December Meet Minutes

The December meetup had kept me (Vijay Kumar) excited for various reasons. We were trying out a new / better meetup format - lightning talks with discussions. We had about 9 lightning talks scheduled for the event, from various domains including mathematics, embedded systems, natural language processing and web development. Also we had arranged for a 200 seater auditorium at IMSc anticipating a large turn-out.

On the day of the event, the RSVPs on Meetup touched the 90 mark. And based on previous experiences, we were expecting about 70, people turning up for the event.

The Venue

Section of the Audience

I finally arrived at the venue of the event, it was the first time I was at the auditorium, and it was stunning. The auditorium was equipped with best in class audio visual system. All seats, had a foldable writing pad, very convenient for tech. events, like ours. In short, the best venue we ever had for our meetups.

Lightning Talks - I

By 3:15 PM we had a good number people already gathered, so we decided to start. Two speakers had backed off so we did the following talks, in the first session.

Python and its Functions Talk

After the talks, we broke out for discussions and tea. Myself and Shrayas volunteered to answer questions from newbies. It was good to see people forming groups and discussing various topics.

Lightning Talks - II

After the networking tea break, we had a second round of lightning talks.

NetworkX Talk

Credits and Announcements

Before breaking out for discussions again, I made a few announcements. One was about the Python Project effort that is underway. This was to help newbies to go beyond just learning the language. I then thanked all the people behind the meetup.

  • Venue: Prof. Amritanshu Prasad and IMSc
  • Networking over Tea, Sponsor: Kagrana Software
  • All the good hearted people on the mailing list, who helped spread the word.
  • The speakers, for coming forward to give a talk.
  • And everyone who turned up for the meetup, making it a grand success.

While reading out the credits, the crowd spontaneously started clapping, for the venue. Looks like, everybody felt the same about the venue.

We did a show of hands to find out, the format to go with for the next meetup. Almost everybody liked the lightning talks format, and almost everybody did not want large 40 minutes talk. Though people agreed that a mix of the two, would also be good.

Shrayas, then requested the people present to come forward to contribute. He also pointed out, how we are all equally responsible in running the group. Hope we will be seeing more volunteers actively contributing to the group.


Group Discussions

We then broke out for discussions again. We were allowed to use the Auditorium for 15 to 20 mins. And again people were forming groups, discussing various topics, like how to promote the meetups, running Python on embedded systems, how to learn Python, why people say Python is easy, while it has complex things like decorators and metaclasses, etc. The groups slowly dispersed and we finally left the venue biding goodbye.

Though the turn out was low, with about 45 people participating, it was the second largest meetup, we ever had. The exams and holidays at various institutions must have contributed to the low turnout. That aside, the December meetup was one of the best. I personally felt that, we have reached a sweet spot, in terms of the venue and the meetup format. And with the support from the community, we will definitely be able to repeat this every month.

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