Delhi to Hyderabad by Road

What i have been upto last few months !!

 

Data.gov.in  is and was a fun place to work  the project in pursuit of an ‘idea’  was conceived packed and delivered with a short time frame of May-August . Overall the takes from the projects are the team is amazing to work with , with in few days i was using the line “i work for a start up called data.gov.in”  the iterations were real quick and the energy levels were high. i managed to make tons of connect and good friends at the end of it all . All the projects in the final are posted here . Working on a final film on what has transpired in the programme.

Cryptoparties While we were doing the project with Delhi university there we also organized few crypto parties notably this one which was a nightout affair in IIC Delhi university south campus , some more happened 

Software Freedom Day was organized in collaboration with sflc.in , one of the posts of the event from Hans Gogia is here , i am still awaiting for videos from this event.

Opensteps.org  Margo and Alex came calling on us here is a crisp report on what happened

Month of July was announced a Python month keeping in view the then upcoming Pycon India we were able to do our bit by conducting 5 workshops in a month in various colleges in NCR .I have to miss the Pycon India this year due to the data.gov.in commitment , looking forward to attending one next year.

Now the things which i missed most in the last few months are my development on fossacademy.org , fossevents.in  the summer training provided by durgapur linux users group.

 

 

 

Who is a FOSS contributor and how her/his life should be celebrated

Over the last two decades i had the privilege  to learn and teach many people from the Foss community . one of the mantras i learned from Adempiere community especially from  Redhuan D. Oon is where he defines and consolidates what a community means to him in three lines.

<< A NEW CONSTITUTION >>

Information Is Free … U HAVE 2 KNOW

People Are Not … U HAVE 2 PAY

Contributors Are Priceless … U HAVE 2 BE

i for one has been lucky in this life to meet and work with  more of the third kinds , today when we see the generation X ,  we see a Gap in the understanding of the spirit and the doubt towards what this is all about . i have decided to compile a book with these stories in order to encourage young students of genx as an inspiration to become  the third kinds. i am looking for people either themselves or  there stories of pains and pleasures to be documented for the next generations to come. do suggest me or get in touch with me if you want anyone from the community to be covered in this book.

12th plan Hackathon a report

Planning Commision in Collaboration with NIC  especially the Data.gov.in  Team ( which is  setup according to the NDSAP guildelines)  organized a Hackathon to hack the 12th five year plan  for those of who are not aware like most of us Five years plans in India are economic blueprints  from Planning Commission as to how are are going to spend in Next Five years.

We were at the venue around 11am , when things were still settling down at the Venue IIT Delhi  , we were supposed to be connected to the live webconference in the opening ceremony but due to connectivity issues we were able to just watch the broadcast , but being in Delhi it was ok since there were frequent visit by  organizers just to check on how things were progressing.

In the whole commotion we sat in a corner and started talking about what to build we were froze on the Build your Plan  idea at around 2 Pm and started working on it there were two classrooms 6LT1 and 6LT2 allocated for us to sit and complete the work in the meantime there were announcements and updates presentation from different sectors as to what there expectations were as to this Hackathon , it was almost 5 Pm by the time others settled down and started the work in the meantime we were done with front end of our application. Sajjad and Ramnique coded the front end in two session one sitting in Cafe Qahwa . We realized we were not productive enough so we moved back home.

Day two we were all supposed to submit the applications by 12 in the noon and the presentations would be starting from 2 PM ,  we pushed the submit button just in nick of time with Sajjad Ramnique and Sumandro   with a hardly any blink whole night .

First on the block were us Sumandro presented our idea and the Jury was interactive and liked out idea . Here is the link to Build Your App the live application .  we hung around the venue till late in the evening till all the presentations were over .

build1

 

Once the user plays with his allocations he will get different scenarios showing how his plan will look.This he can share with people which they can vote on.

overall the experience has been a positive one with some scope for improvements like the internet connectivity was bad we were using our own 3G phones as access points . Students were not equipped and educated to what was expected from the event. Lots of disturbance with the so called VIP’s visiting the venue now and then. No proper place to sleep yes people who hung out at the Venue were defending mosquitoes rather than building something .

