above-and-beyond hospitality to newbies at an Indian open source event

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above-and-beyond hospitality to newbies at an Indian open source event

Sumana Harihareswara-2
(cross-posting to wikimediaindia-l and the OpenHatch events list)

I recently read a thought-provoking piece, "The Bardoli Incident," by a
Gujarati open source software contributor.[0]  It's a moving story of
hospitality to newbies and I wanted to share it with you.

I especially appreciate that Pradeepto Bhattacharya personally took it
upon himself to stop newbie attrition at the event.  My Indian parents
taught me a heritage of hospitality, as I remembered in "Be Bold: An
Origin Story".[1] So this kind of heroism, the heroism of the host,
speaks deeply to me.

It's a tough balance, respecting each participant's right to drop out
while ensuring they know that we want them to stay.  I think
Bhattacharya got it right by asking honest questions and adapting the
newbies' experience.  Maybe other event organizers reading this have had
similar experiences?
--
Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

[0] http://pradeepto.livejournal.com/18619.html

[1]
http://adainitiative.org/2012/06/sumana-harihareswaras-be-bold-an-origin-story-keynote-at-open-source-bridge/

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Re: above-and-beyond hospitality to newbies at an Indian open source event

Arnav Sonara
Hey,

I did read Pradeepto's "The Bardoli Incident" and kudos to him for helping those students personally.

This is a very common issue at least in Gujarat and Maharashtra where I have conducted plenty of Outreach activities.

Students do not ask question, at least not in front of others just because of shyness or maybe they want to listen everything first and then question. Thus at the end of sessions when we break up we see many students waiting eagerly outside the room to ask questions and interact.

In an event like KDE Meetup which AFAIK was the first ever in Gujarat you are expected to have *newbies* and by newbies I mean a person who does not know much about IRC channel, mailing list, Open source communities but is well verse in programming or is already a developer. So the first few sessions should always be an Introduction to that Community, unless we are having Hackathons/DevCamps.

Also language barrier is another issue, not all the participants of these two states are trained to listen in English for hours and hours, so some kind of demo or hands on should be helpful and if we have a local contributor in the community then he/she can interact with participants in local language.

And now talking about WMF and India. I am glad that Language Engineering Team visits Pune quite often and B'lore too, but maybe its high time now they start exploring other cities too? Resources can be arranged if someone from community takes the initiative with the help of Chapter and WMF. (/me runs away else Alolita will kick him :-D ) . But please do think upon this.
Maybe the next visit of Language Engineering Team should be in an entirely new city and community (just a suggestion).

Thanks.


On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 11:14 PM, Sumana Harihareswara <[hidden email]> wrote:
(cross-posting to wikimediaindia-l and the OpenHatch events list)

I recently read a thought-provoking piece, "The Bardoli Incident," by a
Gujarati open source software contributor.[0]  It's a moving story of
hospitality to newbies and I wanted to share it with you.

I especially appreciate that Pradeepto Bhattacharya personally took it
upon himself to stop newbie attrition at the event.  My Indian parents
taught me a heritage of hospitality, as I remembered in "Be Bold: An
Origin Story".[1] So this kind of heroism, the heroism of the host,
speaks deeply to me.

It's a tough balance, respecting each participant's right to drop out
while ensuring they know that we want them to stay.  I think
Bhattacharya got it right by asking honest questions and adapting the
newbies' experience.  Maybe other event organizers reading this have had
similar experiences?
--
Sumana Harihareswara
Engineering Community Manager
Wikimedia Foundation

[0] http://pradeepto.livejournal.com/18619.html

[1]
http://adainitiative.org/2012/06/sumana-harihareswaras-be-bold-an-origin-story-keynote-at-open-source-bridge/

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--
Thanks
Arnav (ricku).

(User:Rangilo_Gujarati)

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