Software freedom day
What is this day?
Software freedom day is a worldwide celebration of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It is celebrated to educate the public about the benefits of using high quality FOSS in education, in government, at home, and in business -- in short, everywhere!
This is usually celebrated on 3rd Saturday of September. This year it was on the 15th of September but on that day we had our mid-term exams. So, we celebrated this on 21st and 22nd of September.
The celebration was possible due to the hard work of all the volunteers of GLUG NITH. GLUG NITH is a club in NIT Hamirpur to promote the use of the free and open software. We here do many events like workshops, hackathons and programming meets to promote the use of FOSS.
We started our preparation for the event 15 days before. There were meetings of the volunteers every week. We planned out about the promotion, sponsors, and schedules of the event. We also planned out who will take which role like installing distros, giving talks and organizing quiz. We made it sure that this event reaches to every student of the college especially the freshmen of our college by putting posters and flex on every corner of our college.
The day 1 of the event started with opening talks about topics like open source software, Linux, GLUG NITH and other topics. This was done to introduce the freshmen of our college to the open source world.
Then there was a quiz related to open source which included 6 teams. The teams were pre-selected by a daily WhatsApp quiz. The quiz included 3 rounds which eliminated teams by teams. We gave prizes to the top 3 teams. Prizes included vouchers, stickers, and t-shirts from coding ninjas.
In the second of day 1, we first introduced the students to different distros like Ubuntu, Kali, Elementary, Fedora, Mint, Arch, and Manjaro. Then we installed the distros according to the choice of the students. Although there were some problems while installing, we tried to install Linux on every laptop.
Our next day was planned with video conferencing with mentors of different organizations and a talk with an alumnus of our college.
So, the day started with video conferencing with Jeffrey Warren, mentor of Public Lab. He introduced all the students about the work we do in Public Lab, the ideas of outreach we follow, what all we do in the summer programs. Then students asked him some questions related to GSoC and about our organizations.
Next was the video conferencing with the mentor of Amahi, Carlos Puchol. He also introduced the students of our club to his organization and then students asked questions about GSoC like how they should start contributing and what the mentors usually see in the proposals of the student before selecting them. Then he also talked about the journey of Amahi with open source.
After that, the final students including me introduced freshmen about the open source software they can use in their newly installed Linux. We also introduced freshmen to a few useful websites.
Then after a lunch break, we continued our video conferencing with two other mentors.
First, we talked with the mentor of WorldBrain.io, Oliver Sauter who introduced us to memex, one of the software of WorldBrain.io. We were all amazed by the working of memex. Few students asked about the working behind memex and how it was originally developed. Then there were students who also asked questions related to GSoC like how to work to get selected in GSoC and few other questions.
Next up, we did a video conference with the mentors of Global Alliance for Genomics and Health - Cristina and Josemi. Cristina has prepared a presentation about how their organization work. Then there was a Q&A session about their organization, GSoC and other internship opportunities.
After all the video conferencing, there was a lean-in talk by two of our GSoCers - Anishka and Prakriti. Lean-in is introduced in our college to improve the coding culture within the girls of our college. They talked about various open source opportunities that are available for girls all over the world. I am sure this would be a great help for all the girls in our colleges.
We also had invited one of our alumni - Akarshit Wal to the event. He gave an excellent talk about open source and the advent of remote jobs. All the students listened very carefully to his talk about open source and I am sure it would have benefitted many. He also talked about his current remote job, advantages of remote job and how can we get one.
Software Freedom Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm this year. Freshmen came with great numbers from all branches. All the volunteers also worked with great zeal. So, all and all this event was a great success. We hope that all students would have learned a great deal from this SFD.