Being first one for the Govt it must have been and educational experience , they also need to involve and publicize the event more in the public like they do to there Schemes in the Newspapers.

 

Team geohackers with Montek

here are some of the moments in pictures and all the winners listed here , i wished they have put the list of all the people no matter how small the effort was because in an event like this everyone benefits and everyone is a winner.

Datagov.in Hackathon for 12th Five Year Plan

Data.gov.in is organizing a Hackathon for 12th five year plan  .

all the sectors and datasets will be announced on 6th April ,   also the overall rules , the person  to talk to more about the queries would be one Ms Keerthika she can be reached on klkala at gmail.com.

 

data.gov_.in_hackathon

 

 

all the best to all the teams who are participating.

First bite of data.gov.in datasets

We turned up at the announced event through the facebook events page , had no clue who the organizers were and the place we were going to . The page just mentioned about telling stories with data. Staying with the open data community i had a clue of what was coming , but did not have a clear agenda or plan of action for next few hours we were going to stay at the meetup.One of the datasets i have been hearing about a lot past few months  is from the data.gov.in website , since my rendevous with the Open Data from govt has been limited to the public data available through chalobest.in project , this project still has not been realized in  NCR area. Anyway the place was a buzz with people of all age groups mostly students from journalism and activists too . we all sat in small groups either talking about an idea or data set we would be working on . Since i was interested in the data sets from Govt , we picked the infant mortality rate  it was in CSV format , the big picture was to create a Heatmap out of  the data available , the first thing we noticed was there were not lat longs for the states , so two members from team @arcolife  and Myself sat down with the site Geonames.org to collect  the same , in the meantime @bhanuvrat , @kanteshraj were writing scripts to the data transformed  in the format required . Ramniq was our anchor man who was putting everything together , he started of with the Heatmap code , initially he was dablling with Openlayers later we switched to Leaflet which was much easier to code in . Overall at the end of it we produced the following heat map .

heatmap

which was sort of hardcoded and  static one with the limitations of time we could produce here is the code for the  Heatmap .

The experience has been good for everyone since we we were getting together after longtime and produced something in the end. Scope for improvements we can cover more years with  a time line kind of interface and really see it visually which is kind of nice than just some dry numbers on a spread sheet . We dispersed with lots of sweet memories  and hope to have more such events in future.

Tools and Software used

[1] Python
[2]
 Geonames
[
3] Javascript
[4] Heatcanvas
[
5] Leaflet

Logos for Fossacademy.org

Few Logos i got from people around let me know which one of them you like through comments to this post.

img

logo3

Got the Logo Done for fossevents.in

logo

Got the above logo done by posting for a volunteer job on jobs.hasgeek.com , with in a  day of posting i got a very good response the best presentation and entry was from spurline , it had a concept too it said  ” For me, FOSS events have always being about getting introduced to new area of learning. Its about ‘seeing the light’… ” , thanks Hasgeek and Spurline for making this happen.

Newcomer experience and contributor behavior in FOSS communities

Kevin Carillo has come out with a Survey to measure Newcomer experience for people who have  joined and any  of the Debian, FreeBSD (including PC-BSD), GNOME, Gentoo, KDE, Mozilla, Ubuntu, NetBSD, or OpenSUSE  in last three years.

The survey is available here ,The good thing about this survey is it is all anonymous and the Data will be shared in open

Here are the latest result of his Survey after one week of this survey going public.

