Forwarding this because it somehow got snagged in moderation.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sayamindu Dasgupta <sayamindu(a)gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 01:49:40 +0530
Subject: Re: [fedora-india] Project FOSS properly - was [Re: request
for speaker for our FOSS festival Mukti 2010]
On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 8:57 AM, Debayan Banerjee <debayanin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
2010/1/8 Aanjhan R <aanjhan(a)gmail.com>
> And its all about how you project. I think you have forgotten the
> '3-emails' sent by SM to dgplug list. I bring it up again.
The 3 emails were good. However over time I found a few paradoxes.
Since I left college 7 months back i have been in 2 companies. Both the
companies hired me for my FOSS involvement. 4 other friends of mine are in
the present company today because of their FOSS involvement.
If I go give a talk at some college I will end up saying the opposite. FOSS
does get you a job. Does it get everyone a job? Depends on how you define
the term contributor.
If the contribution is in code your chances of landing a job hence will
obviously be higher than of you are into l10n.
To be able to truly analyse whether FOSS gets you a job or not, you need to
ask yourself how many of your FOSS contributor (in code) friends are jobless
for a long time. Are you sure they did not talk about their FOSS project in
the interview? Atleast all the contributor friends I have did talk about
I think the keyword is "well-prepared". I have a friend who joined one
of the "standard big companies", and he excelled immensely there. The
reason was very simple. Being exposed to the foss community, he had a
pretty good idea of a typical foss software development lifecycle, and
terms like bug reports, qa, tickets, api freeze, etc were not at all
foreign to him. I would hazard a guess that in any kind of software
development, you need to deal with with these on a day to day basis (I
am guessing here since I have never been involved in anything non-FOSS
- the first job I landed up made me sign a document saying that
anything I code needs to be FOSS licensed).
Compare this with the standard student coming out with a 4 yr BTech
degree - it will take at least 2-3 months for him to figure out that
tickets are not necessarily something you deal with while travelling
in a bus or train ;-).
Motivation is a tricky thing to deal with, and even trickier to speak
about and even even more trickier to generate. You never know what
"clicks". When I started off, I was not worried about a job (I was a
school student, having just cleared the Madhyamik exam, and my plan at
that time was to study English, or Physics). Then what motivated me ?
I really don't know. I have a theory though. The thing that attracted
me to FOSS was the same thing that attracts people to Orkut and
Facebook nowadays. The Linux Users Group, Kolkata, the community at
the Linux Documentation Project, etc were the _first_ social networks
that I was exposed to. I got hooked that kind of "social" network, and
the best way to gather karma ratings in that social network was to
contribute. And so I became a contributor :-).
It makes sense to highlight the various things you can do if you are
involved in FOSS - and who knows, it may strike a chord with someone
in the audience, and provide the requisite "spark". One of the reasons
people in college were interested to know what I did was, I would,
every semester take a weeklong leave, and fly off to some interesting
place (Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Birmingham, Java, etc etc).
Hope the above makes some sense (saw this thread while a git-svn clone
was happening and.... ;-)