Python Pune Meetup, December 2014

The winter edition of Python Pune meetup was held on December 6, 2014 at Red Hat, Pune. Our intention was to take a first step in bringing together all the the Pythoners across the city and build a strong python community in Pune. The last meetup was held way back in April, 2014 and we thought of bringing the series back to life. The main driving factor behind this was Chandan Kumar who came up with the idea and I along with some other folks supported him and took it forward. The response on the meetup page was way beyond our expectations as people were responding to RSVP even till the last day. We had a full house at the meetup and surprisingly most of the people were on time except one or two who walked in a little late. We had kept a buffer time of 15 minutes for installations/setup but fortunately everyone had their machines tuned before turning up for the session. The crowd was a mixed blend of professionals and students but less number of females as usual. I still wonder why don’t women turn up at events. By 10:15 a.m, we were all set to begin and I kicked off the event with a brief introduction to Python as a programming language and the agenda for the day. On interacting with the attendees, it was good to know that most of them were new to python and had no prior experience which made us believe and gear up with a positive vibe ‘the day shall be good’. Later Chandan Kumar took over and proceeded with the session.pymeetuppune

The session began with some basic concepts about a programming language and it all began with a  print “hello World!” where it is nearly important to greet the new world you are about to enter. The agenda was to cover the basics of Python including variables, data types,operators, looping, data structures, functions, modules and file handling. We had planned for the first break of the day to be at 11:45 a.m and we were able to generate interest in the participants by then. Not to forget, our team of volunteers was successfully able to help those who were with a windows machine and 100% attendees were doing a hands on session. The workshop was well organised with a DIY(Do it Yourself) program after every each concept being taught. In order to motivate people, there were stickers for the one who did it first.

The lunch break was planned at 1:15 pm, the attendees interacted well while having lunch. With a quick round of questions to the participants, we made sure that they were not sleepy post lunch. Topics including file handling, modules were to be covered post lunch which are considered a bit complex in the view of a beginner. As volunteers, while we were helping the participants resolve their queries we noticed that a lot of participants were not able to execute their programs because of indentation errors. We made sure that Chandan would put a bit stress on the indentation part and show a demo as well. In the end, the session was a little fast paced as we wanted to wrap up the meetup by 4:00 pm as per the agenda and not let people complain about it. The meetup was a successful event and we are planning for a Chapter 2 as well where we will be covering some advanced topics. It was good to see that a good number of people entered the Python community that day and were no more a beginner 😉 .

vodQA Pune, 2014

vodQA Pune was organised on Nov 15, 2014 at ThoughtWorks, Pune. vodQA is a QA centric event and has been running across cities like Bangalore, Pune, Gurgaon for a couple of years now. The venue for the event had a small shift from the previous year as the ThoughtWorks office was a newer and bigger place(though I liked the previous one more). It began with the registrations as usual and distribution of a vodQA bag which contained two badges and a notepad. This time along with the vodQA badge, Selenium’s 10th birthday was also being celebrated and hence the badge for it. The keynote was mid way by the time I joined, one of the striking points the speaker mentioned was ‘looking at the gradually changing scenario, there will be more in-use cell phones than there are people on the planet right now’. The speaker touched upon some topics like Continuous Delivery, cross platform testing, testing in production(coming up near future) and so forth.vod1

