Besides the pleasant weather another way to recognise I am in Bangalore is
when there is a powercut. And what timing, precisely when i am working on the
machine or need to fix dinner. Nice try BESCOM. </end infrastructure
So far the responses to yesterday's request have
been good, got some mails and an interesting
comment. There was a request for Indichix labs in Mangalore and Bangalore
BUT I never knew it would be so tough to get space in Bangalore. That is a
surprise for sure.
I also got an office space for Pune and found a mentor in Chennai, Sudarsan
Santiappan, who's comment had pertinent questions which may help us evaluate
things. My reply to his comment was so long that I think its best converted
into another blog post as I was repeating most of the following in each
individual mails. Am I lazy or wot ^_^ ?
So here goes...
SSudarsan: If I understand correctly, this is typically equivalent
to setting up a company which would target to deliver OSS. In the process of
delivery, the team gets matured as OSS contributors.
Yes, in a sense its comparable, but the differentiator is none would earn a
salary as we are non-profit project :-) Jokes apart, for example, the
goal is NOT to learn/create an "Indian" or a "pink" distro. Instead mentors can
teach about the dependency cycle, package management, packaging across
platform, and help to improve/develop/maintain the existing distro's, bug
squashing/patching, and so on... Since LinuxChix is distro-agnostic, any
experienced volunteer from the Debian, Ubuntu, Kde, Gnome, Python, Suse, etc
... communities can conduct talks, demos, take live sessions to encourage
IndiChix. Most importantly sharing and learning in a group is fun and we
develop new skills besides the knowledge gained during the learning process,
plus the peer recognition and meeting nice people. So coolness factor is high
SSudarsan: The best places to start such an endeavor are
1. Houses that can accommodate few computers and people with Internet
2. Computer centers of Schools and Colleges, which can hired at
3. Tie-ups with Software Learning centers.
Cafe Coffee Day is not exactly the best venue for meetings nor conducive to
learning packaging. So if we can provide an environment where they can come
during weekends to learn for a few hours it would be a worthwhile experiment.
In a nutshell the challenges and pressures are different and yet similar across
different Indian cities; Also we are not-for-profit and have no inflow of
revenue so hiring is a long shot at the moment, unless we find a generous
SSudarsan: One needs to have the
following but not limited to; to sustain such an endeavor are the
0. Understanding the Vision
Contribute upstream. To add and expand, the moot idea is to
reduce the challenges, as the knowledge divide for women is higher. With this
experiment we can try to bridge this with help from like-minded people. Unlike
other developed nations, in India, we have a number of women working in the
proprietary software industry, which may be equivalent to men, but yet we have
few (maybe around 100+) giving back to the Libre community. I met many newbies
who are confused about:
+ where to start contributing, how to start, etc...
+ self-doubts about being good enough,
+ lack of knowledge about existing projects, or
+ Even wonder what to do at projectA, does my skill set match, do i have
enough experience, etc...
SSudarsan: 0a. Are you going to do service
Service ---> "upstream" projects.
SSudarsan: 0b. Are you going to develop
free s/w for the community ?
Absolutely, YES. Creating islands of excellence seems
SSudarsan: 0c. Are you going to commercialize the s/w
Not sure I understand what you mean but ...; I am no lawyer but I suppose; the
existing license of the upstream project will prevail. This may change
depending on the project too. :-8
SSudarsan: 0d. Are you having
enough money flow to sustain this operation ?
As mentioned earlier, we are not-for-profit and generating revenue is not
exactly on the top of the list right now. Besides the legal implications there
are enough challenges, as is, to solve
SSudarsan: 0e. Who are the beneficiaries
Any (wo)man interested in helping and contributing to IndiChix, upstream
projects, sponsors (you get to evaluate potential dedicated, hardworking
technically adept women).
SSudarsan: 1. A Business model to sustain software
development. Preferably a revenue model for sustained operation covering inflow
2. A team of mentors/managers to train contributors and execute
3. A detailed plan for people, projects, revenue in terms of growth and
If such a system is setup in Chennai, I would be willing offer
The revenue model is too early imho, as
We (are a not-for-profit org and it has legal implications. Currently we will
have to find a way to survive on sponsors aka charity. Thanks for
offering to mentor in Chennai.
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