Cross posted on my Medium Space.
Writing this post Maker Fest, Ahmedabad 2018, after getting a lot(seriously, a lot!) of questions like, “Why Open Source?”, “Why do it, if they don’t pay you?”, “You’re just a college student and so am I, how are you representing Mozilla and I’m just visiting?”
The fate of a community depends on how the leaders of the community shape it, and take it forward. This is a vague statement to which many would nod and say, “It is how it is. We go the way they take it forward”. I beg to differ!
First of all, there are no leaders in a community, there are guides, is what I feel. The experienced ones. I’m talking about the ones who don’t make the rules. I’m talking about the ones who can see themselves in every newbie out there. They can guide a newbie, acting as mentors to explore their limits. That’s the beauty of a community, even when there’s no mentor to guide you through it, you pave your way and develop the skills. Many could relate to this, and many are still puzzled and asking questions like, “Where to start?”
A community like Mozilla’s can make a big difference to your lives, we have a lot of examples in the community itself, and I’ve met a few of them and observed some things. The one thing common in a newly appointed Rep and Vineel Reddy Pindi Sir(Founder & Community Architect — Mozilla India) is that they never gave up on what they believe in and as long as they will continue to do so, they will reach where they want to. I can simply state that because both of these people aren’t here for the positions they are in, it’s for the responsibilities they have and what they want to take on. Moreover, they realize what a big deal a community is, they realize how important it is, to take people forward but they can do as much as they can for as long as they can.
The complete team at MakerFest 2018 was there because of the contributions they have made, because these people you see in the picture have been a part of the community for some time and are willing to do more. Personal rewards are to be kept aside, because whatever you learn in a community is priceless. With the exposure it offers by talking with like-minded people of the industry you are about to be a part of, after your college. You learn and move forward at a pace you are comfortable with.
It is for one to realize that participation is the key, and an Open Source Community helps us to do so, without any fee, without any restrictions or rules, it enables you. It enables you to a point where you can literally go anywhere, it is, on you. You might even be doing it for swags, for recognition, do it! I personally don’t encourage such attitude, but participate for the resources you’ve been provided so gloriously by the people who have felt the need for the resources you have now, in their learning days. This is the time for you to participate, to go on a limb and do everything you want to, because now you can.
You have the power to connect, and build yourself to an extent where you cannot imagine. Join in, and do as much as you can, now.