Kavya Jaiswal

Engineering student at the University of Delhi

March 2022

Kavya makes FOSS and takes our Twitter mic from March 21 to 28. Thank you, Kavya!

Please tell us about yourself

I’m Kavya Jaiswal, a 22-year-old undergraduate engineering student at the University of Delhi. I’m currently in my final year. I have worked as an outreachy intern with the Inkscape organisation in the year 2021.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently working as a part-time flutter developer intern at a startup in Delhi, India. Along with it, I am also doing a detailed study of the core computer science subjects to prepare myself to pursue a Master’s degree in the field of computer science engineering.

What is most interesting about that?

I’m enjoying playing with flutter, creating new apps. I’m learning and discovering so many new things in flutter every day.

How did you first discover FOSS?

I was looking for a summer internship when I read about OpenSource. I have heard this term earlier, but this time I tried to understand what exactly was it. Having read many articles and watched some videoes, I found out about Outreachy. And that’s how my open source journey began.

What prompted you to start contributing to FOSS?

My main motivation to start with FOSS was Outreachy. I was going through the program details when I read that even beginners can start their open source journey with this program. I didn’t waste much time and filled in my initial application for the program. My initial application got approved and then I started searching for a project to contribute from the list of various open-source organisations and their projects. I found Inkscape in that list, began communicating with the Inkscape contributors and started with my first contribution to the Inkscape project.

Why should others get involved with FOSS?

A great advantage of free open source software is that no one is excluded from using the product because they can’t afford it. Open-source software is transparent, there is nothing nasty hidden in those codes that can unethically harm the users' data. Open-source also has a big community to support. They are a good resource to ask your doubts and questions. Other than these, FOSS provides young developers with valuable experience.

How should they get started?

I believe communication is the key to starting your contribution. Firstly, choose an open-source organisation that aligns with your interests and requires the skills that you already have or want to learn. The next step is to talk to the contributors of that organisation to guide you on how to make your first contribution.

What difficulties and limitations do you see with FOSS?

Some open-source software is not straightforward to use and has a less user-friendly interface. While others can be a bit tricky to set up and use.

How can they be solved?

A temporary solution can be to have a detailed user-friendly guide that helps the new users understand the working of the software.

Where do you see difficulties in contributing?

Many people don’t start contributing to open source as they find it very intimidating. People often feel that they do not have enough skills to contribute. Some of the new contributors are even hesitant to ask their questions and have a feeling that what if the question seems silly to others in the community.

What does a perfect day off look like?

A day with nature, a new book and some music.