Few days ago, I posted an interview with Prasenjit Gautam – Open Source contributor who’s also Google Code-in contestant. This interview was mainly focused on his participation in GCI. Today I’d like to share with you not one but two interviews! (and one is also with Prasenjit Gautam). My second interviewee was Vaibhav Singh. They’re both active, long-term Open Souce contributors with some collaboration experience. I prepared some questions but generally I tried to do it of the top so both interviews are somewhat different.
Interview with Prasenjit Gautam
Q: What is your name, where are you from, which school did you go to? ( I knew it but you probably don’t 🙂 )
A: I am Prasenjit Gautam from India, I’m a high school student at Dr. Virendra Swarup Education Center, Awadhpuri branch in the city kanpur, Uttar Pradesh province in India .
Q: When you started contributing to Open Source?
A: My first contribution to Open Source was with some students in Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad in a project which was related to online queue system. At the time, I was 14 and I was in 9th grade.
Q: And what project to you participate in?
A: As I stated , it was an online queue system , let’s just suppose a scenario: you are working in an IT Company , but due to some bad health , you have to take appointment from the best doctor in the city , for the appointment , you have to get yourself in a queue and wait till you reach the counter for registration but it’s important for you to also reach the office on time or your salary will be deducted , to avoid such situations and make the workflow faster and easier , we came up with our project named Q-It. It’s an online queue system in which you have to just reach the place where you want to get enlisted , scan a QR Code of the concerned place and that’s it! You are in the queue without really waiting in the queue , our code sends you a SMS reminder before once before you are at 10th place in the queue , another when you are at 5th place and last warning SMS when you’re on 2nd place. That’s how it works.
Easy. Faster. Reliable.
We failed to implement it as the project was free but it’s implementation was costly as you had to own a server, a working internet connection with zero connection outage till the place is on work and someone skilled enough to maintain the hardware and software as well.
Q: Wow, it sounds really interesting! How it happened that you involved in this project?
A: Actually this one was a part of a Hackathon powered by GitHub itself!
Q: Ohhh man! It looks like I gotta change my questions a little bit In how many hackathons you took a part in?
A: Ummm… Let me count
Me: Maybe you need a program to count it all…?
A: One was Inkmakers Hackathon, AngelHack in 2015, Skill India Hackathon in 2017, Hack In The North 2.0 in 2016, India Hacks, HACKcelerator and…. That’s it I think xD
Q: Impressing… and in all of them you were making real life Open Source software?
A: Actually both yes and no. Yes because I never sold my products. No because they offered money to collaborate with them and sell them my product which was meant to be free.
Q: What does Open Source mean for you? What is important to you about Open Source?
A: Open Source according to me is free knowledge to everyone , the code should not be just confined to the Richie Richs haha . It should be distributed to everyone out there as it’s the only way you can dig talents as majority of talented coders aren’t too rich to afford payed softwares.
I mean just look at Linux and Windows *laughs*
You can see the difference. Linux is powerful, huge, light-weight and can run even in medieval Computers xD
But Windows… It just blows.
*I stared at my Windows computer*
Q: How do you contribute to Open Source Technologies?
A: Mostly by fixing issues in other’s code but whenever I get the opportunity, I try to come up with my own projects like the one I mentioned before .
Q: And how can people participate in your projects?
A: They can simply contact me or just „Fork me on GitHub!”
Q: Cool, this year you decided to stick with FOSSASIA during GCI. What do you like about FOSSASIA and Open Source?
Interview with Vaibhav Singh
Q: What’s your name and where are you from?
A: My name is Vaibhav Singh and I am from India.
Q: When you started contributing to Open Source? And how it happened?
A: So I started contributing in open source this year in February. At that time i have very little idea about open source. One fine day, My friend called me and asked me if I am participating in GSOC and I replied no and asked him more about GSOC. He explained me and asked me to watch one 1 hour long video where all my query is resolved. I watched that video and in that video that they suggested me to visit http://up-for-grabs.net/#/ and search for beginner friendly issues. I quickly gone through the website and searched for beginner friendly issues. I got one small repo where I have to add some links to the repo. I added one and that’s how my journey to open source started 😉
Q: That’s really cool! So after this initiative you started being involved in more open source? I mean, I checked you GitHub and man… you’re really active!
A: Thanks 😀
Yes, I tried to explore more in Open Source and at some point of time I don’t know the framework which I learnt in one month so that I can contribute. After than I am continuing my journey by contributing in various open source projects.
Q: So what project/projects to you participate in?
A: There are many some are related to android, django, Python, etc. Do you need specific projects?
Q (actually my answer): It would be cool for example something what you’re working on recently.
A: I am contributing to Badgeyay, Query-server, SUSI android, SUSPER, Open Event, Coala, conference-android, OpenSourceHelpCommunity, Cosmos etc.
– Wooow… That’s a lot!
Q: And why actually are you participating in the community?
A: Because I love to contribute and help people. So contributing in a community makes me feel better and proud that the thing which I am helping in building is used by millions of people and that’s excite me. Also, you can say I am learning a lot from peers. You learn when you read codes written by other people. Also, I try to help people by writing answers on quora. You can read all me answers here: https://www.quora.com/profile/Vaibhav-Singh-182
Me: Maaan, I keep scrolling and it’s deeper than my Facebook dashboard… (it really is) Wow 😀 Really nice work!
A: *laughs* Thanks 😀
Q: So, let me ask you the final question: What do you like about FOSSASIA and would you recommend it as an organisation to contribute for someone who wanna start somewhere but has no clue about Open Source contributing (and please explain why )?
A: I contribute in FOSSASIA due to the wide variety of projects available and these code are written by students like me so It’s not difficult to understand. Also, If I am not able to understand than I think that if previous student who made this project can write code than I can also and this motivates me to understand the code and sometimes taking help from mentor always help you out. Asking silly questions is compulsory. If you don’t than you can’t succeed. Ask as many question you want but after doing the homework not through random question. I would recommend FOSSASIA to beginner because of friendly communiy, friendly mentor and a great place to learn and grow.
Me: Thank you Vaibhav for great interview, advice and of course your time!
Vaibhav: Welcome! It’s my pleasure.
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