Turns out there's nothing like working together in person to push a cloud project forward.

To help make that valuable face time happen, the OpenStack Foundation funded the travel and hotel accommodations for 21 men and 7 women who are key contributors to attend the OpenStack Summit Vancouver.

"We would never have had the chance to develop most of the features we've been making in Keystone, Nova and Horizon in the last months," says Henrique Truta, one of four team members from the Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG) in Brazil who were funded by the program. "The face-to-face time with the community is totally essential for getting our work done."

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The Travel Support Program is based on the premise of Open Design, a commitment to an open design process that welcomes the public, including users, developers, and upstream projects. One of the core goals is to maintain a healthy, vibrant developer and user community on channels including IRC, but like Raildo Mascena, a software engineer at UFCG says, nothing beats meeting in person.

"The most important experience that I had was talking in person with the guys that I work with every day in the IRC channel," says Mascena. "It's totally different when we have the entire team at the same table discussing the priorities for the next release, and without the Travel Support Program, it would be impossible to be present to discuss this features with the OpenStack Community."

The program helps cover costs for travel and accommodation for key contributors to the OpenStack project to join the community at the Summits.

Of 68 applicants, there were 28 people accepted in the program from 14 different countries, spanning five continents. Of the recipients, eight attendees traveled from India, four from Brazil, three from Australia and the remaining were from Southeast Asia, Europe, South America and Canada.

Madhuri Kumari, an OpenStack developer at NEC Technologies, was one of the eight travel grantees who was also attending an OpenStack Summit for the first time.

“Because of the Travel Support Program, I was able to attend the design summit and contribute to OpenStack in ways that would not have otherwise been possible," says Kumari who is based in Tokyo.

The cost for the Foundation totaled more than $60,000 USD, including the cost of four full access passes granted to non-active technical contributors (ATCs).

Stay tuned for when the Foundation announces the applications for the Travel Support Applications for the October Summit in Tokyo.

The Travel Support Program will also be a sponsorship opportunity for the upcoming Summit. Details are currently available in the sponsorship prospectus.