Linux, 24 and dominant

Linus

To the uninitiated, the word Linux is synonymous with open source. This is because the rise to prominence of Linux, is the most important event of the free and open source revolution. It wouldn’t be going too far to say that OSs built on the Linux kernel run a huge chunk of today’s computing world.

It’s been 24 years since Linux kernel first emerged in a Minix newsgroup on Usenet, as a post from a 21 year old programmer from Finland, who was building a “free operating system” which was just to be a “hobby” and wouldn’t be “big and professional like GNU”. He went by the name Linus Torvalds.

Today the Linux kernel has over 19.5 million lines of source code, powers 97% of all supercomputers in the world, controls nuclear submarines and air traffic control systems, manages the operation of the Japanese bullet train and runs over a billion smartphones and embedded devices.

But what made it so popular? How did the Linux kernel achieve such large adoption? To answer this question, you must research the history of Linux. Somewhere along the way, you will stumble upon a document, called the Cathedral and the Bazaar. This document, written by Eric Raymond, explored the reasons behind the rapid and widespread development and the subsequent adoption of the Linux kernel. Read More

 

Celebrating 10 years of Django!

Django started life a decade ago in Lawrence, Kansas, and the Python framework is now widely used in some of the biggest products all over the world like Instagram, Disqus, Pinterest etc.

HackerEarth too started its humble beginning with Django framework 3 years ago, and we are proud to say that we have built an amazing product on Django that today serves millions of requests and hundreds of thousands of users.

Django has been critical in enabling us to build a product that is loved by tons of people all over the world. Completion of 10 years of Django is an important milestone for every Python/Django developer. At HackerEarth, we too want to celebrate this and contribute to the Django community.  In this spirit, we are organizing India’s first ever Django hackathon. The focus of the hackathon is firmly on the community that has helped this framework grow. We are inviting passionate Python/Django developers to take part in this hackathon and contribute towards Django by building new packages and hacking on its core modules.

It will be a 24 hour hackathon, where some of the best Django developers in India will hack on their creative ideas, in an energetic environment with delicious food, Table Tennis and Foosball (in case you love to play), and of course, cool prizes to be won!

It is an offline hackathon that will be conducted at HackerEarth Office, Bangalore on 22nd August 2015 starting at 12:00 noon and ending at 12:00 noon on 23rd August 2015.

If you are excited to know more visit this link: https://www.hackerearth.com/djangothon/

We’re proud to be hosting this hackathon, and would like to take this opportunity to say a big ‘Happy Birthday Django!’.

So, what are you waiting for? Now is your time to request an invite and contribute towards Django community.

Visit Djangothon to confirm your seat at the hackathon.

 

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – One of India’s best engineering managers

It is said that a man is defined by the work he does. If we are to go by this saying, then Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam has left us with a lot of remember him by. At the time of his death, Dr. Kalam had not only been involved in some of the most important ballistics work in the country, but was also involved in cardiac technology and when he was done doing that, he spent another 5 years being the president of the country. And this is not even considering the amount of time that he’s spent in sharing his knowledge with the world and philanthropic work.

Here’s a chronicle of the great man’s illustrious life, through his work –

APJ

What struck me when this image was made out, is that after his first tenures in ADE and DRDO, his major contributions came through the mantle of being a leader. And while his accolade for being India’s missile man is fully justified, we often forget that he was probably India’s best engineering manager.

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Recognizing our awesome Code Monks

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This was a tough one. As with any hackathon on HackerEarth, we give away prizes as a token of appreciation for our winners, for the ones who put in the time and effort to come out on top. With respect to Code Monk, it was particularly difficult, because the purpose was to recognize programmers who have learnt something and were able to successfully apply it in practice. There was no automatic way of determining this, so we set our Code Monk team to determine participants who fit this profile.

Each of these profiles were qualitatively mined. Their internet footprint was tracked, to corroborate the fact that they truly were newbie programmers. All this was done manually – 3 participants per challenge. And to make things tougher, we also said that we no one participant can win more than once. All this put together, we had to find 18 Code Monks.

