It was during Scipy 2015, a three-day conference on Scientific Python conducted at IIT Bombay from 14th December, 2015 to 16th December, 2015 when I first heard about the open source community. Some of the participants there were talking amongst themselves about their contributions to the open source community and I was like “What is this open source?!” Then I asked one of my friends about it and he gave me a link to this video which explains open source community in simple terms:

After watching this and doing my own research, I was really hooked up to open source and wanted to contribute to this community.

But still, I had no knowledge of how to do that! Then I came to know about dgplug’s summer training which will guide me to the world of open source software development. This organization conducted their sessions on IRC and posted the logs on their website so that in case anyone misses the session due to some reason, they can read the logs and catch up. I was eagerly waiting for this training to begin as I couldn’t wait to start contributing to open source.

The Training Begins

It started from 19th July, 2016. It was a three-month training and the sessions were conducted 5 days a week at 6:30 p.m. Sessions were conducted in a sophisticated and systematic manner by the mentors Kushal Das and Sayan Chowdhury.

One fascinating thing about this session was that they were using a bot named “batul” whose task was to start and end the session and to maintain the queue of the people who want to ask questions. We all were amazed by this bot and wanted to view its source code. Our mentors shared the bot’s source code with us.

On the first day, we were taught basic communication guidelines on IRC and mailing lists. Whenever we had any questions, we were supposed to type ‘!’ and when told, then to ask the questions.

The topic of the sessions then pivoted towards python programming. All the lessons taught were right from the basics, we were given some challenging programming questions at the end of each session which used to cover all the topics that were taught till date. Then sometimes some sessions on open sources technologies like git, ansible, shell scripting etc. were held. We also used to have some guest lecture sessions where various people who are now pioneers in the open source community came and shared their stories of how then began their journey into the world of open source software. The best part about it was when Kushal invited Guido Van Rossum, the creator of python programming language as a speaker in one of the guest sessions. Everyone was totally psyched. The class had the maximum attendance that day.

This training met more than my expectations. Earlier, I was skeptical that how can a session be conducted on IRC but Kushal and Sayan conducted the session in a wonderful way which creates no confusion and it’s easy to understand for everyone. I learned a lot from this training and it was a wonderful experience for me. I would recommend almost everyone who wants to begin his journey into the open source community to definitely sign up for this training.