Every October in Italy we hold an event dedicated to GNU/Linux and open source software development called LinuxDay 2011 Italy. The event is organized by the Italian Linux Society (ILS) and local Linux User Groups (LUG's). LUG’s hold conferences in many cities spreading the philosophy of "Freedom, as in free speech,” with the goal of popularizing the use and development of open source software.
This year the event was held on October 22nd, and was special because 20 years ago a man named Linus Torvalds made the very first announcement in a mailing list about a new "(free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones" that was the Linux OS.
My LUG and I have been involved in the organization of LinuxDay in Matera, a beautiful city that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This year I decided to talk about my experience as a Google Summer of Code student because it has been an awesome experience that has allowed me to both improve my programming skills and to increase my involvement in the open source community. The concept of community is very important for open source development and this is the message I tried to spread through my talk. Many students were present during my speech and asked me for more information about the Google Summer of Code program. I hope my talk will encourage more Italian students to participate in the program in the coming years.
I would like to thank Google for offering us this opportunity and my colleagues who helped organize this wonderful event. Time spent together is always worthy of some sacrifice, we are maybe the last dreamers in the world, believing that changing the world is possible starting from changing ourselves. "Dreaming together a world of Freedom, and working to build it".
By Margherita Di Leo, Google Summer of Code Student