Leading by Example

A couple of months ago Floss-Pa was invited to an event at Colon. I attended the event with fellow members Monica Mora and Alejandro Perez. The event was amazing (I should have blogged about it but was very short on time those days) and I actually had my slides ready before arriving (whoever knows me knows that is a landmark in the history of the human kind). My talk was about Floss-Pa, and that was very interesting because I had to take an introspective view of our community in order to find what defines us and what values do we promote.

One of the things I found as a value inside our community, and something I mentioned in my talk, is learning. I've seen that Floss-Pa is a community of people eager to share knowledge, and that - in a culture where elitism is probably the rule of thumb - is a very distinctive feature. We do this by organizing talks, workshops, learning groups and whatnot. And I think I speak for everyone in Floss-Pa when I say we all learn something every time we do these events, no matter how experienced one can be in Free Software.

Last weekend, many of the members of Floss-Pa (me included) attended the first Hackathon in our country (at least officially). This Hackathon was against Domestic Violence, and was an international event including cities from Central America and Washington DC. I found this event to be very interesting to prove some of the points I exposed in my talk in October, and this is what I want to blog about:

For starters, all of the members of Floss-Pa that participated as coders (except for me) were in the team that ended up winning the competition. This was good not only because we won, but also because those members led the  team to develop a solution fully implemented in FLOSS technology like Drupal and Open Layers. In doing this, we back our usual assertion that FLOSS works, and that you are able to implement full fledged solutions entirely based on open platforms and standards.

Then, as I spent quite some time hanging with the other members of Floss-Pa, spying their coding process and goofing around (no wonder my team ended up last in the standings) I was able to see the teaching process in action: I saw professional coders and system administrators like Diego, Alejandro and P4C0 working side by side with students and coding enthusiasts who had a first hand experience of world-class code design and development. Having been part of the so-called educational process for computer systems engineering, I guarantee you these students will seldom have an opportunity like the one they had last week, and I'm very glad they had this chance to experience Free Software.

And last, but not least, we had Monica as a member of the  jury. While I cannot go into details about her participation, you should take my word on this: she was a very high quality jury for this event (I dare to say she was also the most technically informed one) and I must also add we all participated in this event thanks to Monica's involvement with the organization.

All in all, while our community does have its struggles, events like the one we attended last week make me feel proud of being a member of Floss-Pa. Our community not only follows the habitual chit-chatting in favor of Free Software: we lead by example, participating and collaborating in every event we can, showing sincere interest in the development of the people around our community.