Yeah its been mostly a time of slumber – when you have been awake all the time and yet sleeping throughout. I am writing this post to document my academic, technological and a little bit of personal life from the last post onwards. I shall try to use images wherever possible to indicate what I had been doing all this time.
I had joined a corporate and was being prepared as a soldier to fight the mighty business and IT wars. Joining literally could remind someone of the drafting phase in the military – specifically in numbers.
The first few months in a corporate environment are a period of settling in. Before that, the only interaction I had with any firm was with a biomedical product firm in Mumbai for which I had worked as a consultant on Qt/Embedded project. The work there was challenging and was mostly directed on my terms. In a corporate environment and in a service based IT industry, I guess the scenario changes ten folds. The working hours changed, coffee intake started, evenings were mostly spent in the office and dinners were seldom. Though there were awesome Tex CROs and high-end debuggers lying around, this was no more the college lab. This was the real deal! The workplace was indeed nice and so were its inhabitants but the work was taking its toll at both my educational and intellectual development. I was no more experimenting with cool technologies. Though I became a Qt ambassador and Nokia gave me an N9 for a project I did during my Masters days, but this was all old stuff. I was lagging behind. When people were talking about HTML5 and Nexus protocols on embedded devices, when Meego ended its journey and Tizen was released, when Raspberry Pi was being launched and dual core Cortex A-9 chips were being discussed on mailing lists, when Fedora 17 launched as I just sat and watched the pictures of release parties all over the world, I had embraced myself in corporate shackles. I looked at the mailing lists silently. I saw what all action I was missing. I used to sit on weekends with Chaitannya, Nishchay, Shravan, Tanushri – good ol’ gang and used to discuss. That was all that was left. I told Tanushri one day about a simple image which represented my situation -
Yeah..I was moving way deep in my comfort zone. A salary at the end of the month, a place to stay and some wheels to drive had made me think more about something which I had never thought about – money. I had always been told that its the relentless quest for knowledge that should be your holy grail and money follows automatically. But unfortunately, the holy grail had taken a back seat now and the issue of money had cropped up. I had to buy formal clothes for work. (never ever bought them before in my life) It required money. Fuel required money and so did the dinner at plush restaurants.
In college life, clothes were a 3 year old pair of jeans, a few T-shirts received from Fedora or Wikipedia, any pair of shoes lying around in the dorm – one size fits all Transport was a 2 km walk from room to lab and dinner was college mess (monthly bill = cost of a single night’s dinner as of now). Stipend money was generously paid by college from which I could buy a Sony PSP and Guitar sometime. My mobile was a Nokia 1202 which literally cost me Rs 1202 only that time.
An Android one was later bought from the consultancy money I got before joining the firm and later on when Nokia showered blessings with an N9 I had a good cellphone. That was the life I wanted to live. Bare minimum on outside. Charging inside. Compared to the work I was doing in college, this phase seemed like an era of slumber. Bling-bling outside, bare minimum inside.
In view of the above observations about the course my life was taking and in light of the recent developments about serious chances of my lifelong dream of doing a PhD and pursuing a career in research, teaching and freelancing, I quit my job.
I thank Tanushri and Nishchay for supporting my decision and in fact being the people whom I followed. Oh yeah! they quit before me and in the prime of the youth are surging ahead to conquer the technological landscape. Kudos to them! So as indicated before, I’m looking to a life full on turmoil and highs and lows, a life of action, where I have to travel to Lonavla in a Rs 13 local train and write blogs while being happily unemployed. I read Prisig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance in between which is enough to brainwash me for some more time.
I am engaged with a few tasks for now and am happy to take more freelancing work in the field of Embedded Linux/Qt, UI design etc. Feel free to ping me if you have some interesting tasks. Let the games begin!
There are many things you remember once an event is over and then there are some which are etched on your mind. I’ll always remember everyone saying thanks for the artwork and the Tee design. I was happy and thoroughly excited to see the Fedora Design team’s efforts plastered all over the venue! And oh yes! above all, Kashyap‘s geekish quote of the event, “That’s nested bullshit!” will always remain the identifying bit for this FUDCon.
