It was ten years ago, on July 19, 2002, that QGIS was officially unveiled. That first release was primitive, supporting only PostGIS layers and having little in the way of navigation controls. Invoking the open source mantra of "release early and release often," I announced it on Freshmeat and waited.
Slowly it began to attract attention---not all of it positive. Some questioned why I was starting a new open source GIS project when there were others I could join. Others were interested in signing up to help. In those early days, getting one or two messages a week on the one and only mailing list was exciting. It was a slow start, but as more people joined the project, QGIS began to grow exponentially.
Over the years, we added support for additional vector formats, rasters, on the fly projection, map composition, Python scripting, and more features than I can possibly list.
Today QGIS is used all over the world, in a myriad of disciplines. If you find QGIS useful, please consider supporting the project through direct involvement or a sponsorship.
I founded QGIS; the community built it. Here's to many more successful years as one of the leading open source GIS projects.