Fossasia 2015

Howdy? It’s strange that I am writing another blog post in such a short time. I along with my colleagues @yourfrienddhruv and @priyank_it from Ishi Systems attended Fossasia 2015 and we would like to share our learning with all of you.

About Fossasia 2015

If you haven’t already read about it in my earlier blog post, Fossasia is one of the premier open source event organized every year since 2010 in Asia. Fossasia 2015 was held at Singapore.

What we shared there?

We considered Fossasia 2015 as an opportunity to showcase our DevOps culture and Agile practices that we follow at Ishi Systems. We presented three talks there and organized one bonus Agile breakout session.

Never build a login again : The art of using social Auth using Django - Nikunj Thakkar

As I could not wait to share my experience, I have already written a blog post about it. It includes my presentation and video link.

Prototype for Production - Dhruv Gohil

Working with a team member who has same mindset towards “FOSS” as yours is an amazing experience. Fortunately I got that opportunity at the beginning of my career. In the time-span of mere three months, Dhruv along with three interns tried to build a production ready product/service. The results were amazing and all this because of awesome opensource tools available out there. In his talk he is sharing his experience for the same. I insist that you to go through his presentation if you did not get a chance to attended his talk.

Adopting agile via continuous improvement - Priyank Shah

Being a part of an organization which is trying to adopt Agile but not just fot the namesake, we are learning many things. But until and unless we share it with others we won’t be knowing where we are failing or what we are doing good that makes us successful. Priyank Shah, having almost 10 years of experience in IT industry has seen both success and failures in both Agile and Non-Agile teams. He decided to take this opportunity to speak about Adopting Agile via continuous improvements.

In his presentation, you will see many interesting scenarios that one faces while following Agile practices. Feel free to reach to him at @priyank_it if you have any queries.

What we learned

  • Agile (How others do it) : As I said we are on our way to adopt Agile practices and it is crucial for us to know how others do it to find out our mistakes and not to repeat them. As Fossasia has participants from all over the world, we discussed about practices being followed by other organizations and scrum masters.

    It is hard to describe all the ideas/discussions in a blog post. We will try to implement them and share the results with all of you.

  • Team management : Most of the organizations having geo-located teams faces the issue of team management. As most open-source projects have similar kind of situation and yet they are very successful in doing so. We tried to explore how they do it. Though, they have nothing special to add here. Most common points are following.
    • Continuous communication is the key
    • Use Right tools in a right way
    • No alternative of self-motivated individuals (I know they are crazy but you have to deal with them :P)
  • Work culture : This one is from my personal point of view. I always wanted to be part of team where there is a space for experiments. Being an open-source enthusiastic, I always loved work culture adopted by open-source teams. Fossasia is one of the opportunity to experience the same.

  • Align open Source with your business : One point that we noticed while talking to authors of open-source project is that the genesis of project always started because of actual business requirements. In the same way, if you are able to find out how you can align open source with your business you will make most out of it.

People are awesome

My inspiration for attending such events has always been people I get to meet there. Why? Because they are “AWESOME”. They work for open-source projects. You can pull every bit of knowledge out of them and they won’t mind telling you secrets. I will try and introduce you to team members I can remember.

Meet Mario Behling and Hong Phuc Dang:

IYDK, Mario and Hong are the organizers of the event. Since my interaction with them, they have been supportive and always available to help. During the event it is hard to get a spare moment from them, but they do try to stop-by and talk to the members. Thanks you Mario and Hong for organizing such an awesome event.

Jan Jongboom:

I became his fan while he was showing magic tricks using Firefox OS phone. Sounds interesting? Have a look at his slides from Fossasia.

Harish Pillay:

Though we could not talk longer with him, he was supportive and kind enough to suggest some places to find vegetarian food. Looking forward to meet him again in FOSS events.

Martin Bähr:

Do you remember a guy with tiny laptop? That’s Martin. When I asked him why such small laptop? He replied it does my job and that’s enough.

Michael Cannon:

Credits for that awesome group photo on top goes to this guy. Also he talked about Successfully managing distributed teams. You can find his presentation here.

Ningxin Hu:

It was nice to have insights into Crosswalk Project. Looking forward to engage my self with Crosswalk community.

Alexander Bezzubov and Victoria Bondarchuk:

Praveen, Minal & Ovi Patil:

Being Physics teacher, Praveen along with his family sets an example for others to contribute in open-source project. Praveen is actively contributing to ExpEYES which is low cost pocket science experiments lab. Find more about it in his blog.

The list is bigger than I thought. Apart from people mentioned here we had a great time with Kartik Mistry, Akshay Ratan, Heena, Piyush Verma, Kushal Das, Gauthamraj Elango, Vishv Brahmbhatt, Wan Leung Wong, Handoko Suwono, Christoph Kruppa, Aarti Dwivedi, Kothari Harsh, Calvin Cheng, Deepak Karki, Jacqueline Rahemipour and many others (sorry if I forgot your name). It was nice to interact with you all. Keep in touch.

Conclusion

  • Go Social! - Spread word about event and what you are presenting and what’s in it for others.
  • Always Connected (smart-phone + laptop)
  • Crisp communication - Remember? “Communication is the key”
  • Find right people to interact, connect and start conversation
  • Don’t miss post/pre meet-up, unofficial group activities!

That’s all for now folks. Stay in touch. :)