Talking about getting involved

I’m giving a talk at foss.in tomorrow, Saturday, at 10am:

Presentation titled User To Hacker in 90 minutes

I realize that this is only of interest to people in Bangalore this week and reading planet.foss.in, but here’s my abstract:

The essence of open source is not USING free software, but CREATING it. The purpose of this talk is to teach you how to contribute to open source projects.

Admittedly, getting involved isn’t as easy as it could be, but that’s often because you haven’t had an opportunity to learn how to go about participating in a project’s development.

This talk is aimed at people who probably already know something about Linux, already know how to program, and already believe how important free software is… but haven’t yet made the jump to being contributors themselves. And that’s LOTS of people. So, it’s time to become and open source hacker.

It’s easy to talk about “interacting with the community” and “filing bugs” and “submitting a patch”, but until you know how to do this, it can all be a bit daunting. So we are going to be do all these things, TOGETHER, on stage, LIVE. We’re going to file real bugs about real problems in real open source projects, and then we’re going to fix ‘em, right there on the screens in front of you.

How do you contribute? You have to check out source code, learn how to build open source software, run it, test it, and debug it… but it doesn’t stop there! Then comes creating and sending patches, receiving feedback from the upstream project, dealing with rejection, but finally when you’re successful exalting your success.

For the beginners in the audience we’ll be demonstrating what you do to submit to upstream, but we’re also going to show what the upstream people do when you make that contribution. So we’ll see the whole open source process, beginning to end.

Take joy in your work, do your work in the open, and open it to the world. Do that, and you ARE an open source contributor.

Actually, it’s not just me — my good friend Shreyas Srinivasan and I will be doing the demos jointly. So the best part will be watching the two of us making fools of ourselves on stage.

I hope you can make it!

AfC

P.S. 10 am means Ten O’Clock in the morning. People who are late don’t get any free chocolate chip cookies.