The origin of DevConf is a lot like how many open source applications get started: something that starts as something one or a few people might find useful, but then growing into something much larger and widely known. But its humble origins belie the impact of the DevConf event: with three national-level events in the U.S, India, and original Czech Republic that thousands of participants from around the world attend every year.
Not bad for a conference that got started as an internal meeting. You know the kind: the semi-regular get-together where you sit through presentations on what everyone else in the office is doing at that moment. In 2008, the Red Hat Czech offices had about 25 developers who did not have a clear picture of what everyone else was working on. Except rather than being a mind-numbing exercise of status reports, the one-day event was a constructive enterprise of collaboration and cross-pollination across different projects.