Hello, if you don’t know already, I’m a Computer Science student from Damascus University Syria.
My friends and I are working on an Open Source Free Software workshop here at the faculty of Computer Science, the workshop will take place on February 2009, but we are gathering some resources and information from now.
The workshop will have lectures about Open Source, Free Software, Licenses, Open Source Free alternative for Commercial Proprietary software, and of course Linux OS.
The workshop will also contain an Installation Festival where we are going to install Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex for students on their devices and teach them how to use it.
I’m gonna put some questions here and I’ll ask you to answer it, whether you own an Open Source company or you work for one.
I’m neither a journalist nor an analyst seeker, but I want some answers from you to introduce you the way you want to students, please don’t waste this message because I’m not a journalist, we want to spread the culture of Free Open Source Software here between students and contributing to the workshop would be very kind of you.
Please allow me to ask you to answer the following questions:
1. When did you start your company and who started it?
2. How did you start your company?
3. Why Free Open Source Software? What was the base idea of your company? Did you consider that offering Free Open Source Software might not give you much money? Or money wasn’t your concern at first?
4. What problems did you have to go through till the first line of code was written?
5. Most people ask; where and how do you make money? This question needs to be fully described because in my humble opinion it is the most question people and especially students would care about.
6. Starting a company needs a hard working faithful staff, how did you start collecting your staff? How did you convinced people to work with you knowing that you offer Free Open Source Software?
7. After you finished your first prototype, how did you advertise it?
8. What was the reaction of people who tested the first software of yours?
9. How many people contributed to the first version of your product? And how many downloaded it and used it?
10. You must have received thousands of feedback messages after your first product; do you remember the approximate count?
11. Competition with know software is indeed hard, how did you manage to make your path between your competitors?
12. What are the phases that your company had been in till now? What difficulties and problems did you face?
13. How many people contributed to the second version of your product?
14. How many people contributed to the last version of your product?
15. How many people did you count using your software?
16. Do you advice students to start their companies and follow your path, or do you advice them to look for jobs in companies like yours?
17. What must the student of Computer Science study to be able to work for you? What techniques? Programming Languages? Tools? What do you seek in your workers to have and know?
18. If by any means you had the chance to talk to our students and give them a message, what would it be?
You can of course answer as much as you want of the questions above, but I hope you answer all of them for the sake of Free Open Source Software and knowledge.
Thank you from all my heart, and on behalf of my friends and colleagues I thank you, we appreciate your efforts and your contributions.
Abd Allah Diab
Computer Science Faculty