25 Years of Asterisk

It’s hard to believe that Asterisk has been around for 25 years. It started in humble beginnings as a phone system for a fledgling company, only to grow and expand to become the purpose of that company itself eventually. While I was not there from the beginning, I was there from the fairly early days.

Back then, it was the wild west. VoIP was still new. SIP was still new, and its problems had yet to be discovered. STIR/SHAKEN was in the minds of no one. The cost of calling people was still high (in comparison to what we pay today). Asterisk swiftly emerged onto the scene and became THE open source phone system. It disrupted the traditional phone system market and gave the power back to the users and deployers to do things the way they wanted at a price they could handle.

As the industry evolved and expanded, Asterisk continued to do so as well. Thanks to the numerous contributions and the community around the project, it expanded in functionality and scope beyond what anyone could have envisioned. Its usage grew and grew in more clever and interesting ways. Every week, by helping individuals and talking to them, I find new ways that Asterisk is used. The flexibility of Asterisk means you are always surprised by what people are doing.

This evolution and expansion continue to happen to this day. While Asterisk started as a phone system, it has also become a telephony toolkit. This has given users even more power and control, especially developers, allowing them to manifest ideas more rapidly in the communications space by providing easy-to-use and understandable interfaces. This is where a lot of the power in Asterisk is these days. This aspect is filled with endless possibilities and untapped potential.

I want to thank everyone who has helped Asterisk get to this point. Those who have contributed code or ideas, filed issues, helped others on forums and other places, and spread the word of Asterisk itself. It’s been a wild 25 years, and we still have more to go. It’s not too late to join me and others on the journey through participating in the Asterisk project and community. You can find us on GitHub or the Community Forums. All help is welcome!

As always, I enjoy sharing extra resources. If you’re intrigued by the history of Asterisk and other related topics, I invite you to check out the webinar I gave on the fascinating “Evolution of Asterisk”.

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