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This post is long overdue. I had the pleasure of taking a workshop titled ‘Open Source 101’ at NIT Trichy sometime back. It was an amazing experience. Till the time, I had only taken workshops and talks at my college, not counting an impromptu talk at PyCon 2011. I was somewhat nervous due to this fact, but open source is a topic on which I can talk at hours at length. I have discovered myself to be an evangelist, who will try to change the software philosophy of people I interact with. That was the focus of the workshop – To introduce people to the world of Open Source. I took a short introduction to the the terminologies involved, common misconceptions (you cannot make money with OSS etc), and then took their questions. This was an interesting part of the whole event. The attendees threw all sorts of questions at me, some of which I expected (considering I had asked some of them myself 😉 ).

I also covered Open Source Licenses, specifically GPL, BSD. I had an interesting conversation with an attendee, Gokul. We had a good discussion about licenses. He is a firm believer in the GPL and told me about FSF membership, which I am considering taking up.

After licenses, I took up a discussion on Google Summer of Code, specifically to openSUSE. Many people were aware of the programme, and were eager to know more about it. I took their queries, and tried to answer them to the best of my knowledge. Most of them were about how to prepare, how to select an organisation etc. My answer to the second one – Select one which you actually use 😉 I also gave some tips, some of which were useful to me in my own time. I also spoke at length about the openSUSE community, which I am fondly involved with. I spoke about openSUSE’s stability, and the fantastic community that we have.

Then we moved onto a hands on with Git and Github. I tried to make it as hands on as possible. I started with the basics of Version Control, its need, and the awesomeness of Git. I had taken a similar session in my university some time back, and I took it in a similar fashion. Overall, this was probably the most fun part of the workshop.

I ended the workshop by taking half an hour on writing Linux Patches. I had been interesting in contributing to the kernel since the time I watched Greg Kroah Hartman’s talk about the same at FOSDEM. I tried to cover similar aspects, with slightly more emphasis on writing a patch, rather than the kernel specifics.

After four and a half hours, I was having some difficulty in speaking, having never spoken for this long. The workshop was well received by the attendees, and the organizers. I am thankful to GDG-NIT Trichy, Jeh Agarwal, Vikash Agrawal (for whom I was deputizing for in the first place) for the opportunity. It was a great experience for me, and I gained a lot of confidence from it. I would welcome further opportunities like this.