That little thing about “skill set days”

Since he has decided that he will not blog about this particular topic, the optimal way to take this forward would be to link to the initial mail about “Skillset Days” and from there put a few things into perspective. On a side note, I’d have fancied a blog post. It makes for easier cross linking of ideas and deriving of comments than reading things off a mailing list archive. To each his own I guess.
The  central theme of the idea isn’t new. What is a bit new in this proposal is the way it may or may not fit into the fabric of (and / 2008). The bedrock for the event is to incubate, develop, foster and mentor contributions and contributors to various Free and Open Source Software Projects. In the background of such sharply defined objectives, an initiative like the Skillset Day tends to look more suited to a Barcamp or a Bootcamp kind of atmosphere. And there are mails on the thread that touch the fringes of that particular notion.

I’d agree and disagree at the same time. And, I think that the initial proposal does require a bit of revisions in terms of what it wants to achieve and for whom. In the current form, it is an idea mashup than a concrete proposal.
The presence of the Project Days at the last event provided an insight into one particular aspect. Having a well defined agenda for a very specific target audience, it is possible to make a change. And this is what I like in the current proposal. It has the seeds to initiate a change and be a force multiplier. At a very high level the proposal seems to be making a compromise set of sessions for the “user” community as opposed to the focus on the “developer” at the Project Day. It would provide a chance to a subset of the event attendees to learn skills that they can go back and attempt to implement in their operational environment.

An aspect to FOSS in India is the fact that a large subset of software development operations choose not to use FOSS tools for software production. The proposal has the beginning of the idea to make that change happen. However, the immediate question would be to figure out “what is an appropriate talk / topic for these days”. There is a greater chance of creating a Barcamp if talks are not selected with proper care and an appreciation of what it is going to achieve. The good thing is that we might end up coaching a large subset of folks about how to produce (free and) open source software.

That is always worth a shot. Always.