The open source is an amazing world and a computer geek need no introduction of what is meaning of open source as it has became part of their life. open source have made the technology very easily accessible for all on the web. in fact students also can join a ongoing open source project and can contribute to the project.
considering all this many Indian universities also have introduced open source in their curriculum and this is really good step as normally guys love to spend their lot of time on PC on doing some coding stuff, but as open source has became part of curriculum they have got official permission to do these stuff. But it is very crucial to explain what is open source philosophy as mere studding open source is not going to help the actual OSS world.
Open source is not just about the software and giving their code for free it is definitely not limited to that. here we should consider philosophy of jimmy wales (Wikipedia founder) which says “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge ” of course this is applicable to a project like Wikipedia but if we think beyond this and implement this to IT sector then it will illuminate the true open source philosophy.
Unfortunately this is not happening in some places in India as most of the people of “let it be” nature and resistive to rapid changes and often they refer conflict in their view in terms of their defeat or victory. They are not open to all kind of new information just because once getting stable in their job they just don’t care what is going around the rest of world. if we link this with the education system and especially with technical education situation is really disgraceful. Indian planning commission member Dr. narendra jadhav once said “out of sync teachers and outdated syllabus what can be more harmful to the education system”
what I am trying to say is if teachers and students adopt to the open source philosophy and open their minds and extirpate the egos the entire system will became very effective producing not just engineers but also good citizens who will be well aware of their potential. Sometimes it happens that a newly joint teacher doesn’t know about some technical topic and a student is knowing it very well then the teachers will not fill shy to ask a student if the teacher is ready to learn that is his mind is open to all kind of information. of course this will help to both students and teachers since the student can’t communicate will all students as he has to look for his future but the teacher always can do it since it`s his duty. Also with sharing of knowledge students and teachers both can do their works more effectively and creatively by using 100% of their potential and thus giving possible best performance every time.
Many times I have discussed this topic with several teachers and some executives also and my conclusion after that was according to teachers and executives, a student is responsible for his career it is not teachers job to spoon feed each student since the students are of don’t care nature they don’t like to study (follow the rules and procedures) and if they (teachers) force something it create bad impression among students. Also students do the stuff just because it is given in their syllabus. What they expect is every teen age crossed student is capable of deciding what he can do and how he can do it. In technical education for every course universities expect student to posses some pre-requite skills like they expect knowledge of operating system, web, and some software like photoshop, flash. And so it is not responsibility of college authority to give knowledge on it. Apart from that there should be a safe gap in teachers and students so a teacher asking a student for help!!!! Oh… forget it, this is just ridiculous… (Remember the gap the boss (here teacher) is always right)
Alas! And this is what weakening our entire system. And thus I think to improve it we should get adapted to the open source philosophy not just for software but for life style.
The truth is 90% of new coming students to technical education (I don’t know about IIT and equal colleges) are blank about the so called pre-requisite software skills. Still the college authority doesn`t do anything about it. The students are obviously translucent about what is going around the globe in technology and they fear to implement the technology in their daily workings (especially for ‘IT’ it is very easy to adopt do it yourself approach). So how can someone expect that these unaware people will decide what they are capable of? They are always unaware of ample number of opportunities in the world of open source. And due to this after completion of their course of degree the student still doesn’t know what they have studied they can’t even define what their course was all about!! I remember during the last year project viva many students approached me and asked me “how we launch a web site on web server?” where as it is “expected;” that every IT engineer must have knowledge about it. But OMG….( It is expected na… so lack of knowledge about is obvious.)
Linus torvels once said “The Linux philosophy is ‘Laugh in the face of danger’. Oops. Wrong One. ‘Do it yourself’. Yes, that’s it.” And Exactly this is what I am trying to convey, I don’t expect spoon feeding from teachers, we know the till 12th education system it is killing the creativity of young students and when they come to engineering they keep their same attitude, so till their first year of course they are unaware of the possibility and capabilities of themselves. What I expect is teachers helpful hand just to pick the students who are ready for the “do it yourself”. It is said ”The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called “truth.” The teacher should encourage such students and the student will find his way as per his interest making the teacher’s hand progressively unnecessary. Also important constituent of OSS world is sharing of knowledge if there is no barrier of thoughts in teachers and students the ideas can flow in very lucid and liberal way. This is true about me and I am very satisfied with what I am and with the kind of mentors I got and I am very thankful to all of them. but when I see my juniors at same level where I was 2-3 years ago, they are struggling to make their way out due to unawareness of opportunities.
And thus I expect that students should be aware of the open source philosophy and then to the software world of open source. Open source really make work easy infarct one of linus torvels say is “Intelligence is the ability to avoid doing work, yet getting the work done.” It is possible with kind of world that is created by Open source system and forums and all only think to have proper knowledge of it. We can create a smarter world with open source philosophy where technology will be the biggest institution of all. But to achieve it we must open our minds to do things in open source way.
i have used the word philosophy for at least 8 times in this post and that is what i want to emphasis, we must understand the philosophy of the subject or field to do better work. its unfortunate that today we just go on doing things in ad-hoc manner just because some one tells us to do so. we must stat thinking what we are doing is right or wrong we must start asking questions and have our own believe system. i think that will create true scientific minds and genuine engineers of 21st century.
I hope someone will read this and hopefully think on it I don’t want to hurt any ones feeling this is a blog so I have put forth my point of view and blogs are mint for this only.