This time, vodQA was scheduled differently #experimenting. There were three parallel tracks for talks/workshops scheduled for the day with each candidate being able to attend a set of 2 talks + lightening talks + 1 workshop + open space session. You can check the schedule here. From the available three choices, I chose to attend “Migrating Cloud Management Infrastructure to Openstack and Testing Challenges” where the duo discussed some of the testing challenges in shifting from Rackspace to Openstack. They started with a brief introduction to the components of Openstack which was helpful to understand the basics and connect. This talk also had the mention of ‘testing in production without effecting the business’. Another talk was about identifying risks and vulnerabilities in your web application which covered exactly 10 points from OWASP Top Ten Project. Now, there were lightening talks pre-lunch which were simply awesome. “10 myths about QAs” was delivered by Kushal aka ‘Baba’ which covered something near to reality mentioned in the next few lines. When you say “QA”, the first question which comes up is ‘Manual or Automation’, even if a QA does test automation, he cannot escape the manual part of testing, so why do people even ask such questions? Anyhow, believe it or not, manual testing is an art and test automation has it’s own advantages. Does your project manager expect you to do 100% automation? Really? Automation is just not one person’s responsibility, but that of a team. Are the tests breaking? Why is the developer looking at you, is the QA responsible for it? He summarized his talk saying that a QA does more than just test. Another lightening talk was on “Personality Driven Testing” by Jesal which was entirely a new thought and just touched upon some different types of personalities of a person and what approach would that person take at work in order to test an application. Though initially I wondered, is it some new kind, never heard of this term before.. the talk had good stuff. The last one “5 reasons why every QA need not ‘cross the boundary’ to white box” was by Deepak where he emphasized on manual testing being an art and mentioned about crowd-sourced testing. By now, every one is super hungry and wanting to break for lunch.

During lunch time, there was a cake cutting ceremony ‘Selenium’s 10th Birthday’ followed by the regular lunch. I happened to talk to few folks over lunch, this time I could see a couple of new faces who have come down from ThoughtWorks, Bangalore. I met a couple of known faces and one of them was Vatsala whom I met at Tech Jam, Pune and she mentioned that my session there had been helpful to her in some way (felt glad). The discussions at lunch time revolved around Galen Framework and some load testing tools.

After the lunch, there was open space where 6-7 topics were selected based on up-votes by the attendees. The topics covered were Agile testing, Mobile testing, test automation, Security testing and few others. The attendees were asked to choose any of the topics and join/form respective groups. The open space is not scheduled, the attendees are required to discuss their topics, share experiences and knowledge. After the open space, there were 3 parallel tracks for a 90 minute workshop. I attended the workshop in Track 1 “How to bring your site down with Gatling” which covered some aspects of load testing. The title was really catchy and it was a full house for this track. The duo gave an overview on some of commonly used tools starting from curl, apache bench, seige, locust, jmeter, and came down to using ‘Gatling’. Gatling is an open source load testing framework which offers a nice reporting format with bar charts and pie charts. It requires to write the code using Scala and you could ramp up the number of users as per your requirement. The hands on session was good while we were trying to break a sample site named ‘dakshina’. The speakers were able to cover good amount of stuff in the given time frame. In all, the workshop was a good learning experience. The closing note was a live example of being agile as the concerned speaker was not able to make it, but was fairly good. It’s time to share feedback and bid a goodbye to this year’s vodQA, a small part of my feedback is a part of vodQA after shots video. Ah! another vodQA came to an end without a vodka shot 😛 😀 .

Fedora Activity Day (Security), Pune

Fedora Activity Day(theme: Security) was conducted on Nov 1, 2014 at Red Hat, Pune. The event was of more relevance to Security folks as the idea was to triage the bugs related to Security in fedora. PJP started with a brief introduction to security and shared the link to security related bugs on irc #fedora-india. There were in total 8-9 folks who joined the FAD this time. Everyone started with Bug Triaging and there was a parallel scoreboard maintained on etherpad for counting the bugs each one picked up for which the results can be seen here -> FAD(Security).

There was a Docker meetup on the same day conducted parallely in the Cafeteria where around 30-40 attendees had turned up. The attendees were keen on knowing more about Docker. Navid being one of the organizers of the meetup looked overwhelmed with the response from the sessions.

This time at FAD, there was sponsored lunch unlike the last FAD(where we ran out of Pizza’s that we ordered). While being in the queue for lunch, Siddhesh on looking at the FUDCON t-shirt pointed out ‘the t-shirt determines your age’ which reflected how community folks can know about your experience. Post lunch, the Docker track had a hands on session whereas FAD participants continued with the same. Rupali turned up and gave some Fedora goodies(mugs and stickers) to be distributed among us. Throughout the day I picked up a couple of bugs, looked through, tried to understand and then gave up on them one by one, eventually ending up not adding myself as fst_owner to any of the bugs 😀 . The only contribution from my side could be this blog 😛 . For a more technical details about the event, you must read PJP’s event report on the same.

