What were you doing this past weekend? Hanging out with friends at some mall? Or doing something more productive like hanging out with new friends at our learnup? On Saturday, 13th June (Thank god it was not Friday the 13th!), we kicked off our new innovation: the learnup. In three cities. Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune. (A learnup? Huh? What’s that? To answer your query, check out this link.)
So here is the story of what happened on a Saturday weekend in the three cities in question.
Tlabs was the venue for our first learnup in Bangalore. By 10 a.m., all participants registered. Saranya (who seems to work 36 hours a day) and Prateek (our cool, suave coder-in-chief) took care of the registration process. Yours truly had a hand in putting the participants at ease.
While the 14 participants, split into 4 teams, waited for our mentor, Bharat (who generally takes care of our blog) introduced Venturesity to the team, and what to expect out of the learnup.
Once Debjit Kar, the mentor, arrived, the participants perked up enthusiastically. He introduced them to the problem statement which was to build interesting applications on top of the Uber API using asp.net technologies.
He gave them a brief tutorial on how to integrate the API, and some interesting app ideas. Once the learning session was complete, the teams began ideating.
Fuelled by kachodis, pizzas and soft drinks, the participants came up with the following ideas:
- Team Uberio: This team’s main idea was to provide Uber cab facilities for pick up and drop for services like airline tickets, booking shows etc.
- Team Redstone: Their idea was to build a proxy for the Uber API services in native ASP.NET which can extend to any sort of UI workflow.
- Team Igniters: Their idea was to build executive cab solutions.
- Team Nomads: This team learned how to integrate the Uber API with asp.net technologies.
Mumbai saw a huge turnout of Big Data enthusiasts (nearly a 100(!)). The topic of the day was to find interesting solutions to this Kaggle problem related to the Titanic disaster. Participants discussed various machine learning algorithms with Lalit Sachan from Eduvancer Eduventures. The session concluded after participants spent a good time networking and discussing possible solutions to the problem statement. Special mention was made for facilities at Amazon Internet Services’ Mumbai premises,
At Pune, the theme was to explore the use of NLP tools in Java. Vivek Garg from Grex.in helped participants with this exploration. The Grex.in office also served as the venue for the learnup.
Participants were intrigued by this format of peer learning followed by hands on practice. This small sampling of what our hackathons are about paid dividends.
We will get a chance to interact more with the Pune Java enthusiasts at HealthHack for Praxify on 11th July.
In general, participants in all three cities enjoyed the learnup sessions tremendously. They felt these were a good way to interact with, and learn from the community.
Owing to the positive response, we plan to increase the frequency and widen the range of topics. There were also requests for a series of learnups around specific topics.
Special thanks to Bharat Ramakrishna, Kartik Sharma (our growth hacker extraordinaire) and Mohit Mandan (erstwhile operations guru) without whom this blog post would not have materialized.