Influence of Open Source

Its been long I have been coding, since 1989 to be precise, with no formal computer science education. Everything that I have learned can be attributed to all the source code published in public domain over all these years. My first rememberance of the same is through FTP servers and Bulletin Boards that you accessed over the Internet and downloaded each individual file, and later on ZIP files to read and study. Aided by books such as:

  • Inside the IBM PC by Peter Norton
  • Inside the IBM PC: Access to Advanced Features & Programming Techniques by Peter Norton
  • The Peter Norton Programmer’s Guide to the IBM PC
  • Advanced MS-DOS Programming by Ray Duncan
  • and many more…

that was my first hand experience of how professional software could be written. As a kid, it was so magical.

After I began coding, I made many of small utilities and tools to aid my own work. Even in college I completed by Surveying project involving creation of a topology sheet and Design of a School Building by writing custom Java code - it saved hell lot of time iterating over and over again, and making sure that we won the best project medal (as a team) at the end of the course as well.

Entering into the world of professional development, I wanted to contribute back to the place where I learned from: the world of open source. Thus, began my journey with the Jerry project in 2007 end, with the first cut commited in early 2008 in to SourceForge. The development was always slow, with being connected the biggest hurdle and setting up different machines another one. Getting approvals from the SF team for each new project or idea was again a pain - and keeping everything in a single repo a nightmare.

When GitHub launched and I joined as a member in mid-June, things really took off. It was super easy to create multiple repositories, work offline and then sync when connected. Most of my spare time came during off-work hours, mostly of weekends, vacations or otherwise when connectivity was limited.

Over the course of last 3 years, I am glad to have worked on more than 50 different ideas, all under open source, with some reaching the maturity to be called as projects and some still nascent infants to be called as experiments.

I am sure many of the ideas from expriments will move to being projects with time. Till then, you can browse them over in their respective places, and you are most most welcome to join in and lend a helping hand.

Keep Walking and Keep Coding!