Kushal Das

FOSS and life. Kushal Das talks here.


dgplug summer training student Trishna Guha

This is the third post in this series.

  • Your name (blog/twitter) and what do you do

I am Trishna Guha (trishnag), a 6th semester B.Tech student with Computer Science and Engineering branch.

  • How did you learn about the training?

I have learned about the training from my brother Suman Guha https://twitter.com/sumanguha.

  • How this training changed (if at all) your life?

This training has changed my life entirely. I started the training as a newbie. I took part in the training attentively and tried to learn and implement what all have been taught in the summer training. After few months I really could feel the change. I jotted down the skills those I didn't used to have before the training and it felt so awesome. Finally this training has turned me into an Open Source Contributor :). I am learning a lot contributing to opensource.

  • Have you contributed to any upstream project(s)? If yes, then details

I have started contributing to upstream projects after the training. I have contributed to Fedora-Cloud testing [Tunirtests]( (https://github.com/kushaldas/tunirtests) and various projects of Fedora-Infra like bodhi, pkgdb2, [tahrir]( https://github.com/fedora-infra/tahrir, python-fedora.

  • Any tips for the next batch of participants.

This is the place to learn everything from scratch if anyone wants to get started with open source contributions and learn about various tools. So don't miss the training because it is one of the steps to change your life for the better.

Thank you DGPLUG.

dgplug summer training student Farhaan Bukhsh

This is the second post in the series, the first post was on Sanyam Khurana.

  • Your name (blog/twitter) and what do you do

Farhaan Bukhsh

I am a 6th semester student in an engg. college in Bangalore. I attend college during day and contribute to fedora-infra rest of the time. I also intern for a company called Jnaapti. http://github.com/farhaanbukhsh

  • How did you learn about the training?

I met Sayan during a Bangpyper meet up and I saw him wearing a dgplug t-shirt, I went home and googled about it, this is how I got to know about it. Apart from that I was following Vignesh and Bhibhas on twitter and this is how I got to know that training was going to start and I enrolled in.

  • How this training changed (if at all) your life?

It has changed the way I think about technology, I made a lot of friends, this training has given me mentors which is required for personal and technical growth.Now I don't see technologies as challenge I see them as a tool to solve problem. Dgplug has given me the confidence to be proud of who I am. Being a Geek is generally not accepted but Dgplug is a place where I am accepted for who I am. It has changed my life by 360 degrees. I am really happy that I came to know about it.

  • Have you contributed to any upstream project(s)? If yes, then details

I contribute to pagure, recently I got into the author list of pagure. I contribute to a lot of other fedora-infra projects like bodhi, nuancier etc. i have also been a contributor at Mozilla. Fedora autocloud is one of the project that I have been writing test cases for.

  • Any tips for the next batch of participants.

When going gets tough, tough gets going. Never give up, attend the training and follow what your mentor is telling you. Have faith , faith in yourself and faith in the mentor. Have a mindset of giving back to the community. Be passionate about the things you do, come with an open mind and ask as many question as you want to.Be on the channel for as long as possible. May the source be with you, Luke.

Feel free to add anything else you want to talk about.

Learn and Teach, this is what you should be taking back with you, spread the same spirit in your place, hope you have a good year

dgplug summer training student Sanyam Khurana

This is the first of a series of blog posts where I asked few questions to the past students of dgplug summer training in our mailing list. I am pasting their responses without any modification. I will just mark my questions in a different formating.

  • Your name (blog/twitter) and what do you do

My name is Sanyam Khurana (CuriousLearner). I'm a final year student pursuing B.Tech CSE from GGSIPU, Delhi. Twitter handle: @ErSanyamKhurana Blog: ersanyamkhurana.wordpress.com (would be shifted soon to a static blog on sanyamkhurana.com/blog)

  • How did you learn about the training?

I learned about the training from Sudip, who posted a comment in one of the Python groups on Facebook, and that's probably the best thing I've ever done with Facebook.

  • How this training changed (if at all) your life?

