Recently I came-across with an article in Linux For You, (Sep issue) about Gonsalves sir
“A tribute to Kenneth Gonsalves”.
From the Article,
“….Kenneth Gonsalves..People active in the Indian Open Source Space will be familiar with this name. He was a strong personality and a man who never minced his words. We lost him on August 3, 2012….”
“….Gonsalves was known for his amazing python programming skills. He also had a good grasp of Django web application development. He was one of the key person involved in the setting up of the Python Software Society, India. He also made major contribution to Tamil computing Open street map….”
I had got a chance to assist him in a Python Workshop organized by IEEE kerala chapter with their event KITES 2012 at Trivandrum. Here I wish to share my experience and pleasure moments with Kenneth Gonsalves sir.
The two day Python Workshop was conducted in last June (23rd & 24th) . My colleague Anand Krishnan and Me contacted Gonsalves sir through mail, mentioned that “we are interested to help out you in the Workshop”. We got the replay from him that day itself, “Its ok and fixed”. And he gave some tutorial links to learn basics of python Language, also he made us contact with the event organizers for rest of the procedures. Then we discussed about the program through mail.
Note down the lines from the article,
“Kenneth was unapproachable via the normal means of communication .You had to email him to get a quick replay!”. Yes, email was the easiest way to communicate with him.
Anand and me went to Trivandrum by train, Kerala Express on Friday 22nd June. We reached there about 3 ‘O’ clock evening. We had our tea from Indian Coffee House. As per the information we contacted Mr. Benjamin, representative from MBCET college Trivandrum who arranged accommodation for us at Hotel Chinnus. Among the two day workshop first day program was at MBCET and second day program was at College of Engineering Trivandrum.
We had contact with Gonsalves sir only through mail. So I had lots of excitement about the meet up. But after seeing him on Saturday morning all my expectation turned worthless. He was very friendly and motivative. He encourage us to face the students and gave nice advice, “Don’t fear about making mistakes, even I made mistakes .We have to learn more from mistakes”.
First day session was at MBCET as mentioned earlier. The basics of Python Language were introduced in the workshop. There were the students from different areas of Kerala and all of them are IEEE members. He gave some small tasks for the students, Anand and me helped the students to complete the tasks.
Second day session, at College of Engineering Trivandrum
At the time of breakfast , he talked about the function and exercises that to be given to students in the workshop. He also spoke about how he came into the world of Python Language. The same group of students were in the 2nd day session. More exercises were done in the workshop. He described about “re” module and “unit-test” module in python and it’s use. These were also new to me.
The experience from this workshop is great to me. I am very thankful to Gonsalves sir for giving such an opportunity to assist him for a workshop. We were returned to Palakkad, Sunday night by train, Amrita Express. After the program also, we did contact Gonsalves sir through mail. And he gave another chance to us, but unfortunately we can’t attend it.
Later heard the sad news that , Kenneth Gonsalves passed away. Sure its a shock news to everyone who have contact with him and its a great loss to Indian Open source community.
May his soul rest in peace.
Some of his contributions,