Pyladies Pune: Reboot

It takes expertise, patience AND luck to get people together for a cause and organising a technical event gets all these skills to the fore, as I observed today.

I attended the PyLadies Pune Chapter today. Today was an re-introductory session to infuse life into the group of women python-lovers in the city. The event is open to everyone.

The day started with an introduction from the very-cool-lawyer Anwesha. She introduced PyLadies to us newbies in an uncomplicated and clear manner.

The next session was by Kushal, who showed pictures from PyCon 2015 and told us backstories for each of his amazing clicks. Each story was amazing, tracing the journey of people associated with Python. It gave us a glimpse of the vibrant community in all its glory as also the depth and breadth of Python in the industry.

He left us with a mind-blowing keynote from PyCon 2016 by TwoBraids (K Lars Lohn).

I watched the video with bated breath. The presentation style, the way the speaker got his content together, the simplicity with which he explained  concepts and the entertainment value of the entire video was totally, well, paisa-vasool(it means “worth it”, for lack of an equivalent phrase in the English language)

Post-lunch session we learnt and practiced the basics of python. Very interesting for yours truly, sharpening her slightly rusted skill set.

Post the basics of Python session we had a very interactive planning session for the next event. Many ideas for next events were exchanged. The ones I remember are listed below-

  1. More workshops – advanced level workshops
  2. Hackathons
  3. Bug traiging – solve real world problems
  4. Lightning talks by all members about what-they-learnt-new

Overall the response to today’s event was good, the original PyLadies started with lesser members you know. It was heartening to see pythonistas, irrespective of gender, working towards reviving the group.

General feedback and lessons learnt can be summarised as follows –

  1. Advertise the event more so as to include more enthusiasts
  2. Plan the sessions more effectively

A fairly intellectual way to spend a Sunday afternoon, but definitely worth your while 🙂

#dgplug summer training

I have married a geek and that is how I got to know about the #dgplug summer training, to put it simply.

The Back story to my story

My husband has arm-twisted everyone in the family to use only Fedora on their computers and is dismissive of any other way of being. So I was aware of the open source way, used it, admired it but never got to doing much about it.

I was extremely happy with my cushy SAP consultant job which did not require me to tax my brain too much and allowed me to earn a decent, consistent pay package to take care of the luxuries of life. I wore the fire-fighting hat once in a while which also gave me the thrill to have problem-solved and been useful 🙂

The monotony

Eventually, the job became less and less about the work and more and more about the people doing the work. I started itching to do something on my own. Also large multinationals rarely gives you opportunities to do something new and doing something on your own is unthinkable. I was done with being a stooge for the company, however, lacked the courage to foray out on my own and after having taken the plunge to quit, I rejoined meekly (yes I did. Yes I am ashamed. Now can we move on?) in less than 3 months.

The game changer

The game changer for me was my forced-break during my pregnancy. My daughter, while still inside my womb, forced me to be on bed-rest for a good 2 months before she decided she had enough fun at my expense and wanted to make her appearance for everybody else. Takes after her dad, my little girl. This time I utilized to read and read I did about a lot of things including technology, discussed a myriad things with my ever-enthusiastic-husband. My thoughts aligned with the freedom granted by the open source culture and I decided to equip myself with some knowledge and contribute to the community from whom I have only gained so far. Jobless and opinionated, I was all geared up to learn till I realised parenting meant a lot of hard work and was time consuming. I learnt to count. I had only two hands and decided to take it slow.

#dgplug

I tried my hand at learning php, worked on a friend’s website. My husband casually mentioned that his friend (mine too!), Kushal, conducts a 3-months long summer training for students and I should take a look at their previous work. I did and even before they had updated their pages to reflect the calendar for 2016 I had registered for the summer training 🙂

My key take-aways from the sessions conducted so far(Mailing etiquettes, FHS, VIM, reST, Sphinx) –

* We are into the sixteenth year of the twenty-first century, knowing how-to solve a problem is not the major debate. Listing problems that can be solved and prioritizing them, in my opinion, is what will make us tick.

* Collaboration is another key factor and having the world open to learn from is as-good-as-it-can-get

* Mentorship is all about being effective, approachable and not spoon-feeding

I am looking forward to the remaining sessions over the next 3 months and take my journey of over a thousand steps forward.