Understanding FOSS.IN/2008

While we have been working hard in the background to bring the event to life, it looks like a few FUD (Fear-Uncertanity-Doubt) jockeys have been having a field day spreading wrong information about what the event is all about.

Normally, we ignore this kind of stuff, but I think a bit of clarification is in order:

- FOSS.IN is only for Contributors/Developers

(sigh) This is the most common one. Not that there would be anything wrong with such a situation, but it just isn’t true. From the FAQ:

FOSS.IN is an international event, held annually in Bangalore. It focuses on contribution to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), especially from India. People from across the world who contribute, or who are interested in contributing, come to the event to meet, discuss, brainstorm, innovate and create contributions to existing and new FOSS projects.

Nowhere does it say that non-contributors cannot attend the event. Nowhere does it, in fact, place *any* restriction on who can attend the event. In fact, the very next paragraph in the FAQ states:

FOSS.IN is for anyone who is interested in FOSS. However, understand that the focus is contribution to, not use of, FOSS. So if your objective is to contribute (in terms of writing code or documentation, testing, developing artwork, etc.) then FOSS.IN is for you. FOSS.IN has no policy that excludes anyone from attending the event – there is no “qualification” other than your interest in FOSS.

- There is only coding/hacking at FOSS.IN, nothing else

Untrue – there is a vast array of technical talks as well, from contributors and well known FOSS people from India and abroad.

- FOSS.IN is all about coding and talks

Untrue again – the amount of community socializing that happens during FOSS.IN has to be experienced to be believed. People meeting people, putting faces to names and IRC nicks, discussing FOSS deployments, hatching plans for world domination…

In fact, just about all the myths and FUD flying around right now are answered directly in the FOSS.IN FAQ – I would strongly suggest that you go read that page before being misled.

One question that is not addressed on that page, and that I am always a bit uncomfortable talking about, is

“Will I get a job if I attend FOSS.IN?”

Let me be brutal – FOSS.IN is *not* about getting a job, it is about Free and Open Source Software. It just so happens that FOSS developers tend to be some of the smartest and savviest developers in the world. Which is why many companies, including FOSS.IN Sponsors, like to be at FOSS.IN, because this is where they get to meet the best. And if you are at the event, then you get to meet them. Whether you get a job that way – well, that depends on how good you are. :)

FOSS.IN Delegate registration is currently open. More than 600 people have already registered as I am writing this.

Can you really afford not to be there? :)