It had spinned my life 360 degrees. I made new friends, learned awesome things from communicating over mailing list/IRC to making web apps in Flask. I actually realized how few lines of code could cause a huge impact on lives of people; making it a lot better. It turned me to an Open source contributor, and trust me; when you really contribute that few lines of code in any FOSS project, that awesome feeling cannot be expressed in words!

  • Have you contributed to any upstream project(s)? If yes, then details.

I've been contributing to Mozilla. Here is my Mozillian's profile: https://mozillians.org/en-US/u/CuriousLearner/. I recently got my name is Mozilla about:credits. Also I've been contributing to various repositories of local open source groups such as Mozilla Delhi (Mozpacers) and PyDelhi (Python Delhi Users Group).

  • Any tips for the next batch of participants.

My college timings often clashed with training timings; so, mostly I reached late, and used to read the logs and carry on stuff. Now I think, if I've probably left the last lecture in college and carried on this training, it would be much more beneficial. But yes, you should definitely try to be there on IRC at the training time, I'm sure it would be a lot more beneficial for you. DGPLUG would serve as a ladder if you ever wanted to contributed to FOSS. Make sure you complete each home task and once you learn, you also teach others whatever you know :)

PFA my recent photo with this mail.

Thanks & Regards, Sanyam Khurana

www.SanyamKhurana.com Github: CuriousLearner

Event report: dgplug 10 years meet

From 29th of August to 2nd September we had our ten years meet in Durgapur. NIT Durgapur hosted the meet.

I reached Durgapur in the morning of 28th August and made sure every thing is in place including the hotel rooms. Assistant Prof. Animesh Dutta was incharge from the college and he did an amazing job on the organizing part. In total this was a flawless event as I saw it.

Rest of the speakers arrived in the evening in Durgapur, there was a taxi strike in Kolkata on that day but things worked out well.

Day One

The day started around 9:30am in the auditorium, our team along with the volunteers from the college were the first to reach the place. The students started coming in slowly and the event started on time. Day one was mostly filled with talks, history of dgplug, how different members started their journey in the group. Praveen led the work on introducing the Fedora project to the students. Prasad took the most anticipated talk of the day, on Iptables. The day ended with light discussions related to talks and programming in general and some cloud :)

We found that around 25 students were traveling from UIT Burdwan to Durgapur and they were going back in the evening. Almost same number of students were participating from Dr. B. C. Roy Engineering college, Durgapur. We also met few summer training students from 2014 batch (session is still going on).

The network was kind of slow, but we were prepared for that and asked everyone to install required packaged at their home/hostel.

There was a speakers/volunteers dinner in the night.

Day Two

The room was full, 150+ seats were taken. All of the dgplug members acted as TA during the Python sessions. We introduced the basic of the language and then actually went into basics of Vim editor. Most of students had trouble with typing, so introduced gtypist. As usual the highest numbers of error were from typos. But with time people were in sync with vim.

We saw the features of the language and basic data structures it provides. We were following my book Python for you and me for the same session.

By the end of the day the students managed to write few basic scripts to implement their own ls or free command. Few of the professors also attended the session. We had lot of fun during the session as students' reactions were priceless.

Day Three

I was not present in day three as I had to come back to Kolkata for a family event but the feedbacks for the day three were really good. First the team did a follow up of the day before. Then there were sessions of Flask and testing in Python.

Day Four

I was back in Durgapur in early morning and started the day with a talk, "Document your code". The talk was as usual interactive type, we heard many ideas on documentation from the students.

Then I introduced reStructuredText in the first half and then wrote some basic project documentation using Sphinx project. We also demoed how to create presentations using rst2s5 tool.

At the end we had a members meet for dgplug. The discussions from the meeting are as follows:

  • Current drupal and mediawiki systems are too heavy for our needs.
  • dgplug.org will have a static landing page.
  • We are moving into a simpler wiki system which our members can manage.

We had around 120+ people in this day.

