Preparing for the Day
This month we decided to do a beginner's workshop on Python, on the same day as the meetup. The workshop would be in the morning, while the meetup will be in the afternoon.
Myself (Vijay Kumar) and Shrayas were supposed to handle the sessions while a had a handful of people will be assisting us. Unfortunately, I had to back-out due to a severe throat infection. So, we roped in Krishna Sangeeth to handle the sessions.
With the trainers in place, we needed a venue. It was quiet a struggle to get a venue to host the workshop. Fortunately Adaptavant, located in Ascendas, offered space to host the workshop. Thanks to James Mortensen.
Though I hadn't recovered completely, I wanted to make it to the workshop, to help coordinate the event.
Entry into Ascendas was one thing that needed special care. Thanks to the high profile security, it is a pain to get an entry into IT parks like Ascendas, and people from Adaptavant were very helpful in that regard. It was just unfortunate that many people who RSVPed for the workshop, did not turn up for the event. Nevertheless we had 15 people from the community and 10 people from Adaptavant participating in the workshop.
The workshop went almost as planned. The attendees were very receptive and from the feedback we received later on, people did find it very useful. The workshop format had theory and hands-on interleaved, and we were using the Google Python Class material as reference. The nice thing about the exercises in the Google Python Class, is that, it includes test cases for each question. So people know if their answer is correct or is there any case they haven't taken care of. As a side-effect, this greatly reduced the work of people assisting in the hands-on.
After the workshop, we invited people to the meetup happening in the afternoon.
We had to hurry a bit to the meetup, after lunch. IIRC, the meetup had 120+ RSVPs, setting a new record in Chennaipy's history. When we reached the Ramanujan Auditorium, we found that we had also set another record in Chennaipy's history, for the lowest ever actual-turn-out to RSVP ratio! We had about 45 people in all, which was still a great number, and the best part was most of them were people who were regular at the meetups!
Shrayas anchored the event this time, and I was behind the camera trying to record the event. The following talks were done in the first half.
- A Lisp powered Python by Shrayas
- BigData and MapReduce by Krishna Sangeeth
- Remote Control your PC using Python and Kivy by Vengatesh
Vengatesh' talk deserves a special mention. Staying true to his topic, Vengatesh used an Android app and server program, he had developed, to switch slides on his laptop. The communication happened over Bluetooth. And to top it off he showed how the phones's accelerometer sensor can be used to remotely control (over bluetooth) a car game running on the laptop / PC. The audience spontaneously burst into applause at the end of the demo.
And in the second half we did the following talks.
- Using Python to Play Cupid by Anil Kumar
- Tips and Tricks in IPython by Gaurav
- Learn Working of Accelerometer using Micro Python by Rengaraj
- My Python Experience by Shrikant Giridhar
Rengaraj brought in a Micro Python board, and showed video demos of this code, where he used the accelerometer to control the brightness of the accelerometer.
Shrikant decided to change his topic on the fly, from Git to "My Python Experience". He discussed about various cool Python scripts he had written to perform some day to day tasks, and the Python libraries he had used.
Credits and Logo Contest
Shrayas thanked everybody who helped organize the event. After which Shrayas announced the Logo Contest. A user group like Chennaipy, deserves its own logo! And it was best to get the community to come up with a great logo for Chennaipy. And hence the Logo Contest.
After the talks, Shrayas invited people to come up and share their thoughts. We had a handful of people coming up on stage and sharing their views. Nelson Anand, was one of them. He had attended the workshop in the morning, as well. He told us, how excited he was to be part of the workshop and the meetup, and how he had been checking the meetup page frequently (it happened to be more frequent than his Facebook page!). He thanked people behind the event for organizing such workshops.
The After Effects
After the meetup, as usual, we had some people still hanging around, discussing and chitchating. We got Karthik and few others to support us in converting the meetup videos.
Earlier, we had a feedback from some students that meetups on Saturdays, were hard to attend. We wanted to do a quick check if people would prefer to have the meetup on Sundays. We had missed it during the meetup, so we checked with the people who had stayed back. Since most of them were OK with it, we decided to have the next meetup on a Sunday.
As usual, the crowd dwindled, and finally I left the venue, lighthearted. Lighthearted because, the group has grown to point, where it can self-sustain. Chennaipy will continue to rock, long after I am gone. :-)Go Top