I started of with open source/linux in my first year of graduation and soon fell in love with it. It was my hobby. Now I am working for a open-source based startup: Plivo Inc.
I came to know something called Linux exists from my friend, who was a studying in NIT Surathkal. His views on Linux was something like ‘Everybody uses windows, so whats the difference between them and me!’. That was a huge motivation for me to start off with Linux.
Things were not smooth when I started. I believed there will be geeks & techies like him in my college. My hopes were soon shattered. In first year, I searched for a Linux CD in all senior hostels but ended up empty hands. Finally I got one from the library of our college (Digit DVDs).
I experimented a lot and loved solving problems. I visited a open-source techfest in NIT durgapur called Mukti. It changed my whole thinking towards open-source. I came to know that it is developed by community and not big companies like Microsoft or Apple. It is mainly developed by hobbyist and not for profit. They do it because they love it.
After attending the fest, I decided to create awareness about this in my college. I was blessed with the help of many batch-mates & seniors. We conducted a installfest on 21st Feb 09. It was a great success with over 150 participans. We gave fedora DVDs to all participants and had installed the same in over 30 systems. Then we conducted FreedomFest on 18th Apr 09 and formally inaugurated a Linux User Group. We did a seminar and boot-camp on KGEC techfest 2010. In 2011, new LUG members did a event hack the system. In these events, we promoted open source and created awareness. Everyone liked our initiatives but in the long run, only few members took it seriously.
Now you may be wondering, how it changed my life?
Let me repeat the line which inspired me: ‘Everybody uses windows, so whats the difference between them and me!’ So, I was different in the crowd. I came closer to the open source community. Interacted with people who were developers in industry working on open source. All my batch-mates studied theory about networking, OS, blah blah… I did things in practical. I had a different set of skills which are not as easily available in market. All these eventually paid off when I went for a interview at Plivo Inc. While I was reading Plivo’s job portal, I was surprised. There was a line saying: ‘Should be Linux or Mac user (Windows users, need not apply)’.
I eventually got selected at Plivo and am working on things I love to do. A startup experience that really changed my life!