FOSSASIA 2018: Conference Report

Posted: 2018-04-02T10:44:00+05:30

FOSSASIA 2018 was my 2nd FOSSASIA conference and this year it was at a new venue (Lifelong Learning Institute), and for a longer time. As always, there were a lot of speakers and a lot of really exciting sessions. Last year I was a little confused, so this year I planned earlier which all talks to attend and what all to do.

22nd March (1st Day)

The opening ceremony was kicked off by Harish Pillay and Damini Satya, both of whom did an incredible job on hosting the entire day. The opening ceremony was followed by the keynote talks and a panel discussion which lent a great insight into how open source, AI, blockchain and all other modern day technologies are working hand in hand with each other. Harish Pillay also shared his view how he thinks AI won't take over the human beings but rather human beings will evolve to become something which is a combination of human beings and AI and hopefully have a good future. I do agree with him to some extent.

Hong addressed the audience stating the primary focus of FOSSASIA in the next few years and how it involves helping more developers get involved in open source and making new cool things. Codeheat winners were awarded next for their wonderful contributions in different FOSSASIA projects. The mentors of the projects were also honored with medals, which was kind of something I wasn't expecting. Then, it was time for the track overviews to help people understand and know what the different tracks were all about. We told what the tracks were and why the audience should be interested. With that, it was time for the most important track - The Hallway Track. So people talked and networked in the exhibition area for the rest of the day.

23rd March (2nd Day)

I was the moderator of the Google Training Day and also the cloud track in one of the rooms. Which meant getting up early, and reaching there on time. Fortunately, I made it on time (I still don't know how). Being the moderator, I was there almost the entire day. Which meant a lot of Google Cloud learning for me. So the talks ranged from using BigQuery to handle queries in big data to using Cloud ML to do Machine Learning Stuff. The Google Training Day talks were followed by a talk on serverless computing and tutorial on kubernetes. After that, it was again time to hang out in the exhibition area and talk with people.

24th March (3rd Day)

Today was the day of my talk. I was pretty worried the night before whether I would be able to make it to my own talk since it was at 9.30 in the morning. I did make it to my talk. But what was more surprising was, there were actually more people than I expected at 9.30 in the morning which was great. Apart from few technical glitches in the middle of my talk, everything went pretty smoothly. I talked about how we at Open Event decoupled the architecture to have a separate backend and frontend now and how it's really helpful for development and maintenance. I also gave a brief overview of the various architectures involved and the code and file structures.

After finishing my talk, I attended the SELinux talk by Jason Zaman. SELinux is a very confusing and mystified topic for most people and there was no way I was missing this talk. He gave a hands-on about setting up SELinux policy and how to use audit logs. Next was the all-women panel about open source and tech. After this was the necessary group photo where the number of participants made it a little too difficult for the photographer.

The remaining of the day was pretty involving where I mentored in the UNESCO hackathon, helped with video recording and so on.

25th March (4th Day)

The final day of the event. I was really interested in attending the talk about Open Source Design by Victoria and hence reached the venue by 10 am in the morning. It was a great insight as to how Open Source Design is involving and bringing in more and more designers into open-source which is really great. The last session I was eagerly waiting for was the GPG/PGP key signing event. Had a lot of fun helping people create their first GPG/PGP keys and signing. Met and interacted with some really awesome people there.



At last, it was time for the conference closing ceremony. But it wasn't over yet. We all met over at hackerspace where I had some great discussions with people about the different projects I work on and was really great to have their views.

All in all, it was really great meeting old friends, making new friends and meeting people whom I actually knew only by their nick. More than the talks in itself what makes a great conference is the people in it and the chance to meet them once in a year. At least that's how I see them. And FOSSASIA 2018 met that purpose wonderfully.

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PyCon Pune : Contributions, DevSprints and So Much More (The Web Developer's POV)

Posted: 2017-04-05T20:33:00+05:30
Pycon Pune Homepage
PyCon Pune was held on 16th to 19th February but my association with PyCon Pune started long time back. The heart and soul of PyCon Pune 2017, Sayan Chowdhury was looking after the website development as well. After the first draft of the website was ready, he shared the website with me and asked whether I wanted to contribute. I was more than happy, was rather honored. First PyCon Pune, one of the web developers... Awesome experience.... After that slowly I started getting involved into deployments,  talk selection, scheduling and many more. I and Kushal even went on to website updating and other stuff in my vacation.By now, PyCon Pune was not one of "their" conference, it was more like "our" conference for me. So though it was just my second proper conference, I was super excited...