PyCon India, Bangalore 2014

PyCon India 2014 was scheduled on 25-27 September, 2014(different date) but the same venue(Nimhans Convention Center, Bangalore) as last year with nearly the same booths, some new sponsors but larger and a more interactive crowd. It was fairly an enjoyable experience at PyCon India 2014 and felt awesome to be identified as a speaker again this year. I traveled to Bangalore a day before the Workshop day at PyCon as I had to take a workshop on “Test your web application with Selenium“. The one hour journey to Bangalore was followed by heavy rains as if it never rained before in Bangalore. Though the driver himself said, “Madam, I have never seen so much of rain in Bangalore before.” As it is I was travelling at the peak hours and the rains added to the traffic jam and blocked roads. As this was my second visit to PyCon, I was kinda familiar with the traffic in Bangalore and relaxed while the cab dropped me to the destination.

As the regular regime at PyCon India, Day 1 had workshops scheduled. I reached the venue around noon as I had my workshop scheduled at 4:00 pm. It is good to be well in time before you start with your session. Completed the registration process and went down for lunch where I had a conversation with Michael Foord and Baiju M. The lunch was good in all but on exactly the same pattern as last year. I grabbed a seat at the back in Audi 1 and did some last minute preparations for my workshop.  My workshop was scheduled in Audi 2, same as last year where I gave the talk. I walked upto Audi 2 to see how things were going on and found it really weird that how can anyone run a workshop by being on the podium. As I was conducting a workshop and not delivering a talk, so I wanted the setup a level below in order to connect better with the participants. The volunteers helped me with the setup which made it possible for me to code along with the participants and make sure the participants had some take away learning. I started with a quick introduction from the participants and glad to know that most of them were new to Selenium except a few who were using Selenium with Java and wanted to learn how Selenium works with Python. I began the session with a brief introduction to Selenium, followed by Selenium IDE hands on session and further Selenium Python bindings. Application under test for the workshop was placebo/sample application . Most of the participants had done the setup locally and for those who couldn’t manage to host the application locally, I had a backup and hosted the application on Openshift ( didn’t want to waste time on resolving node.js issues rather focus on Selenium 😉 ). Everyone enjoyed using the Selenium IDE as a record and play tool and could manage to run scripts and also observe its limitations by themselves. Using the Selenium IDE we converted the code into Python 2/ unittest/webdriver format and I gave them an explanation to the basic layout of the test script and how it works. Post that we started writing some code for our test cases based on the sample application. I uploaded the test scripts on github and from there we started with basict_str.py and started writing all the test cases and build our suite. Step by step I covered inspecting the elements on the web page using id, class and XPath and then gradually moved towards generating HTML reports. Most of the participants were keeping up with the pace and those who lagged behind, I was able to pull them successfully. Some of the tweets.. http://goo.gl/zSJYhX , http://goo.gl/kR4eKI   It was good to see that people were going with the flow and learning Selenium. I was able to finish the workshop well in time and attendees responded pretty well. One of the feedback for Day 1 is that the volunteers/organizers should consider what all was there the previous year before planning for the next year’s conference as there were some loop holes on Day 1 compared to previous year  regarding the setup for speakers and video recordings.

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Day 2 started with keynote speech by Kushal Das. The day proceeds as per the schedule with regular talks. There were a couple of new booths this time while there were some old ones on the same spot 😛 . I was busy hopping in and out of the talks and checking out some booths. I was pretty sincere last year in attending talks but this year spent more time outside the auditorium talking to people around. Red Hat was a silver sponsor this time and we had a booth space too. I did spend some time sitting around with colleagues at the booth for some chit chat 😉 . Lightening talks was an interesting slot where a 12 year old kid took over the stage too.  Evening I visited Matteo Coffea, Church Street for coffee, cafe was big enough in size(bigger than any cafe I’ve visited in Pune till now) with the essence of coffee in the air. Also, if you are in Bangalore, you shouldn’t miss the food at MTR 1924. The day was exciting all in all until my phone fell from a considerable height and I found a broken screen and unresponsive touch. ah! Unwanted expenses on my plate 😦 This added to the adventure in the Bangalore trip where I survived without a phone for more than 24 hours which included Day 3 at PyCon and travel from Bangalore to Pune.

