Its 3rd of May, 2010. Bilal is in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where its raining heavily, an unusual phenomenon. By the evening, flash floods strike parts of the city. Schools declared closed for the next day. I had a lot of free time that evening, and decided to try getting the package gnome-media-player into Ubuntu.
I hopped onto #ubuntu-motu and asked for someone to review my package. Chow Loong Jin (aka hyperair) stepped up to help, and began reviewing my package. He caught several mistakes in the packaging, and dedicated over 2 hours of his precious post-exams time to help me in packaging. He suggested a ton of changes, and after lots of building/suggesting/fixing, he advocated the package on REVU. That was my entry into Ubuntu Development. (You can read the logs of those IRC discussions at this link. I was kiddy and childish at that time, but Ubuntu Development has made me mature )
At that time I was 13 years old. I had a debate competition in my school 2 days later, which I lost. But I wasn’t grieved. I was so interested in helping in the development of Ubuntu, and then began merging/syncing packages from Ubuntu. I would have stepped up and tried getting more packages into Ubuntu, but as suggested by others on the channels, it’d be better if I did merging/syncing in the Ubuntu world and tried getting my new packages into Debian. I followed their advice after gnome-media-player upload, and till date, gnome-media-player is the only new package which I got uploaded to Ubuntu and not Debian (there were many reasons why I wasn’t able to put the package in Debian, in short I’d say there were some objections by Debian developers on the name of the package).
Now I’m 14. One year and 2 days have passed since that day. I’m now MOTU, Ubuntu Member, and I’ve also been contracted by Canonical to work on Unity . Lots has changed in 1 year.
I’d like to thank these people who helped me a lot in the last 1 year:
- Chow Loong Jin
- Benjamin Drung
- Stefano Rivera
- Ahmed El-Mahmoudy
- Vishnoo Charan Reddy
- Ken VanDine
- Didier Roche
- Sebastien Bacher
- Michael Vogt
- Daniel Holbach
- Jorge Castro
A big THANK YOU to everyone up there in that list for helping me, it wouldn’t have been without your help that I’m here. Also many others helped me on my way whom I just can’t count or remember, and a big thanks to them as well
So just a message for everyone ,
Join the Ubuntu Community right now. Things will move faster than you’d expect them to, and in no time you’d be making significant and sustained contributions to the project, be it in terms of coding, bug reporting/triaging, testing, translating, community support, etc.
Together, we as a community could gather enough momentum to fix bug #1. Always remember: nothing is impossible.