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Introducing Hrishikesh Barman, intern with the FSF tech team

by Free Software Foundation Contributions Published on Dec 05, 2018 11:38 AM
Contributors: Hrishikesh Barman

Hello everyone! My name is Hrishikesh Barman, and I am a third-year computer science undergraduate student. Growing up, I had an inclination towards computer networks, and in my first year at college I got started with programming properly. Eventually, I got introduced to free software, and it always gave me immense pleasure to be a small part of a bigger project by contributing to it. I realized that tech is made for the people (the society) and not the other way around, and users should have software freedom.

I came to know about the FSF through a documentary about Aaron Swartz. I greatly appreciated the FSF's ideas and was intrigued to be a part of it, so when I got the mail that I've been selected as a fall tech intern it was truly a great moment for me. The interview process was very smooth and friendly. I am being mentored by Ian, Andrew, and Ruben from the tech team. I am really psyched about the campaigns and the tech things happening at the FSF.

As a remote tech intern, I will be researching monitoring systems, alerting systems, and LibreJS. The main way of communication with the team so far is through IRC and emails. In my first week of the internship, and as an initial task, I was asked to write this blog post and start learning related technologies so as to draft my work plan.

The monitoring and alerting system project is about making fewer alerts for issues that aren't important, and more alerts for issues that are more important. The FSF runs over 100 virtual machines and a dozen servers. It will be very interesting and informative to learn about the current setup of Nagios and Munin at the FSF, and explore Prometheus. This will enable the tech team to have better insights into the software they run and the hardware it runs on.

GNU LibreJS is a browser add-on that blocks nonfree nontrivial JavaScript, while allowing JavaScript that is free or trivial. The first thing that I did was to make my personal blog LibreJS compatible. I am looking for issues that I can work on.

I am still learning how the FSF uses Nagios, but so far it is going well. The best part about interning at the FSF in my opinion is that it helps both ways, I learn and improve my skills and at the same time help the FSF achieve its goals. I'm looking forward to an amazing time and learning experience.

Interested in interning for the Free Software Foundation? The application period for spring 2019 internships is open until December 23, 2018 -- see details here.

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