When I entered the engineering program as a freshman in college, I felt like a frivolous teenager. In my sophomore year, and in a fortunate stroke of serendipity, I joined Zairza, a technical society for like-minded students who collaborated and built projects separate from the academic curriculum. It was right up my alley. Zairza provided me a safe space to learn and grow and discover my interests. There are different facets and roadways to development, and as a newbie, I didn’t know where my interests lay.

I made the switch to Linux then because I heard it is good for development. Fortunately, I had Ubuntu on my system. At first, I found it obnoxious to use because I was used to Windows. But I slowly got the hang of it and fell in love with it over time. I started exploring development by trying to build apps using Android and creating data visualizations using Python. I built a Wikipedia Reader app using the Wikipedia API, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I learned to use Git and put my projects on GitHub, which not only helped me showcase my projects but also enabled me to store them.

I kept juggling between Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. My machine wasn’t able to handle Android Studio since it consumed a lot of RAM. I finally made a switch to Fedora in 2016, and I have not looked back since.

At the end of my sophomore year, I applied to Rails Girls Summer of Code with another member of Zairza, Anisha Swain, where we contributed to HospitalRun. I didn’t know much about the tech stack, but I tagged along with her. This experience introduced me to open source. As I learned more about it, I came to realize that open source is ubiquitous. The tools I had used for a long time, like Git, Linux, and even Fedora, were open source all the while. It was fascinating!


How learning Linux introduced me to open source
1.05 GEEK