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Day 3  was exciting for me, as I walked without a phone(though it doesn’t help you in walking but makes you feel connected). At the conference, there was keynote speech by Michael Foord followed by talks in two parallel tracks. dgplug meeting headed by Kushal Das was going on for hours on the staircase. The T-Shirt distribution started by afternoon with a long queue in place right after the announcement and continued for hours. I still wonder, despite of being recognized as a speaker and having paid the registration fees, how can a volunteer say “We do not have T- Shirts for those who have done on-the-spot registrations.” This was extremely annoying but you let go..   The t-shirt design was good though but considering the Bangalore and Pune weather t-shirt could have been half sleeves. Lunch was good enough, there was an interesting drink ‘Litchi Punch’ where the caterer was tired of telling people the name of the drink as it looked like Lassi/Chach.  The panel discussion was interesting, where the three panelists gave their views on ‘Which Python Web Framework Should I choose? Flask vs Django vs Web.py’. The regular talks and then there were lightening talks. I gave a lightening talk on Women in Open Source Award telling people what is the award all about. The award complements the existing Women Outreach programs by shining a spot light on the women who are making great contributions to Open Source.The initiative is to encourage more women to join us and to help improve the sad Male: Female ratio in Open source community. I had some hand outs with me which I distributed while leaving the auditorium and it looked that my talk made a some impact when more people asked for the hand outs (but they were less in number). Right after my lightening talk, @twitortat supported and spoke about some initiatives we could take up and have more women speakers as well as participants at the coming up conferences. It was good to meet some of the female students who were a part of dgplug and contributing to open source, hope to see more women in the crowd in all the open source communities. I had to rush for the Airport right after and the conference was a wonderful experience this time.

After years, I happened to use the Free phone facility at the Bangalore Airport and thinking I could not connect to Wi-Fi(at Airport) as I did not have a phone made me feel even worse. I managed to reach home safely(#withoutAphone) 😉 If you haven’t seen this video ->  ‘Look up‘, watch it 😉

Thank you PyCon India for giving me an opportunity to be a speaker for two consecutive years. The response from the participants at my workshop as well as talk(last year) has been positive enough to keep me going. PyCon India 2014 was awesome, kudos to all the volunteers/organizers who were running the show. 🙂

 

Fedora Activity Day, Pune 2014

Fedora Activity Day was held on 23 August, 2014 at Red Hat, Pune. This was the first Fedora event that I attended ever. The room where the event was planned was good enough for 20-25 people to have an interactive session. I walked to the event around 10 a.m and looked like people settled an hour before. I had no idea about FAD and its proceedings, so I spent the initial few hours looking around what people are upto and  how can I go about it. Ah, I could understand that the agenda was to test the upcoming Fedora 21 release. So, this looked interesting to me. People around had the F21 image locally so I did not have to bother about the time it would take to download the image but yeah setting up VM on my machine did involve some time. I started using the live image, just to skip the installation time involved. PJP took a session on DNSSEC. It was an informative session on the Default local DNS resolver and we did a hands-on on the same to see how it worked and report bugs if any. You can find more information about it on wiki page and PJP’s blog. This was followed by Pizzas at Lunch and sad to say that we were short of them because of wrong calculations(how many to order? 😛 ). Ah, I could see some picking up a Cup of Noodles and making it a happy meal :P. Some reported bugs found during the installation process and some had some suggestions regarding the default language selection(which I saw was Hindi). All the activities throughout the day were recorded on an etherpad page. Also, we were maintaining a scoreboard for each one of us filing bugs on BZ.

