WikiToLearn Conference

I was all set with my backpacks to travel to Jaipur, with my friends. This was my first conference where I am gonna give a talk. Exciting isn’t it? But, I was freaked out inside, as I have never given a talk ever.

Srijan and Chaithanya accompanied me all the way to Jaipur for the conference as both of them had their roles as speakers. The conference was scheduled at L.N.M.I.I.T College, Japiur, hosted by WikiToLearn and KDE Community. We reached Jaipur late at night by 1:30pm and it was freezing. We reached the college around 2:00 and jumped under the quills to get some warmth.

An alarm at 8:00 to get ready for the conference, woke me up. We got ready and by the time we were about to get out, two beautiful girls came to escort us to have breakfast. I never expected that. Advantages of becoming a speaker. Get treated like a VIP : D . Soon after breakfast, I got to meet two of my seniors from college, Tony Thomas and Harish Navnit. We were excited to see after long. I sort of felt being in Amrita for some time.

The Conference began around 11:30 in the morning with Sagar’s talk on KDE Open Source Ecosystem, followed by Riccardo’s Keynote session, which sort of inspired the kids to lean in for the upcoming sessions. I was excited to hear the first lady speaker’s session on Open Source Opportunities, which sort of disappointed me, but who really impressed me with her work. This talk moreover, showed how important personal branding is important, followed up with the GSoC Projects done in WikiToLearn and  KDE by Abhimanyu and Jay.  It was a pretty exciting day for me to get to know the fellow speakers and their journey through open source. Knowing that I still had a few days to go in Jaipur, I tried exploring some parts of the college and understanding the differences there from a South Indian College. Moreover, I made more friends there during the workshop session, which extended teaching them git and running python scripts. The day ended with a song from ruphy. (I have no idea what he sang, but it was really awesome to hear a music in cold around fire).

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The second day of the conference, was even more interesting where I got to meet more students, hear more awesome talks. The session started off with Tony’s session followed by Harish session on Modern day Make File Systems, which was a new topic for me. I was happy to hear my friend Chaitanya’s talk on Connection Rural Women over Internet, as it was quite a very different topic from the others. The next was my session on “Exploring the Engine behind the wiki pages”. Well, I was disappointed after my session, as it did not turn out as I expected. Reading the faces, I felt my topic was way over the head. But, it was to be like that as none of the students had an experience with Open Source or Linux. I am at least happy that a few students came in touch with me to do their first contribution to the community. Amit concluded the talks with WikiData, an excellent area of contribution to Mediawiki codebase, which was introduced to me by Abdealli. Soon after the conference, we speakers left to the workshop to answer the question of students. We kept an anonymous Q/A session and, I could see all those doubts which took me back on flashback when I started off with my contribution. I was happy to see confused minds because only confused minds can question and figure out the answers. Our day ended with meeting Mame Khan, a Rajasthani Folk singer, who came for the Arts Fest in the college. Finally, we managed to get a pic with him too.

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Early in the morning, we were off to explore Jaipur and Agra. Fetching a hot coffee from one of the tourist places, we drove all the way to Agra visiting Fatehpur Sikri and Tajmahal. The way was filled with lots of fun, laughter, freshness, where at the end of the day I had to say bye to Jaminy who left back to her college. We all headed back to Hotel, where again I jump under the quills to get some sleep. I woke with some cracky noise of Chaithanya ringing Srijan’s door and I couldn’t even remember she saying me a bye. By 8:00 am we were off to visit one of the largest forts in India, which took about 100 years to build. With its amazing architecture, from the great Indian brains took me back to my history classes, where my teacher used to say how Amazing our Country was. Indeed it was! With a heavy and tasty dinner from Abhimanyu’s home with all the warmth and love, I left to the airport to get my flight back to Kerala.

Those four day, enriched me with knowledge, gave me new friends to count on to and a family like WikiToLearn to be a part of!

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