Guys and Gals – We are famous now :)

One of my previous posts threw some light on Bureaucratic System at IIIT. A few hours ago, Zenwalker posted an interesting story on his blog regarding Creation of a mailing list for the purpose of a magazine. These were few things about IQ level πŸ™‚ Now, lets study the ego levels of people at our place. People who are in no way related to IIIT are writing blogs about IIIT. Isn’t that great?? People know us now!! A guy who happens to be a FOSS supporter, was trying to convince administration to organize a FOSS fest at IIIT and this is what he got! (I couldn’t find a way to link to the particular post from the blog, so quoting it here. You can find the original post (its the first one untill author updates his blog) here.)

We approach technical advisor X and assistant professor Y for a F/OSS unconference at a premier International Institute, and they never respond for weeks. Apparently, we knew the Head of the Institute, who whole-heartedly agrees, having been a user group member during his college years, and asks X and Y to take things further.

Now, X and Y are upset, because we approached the Head of the Institute, and permission was granted. Then X and Y show off their ego, presence, and reciprocate by not communicating at all our requests. Weeks go by, and we still don’t get any prompt response. And we decide to finally call it off with them because it was not helping us progress any further.

End result is that the students/faculty of the Institute are at a big loss for not having the event at their venue for no fault of theirs!

While, I have seen such extreme *ego* cases in India in most of my attempts to organize Free Software unconferences, I have never shared it with others. Maybe I should write a book — The Adventures of Shakthimaan: The “Lost” Chronicles πŸ™‚

People have to agree with me that our professors (apart from a few) never reply to mails irrespective of the importance of the mail. I am glad to know that number of people who ask “What is IIIT?” is decreasing πŸ™‚


9 thoughts on “Guys and Gals – We are famous now :)

  1. “Shakthimaan”… Now I do know who that is πŸ˜›
    anyone who’s subscribed to LUG@students would know

    but nice point raised… we lose out due to no fault of ours

  2. In my 6 years at IIIT, I have observed that many faculty members lack the confidence to stick their necks out and take up work that is necessary to strengthen the institute. It is not a coincidence that I see a similar attitude being reflected in the younger batches of IIIT. All I can say is that most of our present faculty members make very poor role models for our fellow students.

  3. “I am glad to know that number of people who ask β€œWhat is IIIT?” is decreasing :)” famous for wrong reasons… but as they say, there’s nothing known as “bad publicity” πŸ˜›

  4. This is in reply to Mr Shakthiman’s blog and also to clarify some issues for our students who sometimes tend to pay too much attention to ‘loose’ blogs. I write as FOSS approached me through two students of IIITH (the so-called Technical Advisor X in the blog post). I am posting my email replies as is but not of the students as any email is written in confidence and I don’t want to break it. Legally I can quote mine directly.

    First email: dated 7/6/2009 – request to meet from a student to organize a FOSS event at the institute. We met, talked and reply (email dated 7/7/2009) from my end was “In principle I have no issue, except that one-two students take up responsibility. But November is a little far off, and the admin are not sure if any major conference is fixed for that day. Let me know the date, and the number of people expected and we can try and block 119.

    Second email from student dated 7/8/09 – The student met the outside organizers over dinner and they decided to take it slow. Mr Shakthiman was invited to come to the campus to talk about it and wanted to conduct some workshops & sessions.

    Reply from my end dated – 7/8/09 – “Another way is for us to take up some good open source projects – Prof X & I have a couple of big projects, let me know if there at least 3-4 who are interested in working on it. A good mix is 2 MS students and 3-4 UG’s, and this is an interesting project as it has to be designed and built from scratch.
    I don’t mind OS meets & workshops but the better to convey our commitment & most important expertise is by actually working on projects.”
    (just to add here: this project was completed by a company housed in IIITH)
    The next email was from another student with the same introduction, again we met and discussed. A suggestion from my end was to have a FOSS event by IIITH and not necessarily with any outsiders. The last reply from the second student said he will get back after talking to Mr Shakthiman.

    And by the way: this person Mr Shakthiman was supposed to meet me and made two commitments which he didn’t keep up. Second, the head of the institution neither mentioned the event or sent an email on it!. Third point: we had a 2 day open source event by Twincling a year ago and out of 120 students who attended there were only 2 IIITH students!.

    The reply is not to justify anyone’s innocence but just to clarify the institute name. A person who professes to support open source should also understand that open source or open speech or write requires responsibility.

    Yes, I am totally jobless to be replying to blogs!.

    Have fun & still look forward to a open source event by IIITH.

  5. @Kavita Vemuri

    Since i was the one who was in touch with you from college, i think need to clear some air. After we had a brief discussions in august and when Shakthi was not able to follow it up, someone else in group contacted Sangal sir directly(i think before that they tried to contact others too).

    Then they got referred to people he says in post and thats what he wrote about. About organizing the conference, i was interested organizing IIIT because i felt there is little or no interaction between the FOSS enthusiastic IIITians and the local FOSS community. There is no problem in organizing a conference on our own, but the aims should then be much different. Something only us can do in that case. May related to relevance of FOSS technologies in development,education. How community driven efforts help to get better results can be discussed there. is more like a meet up of enthusiasts to pass on information, like an informal irc meet.

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