When we started Vyatta, we made a conscious decision to make the company based on open source software and principles. We assumed, that since we were open source software, that there would be software coding done by or community that would help us along in our product development. We have leveraged and contributed to a number of open source projects (XORP, iptables, FreeSWAN, etc.), but in reality we have not seen a wealth of intricate router/firewall/VPN code patches, bug fixes and features from our developer community. Don't get me wrong, we've seen some great code from the developer community and we strongly encourage this to continue, but thinking back on things it makes sense that Vyatta users should spend their time extending our system for their specific environments. Networks are complex systems and the Vyatta system clearly appeals to users who need the flexability of an open source solution.
With this said, I have been very impressed with the way our user community has supported each other. We now have a good number of very knowledgeable users that we have never met (Arturo, Jacobo, Jon, Nick and others I am talking about you :) that provide excellent answers to our community. We see new people on the vyatta-users mailing list everyday and I am sure that this community support will continue to grow quickly. This involvement helps us out each and every day - thank you to everyone!
We're also impressed with the way people have been helping us test out the Vyatta system. Nick has done some extensive testing and www.openmaniak.com has built a Vyatta tutorial. These are some of the most visible examples of community involvement and if you know of others, please let me know.
We're watching the community grow, let's keep having people help people!