fosspeoplegsocgoogleanniversarysan joseheidegger

FOSS People

After Google Summer of Code I got invited by Google to attend the Google Summer of Code 10 year anniversary in San Jose, California: three days of fun activities, unconference sessions and talks.

We went to Great America - actually Google reserved the entire theme park exclusively for us!! - and to visit the Google Plex. But what impressed me the most is FOSS people.

FOSS people

Google Summer of Code is a program meant to foster the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) world and thus the attendees of the 10 year anniversary event were techies involved in some FOSS project. After chatting with many on them, I realized that FOSS people can be of two types, based on the nature of their motivation.

The first type of volunteers has a strong passion for technology. Their contribution to the FOSS world is really precious, but their real motivation is the fervor for technology. You can easily identify them because they hold a smart phone while talking and often wear Google Glass and some sort of smart watch. They love having conversations about technology and in fact that’s what they do all the time!

The second type has a strong wish to contribute to the common good. They usually believe that their daily job does not provide enough benefit to the society, they strongly want to be useful and help the community and so they do what they are the best at: writing software for great open source projects! Usually this type of person is open minded and very knowledgeable, he thinks that technology is relevant, but it is just a tool like many other in our society. This type amazes me. I remember in particular a guy, a philosopher, who I had breakfast with: he said he studied in particular German philosophers from the 1900s. So, recalling my high school studies, I asked him what Heidegger would think of modern technology. His answer was… well… critical and… hard to understand, something like this!!