SLIIT’s Play With Foss

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Play with FOSS, a half-day long open source event, gathered over 250+ FOSS enthusiasts at the SLIIT Malabe Campus. This event presented the excellent opportunity to connect with the unique blend of FOSS community members, users and industry developers.  The half-day long event was filled with talks on the latest Linux and its development, sessions on how to start contributing to FOSS, coding sessions, hacking with Kali Linux, and a whole lot more.

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While shouting “Hi!” to few of the participants, I discovered something that really delighted me: I found some students who travelled all the way from Kandy and Matara just to learn and gain some insights on Free and Open Source Software (yes, that’s what FOSS stands for)

Why, though?

Free and Open Source Software portray different meaning from standard freeware that you get all over. What FOSS gives you is the freedom to use it as you wish – you are free to explore it, develop it, configure it or distribute it, irrespective of proprietary software.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who know little or nothing about FOSS. Hence the primary motive of Play with FOSS was to get the message out a bit more.

The Event itself

Tech talks on FOSS were pretty much the order of the day. We had three: firstly, Ishan Ambanwela, Java programmer and a graduate of University of Peradeniya, gave a thorough introduction to Linux from scratch – from history to current status, pros, cons, file systems, kernel architecture and more, stressing the open nature of Linux itself.

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Participants were also treated to a live demo on Hacking with Kali Linux, by Randika Ariyarathna, a graduate of University of Jaffna.. Lolitha Ratnayake went on to discuss the Raspberry Pi and its applications.

Erandika Umal, Head of CMB ISQ Mobile practice and Performance Testing CEG at Virtusa, took the stage then, to give an idea about SQL injection attack. He started off his presentation by asking the obvious question: what is SQL injection? No answer from the audience. None. Explaining it, Erandika pulled off a live demo, demonstrating how to break in as well as how to defend against an SQL injection attack.

Ramindu Deshapriya (Sahana Vesuvius at Sahana Software Foundation and graduate of the University of Moratuwa), took the stage last for the final speech – a call to action on how Sri Lankan students can (and should) contribute to FOSS.

“The world recognizes the power of Open Source: why YOU are lagging behind?”

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