O'Reilly Media aims to be an advocate for computer professionals. The company publishes technology books (including its iconic "animal books" for software developers, featuring illustrations of animals on the cover), and produces technical conferences, websites, and magazines. It also provides research services and software. Topics covered include UNIX, Java, Windows, Apple and Mac, and a slew of other operating systems and Internet programming languages. O'Reilly Media also has books devoted to topics in business and culture. Its events include the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and the Maker Faire. Owner Tim O'Reilly founded the company as a technical writing firm in 1978.
One particular bright spot for O'Reilly Media is the company's Maker Media division. Its flagship MAKE magazine is devoted to do-it-yourself (DIY) technology projects, while its Maker Shed online retail store specializes in project-oriented science and technology kits and tools. Its annual companion conference, Maker Faire, was launched in 2006 in San Mateo, California. That year it attracted 20,000 visitors; in 2011 the event drew in 100,000 people. It now has spin-offs in Detroit and New York.
Through a partnership with Pearson Education, the company also operates Safari Books Online, an online database of technology books and information for technology, business, and creative professionals. In addition to content from O'Reilly and Pearson, Safari Books Online also includes material from more than 100 publishing partners.
O'Reilly Media has US offices in Sebastopol, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts. It has international operations in the UK, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and China.