Grants:TPS/Sucheta Ghoshal/Open Source Bridge 2013

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User name
Sucheta Ghoshal
User location (country)
Event name
Open Source Bridge
Event Web site
Event date(s)
June 18–21, 2013
Event location (city)
Portland, Oregon
Amount requested (remember to specify currency!)
USD 2500 (Request for advance disbursement)
  1. I was Sucheta's mentor for her time in OPW, and she was a tireless supporter of the mission and many of our projects, and would be a great representative to send to OSB. --MarkTraceur (talk) 21:42, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
  2. I've conducted two Mediawiki Outreach programs with Sucheta and have talked at length about the subject matter of the talk over time. Concur with MarkTraceur. Yuvipanda (talk) 06:47, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  3. I have spoken at Open Source Bridge three times, and can confirm the attendees' interest in understanding and nurturing free software and free culture communities around the world. Sucheta's talk will provide valuable insight and give trainers, community managers, and mentors use cases for the improvements they want to make in open source community processes and outreach. Sharihareswara (WMF) (talk) 14:32, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  4. As org admin of mw:Outreach Program for Women I can confirm the great motivation and work done by Sucheta as a developer and free software contribitor, and also as an organizer and speaker in technical MediaWiki events in India. She deserves this sponsorship and without any doubt this will help her making good contacts in this side of the free software community. Very benefitial to the Wikimedia movement as well, since she is a technical volunteer and a good example of the type of contributors we want to have and consolidate in our community. I would even recommend her to visit us shortly in SF if time & budget permits. Once you fly from India, the Portland - SF is a small hop.--Qgil (talk) 19:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
  5. I'm one of the co-chairs of this year's Open Source Bridge conference. This talk proposal was well-received by our selection committee and we would very much like to hear this community story. Reidab (talk) 21:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
  6. Aeschright (talk) 21:35, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Budget breakdown[edit]

  • Travel (Round-trip economy class fare from India to US and back): USD 2100
  • Acommodation: USD 70 per night x 4 nights = USD 280
  • Total: USD 2100 + USD 280 = USD 2380 = USD 2500 (Approx)

Proposed Participation[edit]

About me

I am an active Wikimedian from India and a contributor in MediaWiki. I have been an OPW intern in Wikimedia from January 2 to April 2, and have worked on the project EtherEditor with Mark Holmquist. I am now participating in Google Summer of Code as a mentor for the organization Ankur India. I happen to be a FOSS user since 2008 and a contributor since 2011. I am a member of several Linux User Groups and run one, in my college Netaji Subhash Engineering College. I actively contribute to various open source projects like Mozilla (Fennec Browser), Ankur (Tool Developer), by both coding and organizing several outreach events. Also, I am an active Wikimedian from Kolkata chapter and a serious contributor to Wikipedia.

Past Speaking Experiences and Workshops:

My Blog

Mikipedia - I maintain a blog about all my experiences with Open Source, technology, hacking and more here!

My participation in the conference

My Talk:

We, the people - the talk that I am going to present at the conference, along with my fellow Wikimedian Harsh Kothari.

Contribution to Wikimedia Foundation Mission:

I have had a submission accepted at Open Source Bridge 2013 – on which I am going to present a talk about my story – how I came into this community and how others could come forward and start doing something very meaningful for themselves as well for the others by contributing to this very mission which Wikimedia is concerned about. It could be an inspiration for the people who want to contribute but need a little guidance on the whole process and of course a little support, it could as well be an awareness for those who are still not aware of the mission and need to know how simple yet important this whole mission is. So precisely, my participation should help Wikimedia Mission by:

  • Increasing Reach : It would obviously be focused on spreading the cultural awareness about Free Knowledge - which is one of the very important missions of this movement.
  • Increasing participation: This talk focuses the most on encouraging new contributors to participate and more. I am from India, and I have a fair idea of what are the things that are blocking the ways of these new contributors to come forward. I shall be talking about the problems I have faced, the way I have overcome those and also the problems new contributors may face, the way they can handle it and keep going.

Goal and Expected Impact[edit]

Goal: In Brief:

I hope my participation at Open Source Bridge would give other FOSS enthusiasts from different parts of the world a chance to get to know about the general situation in India - the good, the bad, the real story. This should work as an inspiration for many people. Problems, if discussed any, might not be solvable in 20 minutes just, but they are impportant enough to be considered to be thought about.

Goal: In Detail:

My talk at Open Source Bridge 2013 would mainly focus on:

  • The situation in technology and overall hacking culture in India: Although we are going towards having a great IT industry over here in India, the culture that is needed to nurture technology in rather innovative ways, is often missing. For example, we think twice before calling any coding event as hackathons, as the participants would come up and ask if we would be teaching them skills to 'hack' the friends' Facebook password. This is one of the many unfortunate incidents that we face while organizing outreach events and such.
  • Academic culture and Open Source: Students are often forced to use proprietary softwares for laboratory purposes, even though there exists Free and Open Source alternatives for the same. This is so wrong in so many levels.
  • Open Source communities and their activities: There exists Open Source communities in India, but a lot of them are not active enough (in a productive way) to encourage enough people to contribute. Organizing outreach events cannot be the only way to keep your community work productive, sadly, this is the scene in many cases. I fear we might just get FOSS 'enthusiasts' good enough to organize outreach events this way, but hardly any contributors to stick around.
  • Our Story: We believe in Open Source. We call oursleves a part of the Wikimedia Community. My journey to Open Source, more precisely to Wikimedia was not very easy either. I would love to talk about how things were for me, how I did overcome the obstacles that came, the fights, the failures and the victories. At the same time, I would want others to know how amazing it was to be a part of Wikimedia all the while. I have seen passionate Wikipedians, Volunteers working for the mission out of nothing but sheer passion. I want the new faces in Open Source, who want to be a part of our community to know how simple things get when you really want them to happen, and work hard on what you really want.
  • Suggestions for the new contributors: I would rather say, I would like to support the new people. We are not the ones to make suggestions, we shall tell our stories, we shall talk about the problems in general, the way we see the problems are, the way we can overcome those, we shall talk about your stories too. I hope to inspire the new contributors by the talk, I hope them to join us, and work towards making the world a better place.

Planned collaboration

We, the people - is a story of us. This story is not a very short one to finish just yet. I plan to stay connected with the enthusiastic partcipants via email, mailing lists, and IRCs. I am anyway always on IRC, would be happy to keep in touch with the people concerned and help others with their troubles with Wikipedia, MediaWiki or FOSS in general.

Anticipated Impact

As a result of my talk, I hope everyone in the audience will get to have an idea on how things are here in India, the overall approach towards - Open Source, the hacking culture, the technologies around. It is not a very decent situation in many cases, but that need to be discussed and thought about. While this is one very important aim of the talk, I shall also be talking about how I came to this community, MediaWiki, how tough it was for me, and how amazing it is to be here. I may not be a very important person to give suggestions, but I sure am experienced enough to support the new people coming or having a desire to do something good to our Open Source Community, in general and MediaWiki in particular.