Saturday, 11 July 2015

Taking home from FUDCon Pune

It was phenomenal what I took back home from FUDCon Pune. Lots of memories, experiences, knowledge, and also a nice swag kit and Fedora 22 DVDs.
It was my first event of the kind and given the experience of previous ones of other kinds that I had attended in the past, there were some apprehensions in my mind. Fedora had sponsored my trip and that was really a big thing for me as I had never met anyone from the organisers in person earlier.
I reached the MIT campus early at 7:30 in the morning and there were people already present there setting up the booths and making arrangements.
The first keynote was amazing. Dennis Gilmore highlighted what's new in Fedora 22. It was attended by a huge audience, about 200. Many questions were discussed. I had a short exchange with a couple of faculty members of MIT Pune about this session. They really liked it but felt that it was a bit difficult for the student participants to comprehend but nonetheless, agreed that it was essential for the developers and users to know such details.
I attended the education panel as suggested by Amit Shah who conducted the discussions. The deliberations covered interesting exchanges about the challenges faced by an educator during teaching things related to open source software. At the same time it was unanimously agreed to take the initiative to bring to students and learners the knowledge, philosophy and benefits of open source software in spite of all the challenges.
The speaker's lounge was another place that really fascinated me. I could meet so many from the Fedora team in person, with whom I only had met over the IRC. There was Kushal Das, my mentor, and also Truong Anh TuanSiddhesh PoyarekarPravin Satpute among the ambassadors. I also had nice discussions with Kazi Nizamuddin a speaker at the conference about his experiences in introducing Fedora among school students.
There were seven parallel tracks running, so I could attend only some of the discussions. Two of the discussions that I really liked were 'Open Security for open source' by Huzafia Sidhpurwala and 'DNF the new package manager' by Parag Nemade. I also attended a nice session by Praveen Patil on Python Powered open source science lab.
My talk on 'Android Development on Fedora 21' was the one before the closing keynote of the day. I have already given a summary about it in one of my earlier posts here. The final keynote was addressed by Harish Pillay and he spoke about a tool that would analyse the development of a FOSS project. It was an important discussion for me and later in the Cocoon Hotel where the speakers were provided accommodation,  I discussed with Harish Pillay about his talk. This was something that I really took back home with great pleasure, it gave me lots of things to work, for my research on engineering open source software.
I really wanted to stay but had to return to Ranchi after the first day of the conference for some urgent work. I heard that the other two days were more exciting than the first. The swag kit given to speakers was truly awesome. (The umbrella is an eye catcher here at Ranchi).
Last but not the least the stay at the hotel was very nice and the cab in the morning was ready at 5 am to help me board my flight in time. (I had put Kushal Das in some bother about the cab timing but he really helped me with the arrangement patiently). Thank you Kushal and Amit. Thank you Fedora for making me a part of your team and giving me such a wonderful opportunity.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

My first Fedora event at FUDCon 2015 Pune

It was a unique experience attending FUDCon at Pune. I had a talk on 'Android Development on Fedora 21'. It was most unfortunate on my part to be present for only a single day for the event and then return back to Ranchi on the next day due to some urgent work. However, in that single day, I learn a lot. I could interact with active FOSS contributors, know about how such events are organised. There was an active global participation in the event and I had the great opportunity in exchanging with many speakers and participants from around the globe.
My talk was well attended by interactive participants of whom most were students. I think the number was about fifty. There were many students and teachers from MIT, Pune and also from other engineering colleges of Pune. My talk mainly covered the methods as to how we can use Fedora for android development in different languages. Most of us know that Android apps are mostly written in the Java programming language. However we can also use other languages such as native code, Python, Scala, and even create nice web applications using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. I discussed about the requirements and how they can be met. My talk covered issues on how Android apps could be created from the command line, the tools that can automate the process. An interesting part of the discussion also covered the different build tools that could be used and a brief difference on the similarities and differences between them. A section of the audience was interested when I showed them how Java could be configured on Fedora. Many of them were excited to know that Python could also be used as on of the languages of Android development.
After the talk I thought that it would have been nice if I could have actually done a workshop as there were so many questions from enthusiastic participants and actually I couldn't answer all of them due to lack of time and opportunity.
I also could discuss with some faculty members of MIT college about what they felt about this event. i found that most of them were totally overwhelmed by such a great participation and felt that such events could actually help to lift the standards of students and teachers in a great way. Some of them felt that the choice of the topics was indeed great and said that they could learn a lot from all the topics. Some of them expressed that they wanted to attend many more sessions but could not do so because there were seven tracks running parallel to each other.