Vietnam has one of the fastest growing online population in the region, probably globally too. Vietnam is also seeing growth in IT companies exploring the local market and setting up offshoring centers.
Vietnam-based entrepreneurs and FOSSASIA event organizers Dang Hong Phuc and Mario Behling are visiting Singapore and will be talking about the startup and tech scene in VN and what opportunities there might be for collaboration (tech events, open source, women in IT etc.).
I had the chance to talk about the topic of how to get contributors for Free/Libre/Open Source projects from Vietnam and Asia at the Libre Graphics Meeting Brussels. It was a a fantastic experience to meet developers and contributors from all over the world and I hope to support projects with the insights of this talk.
The situation in 2010 in Asia is, that many people still do not know about Free and Open Source. We need more people to support each other and help new users und developers. We need more developers in Vietnam to adapt existing solutions for Vietnamese and Asian users. We need people to organize events, where we can meet face to face. We need mentors, who developers and contributors can turn to. We need business people who understand business models and opportunities around Free and Open Source. We need you! FOSS can be a sustainable model for Vietnam as it is for other countries. Please join us in our effort for education, spreading knowledge, developement of better, faster and energy-saving software, designing easy to use interfaces and promoting opportunities for everyone with Free and Open Source.
GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was a big success as one of the one of the very first Open Source conferences in South East Asia. The event took place on Nov 20 – 22, 2009 at Quang Trung Software Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Quang Trung Software Park is a home of more than 200 tech-companies (including local start-ups, multi-nationals, and state-owned companies such as FDI).
Main Tracks Six tracks were organized in parallel during the 3-day conference. The focus was only on GNOME technologies and desktop deployments based on GNOME but also a variety of topics including:
* GNOME 3.0
* GNOME library and application development
* Localization & Internationalization
* Mobile platforms and thin clients
* Desktop deployments
* School software
In addition to the majority of software presentations, hardware talks such as ‘How to build an Open Source printer’ by Frederic Muller gathered a big interest.
A focus of the workshops were applications for thin clients, localization and translation for Asian users. In parallel, there was also Linux course for beginners, map party, installation fest, and Ubuntu release party which was organized by the Vietnamese Ubuntu user group.
Women in IT Panel Unlike many tech-conferences around the world, more than 50% of GNOME.Asia 2009 participants were female. They were young, curious and enthusiastic. Therefore the “Women in IT” Panel was somewhat overwhelmed with tons of questions. Stormy Peters from the US, chair of GNOME.Asia, shared her inspired story of being a mother, a housewife, an employee, an active open source contributor and a chair of the GNOME Foundation.
Pockey Lam and Emily Chen, two founders of the Beijing linux users group explained how to start, grow and maintain a successful open source community.
Hong Phuc Dang, who brought the first open source conference to Vietnam spoke of how her open source journey was started and encouraged female audience to explore the beauty and value of sharing, openness and collaboration which can be found easily in an open source community.
Mini job fair A mini job fair was organized at the conference site with 15 companies on board. Every year thousands of computer science fresh-graduates in Vietnam are seeking for job opportunities in the tech field. Less 20% is able to get a right job of his/her major. More than 80% is forced to start their career in a non-tech environment. The idea of the job fair is (1) to provide a platform where tech companies can announce their vacant positions, recruitment process, job requirements, expectation; (2) to organize a meeting place of employers and their potential employees; (3) to foster knowledge sharing community which aims to help students prepare themselves with skill sets that fit the current marketplace.
Vietnam – a great host country Visitors from oversea could not be happier with the hospitality, warmness, and friendliness of their host country, Vietnam. Volunteers welcomed speakers/visitors at the airport, brought them to the hotel, provided them local SIM cards, showed them around city etc.
The event ended by a beautiful tour along the Mekong. It was an unforgettable experience for all of us.
Sponsors and Partners We would like to thank our sponsors: Sun Microsystems, IBM, Google and Intel for their support of GNOME.Asia Summit and thank to our media partner PCWorld, DatVietNews, VietnamInvestmentNews for their coverage of the conference.
Bringing forward Asia’s Open Source Communities The FOSSASIA team and volunteers will continue to grow the community across Asia and to support Open Technologies with the annual FOSSASIA Summit, regional meetups and developer programs.