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Re: [foss.in] Skill Set Sessions!

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  • Philip Tellis
    ... I d say that spoonfeeding is the only difference. FOSS.IN caters to people who are self-motivated even if they have no skills, because they ll drive
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 2, 2008
      2008/6/2 Atul Chitnis <listadmin@...>:

      > BTW - we differentiate between "newbies" and "n00bs". Someone who has a
      > background of programming, or technical writing, or creating artwork, but
      > has never worked on a FOSS project, is technically a "newbie". FOSS.IN
      > caters to such people, because it shows these people how to use their
      > skills to contribute to FOSS.
      >
      > A "n00b" is someone who has no clue about FOSS, has no skills at all that
      > could be used to contribute to FOSS, and needs to be spoonfed from
      > scratch. FOSS.IN does not cater to such people.

      I'd say that spoonfeeding is the only difference. FOSS.IN caters to
      people who are self-motivated even if they have no skills, because
      they'll drive themselves to develop the skills necessary. Many a time
      it's not that someone cannot pick up skills, it's just that he doesn't
      know which skills to pick up first. Should he do C, C++, Perl, PHP,
      Gtk, Qt, Wx, CVS, Subversion, bazaar? It's only after you see what's
      used in a project that you're interested in that you have a push to
      decide.

      n00bs don't get that far, and it's highly likely that spoonfeeding
      them isn't going to produce a contributor.

      Perhaps Pradeepto's suggestion was more about developing the skills
      needed for generic FOSS development, but IMO, without a concrete goal,
      that kind of training doesn't stick around too long. What you
      probably want is something along the lines of:
      - KDE development using C++, Qt and svn.
      - Using bzr and deb to develop Ubuntu packages



      --
      hello world
    • Sashank Dara
      ... than all preceding Linux Bangalore and FOSS.IN events put together. :) thats really good news! ... considering the fan following of FOSS.IN and number of
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 2, 2008
        >
        > Actually, FOSS.IN/2007 produced more *new* contributors from India
        than all preceding Linux Bangalore and FOSS.IN events put together. :)

        thats really good news!

        >FOSS.IN doesn't shut out newbies - it just doesn't duplicate the
        >efforts of all the other events (that *do* cater to newbies), LUGs
        >and people writing articles for newbies.

        considering the fan following of FOSS.IN and number of students
        attending each year and their expectations ,
        either decent share of the available pie can be given to newbies.
        or if *possible* BOOT CAMP For FOSS.IN also can be done this year
        much before the event ( taking the help of LUGs etc ) for basic
        introduction of FOSS to the beginners,starters ( but not for n00bes).

        because we could see tons of clueless students ,hanging around
        distributing their cvs as if its some Job fair , one bad experience
        for them on FOSS and there is fair chance of not coming back

        > Should we spend them duplicating the efforts of other people?
        >
        definitely not !
      • samarjit adhikari
        Hi Pradeepto/All, I should first thanx to Pradeepto for doing such an initiative in mail. During last few days i was just following up this mail chain (Skill
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 2, 2008
          Hi Pradeepto/All,

          I should first thanx to Pradeepto for doing such an initiative in mail. During last few days i was just following up this mail chain (Skill Set session.) and found interested to contribute in KDE/Qt programming.I have always found difficulties to enlist myself as KDE/Qt
          programmer as i didn't know how to approach to others regarding this.Though i have registered an open source project in sf.net based on
          Qt/C/Networking domain.

          Project URL: http://sf.net/projects/raptt

          I also attend last FOSS.IN (Dec 2007) without grabbing a good context., though i liked the charming environment.
          Do let me know how i can actively participate in OSS development.

