A Turning Point in my Life, Community Networks and OpenWISP


25th May 2012 in Thoughts Tags: open-source, openwisp, ruby-on-rails, wireless-community

Update (February 2017):
See How to install OpenWISP and Introduction to OpenWISP 2.

In the last year or so I suddenly became interested about telecommunications thanks to my friends at Ninux.org, which inspired me to learn a lot of things about networking, telecommunications, wireless standards and community networks.

In the past I didn't realize how indipendent networks are important to our society. The internet has really revolutionized our life, there's no turning back and this trend cannot do anything else than increase and evolve further.

Where is the internet heading to? I firmly believe that despite the attempt to tighten control over it, we are going to have a more open, more accessible, fully decentralized new internet, which is built by citizens on their roofs or by smaller (prevalently wireless) service providers. I recently started to believe that the evolving new wireless technologies, both radio and Free Space Optical, will radically change forever the way network infrastructures are built, empowering more and more people to build their own indipendent infrastructures.

Since last summer I have been contributing to Nodeshot, an open source tool designed for wireless communities. It has been a fantastic experience so far and I've learned so many things in such a short time I almost can't believe it.

In the beginning of April, I visited Athens for the Wireless Battle of The Mesh a yearly event in which wireless community networkers and hacktivists from all over the world meetup to talk about the future of community networks and to catch up with latest technologies and news about this field (hey don't tell anybody that their final goal is to build a global indipendent wireless network! shhh!). 

From the 1st of June of 2012, my efforts in contributing to this paradigm shift will increase even more, infact I will start working part-time with the guys at CASPUR on their OpenWISP, an open source software package that provides essential tools for Wireless Service Providers, including a hackable wifi controller.

The main challenge for me is that many OpenWISP modules are built in Ruby on Rails, a framework of which I still have little knowledge. Having worked with Symfony for PHP and having discrete knowledge of Django for Python, it will be a great chance for me to delve into Ruby on Rails and to deepen my knowledge about web application frameworks. It's quite exciting indeed!

What will be the outcome of this turning point in my life I can't predict, what I know for sure is that I am very happy to put effort and participate in the process of making the internet more open, accessible, cheap and indipendent. Being paid to make it happen while contributing to the open source community is a great achievement for me.



  1. 1.

    Julio said:

    ( on 19th of March 2014 at 16:34 )

    Hi, I'm Julio , a web developer from Colombia, I'm working in a project with openwisp and I hope learn like you did.

    Maybe we can chat sometime about web design and open source software.

    Good look.

  2. 2.

    Federico Capoano said:

    ( on 21st of March 2017 at 13:58 )

    Hi Julio!

    I missed your comment a few years ago but I'm glad you are working with OpenWISP, I'll try to reach you in private :-)

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