Founder Open Source Foundation of Pakistan (OSFP)
Regional Manager IT Asia Region at Oxfam Novib
This interview was conducted for who got hacked by Mansab Ali Chohadry, Founder Who Got hacked. For the past many years, Babar is training Pakistani IT professionals on Open Source Technologies and Linux Operating System. After many years work he has launched Open Source Foundation of Pakistan to make Pakistan hub of Open Source Technologies in ASIA. He is well known Linux OS trainer in Pakistan who used computer based trainings technique to train IT professional & low tech people using Urdu language videos. Urdu CBTs concept was introduced by Mr. Muhammad Kamran Azeem in Pakistan.
Who Got Hacked: I understand OSFP will train students of univerties & colleges in Pakistan?
Babar Zahoor: Yes. First of all, we will provide trainings to students about Open Source technologies at university & college levels. 2ndly we will start ambassador network in different cities of Pakistan, along with chapters in colleges & universities. We will also start Research & development projects with the help of Pakistani universities for students as their FYP’s and provide them guidelines to create new software as Open Source.
The third level will be to create a pool of human resource at national level to fulfill the requirements of national & global market; it is long term goal of our foundation.
WHO GOT HACKED: Do you think Open Source software is future of Information technology, according to market closed software like Microsoft has more market.
BABAR ZAHOOR: Yes it is actually a present and also future of technology; if we look around we can see Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Android, most of biggest projects on this globe are based on Open Source Technologies, why don’t we look at these facts of global facts. 95 % of fastest super computers in the world are being operated & run by Linux Operating system, 80 % of the Global Web Servers are run by Apache, NginX famous Open Source Software technologies, this is a big factor in global market but in our universities most of them are teaching closed source technologies. We need to open our eyes for our future. Microsoft or other closed source software was popular in desktop computers but now the trends are changing.
WHO GOT HACKED: How we can save money by using Open Source Technologies in Pakistan?
BABAR ZAHOOR: Few months back I was reading news of Munich (City of Germany), Munich district government replaced Windows Operating System with Linux Operating System and saved huge amounts. They created their own Linux based Operating system, fully customized according to their needs, number of computers were 15000 and they saved 16.1 Million Dollars, around 160,000,000 (One hundred Sixty one Crores Pakistani Rupees). French parliament also chooses Ubuntu Linux Operating System on their desktops and on servers Open Office suite for word processing tasks. You can find so many stories on Internet about these stories. We can save money by using Open Source Technologies in Pakistan and can easily cut the costs, the same will be used to create local human resource to meet the demands of national & International market, portion of that can be used in health projects, educational projects in Pakistan.
WHO GOT HACKED: What do you thing how we can move from Windows to Open Source technologies in coming years?
BABAR ZAHOOR: It is not a simple task to switch from one technology to another but we have to plan it properly. First step should be to give awareness to public about it, most of the non technical and even technical people thinks that it is difficult to use, to work in Linux we have to learn something very technical command interfaces which is not true, It was past & now we have very nice fancy Graphical User Interface or Graphical Desktop Environment with fancy icons, easy to use and virus free Operating System. The most important thing for those who want to learn it, just Google the question and we can easily find the answer from millions of forums. In past I have created Urdu Computer based trainings to teach Linux to techies, non techies, home, office users.
2ndly we need to chalk out five years planning to move to Open Source Technologies because we have to train human resource for these technologies.
We will save money from licenses cost but we have to spend some money on below mentioned things:
· Mass Awareness
· Customization of Required Software according to local needs
· Trainings or competency development
· Deployment or implementation
· Local Support for Open Source Software (IT Support Companies)
By doing these important steps we will make our local IT Industry stronger because we will hire local trained human resource for awareness, trainings, for customization of software according to our needs, for deployment and support from Local IT companies. In return we will have secured, reliable, fully customized according to needs software. Like Google have their own Ubuntu based fully customized Operating System.