Unlike most others my main work related with the conferences was much before the conference. In fact most of the work was completed more than a month ago. Firstly, the entire website was made using staticjinja. It was my first experience with staticjinja but having worked with flask, it wasn't very difficult. As one after the other keynote speakers got confirmed, I was to add there pictures and details in the website. Then after few days, I got a call from Sayan saying we need to make a registration page. I was to implement a 3 column UI with all the details. As including bootstrap only for getting it's grid help would be too much, I wrote the grid system in CSS from scratch. Which might not be a big deal for most but since it was my first time writing a grid system from scratch, I felt great when it worked.

Static Jinja Codes for the Website


Then, apart from that was looking into the responsive UI of the website. Since no front-end framework was used, so responsiveness was also something I wrote a sketch. Yes, another happy moment for me. Then we started getting few contributors as well helping us with some of the components. So the next thing was to review and merge pull requests. Thanks to the already written grid structure, it was not much pain to make the other pages. And, obviously deploying the code to the server. It was a really great experience to be involved in the web development team of a PyCon.

Conferences for me was one of the ways of spending my GSoC stipend. This time we, a group of 4 friends decided we go together, book a proper airbnb apartment and have some awesome time along with the conference. So it was also an outing for us from the college days.

Conferences as I learned from PyCon India was not only for learning stuffs and listening to talks. It was more about meeting awesome people and getting to connect with them and to grow and help grow the community. So, PyCon Pune also I was eager to meet a lot of new people and to reunite with a lot of people I met before. Also, being a volunteer I had work to do.

So the first day started of by work in registration desk. I was late ( as usual ). But anyhow got busy with work, distributing ID cards, figuring out names, meeting people whom I have met only over IRC. Soon after, the keynote started which was followed by some pretty interesting talks. There were different booths where you could learn about some exciting and cool new tech stuff and communities. The venue was awesome... And so was the food (yes, I have to tell about food)... After the day ended with some awesome talks and meeting some awesome people, it was time for the speaker and volunteers meet. Got to talk with many speakers. And again I can't keep myself from saying, the food was delicious...

Second day was a special day because one my best friends, my ex-roommate, my project partner, Vivek Anand was going to speak for the first time in a conference about his project, Pagure with Fedora, along with Farhaan Buksh. I was super excited (and he was super nervous, I guess). And it was really good. Well, most of the things he said in talk he had already told me before but his talk didn't make me fall asleep (that's the best I can manage). After that the day was filled with sticker collection, tshirt collection, tshirt distribution, group photo and all the cool stuff associated with conferences. At the end it was all bidding goodbyes with promises to meet again on internet and in some different conference in some different place.

After that, we four friends - me, Vivek, Shubham(Bhendi) and Medozonuo decided to go for a movie. Well after all The Lego Batman has hit the theaters. I know this has nothing to do with PyCon Pune but after all It's Batman. So can't help but mention.

Medozonuo conducting Dev Sprint on Open Event with me


Next 2 days were devsprint. Few people were presenting their own projects. Others were contributing. I was presenting the Open Event Organizer Server project along with Medozonuo Suohu. The devsprint was at Redhat office in Pune. We got some 3-4 contributors who were really excited to know about and contribute to the project. We were ourselves solving some of the bugs that we were supposed to solve while debugging installation problem on Macs (yes, we need to improve the documentation). We managed to get 2-3 Pull Requests as well which was really good because we were getting new contributors which we really needed. There were many other projects including CPython itself which got a lot of attraction. I also sat there for sometime knowing about the codebase and scopes of contribution. Sadly, I couldn't contribute to it till now. Also, there were hardware devsprints which I was interested in but also couldn't participate.

Sadly, the second day of devsprint i was really really sick and couldn't make it to the devsprint. Had to spend the rest of the day in apartment. This was a little sad for me but after all the remaining conference was awesome. Meeting people I had met in PyCon India and SHD Belgaum again, connecting more with them, talking more than just tech stuff... Maybe Nokia and Conferences are synonymous - Connecting People. Waiting for PyCon Pune 2018... Hoping to start working in the Web Team again...


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