Day Five

We did a session of git and then demoed how to send in patches to the upstream. Then there were lots of discussions on project ideas, general queries etc. It become an informal discussion session where people asked where to start or how to do certain things in their laptops. We also fixed couple of issues in people's laptops in these 5 days. Praveen actually formatted many laptops and install Fedora 20 during the sessions.

Few points for any such future event

  • Teach how to close the auditorium door properly :)
  • Teach how to type (use gtypist for the same).

These two seems to very much needed action items for any future event. The college authority were surprised to see the attendance in the sessions. We never talked about the event much. Praveen has notes from the feedback session of the event. He will write about it.

The idea is to continue doing things in the local colleges in the same way. Our goal is to build more upstream contributors, which is more difficult than writing code. But we are in it. Next 10 years we will see even more changes, new faces, new friends, new technologies but we will stay as a group of friends, having fun together.

At the end I want specially mention Abhijit, Poulami and Bikash for the all hard work during the event, Red Hat and Sanisoft for helping in many different ways.

You can view the full photoset in flickr.

10 years and continuing

Ten years ago I started a Linux Users Group in Durgapur as I thought that is the only way to go forward. All most no one in the colleges had enough idea other than couple of users in each college. "Learn and teach others", the motto was very much true from day one and it still holds the perfect place in the group.

The group started with help from a lot of people who were from different places, mostly the ilug-kolkata chapter. Sankarshan, Runa, Sayamindu, Indranil, Soumyadip they all helped in many different ways. Abhijit Majumder, who is currently working as Assistant Professor in IIT Mumbai, donated the money for the domain name in the first year.

After one year, I moved to Bangalore for my job and gave a talk in foss.in about that first year's journey of the group. The focus of the group also changed from just being a user group to a like minded contributors group.

Then from 2008 I started the summer training program, the 7th edition is currently going on. This program actually helped to keep doing the rolling release of contributors from the group. People from different countries participated in the sessions, they became contributors to many upstream projects.

I have to admit that we are close to the Fedora Project and Python, as many of us work on and use these two projects everyday.

We managed to have couple of meetings before, 2006, 2007. We will be meeting again from 29th August to 2nd September in NIT Duragapur, most of the active members are coming down to Durgapur, day times we will be spending in few talks and workshops. From evening we will be busy in developer sprints.

Suchakra Sharma made the new logo and tshirt design for the event.

dgplug logo

The event page is up and the talk schedule is also up with help from Sanisoft. We are using their beautiful conference scheduler application for the same. Come and meet us in Durgapur.

Summer training 2014 started

2014 version of dgplug summer started this weekend. Though there were 600+ registrations, we can see 130+ participants regularly during the session in the IRC channel. It is still a huge number of participants for us.

There are few participants who already informed us that due to timezone difference, they will follow the logs and the mailing list.

This year along with the session logs, we are also putting up small details into this guide. Hoping that this document will grow with time.

dgplug summer training 2014 registrations

This year we used a Google form to do the registration for dgplug summer training. We did much better marketing of the event over different mailing lists. Though we never looked for huge number of participants but few dedicated participants, this year's registration information is showing some interesting information.

Note: We really do not know how much of the below are correct information from the participants. Internet is a strange place.


The participants were asked to enter their country name in a textbox. From the resultset we can see the following countries has 1 participant.

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Lithuania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • Tanzania
  • UAE
  • Uruguay
  • Zimbabwe

The following countries has 2 participants.

  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • United Kingdom

Philippines has 3 participants and Canada has 4. USA is the second largest country from the registration sheet, with 37 participants.

India has the highest number of participants as anyone can guess, around 473. There are some spelling mistakes too, like, Iindia, Inda, Indua :) One particular person also thinks that Pune is a country.

Age of the participants

This number is also looks good.

13-18 years: 42

19-25 years: 424

26-30 years: 34

Above 30 years: 50

In one particular instance, someone wrote that she is interested in doing this training with her daughter, which is awesome to see.

The training will start from this Sunday, 6:30pm IST on #dgplug channel in freenode. Hoping to make many new friends over next three months during the training.

