The story of the Italian C++ Community
Do not aim for eating as much pie as possible, instead foster the right conditions and the pie will get bigger for everyone
— Marco Arena
Once upon a time…
It’s late 2012 and Marco Arena is a young C++ enthusiast and professional who is virtually attending Going Native 2012. He is daydreaming about organizing a C++ conference in Italy one day.
First, he starts with a low profile and creates a couple of social groups inspired by “C++ Enthusiasts” (a Facebook group that was really popular at that time): he creates both a Facebook and a Linkedin group about C++ in Italy.
The right name for the groups pops up in his mind like a “aha-moment”: ++it. A name that means C++, italy, pre-incrementing that is a C++ distinguishing trait, and iterator (a C++ fundamental concept).
At that time, those spaces do not achieve a resounding success. Marco realizes that he has to create a community, not just a couple of groups.
By chance, at the end of 2012 Marco is also the first italian submitting an article for the brand new isocpp.org. That article gets published and catches someone’s attention (good or bad).
However, Marco pauses the community idea for a while. His mum passed away on 2013, February 2nd.
After some weeks, Marco resumes the project and decides to take it more seriously. First of all, he needs to test the waters to understand “who uses C++ in Italy” and how to engage those people and companies.
He submits a talk about “C++ renaissance” to a famous italian software development conference. It’s rejected, though.
At that time, his article from isocpp.org gets published also on Meeting C++’s blogroll and Marco decides to get in touch with the owner to say thank you. The owner is Jens Weller and Marco shares with him the idea of running an Italian C++ user group. Jens is very supportive and gives Marco lots of suggestions (a few years later, Marco becomes a regular staff member at his conference Meeting C++).
On March 26th, Marco buys the domain italiancpp.org and founds the Italian C++ Community. At the same time, he gets in touch with his friend (and former supervisor) Franco Milicchio to get some insights on the technology to use for the website. Also, he contacts some people of trust who might be interested in supporting the community. Marco shapes the board of council members: Franco Milicchio, Alfredo Di Napoli, Stefano Saraulli, Davide Di Gennaro and Raffaele Rialdi join the crew (mentioned in order ot acceptance).
Marco, Franco and Stefano committed to the development of the website, set up a forum and create a few introduction pages. At that time, the website was a Wordpress hosted, for free, by Cloudbase Solutions. Social channels are managed by Marco only. The website is not publicly launched yet.
In June 2013, the website gets to beta stage and Marco asks a few other people to join the beta testers crew to play with the website. Among them, Giorgio Ugazio and Marco Di Bartolomeo. The former also joins the board until early 2014, when he quits permanently. Since Giorgio is a public figure and he declared something inaccurate, we have to make an official statement: Giorgio Ugazio has not co-founded the Italian C++ Community nor contributed to his conception. He joined the crew of beta testers only following an explicit email invitation sent by Marco Arena in June 2013, and then he joined the staff board for a few months. Also, as you can hear from the video, Giorgio mentions Marco Foco: Marco Foco is a regular member and friend of the community, he contributed with talks, he helped Marco Arena organize the very first meetup in Milan, and supported the staff in other occasions. However, he was not a co-founder either.
These clarifications are mandatory since this page contains the accurate story of our community. Getting on the bandwagon is not an option here.
On June 24th, our home, italiancpp.org gets officially launched.
The first public appearance of the community is on February 26, 2014 at Community Days in Milan, where we looked after an entire track about C++ for 50 people.
We organized the very first meetup on June 28, 2014 in Milan.
After that, we organized several events and meetups in different italian cities.
Marco’s primary goal was achieved in 2016 when he led the organization of the very first Italian C++ Conference, a series of international conferences about C++ based in Italy.
The board of the community has changed through the years and the original crew disbanded mainly because people got busy. Marco Arena is still behind the organization of every meetup, conference, and online activity. Stefano Saraulli and Franco Milicchio are still supportive, mainly regarding the website. Alessandro Vergani joined Marco as co-organizer of Italian C++ Conference and C++ Day event formats in 2017. Some people are generally happy to join the staff at on-site events. Among them, it’s important for us to mention: Guido Pederzini, Marco Foco, Gian Lorenzo Meocci, Raffaele Rialdi, Federico Ficarelli, Riccardo Brugo, Federico Pasqua, Illya Dudchenko.
Last update: December 2022