Later, Kashyap took a hand-on session on Virtual Machine snapshots. Though I never heard of snapshots before but yeah did hear from someone about Kashyap spinning VMs on the fly and was great to see how that worked using virsh. He said he preferred virt-builder for installing virtual machines and avoided the time consuming procedure. Nevertheless, things were faster the way he showed. It was a good learning at FAD, rest assured when I put those to use. I explored some sections such as Fedora QA, packaging and others to see where can I start( haven’t started yet 😛 ).The rains accompanied the day and made some of us stay back in the office till late while we played Pool and waited for the rain to stop. It was a small event though but had a good time all day chit chatting with people around and a little learning. I hope to start contributing to fedora now, showing up at FAD was my first step towards it.

Deccan Ruby Conf, Pune 2014

The first edition of Deccan Ruby conference, Pune was held on 19 July, 2014 at Hyatt Regency, Pune. Their tag line “होऊ दे!” somewhere related to having fun. By the time I reached, keynote had already started. Being the regular practice of any conference, registrations were accompanied with name stickers, badges(of Josh) and T-shirts. The day started off well with interactions in the first tea break right after the keynote. The arrangements were done well in coordination with Hyatt and you could hear the sound of ringing bell after each tea break. Post the keynote, there were parallel tracks for Workshops and talks. Most of the attendees including me rushed for the workshop  on “TDD 101 – Get it before you dismiss it!” by Sidu Ponnappa Chonira. The workshop was good in all but couldn’t meet timeline and continued longer, eating some part of the free slot as per the schedule. The volunteers in the workshop helped everyone test drive their code. This couldn’t have been simpler than writing code for a calculator . Ah, but it was flooded with questions! Nevertheless, there was something to learn at the end. Talk on ‘Writing ruby ” होउदे ” way, yes in Marathi !‘ was quite entertaining though and the speaker gave a lightening talk as well on the same. Undoubtedly, the food was awesome(Hyatt.Mediterranean fish++).

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Post lunch, talk on “Dashboard for DevOps” had interesting stuff. Right after that, one of the speakers talked about rolling your own web framework in 30 minutes. In the parallel track, Workshop on “Deliver projects 30% faster, know your CSS” was being conducted. Lightening talks aren’t boring anytime because of the short duration 😉 . One of the lightening talks included a student  talking about her Rails Summer of Code and eventually they could find someone there who could help them. Meanwhile, I talked to few people in person about “Women in Open Source Award” by Red Hat. Some of them felt motivated and promised to contribute more. Coming towards the end, the closing note by Baishampayan Ghose was well drafted and interesting. One of his slides mentioned: future = f(past) [Future is a function of past]. Takeaways from his talk were to understand the problem well before you jump to any solution, ignore history at one’s own risk, give importance to design and make it a deliberate practice. Deccan ruby conf could have worked better on the T-shirt design instead of stamping it with sponsor’s logos! There was Futsal planned for football lovers post the event and a party at Irish Village, though I did not attend either. Overall, it was a good one day conference and got a chance to meet the ruby community.

Food at Pune

Pune offers you a variety of food which is more of a humble offering to set your mood right or has a food option that goes with your mood. There are a lot of food joints in the city which are really old and serve a kind of food. Check out some of the interesting food items at Pune in the list below 😉 I hope to explore more and add to this page.. The never ending connection with food.. !

  • Mango mastani is one of the lovable drinks at Sujata Mastani.
  • Chocolate Sandwich is another kind of a sandwich at Pune.
  • Are you crazy for chocolates and all set to take a diversion from the regular chocolate sandwich and go for a chocolate parantha.. drop in at Nandu’s Paranthas,Dhole Patil road.
  • A Maharashtrian drink.. Solkari. I cannot describe the taste though, but I liked it 😉 😛
  • Wanting to have Paranthas.. Chaitanya Parantha, FC road or Nandu’s parantha, Dhole Patil road is the place to go.
  • Sukanta, Deccan Gymkhana offers you decent vegetarian food.. they serve you the food with a lot of joy and you ‘ll get tired tasting the variety of food items they have.
  • Cafe chokolade is famous for it’s Cad B and Cad M drinks.

