Memories of conf.KDE.in
Well they say in solitude you sometimes remember your fondest memories, I would like to share one with you folks.
Today morning I realized that it was March, now March might be an ordinary month for most of you but looking back I can say for sure it was and it still is special for me; I can clearly recall the events that occurred and how they changed my life.
A year back the first KDE conf India happened from 9-13th of March, I remember I was more of an ordinary student in the class, I had a decent GPA and I used to get by without much trouble for the most part but somehow on 9th I had an urge to attend KDE conf despite it had 700 bucks for registration and my HOD(Head of Department) had clearly denied the request to attend it, but I still went for the conference as it was happening right below my department.
I wish I could say that after attending the very first talk of the conference my life changed but in actuality nothing happened ; I met really smart people but that just increased my insecurity and I couldn’t follow most of the talks. I was doubting if I made right choice of attending it in the first place, both 9th – 10th went without any feelings that I learned something valuable, something which I could have followed and used in my daily life.
Than came 11th March, the day was normal till the afternoon after that we had a hands-on bug squashing lab, where young KDE developers would guide us by fixing a bug from KDE bugzilla. Since it was the last day for the talks and I was tired with all the information i received which I couldn’t made sense of; I wanted to skip the lab but somehow I didn’t do that for some reason. In the lab we had to solve a bug in Rekonq (a browser bundled with KDE) the bug description said that it had to something to do with ad blockers, now I used to browse the internet before and I knew a thing or two about how Ad-blockers work; so I quickly found the code/file which needed to be patched and it was more of a lucky guess then any real skill involved but that was enough as it impressed the KDE developer that were there.
One particular (Vishesh Handa) came to me and told me that I knew things and I should use my knowledge to write patches for KDE and there is something about it; when a complete stranger sees your work for the first time and praises you for it. I think I was on cloud nine for rest of the day; when I reached my apartment I started looking for sub project to contribute to and I found Nepomuk junior job page which basically consists of easy bugs which can help new people learn about the project, bug fixing and writing patches but I was naive and I didn’t know where you can actually find the source code, let alone any knowledge about version control systems.
Luckily next day it was a hacking session for the speakers; I took that opportunity to meet them and learn how to solve bugs and where to find help in case you don’t know what to do. They even gave me a simple bug to get started on which was quite trivial and would take around 3-4 lines of code to solve it but with all things that look simple while looking back, the bug took me more than 6 hours to fix as I was clueless on where exactly i needed to put that code in the first place.Though all of that work didn’t go to waste as I remember the feeling when that patch was committed on the next day. I was hooked after that commit and in 3-4 days I submitted even more patches which eventually got committed. After a month or so I finally received my KDE developer account to push my own commits.
Looking back, if I had not attend the lab or if that KDE developer (Vishesh Handa) hadn’t said those things to me, my entire life would have been completely different and I would be a normal guy today working at a MNC but thankfully life had better plans. So many great memories are the result of that one moment and in my heart I still have gratitude for KDE without it I wouldn’t have become a contributor, a GSoCer, made smart friends, visited different places, improved my programming skills and maybe biggest of all I wouldn’t be a part of c42 (The place I work at). My entire life from that single moment to the moment when I received my first salary is indebted to KDE.
Recently, I finally had the chance to catch up with one of my friend from KDE (Shantanu) whom I first met at conf.KDE.in . We kept delaying our meet because of our busy schedules but we finally caught up last Sunday and the last Sunday was on 11th March. eh, coincidences can be funny sometimes