In a room packed with a score of youngsters having graduated in Computer Science from premier institutes, I am an Acharya briefing them on Linux & OS basics.
Fusion does sound ironical at times. I mean would a CS grad from a premier institute need briefing on OS basics and does an Acharya sound good enough to pull this through. To bring more clarity, my name is Keshav Gupta so you might not mistake Acharya to be my last name.
We’ll, let me take you through this curious case.
Our entire knowledge sharing platform has been designed on the framework of Chanakya’s University – Takshshila bringing the best of both worlds, or to put it more correctly, its a new wine in an old bottle.
Discovering the requirement of Linux or System Basics the Takshshila way was heartening. We at Drishti, are “product creators” and not “programmers“. A “programmer” is a wonderful person who knows his niche and can code complex procedure when provided to him. We have observed over time that “product creation” is not an independent “programming” activity which can be executed in isolation. Often people are bogged down with the complexities of environment like:
- How do client-server communicate?
- How to get a peek into the communication without going into the code?
- Which processes are running? The difference between processes and threads?
- The impact of disk IO on performance : what is IO and how to measure?
- Where to start the debugging?
- Is this a machine freeze, server freeze or browser freeze?
- Networking basics – ip, ping, gateway
- Network stack differences – socket, udp/tcp
And with products, it’s like “ye dil maange more” always.
We decided that we shall coach the champs at Takshshila in OS basic and Linux so they do not feel alien in the production world and can freely roam in the systems world and utilize their “programming” skills without being bogged down by the above fears or indecisiveness.
Back to the class, I was surprised to see the number of students who already had working knowledge of Linux. A mere one-fifth of the population. It felt like the torch bearer started off with the wrong torch.
Despite India having made its name in the software space, less than 10% Computer Science grads have decent exposure to Linux. I would expect a lot more acceptance of Linux in global universities and its use for research purposes.
All these thoughts soon dissolved when the interaction started. I discussed basic linux commands, file system structure, permissions, installation etc and I was amazed with the speed at which these youngsters picked up. Interesting questions both out of curiosity and going in depth started pouring. For some questions, I had to park them and answer later. I could cross question and get answers. It got my adrenaline running.
I felt, we might have the wrong torch, but if we get the right direction, we have that true fire in the heart.
PS: I graduated from NIT Durgapur last year and am an उपचाणक्य in Takshshila this year.