Monday, May 2, 2011

India's first KDE conference

This article was published in Qt Blogs here. Thanks to Alexandra and Qt Community for the same!

I recently attended conf.KDE.in at the RV College of Engineering in Bangalore. It was the first KDE conference ever held in India, and it was followed up with two days of code sprints attended by over 300+ people. I’m pretty late with this write up, but better now than never.

KDE-India is a growing group of volunteers totally committed to contributing to and popularizing FOSS in India. The event was primarily focussed on introducing KDE and Qt to young developers still studying engineering butof course there were also a fair number of professionals like me.

In short, above all else, it was tons of fun. I networked with people, shared knowledge, promoted the Qt DevNet India group and even had the chance to watch live break dancing on stage – not once but twice! That’s Knut Yrvin for you, a great speaker with some special gifts needed for a Community Manager.

There were great sessions held over 3 days and I actually regretted that I could be at only one place at a time. I managed to attend a few great sessions like Qt for beginners (by VCreate Logic), and their session on the really cool VTK Designer tool and GCF framework. I made sure not to miss sessions by Adriaan de Groot (VP KDE e.V.) and of course Knut. He was literally mobbed on the final day for photos and autographs.

One new pleasant thing I came to know about Qt (and I suspect it was news to most of the attendees there) was the KDE free Qt foundation, which you can read more about here. There were a lot of questions as to where Qt was headed and some very good answers.

Sessions on KDE.edu by Anne-Marie Mahfouf and also on Calligra by Inge Wallin were captivating. I’m now looking at contributing some time to KDE.edu; they are up to some pretty neat things. I topped off the third day by listening to the ins and outs of Model View Framework by Volker Krause. Unfortunately, I had to miss out on the code sprints.

Kudos to the group of volunteers organized and led by Pradeepto B. to make this a reality. They showed an amazing drive and conviction and it was fun to see the entire audience walk up to Pradeepto after the closing note on the final day to give him bear hugs, thanking him for bringing a KDE conference to India.

This was my first Open Source conference and it was a really good experience. I could pester long time KDE contributors with questions on how things work, where the whole of KDE is headed towards, and more. If you ask me if it was worthwhile and rewarding for one to spend time on it, my answer is a big YES!

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