DigitalOcean, our team will continue to stay focused on our customers and the global community of developers and entrepreneurs. And we will continue to do our best for DO to be the place where they come to test their ideas, build their businesses, and realize their dreams.

Our best to you as we close out 2020 and look forward to a better 2021!