Science Hack Day India 2016
Posted: 2016-10-26T12:35:52+05:30

Few months back Praveen called to tell me about the new event he is organizing along with FOSSASIA, Science Hack Day, India. I never even registered for the event as Praveen told me that he just added mine + Anwesha’s name there. Sadly as Py was sick for the last few weeks, Anwesha could not join us in the event. On 20th Hong Phuc came down to Pune, in the evening we had the PyLadies meetup in the Red Hat office.

On 21st early morning we started our journey. Sayan, Praveen Kumar, and Pooja joined us in my car. This was my longest driving till date (bought the car around a year back). As everyone suggested, the road in Karnataka was smooth. I am now waiting for my next chance to drive on that road. After reaching Belgaum we decided to follow Google maps, which turned out to be a very bad decision. As the maps took us to a dead end with a blue gate. Later we found many localities also followed Google maps, and reached the same dead end.

The location of the event was Sankalp Bhumi, a very well maintained resort, full with greenery, and nature. We stayed in the room just beside the lake. Later at night Saptak joined us. Siddesh, Nisha + Ira also reached later in the evening.

Day 1

We had a quick inauguration event, all mentors talked about the project they will be working on, and then we moved towards the area for us. The main hall was slowly filled with school kids who had a build your own solar light workshop (lead by Jithin). Pooja also joined the workshop to help the kids with soldering.

I managed to grab the largest table in the hack area. Around 9 people joined me, among them we had college students, college professors, and someone came in saying she is from different background than computers. I asked her to try this Python thing, and by the end of the day she was also totally hooked into learning. I later found her daughter was also participating in the kids section. Before lunch we went through the basics of Python as a programming language. All of the participants had Windows laptops, so it was fun to learn various small things about Windows. But we managed to get going well.

Later we started working on MicroPython. We went ahead step by step, first turn on LED, later to DHT11 sensors for temperature+humidity measurements. By late afternoon all of us managed to write code to read the measurements from the sensors. I had some trouble with the old firmware I was using, but using the latest nightly firmware helped to fix the issue related to MQTT. I kept one of the board running for the whole night, Sayan wrote the client to gather the information from the Mosquitto server.

In the evening we also had lighting talks, I gave a talk there about dgplug summer training. The last talk in the evening was from Prof. Pravu, and during that talk I saw someone started a powerful gas stove outside the hut. I was then totally surprised to learn that the fire was not from gas, but using water and some innovative design his team managed to make a small stove which is having 35% efficiency of any biomass, the fire was blue, and no smoke. This was super cool.

After dinner, there was a special live show of laser lights+sound work done by Praveen. Teachers are important part of our lives. When we see someone like Praveen, who is taking the learning experience to another level while being in one of the small town in India, that gives a lot of pride to us. Btw, if you are wondering, he uses Python for most of his experiments :)

Day 2

I managed to move to the hack area early morning, and kept the setup ready. My team joined me after breakfast. They decided to keep one of the boards under the Sun beside the lake, and see the difference of temperature between two devices. I also met two high school teachers from a village near Maharashtra/Karnataka border. They invited us for more workshops in their school. They also brought a few rockets, which we launched from the venue :)

During afternoon Sayan, and Saptak worked on the web-frontend for our application, the following image shows the temperature, and humidity values from last night. The humidity during night was 70%, but during day it was around 30%. Temperature stayed between 20-30C.

Beside our table Nisha was working on her Cookie project. Near the dinning area, Arun, and his group created an amazing map of the resort in the ground using various organic materials available in the location. That project own the best science hack of the event. You can find more about various other details in the etherpad.

The impact of the event

We saw school kids crying as they don’t want to go back from the event. Every participant was full with energy. We had people working with ideas on all kinds things, and they came in from all different background. Siddhesh mentioned this event as the best event in India he has even been to. Begalum as a city joined in to make this event a successful one, we found local businesses supporting by sponsoring, local news papers covered the event. The owner of the venue also helped in various ways. By the end of the day 2, everyone of us were asking about when can we get back for next year’s event. I should specially thank the organising team (Hitesh, Rahul, and all of the volunteers) to make this event such a success. I also want to thank Hong Phuc Dang and FOSSASIA for all the help.


