My Experience Reading: ‘i want 2 do project. tell me wat 2 do.’ by Shakthi Kannan

I recently started interacting on #dgplug channel using my matrix ID and I’m also attending the dgplug summer training, in-turn learning a lot of new stuff. As all of us(dgplug summer trainees) were learning about mailing list etiquette and FOSS, we were suggested by mbuf (Shakthi Kannan) to go ahead and read his book ‘i want 2 do project. tell me wat 2 do.’ to get better insights for FOSS, mailing etiquette, how FOSS works etc.

The book then showed up at my door after a couple of days. This book presents valuable insights on open-source software and the equally important communication side related to it, which a newbie wouldn’t pay much attention to in the beginning.

The book starts with Mailing list etiquette and explains it in detail – it explains the importance of trimmed, ‘interleaved, bottom-posting’, not writing HTML mails, no overquoting , really well. It also made me realize how important adding additional details are. When I delved in further, I learnt about the tools that can be used for effective communication(mailing lists, IRC, SMS, Voice Calls) and when to use the right tool, with right people at the right time.

Next up, I learnt about the details for starting in open-source software development, how to effectively read docs to proceed with the code-base. Then, in chapter-5, the whole process of creating a patch and e-mailing it is explained. A few days back I too had to merge a mailed patch to my repository so I could very well relate to the process of generating a patch via Version Control System(VCS) Tool and submit the patch via mail.

As I read further, I came across one of the most important take away from the book – Bug Triaging. It’s nothing but, reproducing the same bug from the mail/description and work upon it. It thus, also means that the mail/description should contain as much detail as possible for the debugging to be smooth.

The last three chapters focus on reading /writing, presentation and sustenance and have nice pointers to follow. The chapter-9 on presentation made me look back at the mistakes that I made while delivering talks at past meetups. I took a note of all the points that I missed so that I can deliver my next talk as perfectly as I can, 🙂

That’s about it. Thank you Shakthi Kannan , for this amazing book! Here's my photo with the book: