IOTX Sri Lanka: A glimpse from the eyes of an intern

I have been associated with Sahana Software Foundation since October, 2013, first as a volunteer contributor, then as a Sahana intern for four months and since April as a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) intern.

Sahana Software Foundation held its SahanaCamp and Sahana Conference in conjunction with the Indian Ocean Tsunami 10th (IOTX) Anniversary convention in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 18th-22nd June. So, when Michael Howden sent out an invitation mail to the community for the events, I was quick to accept it. Luckily, Google being the big hearted supporter of Open Source, decided to fund  Somay Jain, Mayank Jain, Arnav Agrawal, Gaurav Narula, Hemant Singh and I, Arnav Sharma to attend.

Our week began on 15th of June when we had the Sahana Strategic Planning Session. It was here where we met other community members like Fran Boon, Dominic König, Michael Howden, Ramindu Deshapriya, Chamindra de Silva, Nuwan Waidyanatha, Louiqa Raschid and others. It was fascinating to meet and spend some good time with them.

Our normal schedule was to report at the venue (Virtusa) at 9:30 (we were always running late. Why?), work till 6 and then socialize for the rest of the evening and night (that’s why!). The work was blissful. We were as involved in the discussion as any other member who has been working with Sahana since its inception. That is another plus of contributing to Open Source, that your views get heard and hold value (as long as they have any).

What I did?

  • Gave a demonstration on Timor-Leste Disaster Information System,
  • Learnt about Common Alerting Protocol (CAP)
  • Squished a bug with Dominic in the CAP codefest
  • Participated in the Sahana BarCamp & Sahana Strategic Planning Session
  • Gave a session in the BarCamp on my GSoC project

What I learnt?

Overall, I learnt about Sahana, its history, its deployments, its members and its aims and objectives. Also, I gained more clarity about the future path and aim of my GSoC project, mostly because of Dominic. The BarCamp sessions about debugging, deployments and other GSoC projects were insightful.

Open Source is nothing but a few people with a common goal working together for the betterment of a community by developing software. This, I saw in person and this will stick with me for the rest of my life.

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