A relatively interesting day

Note: This is my personal experience and I arrived 45 minutes late to the event. (Imma blame the traffic and the rain. Is funnier).

Tux, the Linux mascot

For the last 2 months in the city of horrible traffic….. I mean the city of horrendous rain……I mean Bangalore, I’ve been bumbling my way around the city and throughout the entirety of South India on trips. And decidedly didn’t attend any tech meetups that happen as frequently as the rain.

And so one fine day I decided to attend the FOSS United meetup yesterday (12th November, 2022) to see what the whole hype was about. Below are my experience and suggestions/criticisms from said event (you are free to ignore them).

Note: While the grammar of the first sentence is completely wrong, it’s funny. Now read on you grammar Nazi.

So, I arrived 40-ish minutes late, in the middle of a talk. The place was cool, and I went and sat at the back of the room. And that’s it. There’s nothing else that I could say happened beyond that. I sat in a place (excluding a snacks break of 15-ish min) and listened. I texted on the telegram group (even a plea for those there to identify themselves, so I could introduce myself, but unfortunately it seems nobody was online. Probably went to get some milk) and said hi to a total of 3 people.

Note: The organizers / volunteers did a bang up job. No complaints over there.

  1. For newcomers, it’s kinda hard to join a conversation with people they don’t know. As suggested on the group (the telegram one), there really ought to be a chill corner, henceforth coined the SAC (socially anxious corner and pronounced sack) for those who simply wanna introduce themselves and talk to other people. A low entry barrier for conversation.
  2. While I genuinely believe that the speakers were good (I have a lot of respect for people who can talk in front of others), to call a series of talks as a meetup is a bit of a……….misstep. I had the wrong expectation going in.
  3. It’s ironic that an offline meetup had less interaction than an online group. I really do wish that there were discussions focussed on FOSS projects that can be contributed to and a broader view of programming in general. A round table discussion of various topics?
  4. Etc. Might update later if I can remember any more.

I suppose the overall broad view of this is the fact that this meetup was more like a session of short Ted talks than a community event. Which is fine. But why not just watch it on YouTube or zoom? Or just skip the talks? What do I lose by missing this?

Community events should be about people, and I think that’s what was missing in this event. To quote myself, when a friend asked me what I was looking for at the event,

A community spirit and people to talk to.

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Aditya Sujith Gudimetla

I do stuff. Like stuff about policy. And book stuff. And gaming stuff. And stuff about life. And stuff about stuff.