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  • Pitle bhakri, another must have being in Maharashtra. You will find this at any Maharashtrian food outlet.
  • I never heard of anything called as ‘Bun maska’ before, you should prefer having that for breakfast though but you can drop anytime at Goodluck cafe, Pune.
  • Like momos? Check out the Momo’s stall opposite Radio Shack, Koregaon Park, Pune. (Reach before 7 p.m. else you ‘ll not find it!)
  • Burger at Burger King, Koregaon park or Burger Barn Cafe, Koregaon park.
  • Patiala lassi and Dal makhni is rare in Pune, but you can surely drop in at Punjabi Dhaaba, Viman Nagar to relish the taste of it.
  • German Bakery, Koregaon Park is another food outlet with a story.. try the “Dark rum bomb”, I am sure you would like it.
  • Being in Maharashtra, Puran Poli is not the item to miss out on.
  • Corn club, FC road has all the corn-filled items.
  • Kayani bakery, East Street, Camp is one of the oldest and famous bakeries in Pune, mawa cakes and cookies are really good out there.
  • One of the good halts for Pav bhaji,/Juice/Milk shakes is Juice World, East Street (MG Road).

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Now, time to drive you to the streets of Pune..

  • ‘Vada Pav(Paav), dish native to Maharshtra..  at Vada pav stall near JJ Garden, Camp area.
  • Never before I heard of Sabut dana khichdi with kachori.. ah! that was different.
  • Not to forget ‘Vrindavan ice-cream’ stall, Deccan road.
  • New Poona bakery also offers you well baked stuff.
  • Chai- Poha! Punekars call it like this.. Nal stop, Pune is the place where you find people waiting for the shop to open at early 4 in the morning.
  • Supreme Sandwich offers you a sandwich  with a supreme taste, has all kinds of sandwiches(including chocolate 😛 )
  • Though Bread pakora is not what draws your attention but the one at Sonal Snacks, Ravivar Peth, Pune was worth having once.
  • And, matki bhel is another different snack food as compared to a regular bhel, you ‘ll see a lot of food outlets for the same at Pune-Bangalore highway.
  • For Faluda ice-cream, check out New Poona Cold Drinks House, and you ‘ll definitely like it!

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 Some desserts..

  • Something which I nerve heard before was “Apple jalebi”, check out Sigri, Dhole Patil road.
  • Sitaphal with Cream is another dessert which rocks and you will find that at Juice World, East Street. Another similar dessert at the same place is ‘Fresh Mango with Cream’.
  • If you are a ‘Jalebi/ Jalebi with Rabdi’ fan, you must visit Kadhai, FC road.
  • Coconut, Mango flavor ice-cream at Natural Ice-Cream.

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Global Service Jam, 2014

This time the dedicated 48 hours to save the world were from 7-9 March, 2014. Its been exactly a month now, I attended the jam. The event kicked off around 1800 hrs on Friday(7 March) with interactions via the same old ice-breaker game. Ice- breaker is interesting though but I find it boring now because I have been to ThoughtWorks, Pune a couple of times and I wasn’t amazed when I turned out to be the highest scorer in the game 😀 . I was jamming for the second time then and was great to meet Adi, host of the show and few of the jammers who turned up for the second time. So, we all started with the Secret Theme Video for Global Service Jam, 2014 which revealed the theme and that was:

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After knowing the theme, each group started brain storming what this theme could be. One thing was for sure that each group’s ideas had something or the other to do with a ‘box’. The brainstorming session was the best part where everybody was coming up with the weirdest of stuff. So, this box could be a portable playground (for kids), could be a in-house party box, could be some game, could be flexible furniture, could be blah blah blah.. n number of ideas! The day 1 ended late night with loads of ideas but not the ‘one’ idea which we need to work on for the next two days 😀 . Day 2 onward each team starts with some research work on their respective ideas. So, one of the teams named their project as a^3 (A-Cube) which was kind of a game with a purpose. In short, A-cube is an innovative, fun and playful educational aid for educating young children, on social and behavioral issues that matter. Their prototype was too much of fun to play with, check out the video . Another group thought of coming up with a service and named their project as ATM+ ( All Time Medicine Plus). Atm+ is supposed to be a vending machine for medicines as well as first-aid material which will be available 24*7 at ATMs (so, the idea behind choosing ATM as the location to place the box was that we have an infrastructure in place along with security reasons). So, the team has an entertaining video and being a part of the making was too much of fun 😀 . The third group came up with ‘Flexi Furnitures’ where the idea was to have basic furniture which can be easily prepared and reuse the same for different purposes. Checkout their prototype video here.

