Mozilla Developer Day, Bangalore

February and March was supposed to be a time of rest before I head to the new job, but opportunity often knocks on the door when you least expect it.
When I met <a href="">Mark Surman</a> in Singapore last December, I had no idea I would eventually become involved in shaping the <a href="">Open Web Career Track Drumbeat Project</a> along with <a href="">John Britton</a> and <a href="">Philipp Schmidt</a>.
It was one of those requests that made me feel woefully inadequate, but I felt a deep affinity to its cause of providing accessible education to inculcate skills within the tech community &mdash; skills necessary to keep the web open and non-proprietary. John and Phlipp were extremely patient and kind to bring me up to speed.
So when Mark asked if I could present the Open Web Career Track project at Mozilla Developer Day in Bangalore, I agreed.
It is regrettable that I've never really traveled within Asia, and it would be my first time to India.
The crowd that showed up for MozDevDay was amazing. A full-house of about 300 people, on a Saturday, some coming from quite a distance away.
<a href="" title="20100227-029 by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="333" alt="20100227-029" class="img-center" /></a>
It was an eclectic experience: we talked pretty cutting edge tech in the hall &mdash; thanks to <a href="">Arun</a> &mdash; and ate sitting down on the grass patch under the noon sun. It was a departure from the sterile environment Singapore tech meetups are often held in, where the main complaint was always "why no wifi?".
<a href="" title="20100227-014 by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="333" alt="20100227-014" class="img-center" /></a>
It was a blast speaking to the audience. The Indian and Chinese cultures share so many similarities it was easy to point out (and subsequently joke about) our common idiosyncrasies.
I've learned so much from the amazing people I met. In a land where there are places in poverty, open-source software means so much more than "why does OpenOffice mess up my Powerpoint slides?". It is a means by which the poor can make themselves relevant in an increasingly technological world; where the oppressed can broadcast their plight to the rest of the world despite the best efforts of the oppressors to silence them.
The web has changed the way in which we communicate and connect with each other. It has the potential to be a lot more than a giant corporate marketplace. We need to consciously keep it inclusive and available to everyone.
<a href="" title="20100227-043 by Lucian Teo, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="333" alt="20100227-043" class="img-center" /></a>

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