Motivating India: Is India lagging behind in Open Source contributions ?

We Indians work across different parts of the globe on different horizontals and on a wide variety of technologies. We have adopted Open Source technologies for lot of our work but the ratio of giving back to the community is extremely low. Seedhi Baat, No Bakwaas (Translation: Talking Straight).

Lets not worry about any criticism, and focus on identifying few barriers that are stopping us, so that we can figure out ways to fix it. I will not be talking about solutions here in this post, Its open for all of us to figure out.

Below are the barriers which I faced. Maybe many others can relate to it too.

Few Excuses (fake barriers):

  • Direction: I want to contribute but I don’t know what to do.
  • Time: I do not get much time apart from work. Once I reach back i have no patience to sit in front of the box again.
  • Fear: I am not a geek. I merely write small programs. The community will laugh me out of the room.
  • I don’t want to: I am good this way.

Actual Barriers:

  • Are we self proclaimed geeks: This is stopping us from stepping out to learn something real cool. People out there are stunningly intelligent.
  • Not doing some homework/searching: There are hundreds of answers on stack overflow suggesting ways to contribute to open source, and thousand more duplicate/closed questions for the same on several other websites.
  • Passion: Only working for a living. We focus on daily work and do not enjoy programming as a hobby.

Few other causes- small yet serious:

  • Ignorance: What is Open Source? Can i even contribute?
  • Education System: Education system does not provide exposure and motivation for open source contribution. Education system sets the bend of mind that determines our attitude for years that follow.
  • Companies: Many of us work for service based industries, many of which do not encourage open source contributions. All that is expected is 9 to 5 working hours.
  • Initiation: We procrastinate.

Having said that WE now need to figure out how we can contribute back with the skills we have. There will be a post soon dedicated to begin Open Source Contribution. Feel free to do some homework till then. I am doing mine too. Refer: Google, Stack Overflow.

@All (Contributors/Non-Contributors/ Indians/ Non-Indians)
Feel free to express your suggestions/experiences here. Its my personal opinion and am open to all kind of criticisms for the post. Lets discuss on approaches to find solutions together.
Am sure experienced guys might have lot of stuffs to share. Your comments would help us build a healthy community together.

Yash Sharma is a Big Data & Machine Learning Engineer, A newbie OpenSource contributor, Plays guitar and enjoys teaching as part time hobby.
Talk to Yash about Distributed Systems and Data platform designs.

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