          Thanx and regards,
          Samar
          (Samarjit Adhikari
          Bangalore , India)



          Meet people who discuss and share your passions. Go to http://in.promos.yahoo.com/groups/bestofyahoo/
        • Arun Raghavan
          On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Sashank Dara wrote: [...] ... I say again that this would be a regressive move. We ve gotten to this
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 2, 2008
            On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 8:25 AM, Sashank Dara <sashankdvk@...> wrote:
            [...]
            >>FOSS.IN doesn't shut out newbies - it just doesn't duplicate the
            >>efforts of all the other events (that *do* cater to newbies), LUGs
            >>and people writing articles for newbies.
            >
            > considering the fan following of FOSS.IN and number of students
            > attending each year and their expectations ,
            > either decent share of the available pie can be given to newbies.

            I say again that this would be a regressive move. We've gotten to this
            point by saying enough is enough, no more spoon-feeding.

            > or if *possible* BOOT CAMP For FOSS.IN also can be done this year
            > much before the event ( taking the help of LUGs etc ) for basic
            > introduction of FOSS to the beginners,starters ( but not for n00bes).

            This is an excellent idea if executed at any time of the year. Why
            aren't you doing this, again? :)

            > because we could see tons of clueless students ,hanging around
            > distributing their cvs as if its some Job fair , one bad experience
            > for them on FOSS and there is fair chance of not coming back

            Again, not our target demographic.

            I don't know why anyone here might think Foss.in is not
            newbie-friendly. It is. Newbies are welcomed and even encouraged to
            come and participate. In talks, I've seen people ask really basic
            questions and nobody thinks less of the person for asking. And the
            question is always answered. The _only_ prerequisite is
            self-motivation (which is also true of any enthusiast conference).

            I think a good analogy to draw is with RTFM/STFW. What you have to
            understand is that these are _not_ pejorative nor a means to
            discourage people. They are enablers -- they enable the asker to
            support {him,her}self. Our purpose is similar. We're a conference to
            encourage and help people contribute, as well as a platform for
            existing contributors.

            Now, what Pradeepto raises is a valid point. Perhaps we need to think
            of ways to point people in the right direction to pick up the common
            skills required to contribute to open source projects. Why not try to
            come up with more ideas to tackle this?

            Cheers,
            --
            Arun Raghavan
            (http://nemesis.accosted.net)
            v2sw5Chw4+5ln4pr6$OFck2ma4+9u8w3+1!m?l7+9GSCKi056
            e6+9i4b8/9HTAen4+5g4/8APa2Xs8r1/2p5-8 hackerkey.com
          • "Sankarshan (সঙ্কর্ষণ)"
            ... Pradeepto s initial mail does raise an interesting and very relevant point. And it is somewhat implicitly accepted by everybody that it is time something
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 4, 2008
              Arun Raghavan wrote:

              > Now, what Pradeepto raises is a valid point. Perhaps we need to think
              > of ways to point people in the right direction to pick up the common
              > skills required to contribute to open source projects. Why not try to
              > come up with more ideas to tackle this?

              Pradeepto's initial mail does raise an interesting and very relevant
              point. And it is somewhat implicitly accepted by everybody that it is
              time something was done to address the lack of knowledge / awareness
              about basic tools, processes and the all too glaring requirement to talk
              / demonstrate about the how(s) of producing open source software.

              Perhaps the point was not about whether this fits into the Main
              Conference bits of foss.in - but more about "this issue needs to be
              addressed".

              Whether it gets addressed as an add-on track at foss.in or, it takes the
              shape of being addressed by LUGs, other like events is a separate
              discussion.

              I still hold the notion that Pradeepto should blog about this. The
              initial mail was only an idea put into mail form. This needs some bit of
              work to take the form of a "Day".

              ~sankarshan
            • Pradeepto Bhattacharya
              Heya, ... a friendly ping_poke :). Any further discussions / decisions on this issue. Cheers! Pradeepto -- The KDE Project : http://www.kde.org KDE India :
              Message 6 of 28 , Jul 5, 2008
                Heya,

                On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 11:44 PM, Shreyas Srinivasan <sshreyas@...> wrote:
                >> Please discuss like Arun did and actually put forth some wonderful
                >> points to which I agree but his interpretation of "Skill Days" not
                >> what I meant.
                >
                > Ok, Couple of things i would like to point out:
                >
                > 1) Main Conference are sessions aimed
                > at contributers or atleast involved men/women.
                >
                > 2) The project days have slightly relaxed talk requirements,
                > they can have talks which can be general as long as they
                > build up to getting more people involved.
                >
                > What is evident from the discussion is the need to do a
                > few sessions which all project days need to address
                > in unison. These sessions are typically tools and
                > developer environment centric.
                >
                > Would that descriptions fit well with all of you?

                a friendly ping_poke :). Any further discussions / decisions
                on this issue.

