Last weekend, the KDE community in India organized KDE Meetup at DAIICT, Gandhinagar. There were three primary motives behind this-
- Spread awareness about Open Source software among students
- Lot of students have misconceptions about real world software (the myth that its very difficult to work on a big project), try to address them
- Usually all tech conferences, especially FOSS ones are centered around places like Bangalore, Pune etc – give a chance to people in another region
To start with, day 1 was mostly focused on getting people comfortable and answering the questions and doubts they had. Pradeepto Bhattacharya, one of the founders of KDE India community shared his experiences with students on how it matters if you contribute to FOSS when in college. The students appreciated that doing real world software helps to understand the real challenges behind software development.
Going by the general format of pre-lunch talks and post-lunch hands-on, we started by talking about Qt and its fundamentals. The students were amazed by the power of the framework and the day to day software that is built on Qt. KDE developer Vishesh Handa who maintains KDE’s Semantic/RDF system talked about signals/slots with model/view and it was good to see that people were quick enough to co-relate it with traditional MVC (keep in mind that the majority of students were 1st-2nd year students so thats a big deal).
The most interesting part was the post-lunch hands on which the students were excited about, and rightly so – because thats where the fun is. Do something yourself and things start making sense, you start appreciating the beautiful things a small amount of code can produce. Another thing that I have seen in my experiences with students is that version control is one of the things that excites them the most. The realization that there is something that can help you managing your code and that you no longer have to do things like main.cpp.old.old was exciting for them.
You understand how successful you were with the crowd when they come back on the next day and can’t wait for the event to start. The excitement about the new things to learn, the feeling of being among like-minded people was the best start to the 2nd day full of learning. We had talks on the KDE Education suite software which ranges from chemical calculations, physics simulation to word games for children. It was good to know that children in Brazil use KDE software in schools to learn, and so does a remote village in West Bengal. Vishesh talked about Nepomuk – KDE’s Semantic data system and the three functions it performs – index, organize, visualize. He demoed how you can use the system to organize and find your contents – and if you’re creative enough play your favorite dialogues from videos – just wow.
It was a moment of pride for me that we were a part of an event which touched the lives of students – especially the ones who would’ve never got the exposure otherwise. It was amazing, rewarding and people appreciated it and I hope we keep doing awesome things like this.
Along with tweets, you can browse photos from the event-
- Photos from Rishab Arora https://plus.google.com/photos/118197889888669218025/albums/5848587267275257153
- Photos from Sinny Kumari https://plus.google.com/photos/117964207644299576171/albums/5849122661494292049
- Photos from Yash Shah https://plus.google.com/photos/111190811569413754438/albums/5848734834675184865
- caKe for KDE 4.10 release! http://wstaw.org/m/2013/02/23/DSCN2297.JPG