I missed half of it, thanks to Air India and the morons who were dancing on the Trivandrum Airport runway and caused a 12 hour flight delay. I entered the COEP auditorium only at the exact moment when Sitaram’s Gitolite talk came to an end. Being a TCS guy now, I felt proud to have him on the venue I had a small chat with Sitaram and he as confused about my name (as its Dutt/Sharma sometimes, somewhere) I told him that I chop my name sometimes so that others don’t get intimidated by the string array overflow in my name I was escorted to the speaker’s lounge where I met Shravan, Saleem, Kushal, Arun SAG, Siddhesh, Shakthi and Aditya Patwari. Ankur Sinha Vaidik and Ratnadeep were among the new folks I had met and got along with well due to the familiar geek chemistry we all share. Satya, PJP and Rahul also greeted me and I was among the titans by now. Both of my talks were scheduled for the next day and I had to get some stuff/codes from my lab. So mostly I missed the other sessions on day one too.
I came on time for Harish’s talks and grabbed some swag from Saleem and went off to Seminar Hall where my talk was scheduled. I could mostly see people I already knew sitting among the attendees. There were some new students who seemed interested too and were listening intently. I had expected 20-25 attendees and got what I wanted My talk was well received and a few guys actually came to ask some stuff. I immediately knew that a hackfest/workshop kind of stuff for them was essential to keep the inquisitiveness alive. I listened intently to Siji’s talk on Disko UI framework for embedded devices and then had a chat with my long time Embedded Nirvana buddy Chaitannya for quite sometime. We discussed about Siji’s talk for a while and then lots of other awesome stuff at length. I went to speakers lounge thereafter and started preparing for the Fedora Design session I had to eventually take. I intended to get more people involved in design activities related to Fedora by at least demoing them how I remixed art to create some graphics for this FUDCon.
The day also went by and I spent some time in speaker’s lounge preparing for hackfest tomorow before hitting the FUDPub!! Now this was the most interesting part of Day 2. It was truly an amazing experience to see Kushal dancing around and Rahul all energized and shouting Hey-you-bugger all the time. We later in the evening had a round table humour conference, where Rahul was pulling anyone’s leg whom he could get hold of. The rooftoop FUDPub was indeed a unique experience with Eugene and Jared Smith dancing to bollywood numbers while Shrishti discussed Arun’s baby pink slippers and Aditya telling me about Arun’s biceps and his screwdriver dreams! (sorry Arun I had to write that )
This was the workshop/hackfest day! This is what I was looking for at last. I knew some people might be interested and even if they were not, I managed to get at least half a dozen enthusiastic guys and girls for a Qt/Embedded Linux workshop we had. (I was planning to actually hijack other’s hackfests to get some people for mine but time and tide were merciful to the others it seems)
We sat around in a circle in the auditorium and stared with basics of embedded Linux and then towards Qt application development on embedded devices. I had lots of interruptions wherein I had to go repeatedly with Saleem to get the awesome Fedora cake done (say thanks to us!) However I managed to show the workshop attendees a demo code cross-compiled and run on my rooted android device before we wrapped up the conference. We went for a dinner later in the evening after having Rahul’s hey-you-bugger rounds once more at the hotel and laughing our asses off.
I had always been reading something about the Fedoraproject and its values since I got involved in it – Freedom, Friends, Feaures, First! This FUDCon was indeed the first time I was able to experience the true meaning of these words as the event went by. Love you guys (and girls) See you all soon!
So at last we are having a FUDCon in India after quite a long time, and that too in Pune! To top it all, its in College of Engineering Pune, (COEP as we call it) the place where I have spent my last two years learning about Linux, Embedded devices and a hell lot of things about the power of an Open Community (strangely, I am forgetting something…ah! my favourite course – How-To-Kill-Time 101)
I am releasing some preliminary graphics related to FUDCon India this year. I’m mainly doing posters, banners, logos, web graphics etc. They are not in their final avatar but more or less they are gonna be on the same lines. Tatica has promised me to help me on these once she reviews them with her designer’s eye.
Thats the FUDCon India 2011 Logo – just a dash of henna, like a crown on FUDCon