                Cheers!

                Pradeepto
                --
                The KDE Project : http://www.kde.org
                KDE India : http://in.kde.org
                Mailing List : http://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde-india
              • Amol Hatwar
                Dear all, Sorry to kick in so late... but I just noticed this rather long convo. Firstly, Pradeepto s idea is good. But I don t think it is right for the
                Message 7 of 28 , Jul 5, 2008
                  Dear all,

                  Sorry to kick in so late... but I just noticed this rather long convo.
                  Firstly, Pradeepto's idea is good. But I don't think it is right for
                  the FOSS.IN format.

                  I am in total agreement with Atul here - we have to pick our wars.
                  Championing/marketing something and Furthering something are two
                  different games.

                  Pradeepto, your argument is subtle. But, IMHO FOSS.IN should not try
                  to do the Educational Institute's job of teaching Version Control
                  rather than teaching how to press buttons on VSS. Teaching concepts:
                  It's their job... Getting a good grip on concepts require more than
                  two days anyway.

                  Think of it this way, if we scale the argument; it comes quite close
                  to getting (tribals with bows and arrows) into a gun-fight. They'll
                  die left right and centre if the sounds don't scare them off.

                  Amol Hatwar
                • Akarsh Simha
                  Hi ... But not everybody who wants to become a FOSS developer is necessarily a CS student. Would it not help attract developers from other fields as well, if
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jul 6, 2008
                    Hi

                    > Pradeepto, your argument is subtle. But, IMHO FOSS.IN should not try
                    > to do the Educational Institute's job of teaching Version Control
                    > rather than teaching how to press buttons on VSS. Teaching concepts:
                    > It's their job... Getting a good grip on concepts require more than
                    > two days anyway.

                    But not everybody who wants to become a FOSS developer is necessarily
                    a CS student. Would it not help attract developers from other fields
                    as well, if we could teach these things?

                    Regards
                    Akarsh
                  • Philip Tellis
                    ... Most of us learnt version control and other infrastructure topics related to FOSS development on our own, so I do not believe that not teaching it creates
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jul 6, 2008
                      > But not everybody who wants to become a FOSS developer is necessarily
                      > a CS student. Would it not help attract developers from other fields
                      > as well, if we could teach these things?

                      Most of us learnt version control and other infrastructure topics
                      related to FOSS development on our own, so I do not believe that not
                      teaching it creates a barrier to entry. People learn these things
                      only when they actually have to use them actively. Not so much when
                      they sit in a classroom and listen/try it out. In my experience, the
                      biggest barriers to entry has always been, "what should I work on?"
                      and "how should I start?". The project days aim to answer those
                      questions.
                    • Sashank Dara
                      ... ++ You stole my words :) ... if we start teaching them these topics, for any reason , it may not fuel the spirit of FOSS. ... Yes , also we need to inspire
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jul 9, 2008
                        >
                        > Most of us learn't version control and other infrastructure topics
                        > related to FOSS development on our own, so I do not believe that not
                        > teaching it creates a barrier to entry. People learn these things
                        > only when they actually have to use them actively. Not so much when
                        > they sit in a classroom and listen/try it out.
                        ++
                        You stole my words :) ...
                        if we start teaching them these topics, for any reason , it may not
                        fuel the spirit of FOSS.

                        > In my experience, the biggest barriers to entry has always been,
                        >"what should I work on?" and "how should I start?". The project
                        >days aim to answer those questions.

                        Yes , also we need to inspire them to dream ,to innovate, to share ,
                        to learn , to contribute , this may fuel the true spirit and brings in
                        more contributors
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