Saturday, April 19, 2014

To the Crazy Ones

Some time ago, I read an interesting quote about crazy and wise people: “There are more crazy people than wise, however in every wise person there is more craziness than wisdom”. You might think that craziness is a quality that you don’t want to have, but sometimes it can allow you to think out of the box and see things differently. The fact that you go against what seems obvious might be seen by others as being crazy. But we owe thanks to those who questioned what we were taught, who questioned the vague perception of the world through our senses and intuition. Because of them, big changes happened that made the  world a better place to a certain extent *.  

Galileo, with his Heliocentrism theory, totally changed the perspective of the world at that time. Darwin, with his theory of evolution, proposed a scientific and rational explanation for the origin of the species (which is still seen as crazy by many today). Several other intellectuals have proven through history that being crazy can bring a lot of sanity to our lives. They found explanations beyond average perception; solutions that lie right in front of our eyes but we were too blinded by our sanity to see them.

Do not judge those who seem crazy to the rest of the world, but try to put yourself in their shoes. Understand their point of view, be crazy yourself and see how it goes. “Crazy people are not crazy if one accepts their reasoning.” -- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

*There is still a lot to improve, perhaps our consumerist habits? A more equal and fair distribution of the wealth, food, resources, knowledge and education? 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Power of a Community

A community can be defined as a group of individuals who share the same values and have common goals. Communities have the potential to build things that you cannot do by yourself. Every individual has a different set of  skills and perspectives that can help. For example, you can see a football team as a community that has the goal to win a game. Every player on the field has a responsibility that contributes to the team’s win. If you play a game without a goalkeeper or defence, your opponent has a higher chance to score against you. On the other hand, if you don’t have strikers or midfielders, your chances to score are also very low. In the end, you will never be able to win the game without a team with the right skills.

We find all kinds of communities in our society. However, there’s one particular type of community in the Software world that I find very interesting; perhaps you haven’t heard of it yet but actually benefit from it. Communities of this type work with a very interesting model known as Open Source. Open Source projects are started usually by a small group of developers, or even a single person, who want to solve a specific problem and are willing to share their solution with the world for free. Many of these projects have become enormous and complex applications that shaped much of the technology that you are using right now while reading this blog. 

One of the interesting things about Open Source projects is that people from different locations, who speak different languages, and have totally different backgrounds collaborate together and create amazing products. 
Being part of a community that does good for the people is a great opportunity to learn something new, to gain some work and other experiences, and to help the world and others that we don’t even know. 
I encourage you to find and contribute to a community that does something of your interest. In many communities, you will always find interesting people willing to share their knowledge and help you to get started.

Some interesting Open Source organisations that perhaps might have some interesting projects to offer you:

I also encourage you to share with us if you know any other interesting communities or projects.