And we did –

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The story behind Code Monk

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The Internet is full of learning resources for anyone who wants to become a better programmer. However, there is no single place, where one can find information and practice as well as on the topics required to master the art of competitive programming. This is one of the reasons why many programmers in the pursuit of learning competitive programming attain a level of saturation after a while. They face difficulty in consuming content from different sources.

This led us to start Code Monk – a weekly series of tutorials on all the topics of computer science, starting from the basics of algorithm and gradually moving on to more complicated concepts. Every tutorial will also be followed by a short programming challenge to help you test your understanding of the concepts covered in the tutorial.

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Go-Ahead – have fun and show us what you can do that will transform India

This is a Guest Post by Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner, Angel Prime. He also played a prominent role in the Aadhaar Project under the leadership of Nandan Nilekani.

As an early full-time volunteer for nearly 18 months at the UIDAI’s Aadhaar program, I had the privilege of working alongside several thought leaders in helping define what is a one-of-a-kind platform – and now the envy of every government around the world.

From the very beginning, Aadhaar had been envisioned as an online identity platform – one that changes the paradigm in identity to be about the person being identified rather than the card or identity token. It fundamentally also only focuses on Identity, not on any form of entitlement – unlike a Drivers License or a Voters Registration Card or a Passport which are a right to drive, vote, or proof of citizenship. Aadhaar proves Identity – nothing more, nothing less.

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When developers met the makers of Aadhaar

For those who’ve been following the HackerEarth platform over the past few months, you might have noticed a neat little product that we recently launched – AMA (ask me anything). It’s an online forum where eminent people conduct open discussions with our developer community. We ran a few high quality AMAs in the past, but we kept it low key, to validate the usefulness of the product. Initial reactions – our developers loved it.

So after a few little steps, we took the proverbial giant leap. We called in the the chief architect of the soon-to-be world’s largest biometric identification system – Aadhaar. And to join him, was stellar investor and chairman of India’s first Twitter acquisition, who was also a key stake holder in the Aadhaar project, among other awesome things.

The result? – Dr. Pramod Varma, chief architect of UIDAI and Sanjay Swamy, managing partner, Angelprime Partners, spending 45 minutes answering over a hundred questions in what was possibly the first public, unmoderated discussion about Aadhaar, convened by its stakeholders.

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[Repost] The very brief history of Computer Science

Computer tree

I believe that it is fundamental to have an overview of the history that later formed Computer Science. People know work of individuals such as Dijkstra. But, there are several individuals who led to computers even existing. It was a process that started in the early 800s, and started to grow in the 1800s and the 1900s.

How did simple changes in voltage develop machines such as computers? It is incredible that the works of individuals across different centuries led to computers. It is important to explore the process of how these concepts are discovered.

300 BC

In 300 BC Euclid writes a series of 13 books called Elements. The definitions, theorems, and proofs covered in the books became a model for formal reasoning. Elements was instrumental in the development of logic & modern science. It is the first documented work in Mathematics that used a series of numbered chunks to break down the solution to a problem.

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4 IoT skills to learn this year

IoT_complexity

Image Credit – http://hck.re/CEeRYi

 

It was back in 1982, when researchers at Carnegie Mellon University made a modified cola vending machine, which could report its inventory and also if newly loaded drinks were cold. From this point, right up to 2014, there have been visions, by various scientists and technologists, on communicating devices. It took the maturing of the mobile ecosystem for the coining of one of the hottest buzzwords in the tech industry today – Internet of Things.

The concept of electronic devices which can share information over a network to people or other devices have existed since the days of RFID. However, it wasn’t until the emergence and adoption of wearables, namely activity bands and smart watches, that manufacturers really started to entertain the idea of doing the same with other devices. Now there are many applications to the concept and massive backing from their respective industries and even the governments.

By 2020, it is estimated that the number of connected devices will be anywhere between 26-30 billion. And building this network of devices will be IoT engineers. So what does it take to be an IoT engineer? Learn one of these four skills, and you’ve got a good chance of being one.

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