On one side Students with  Formal Education in Schools and Colleges complain about the  not getting jobs and on the other side the system being very conservative in there approach towards FOSS. i have been working on the aspect of how to get a Newbie to get to speed to contribute and get a job at the end of it ,since working in FOSS communities they develop certain work ethics and experience which are invaluable in real life scenarios , mostly in the FOSS world people do not get Employed because what they are good at but the valuable skills they get by doing FOSS work , this is something with which no formal training or teaching can give them , Employers are just seeking or wanting that part of it , so i warn students many a times to keep there passion and profession seperate in order to avoid conflicting situations , mostly  i have seen students want to Join the FOSS communitues with different motivations and expectations , i classify them mainly into

  1. Jobs seekers   : around  95 %
  2. Enterprenuers : 2-3 %
  3. Contributors   : 2 %

my approach in classifying is very simple check out if they are under any financial  pressure , can there family support there choice financially if not send them to Jobs in the industry they can always come back once they become more stable and hope in future they will turn back to become 2 or 3 kinds . I tend to have and focus most of my energies on making the 2 or 3 kinds .

Talking abour skills development the unstructured  way has been going on for years , recently i saw Openhatch  just trying to do that in a very structured way , i will be supporting it and will be talking more and more about it in near future.

Google SOC is  one other programme i have been following since inception , The general perception is not many of the GSOC students stick with the projects , or the spirit of Innovation or greater good , most of them are happy with using this as a ticket to  jobs , In India money is the other motivating factor , i have seen such a programme much before SOC was run by Sarai  they had this programme for supporting the practitioners with an intent of doing public good .

The Foss communities have come a long way in last two decades i have been associated with them now  the Local User groups are trying to reinvent themselves and move away from being only certain GNU/Linux Distro oriented communities there are now cluster of communities in the form of languages , content management systems, cloud software and  anything you can think of no wonder that proves we have come a long way. Communities too have there life and they evolve over time.

coming back to surveys these kind of impartial studies are very important , Other survey ideas which i have been thinking about are

  • Till date we still do not have numbers on how many Foss users around the world.
  • My personal interest has been to come out with a survey to measure how much value  ( by value i do not just mean money ) FOSS has added to ones skills apart from the formal education in his career , i do not know what can be the criteria and how to measure it :-(

MOOC and Education

Education and learning are terms used synonymously , i agree with Seymour Papert and the people who have been influenced over decades by his writings.

last few years i have been  seeing a lots of buzz around the word MOOC , just few years before the  term like  Elearning had a similar effect on us  . Initially all the entrepreneurial kinds tried to capitalize this rush using technologies in last two decade like Flash etc and everyone’s focus was on the content and selling this content in the digital formats in India too there has been efforts , they were basically digitizing all the textbooks and were calling it Elearning.

then came the craze of devices like OLPC in 2006 , i learned about it around 2007 , The idea was started will all good intentions but it had its own flaws in the model and approach  , you can learn about the current status of the project here . The two contributions i see from this projects are Netbooks , Tablets frenzy and Sugar Environment , which again are ideas which are way ahead of time , when people are still stuck on there Elearning mentality . all of a sudden the combo of hardware and software for a digitized classroom became so important as though the world is going to end tomorrow. Elearning companies popped up some of them made it through this gold rush too.

at this point i would like to differentiate between Education and Learning , The so called form has changed from television to computers and  now to internet . all that has been happening is so far in  education is sort of push in the education terms .

Enter MOOC’s Khan Academy , Coursera , Udacity , Edx , p2p , Udemy are some good examples of these here  again a wild rush to capitalize and transform the education sector into an open play ground . Traditional universities have all joined in  the race too .i feel because of over growing pressure to increase the base and  reduce the capital expenditure they feel , this is it the holy grail to fix education  .

There are two of MOOC’s  happening here one is a unstructured and the other is structured around to fit the traditional education  , the content is good , exams and tests are all conducted on a scheduled way in the structured form of delivery .

i did hacking around last year to make a clone of called Fossacademy, now i see  course-builder is based out of it too , i have looked p2p code base  , the good thing them is they have a way to give students exercies and measure there learning while they are enrolled to the courses , but the approach i like the most so far has been the Social  contructivism   and a good example of it find the Free and Open source culture way  and project like nand2tetris .

So what is happening to Education well its happening and places of learning have started to pop up too in the name of New Age schools , since we need to re look at the way our next generations are going to learn from things around them .