29 November 2016 Culture

Elastic Heart: The Center of the Elastic Cause Awards

Von Leah Sutton

"The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life." — Jane Addams

When you are new to a company (I started last January as VP of Human Resources), there is a heritage and context to the culture that takes a while to learn. Much of it is subtle, nuanced and intangible because culture, in many ways, is felt rather than described. Elastic is also the most distributed and global company I’ve ever been a part of — 400+ people in 34 countries and counting.

Being new to Elastic and to open source software, one aspect of our culture that was particularly notable to me is the special relationship we have with our user community and our customers. They truly are an extension of our wonderful, global family. As soon as you ask someone about the customers or users they work with, a light comes on. Faces become animated, eyes sparkle, voices rise in excitement (and yes, maybe there is an occasional eye roll, we’re human after all).

Passion for our community shines through and one begins to understand that the work the Elastic community does with our products, and support in all forms of that work, is a driving force at Elastic. Whether it’s our developers, support engineers, marketing folks or sales teams, if we touch a customer or user on a daily basis we want them to succeed to achieve the best work of their lives using the Elastic Stack. When we recruit and hire, that passion for our product and community is a quality we seek and recognize the instant we see it.

There is a deep respect for the breadth of problems that our customers and users solve with our products but there is a special joy and humility felt by all of us when we learn about how the Elastic Stack is being used to solve problems beyond the merits of solving a particular use case or building a commercial application. These use cases are about building something, doing something, fundamentally good in the world, such as Giant Oak using the Elastic Stack to fight human trafficking. We feel how much they inspire us and each other and we celebrate their power to change the world for the better using software. Our software.

This is why we are deeply excited to launch the first-ever Elastic Cause Awards — a celebration of three Elastic user-community projects that use the Elastic Stack to advance the human condition, improve the global environment or help a particular population in need. We want these stories to be shared, celebrated and known by our entire user community; hopefully inspiring more game changing ideas. This year’s award winners will be recognized at Elastic{ON}17. Our goal is to give the awards annually and we would love to see the program and the projects it sparks grow over time. If you are an Elastic user and believe your work is fulfilling a good cause, I encourage you to apply. We want to tell your story and celebrate the difference you are making in the world.

Elastic Heart