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Comment: This is a duplicate of https://wiki.debian.org/DebianIndia/MiniDebConfHostLetter .
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Sub: Request for hosting a mini debian conference (mini debconf) at your institute

Debian is a Free Software operating system developed by volunteers across the world. It is used on laptops, desktops and servers. This project was started in 1993 and 58.5% of web servers run on Debian or its derivative Ubuntu as per a W3 Techs survey^[1]^. You can learn more about the Debian project from www.debian.org. We, the Debian community, want to offer students a chance to learn by working with us on various aspects of the operating system. We have been organizing mini Debian conferences from 2010 in various cities including Pune (COEP, VIT), Mangalore (NITTE), Calicut (NIT) and Kuttippuram (MESCE). We are reaching out to colleges so more students can reap the benefits.

Unlike many other branches of education, computer students have the privilege of studying how a widely used and state of the art software like an operating system works. A mechanical student may never get a chance to see how a BMW, Mercedes Benz or a Ferrari is designed before leaving the educational institution. But thanks to the Free Software revolution, any student of a computer stream can see how a software like the Linux kernel or thousands of other Free Software are designed and new innovations are made. Just as it is critical for a medical student to get familiarized with the human body, so it is important for a software student to know how in the real world software is produced, worked on, used and improved upon. Students mostly get to learn only theoretical concepts as part of their curriculum. Working with Free Software projects gives students an opportunity to work on softwares which are used on production systems all over the world.

Some advantages that students gain by contributing to Free Software projects include:

 1. Learn how software is produced in the real world
 2. Learn how to solve real world problems
 3. Learn with some of the best programmers in the world
 4. Learn tools and processes used in software development
 5. Learn how to work collaboratively in teams
 6. Learn to communicate technical problems effectively

In a mini Debian conference, members of Debian community share the work they do in the community and guide students to take up projects. This also includes talks and workshops on basic topics like Introduction to Free Software, Securing communications on the Internet or advanced topics like maintaining Debian packages, working with version control systems like git, bug squashing etc.

We will need class rooms/lecture halls with projectors for talks and labs for hands-on workshops. If we are planning for more than a day (its preferred), we will need accommodation for speakers and delegates (we would like to allow students from outside the host institution's city to be able to participate as well).

[1] W3 Techs survery of Web Servers: http://w3techs.com/blog/entry/debian_ubuntu_extend_the_dominance_in_the_linux_web_server_market_at_the_expense_of_red_hat_centos