Free and open-source software (FOSS)
During my lunch break, right before my afternoon classes at the college, I randomly scrolled through my LinkedIn feed and stumbled across a post that mentioned that the IndiaFOSS 2.0 conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. So I instantly wrote Isabella and Paul if it is okay to attend this event on behalf of ICT4D.at. On the same afternoon, I held my class, rushed home, and jumped on the next bus to Bengaluru right afterward.
The conference was held in the beautiful NIMHANS Convention Center in Bengaluru. Breakfast, lunch, and tea were provided throughout the conference. Volunteers were my personal heroes of the conference. They really did a fantastic job in making the weekend an unforgettable experience. The talks were also really great, and each talk was totally interesting and inspiring. Again, sadly I could not split myself to attend all talks because I had a really hard time deciding which talk to attend next. Not to forget, I made really great connections during the conference and met many passionate people who love to build and solve not only technical but also social problems and use tech for good. It reminded me a lot of the participants at the InDIITA workshop.
Since I am also teaching Software Engineering, it was really motivating to see others having the same goal. The passionate people from mon.school are also trying to bring joy in learning programming to everyone who is interested for free. They created their own CMS to focus on programming courses based on the Frappe framework and currently are on the search for content creators.
One of the most inspiring and interesting discussions I’ve ever listened to was the session together with Rudra Saraswat. He talked about the countless projects he is creating and contributing to, his passion for using Ubuntu and Arch Linux, and how he got interested in programming. Rudra describes himself as
I’m a 12-year old n00b trying to
- develop Ubuntu Unity, Ubuntu Web, UnityX, Gamebuntu, Una, UbuntuEd, Skull and Ubuntu Remixes
- balance my usage of Arch and Ubuntu
- stop ricing i3-gaps
What stick the most in my head was his answer to the question on how he learned and gathered all the knowledge needed to do those things he is currently working on. I really cannot quote know the exact answer anymore, but the essence was that you do not essentially need to buy any expensive online or offline courses, get a university or college degree, or need guidance from a teacher to gather knowledge. Everything you need to know is available for free on the internet. You just have to know how to use Google, YouTube, and boards and interact with the passionate community and people online. Many kudos to you, and thanks a lot for that, Rudra!
Self-hosting with Nomad
Because I am also a huge fan of self-hosting and still always on the search to try new awesome technology, I attended the interesting talk held by Karan Sharma on how to use Nomad for self-hosting. If anyone is interested, here are the awesome slides of his talk. I share the same opinion that it is huge fun to experiment and test when doing self-hosting and that you really can benefit from those learnings.
API and UI test automation with Karate
Never heard about Karate before, but it is definitely on my “to-try” list now. I just have to mention it here because it really sounds awesome, and I did not know that such a tool with such a huge feature set actually exists.
Karate is the only open-source tool to combine API test-automation, mocks, performance-testing and even UI automation into a single, unified framework.
GitHub for India
Karan M.V. presented the current stats like users, projects, and contributions for 2022 on GitHub in India. On GitHub, there is a repository where you can find resources and information for the dev community in India. There is also another collection of open-source projects built-in or receiving significant contributions from India.
This was also an awesome, interesting, and insightful session held by Akansha Doshi about Excalidraw and how they implemented end-to-end encryption. Excalidraw is a virtual whiteboard for sketching hand-drawn diagrams with end-to-end encryption. The story of their product and how the decision to make it open-source helped was amazing and really inspiring.
Tinkerhub movement among youth in Kerala
Another inspiring talk was held by Moosa Meha MP about Tinkerhub. It was really nice to hear that a bunch of technology loving students are able to kick off a whole movement (not only) across Kerala. Having other people that share the same passion and who empower, help, and guide you through the struggle on how to begin learning how to program, and develop technical skills is a huge benefit and Tinkerhub can definitely assist you on that mission.
Because we believe that digital skills are tools of empowerment.