Sunday, February 26, 2012

Apache BarCamp Colombo

We just had a wonderful Apache BarCamp here in Colombo at the UCSC Auditorium. The main motivation behind this activity is to promote open source contribution and give an inside into "Apache Way" of software development. Here I'm sharing some bits and pieces that stick to my mind.

The session kicked off with an excellent keynote by Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, where he was talking on the interesting point on how Sri lanka eventually became the third largest contributor to Apache Software Foundation (ASF). There he mentioned how they initiated the first ever Sri Lankan open source development at a UCSC lab with four C++ programmers and how they were able to come up with AxisC++ which was then been shipped by IBM.

Following Sanjiva, Ross Gardler took the floor and went on explaining “The Apache Way”, from what ASF is and how we could start and become a long term contributor. He clarified all important small words thats binds ASF like, Meritocracy where the action should speak louder than words, Lazy Consensus where “when you are convinced that you know what the community would like to see happening you can simply assume that you already have its support unless someone says otherwise” and the use of -1's where one should be opposing the arguments with valid points.

The final key note was by Nick Burch, who did a wonderful job sharing his experience on what a pain he went through to apply his first patch, explaining how open source communities work and why we should not take things personally when they did not apply your patch or response to your queries. He gave a strong point on how developers might be busy on some other projects and in open source if you want things to happen the way you want you have to "Just F****** Do It" (JFDI). He ended up his great talk with the final touch by saying how open source development could be very fun and how it might even end up as an addiction.

With all these three key notes we too had two other sessions where in one, Sagara Gunathunga was presenting they key steps that you will need when you "Find your way to Apache contribution" by giving some clear idea for all newbies to get a kickoff start.

Finally we had an interesting session on  "How to prepare to Google Summer of Code 2012 with Apache projects" motivating young undergraduates to take off the fear of open source and accept the challenge on doing GSOC 2012! Thanks Pradeeban for presiding the sessions and Nirmal and Eranda for sharing your experience with me to all the enthusiastic ordinance.

We thank WSO2, Vertusa, ASF and UCSC for your help in sponsoring this great event.


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