I come from a place where everyone worships competitive coding and thus cpp, so the experience of attending my first pycon was much awaited for me.
This year’s PyCon India happened in Delhi and i along with a couple of my friends reached on 23rd September, the first day. We were a bit late but it was all right because, we didn’t miss anything.
We had workshops and devsprints on the first day. I, along with Farhaan, were taking a devsprint for Pagure project. It was nice to see a couple of new contributors whom i meet on IRC asking for help and trying to make a contribution. It went all day long but i did manage to roam around a little.
Sayan came to the spot where we were sitting for devsprint with a camera in hand. I don’t know if he was hired as an official photographer for PyCon or not but if he wasn’t i am sure he must have clicked more photographs than all the rest of people combined.
I am not a sort of person who meets a lot of people. I, generally, feel awkward meeting new people and it’s not easy for me to get comfortable with anyone. With Farhaan and especially Sayan, this wasn’t the case. They made me comfortable in our first encounter. In fact, the most shocking thing about PyCon was simplicity of the people. I expected them to be nice but they were better. 🙂
I then attended Pycharm workshop. Sayan was sitting in the first row and i and Farhaan joined him there. This workshop turned out to be really funny because we were comparing how we did things in Vim to the corresponding method in Pycharm. Pycharm does make things a little easier but moving the hand to mouse/touchpad for every little thing is too much to ask. We came to know that Sayan uses arrow keys instead of h/j/k/l in Vim (and he told me not to judge him for this :-p).
At the end of day one, I, my friend Saptak(saptaks), Farhaan, Sayan and Subhendu (subho or Ghost-Script) decided to visit Ambience Mall which was nearby, for some food. We ended up at KFC where we spend some time and got to know each other better. Sayan told us about his academic history and Hackerearth. We also talked about his experience of flock this year. After this, Sayan told me that i was a completely different person than i thought i would be :-p .
It was a busy day for everyone. There were a lot of interesting talks. I managed to get a ticket to PyCon for one of my friend who sat all day, the day before in the hotel room. At the end of the last day, i had joined the volunteers group since, most of the dgplug members were in the volunteers group and i didn’t want to miss anything. So, i was basically moving around during the talks doing small things. I couldn’t really concentrate on any particular talk except talk whose title read: ‘Helix and Salt: Case study in high volume and distributed python applications’, given by a linkedin guy named Akhil Malik and i didn’t understand much. At the end of the talk, Saptak asked me if i wanted to have a cold drink to which i replied: “I will need a harder drink than that.”. I didn’t realize Kushal was sitting just a row behind me and could easily have listened to this conversation.
At the end of second day, all the volunteers were supposed to have dinner together and i was supposed to meet a close friend of mine who lives in Delhi. Thankfully, I managed to do both but, i missed the starters . The four of us from last night were joined by Farhaan and since, me and Farhaan both were present, the talk naturally shifted to our GSoC experiences. Sayan told me about writing blogs more often and he did have some valid points.
It was the last day and somehow i was feeling a little low because… i didn’t want it to end. I wasn’t interested in talks anymore. But, i did attend the lightening talks and was roaming rest of the time. There was a dgplug “staircase” meeting which i attended. Kushal was leading the talk and he was surrounded by about 30 people, most of whom hadn’t started their FOSS journey. He talked mainly about how they should start with something small and they will get better. It is a really nice initiative, i personally feel.
I had met Kushal last night at dinner and he said he had something to give to me and Farhaan. Just before the lightening talk, i was sitting in the second row and he came to me and stood by my side. He told me to be seated and gave me dgplug sticker and a set of stickers of fedora. This was a nice moment for me. Earlier that day, he had mentioned me and Farhaan for our contributions to pagure in his talk. In the small period of time that i have seen or been with Kushal, he has managed to earn a lot of respect from me.
At the end of this day, everybody had to leave so, the four people from first day and one other friend of mine, decided to visit the same mall once again, for food and roaming around. The Cab driver that we booked turned out to be very patriotic and got offended by my comment that we didn’t study at JNU (where the event was held) and we were “foreigners”. He kept talking about me being a foreigner the whole ride, no matter how many times i said i didn’t mean it. Obviously, everyone enjoyed it.
At the mall, there were no juniors or seniors. There were just 5 (single) computer science guys: being mean, pulling each other’s legs and talking about stuff i shouldn’t mention here. It turned out that Sayan and Subhendu got to know a few of my negative points as well. Sayan also managed to ask Saptak, me and Shubham (my other friend) to start contributing to fedora hubs.
Overall, it was a great experience meeting people whom i talk to on IRC. I won’t be able to mention all the people whom i have met during the event but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that i enjoyed a lot and i am able to connect with them better.