Tommorow FOSSASIA meets PyLadies Pune
Posted: 2016-10-19T19:15:15+05:30

Tomorrow we have a special PyLadies meetup at the local Red Hat office. Hong Phuc Dang from FOSSASIA is coming down for a discussion with the PyLadies team here. She will be taking about various projects FOSSASIA is working on, including codeheat. In the second half I will be taking a workshop on creating command line shell using Python.

On Friday we will be moving to Belgaum, Karnataka, India. We will be participating in Science Hack Day India, the idea is to have fun along with school kids, and build something. Praveen Patil is leading the effort for this event.


Event report: PyCon India 2016
Posted: 2016-10-17T10:46:45+05:30

This time instead of per day report, I will try to write about things happened during PyCon India. This time we had the conference at JNU, in Delhi. It was nice to be back at JNU after such a long time. The other plus point was about the chance to meet ilug-delhi again.

Red Hat booth at PyCon

We had booth duty during the conference. Thanks to Rupali, we managed to share the booth space with PyLadies. After the keynote the booth space got flooded with people. Many of them were students, or freshers looking for internship option. We also had queries about services provided by Red Hat. Just outside the booth we had Ganesh, SurajN, Trishna, , they were talking to every person visit our booth. Answering the hundreds of queries people had. It was nice to see how they were talking about working upstream, and inspiring students to become upstream contributor. I also did a talk Python usage in Red Hat family.

PyLadies presence

This was the first time we had PyLadies presence in PyCon India. You can read their experience from their blogs, 1, 2, 3. This presence was very important as it helped the community to learn about PyLadies. We saw the expectation of starting new chapters in different parts of the country. Nisha, Anwesha, Pooja, Rupali, Janki and the rest of the team managed to get an impromptu open space session, which I think was the best session on community I ever saw. Jeff Rush, Van Lindberg, Paul Everitt, Dmitry Filippov joined to share their experience in community.

annual dgplug face to face meeting

From we all meet face to face during PyCon India, we generally call the meeting as stair case meeting as we used to seat in the stair case of the Bangalore venue. This time we chose the seat in the ramp in the venue. We had a list of people coming, but as you can see in the photo below, the list of dgplug, and friends is ever growing. Sirtaj also came in during the meeting, and shared some valuable ideas with the students. I should mention VanL’s keynote at day one here. As he spoke about “failure”, which is something people don’t prefer to talk. It is very much important for the students to understand that failure is something to learn from, not to run away. Most of the students we talked later, had being able to understand the points Van made in his talk.

Anwesha’s first talk at PyCon

She already wrote about the talk in her blog. But I want to mention it again as it gave a new perspective to the developers present in the conference. For the students present in the conference who wanted to become upstream contributors, got a chance to learn about the binding point, the license. She talked about best practises at the end of her talk. Few days back I read another blog post about her talk (and the PyLadies).

One can view all the photos in my flickr album.


Dgplug contributor grant recipient Trishna Guha
Posted: 2016-09-21T19:50:54+05:30

I am happy to announce that Trishna Guha is the recipient of a dgplug contributor grant for 2016. She is an upstream contributor in Fedora Cloud SIG, and hacks on Bodhi in her free time. Trishna started her open source journey just a year back during the dgplug summer training 2015, you can read more about her work in a previous blog post. She has also become an active member of the local Pune PyLadies chapter.

The active members of every year contribute funding, which we then use to help out community members as required. For example, we previously used this fund to pay accommodation costs for our women contributors during PyCon. This year we are happy to be able to assist Trishna Guha to attend PyCon India 2016. Her presence and expertise with upstream development will help diversity efforts at various levels. As she is still a college student, we found many students are interested to talk to and learn from her. So, if you are coming down to PyCon India this weekend, remember to visit the Red Hat booth, and have a chat with Trishna.


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