A techie, Silicon Valley, building Indian skills

Warren Brian NoronhaWhen we met last, Warren Noronha was a young geek, maybe just out of his teens. That was quite some time ago, and in Belgaum, a bustling city outside Goa where an engineering college was holding a GNU/Linux event for their students.

Warren impressed me, and stuck in my mind. Not just because we shared a surname. But he came across as Mr Quiet Efficiency.

Sometime later, I heard of him via another friend: Marlon Menezes, who together with Ulysses Menezes and Herman Carneiro was one of the early players from Goa (actually, from among the Goan diaspora), who understood what Net technologies could actually achieve. Marlon had set up GoaWeb (… am struggling to find it via the Archive.org archives). Here is a note mentioning early (and not-so-early) Goa initiatives in cyberspace.

Marlon moved out from GoaCom.com not so long back, and started GoaCom.org. And he mentioned that he was working with Warren Noronha, who had, by then, shifted to Silicon Valley. Or its nearabouts.

Warren wrote in recently to announce new plans. He wrote about plans to promote Drupal development in India. Says he:

With 75,000+ Drupal power websites and an emerging industry supporting over 150 professionals, the open-source Drupal project and community is exploding. At the heart of this community is an incredibly active and productive group of contributors. Creating contributed modules, themes, bug fixes, and core enhancement, these individuals define the course of the Drupal project and the ecosystem of users, tinkerers, and professionals around it. Through this internship program we will attempt to train students from India the ins and outs of Drupal and help them established themselves as long term contributors to the Drupal project. Over two months the selected students will work closely with project mentors on real world Drupal projects; contributed modules, and core patches. They will learn the Drupal development process and gain extremely valuable experience interacting with a live open-source project. Students will be paid a stipend of 4,600 INR to 8,000 INR a month depending on the level of their contributions to the Drupal project. More Information: http://drupal.in/training.

To begin at the beginning, what’s Drupal? Wikipedia has this interesting entry on Drupal:

Drupal is a modular content management framework, content management system and blogging engine which was originally written by Dries Buytaert as a bulletin board system. Today, it is used by many high-traffic websites, including The Onion, Spread Firefox (CivicSpace, see below), Ourmedia, KernelTrap, and the Defective by Design campaign. Drupal is written in PHP. As of June 1st, 2006, the current version is 4.7.2.

Actually, I use a version of Drupal for my personal site. It’s based on CivicSpace, for an introduction to which check out this entry on Wikipedia.

Warren says he’s involved with the project in India and:

Currently we are spreading the word thats not going as well as we hoped, we currently have about 17 applicants. Which is a good number considering that there are going to be only 10 chosen. They (the Drupal team) selected India because even with such a huge number of developers; there were not many Drupal contributors (just me and another two guys). While I was forming Drupal India, some one independently came up with the idea of having this, and approached CivicSpace. And I got roped in by one of the CivicSpace founders.

Warren says the idea is

to have something like the Google Summer of Code”. But this is going to be Drupal and India specific. The idea is to give students the chance to work on free software projects. Our intention is to make them long term contributors. Since some of them are going to be freshers they can use this as experience for their resume and they can list us as references. Drupal benefits because we get long term contributors. Here is the FAQ About the project. http://drupal.in/summer-training-faq and here are dates for the project.

Warren wrote to say, “I was surprised that you remembered even though we met so briefly at Belgium.” Belgaum, old chap, not Belgium 🙂 And while I’m forgetful about names, I have an awfully long memory for talent! Keep the flag flying…

What more, Warren is actually dropping hints about setting up base in Goa (welcome, we need good guys here!), doing work on Free Software, and mainly cater to the NGO market mainly in India. Inshallah, your dreams will one day come true.


3 thoughts on “A techie, Silicon Valley, building Indian skills

  1. Haha! Thats a pretty retro pic of me 🙂

    Ahem. I was 16 then :D. Oh and about the Drupal India Internship, its taken off we have 57 entries from all different parts of India. I am going to take the time later this week to put up some nice stats of the applications like age groups, locations, etc.

    And as for the work in Goa, its already started, thanks to Marlon and Fritz.

    Take Care.

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