Btw, I forgot to tell everyone that we will be teaching Python3 this year :)

Upcoming dgplug summer training

So by the end of this month the 7th edition of dgplug summer training will start. Last year we had around 60 registered students and around 30-40 were attending the sessions on IRC regularly.

This year we made the registration even simpler, with a simple google form and did more publicity around it. Community members and students from previous years spread the news as soon as I announced. The response is huge. We already have 400+ registrations. We are hoping to see at least 50% of them to be online in the sessions on IRC.

But this big number also means we will have to be more organized. Last year we introduced many news automation systems within the course which worked well. This year we are going to add a few more into it.

As this course happens on IRC and mailing list is the primary medium of communication, we spend a lot of time in teaching about these mediums. The first few sessions will go slower but it should pick up speed after 2-3 sessions.

Dgplug summer training 2014

So another year and another summer training is going to start. This is the 7th year of the training. Last year we saw a huge increase in the number of the students, almost 3 times of the previous years.

This year we doing the registration using a google form and the number of people already registered is above 300.

What we teach in this training?

The training is not about learning a few tools or meeting few people. The goal of the training is to get more contributors out of these students. Most of the people who joined this training in previous years are complete newbies. But they spend time and worked hard to become upstream contributors in many different projects including Fedora, KDE, Transifex, Waartaa.

A basic outline of the training modules:

  • Communication guidelines
  • Basic command line tools
  • Text editors
  • Documentation
  • Source code management tools
  • Programming using Python
  • Project work

This year during FOSSASIA I was in a presentation from Cat Allman about GSoC's past present and future. I was very happy to see as teaching students mailing list guidelines was a point in that presentation. We make sure that the students learn the few basic but important skillset like this first.

Another major point in the training is documentation. Through the training we spend a lot time in reading and writing documentation. It is the primary means of communication to the users for all projects and we make sure that it becomes a second habit for the student. We use Sphinx for most of the documentation.

Home work system

Last year we also introduced a new homework submission system. Through which the students submitted back the solutions to the homeworks in different modules of the course. This solution is written using few lines of Python code and Nikola project for publishing.

Guest Lectures

One of the major attraction and crucial part of the training is the guest lectures where different upstream contributors come down to the IRC channel and interact with the students. They talk about their own story or different technical things including documentation, licenses, art work. Nick Coghlan did the first guest lecture last year. This year there wil be couple of big surprises in those lectures. But you will have to wait for them :)

How to register

Just fill out this form. Please also remember to register to our mailing list for more updates.

dgplug summer training 2013

It is already time for another year in dgplug summmer training . This will be sixth year of the training.

If you heard about this training before then you already know that I teach programming with help of Python. It will be even more intensive this year. More amount of code reading and more writing. Yes, we teach our students how to read code and learn from others.

The number of demo projects will also increase this year. We will make sure that the students work hard.

Two years back we did a bit of experiment in the training by letting students go slow, we stopped asking for regular reports and found most of the students just vanished during this 1-2 weeks of low sessions.

From last year we are back into more strict sessions and we keep the tab on missing students in every session. At the beginning of the training we get around 20-30 students in the IRC channel, but as the sessions progresses during first one month, many of those students start vanishing. In the end of 3 months, we generally get 2-5 students who become very active contributors in different upstream projects. As we do the sessions generally in Indian evening time, few sessions go very late, we even saw sessions continuing till 1am with a break for dinner. The students, who stay in the training after one month, don't mind staying up late for the sessions on IRC.

I don't mind the low number of active students during the end of the training as these people will serve FOSS world in various forms for sure.

We ask students to use any latest Linux distro, but I prefer if all of them are using the latest Fedora. Around two years back we asked them to install gcc and I gave the corresponding yum command, only one student came back saying it is not working, so after trying to debug his problem for some time we figured out that he did # apt-get install yum on a Ubuntu box and then tried to use yum as we told so. So now we ask the distribution and environment details first from every student.

During the training sessions we ask many upstream developers to spend 30-60 minutes in IRC channel and talk with the students, this really give them a moral boost. If you want to help us out please drop a mail or tweet, we will find some suitable time for your sessions in the training.