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Day 3, everybody was busy wrapping up with their presentations as the showcase was scheduled at 5 in the evening. We continued work along with Pizzas(at lunch). Everybody presented their projects in the evening and we wrapped up the event! If you want to check out all the projects worked upon during this Jam, check link.

Clicks from the event:

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“There is no substitute for jamming and getting to know each other on the road.”

                                                                                                                                           -Gary Cherone

International Women’s Day, 2014

A women in her lifetime.. creates, nurtures and transforms! Women’s Day celebrations have never been so exciting. Celebrations started a day before March 8 at my office. Most of the ladies were clad in a sari as we decided on the same theme. A warm welcome with a bouquet of flowers made each women feel special. The event kicked off with some motivational videos including one by Kiran Bedi [Video] followed by a presentation which covered some of the common problems faced by women. None of the females was afraid to do a ramp walk midst all sisters (so, this time we did not invite men for the show 😛 ). Just to add to it, the yummy chocolate truffle cake which was exclusively for us made my day! Ahmmm, so the celebrations end officially but I had more to do. Post lunch, I attended a talk show by ‘Lila Poonawala‘ at ‘Hotel Courtyard by Marriott’, Pune. She became the first woman CEO in India’s business history. She has not only conquered corporate India but has helped thousands of women shape their careers whilst balancing her other commitments. I  walked up to the venue to meet this inspirational woman. I liked her words.. Women need to keep pushing/breaking the glass ceiling. You need to push the door.. Push yourself out before you push others. If the floor is sticky, better leave the shoes and run! One of the feedback/discussions about the talk mentioned “Enthusiasm” which means “the God (entheo) inside (iasm)” in Greek language. And Lila believes in Leading Indian Ladies Ahead(LILA). The evening comes to an end with some more networking over coffee!

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The next day is International Women’s Day where I be a part of Women’s Day Ideathon happening at ThoughtWorks, Pune. As usual, registrations went smooth although I was late at the venue. Anyway, I did not miss out on the badges exclusively for Women.

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The day was scheduled with talks by Gayatri Buragohain, Sameera Khan and Shilpa Phadke followed by Ideathon. Women’s Day could not have been better than meeting female activists and having round table discussions about issues faced by women today. When you think to fight the issues faced by women today, why is it you think the online way and offline looks obsolete. Online apps and web portals are the simplest barriers, why don’t you start right from your neighborhood and start building a strong women community. Why don’t we see sisters in arms? Why is brotherhood visible and not sisterhood? I would say, never give up on something just because you are a WOMEN, fight the way Madhuri Dixit aka Rajjo does it 😉 .And, watching Gulab Gang at the end of the day just made me happier on a happy Women’s Day. On Women’s Day, I could hear from a lot of men “Why isn’t there a men’s day?”. Just as a piece of information to all men and women, I want to share that International Men’s Day exists and is celebrated on November 19 each year. 

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 Above all, be the heroine of your life and not the victim.

Global Sustainability Jam, Pune

Humankind has evolved over time and each step with technology has diminished the natural environment and led to environmental degradation. Look around and think how long will the resources last. A healthy environment is a necessity for survival.

I spared one weekend(22-24 November, 2013) for Global Sustainability Jam at ThoughtWorks, Pune. At the jam, I met people from different backgrounds(someone was a lawyer, other working for an NGO and engineers of course) where each one had turned up for a global cause. A jam where you could come up with sustainable ideas which might make a difference. Identify a problem and your idea could be the solution. And there we go at the GSusJam with a lot of ideas for a global cause. A jam is all about people. Team work is an important ingredient and commitment is required.

The event started at 1800 hrs on Friday(22 November, 2013). It started with an introductory video(Secret Theme Video). I still wonder why the man in the video sits with the pipe, how does it add to the theme or anything else?(I am so sure each one of you reading this blog will once view the video to see what’s with the pipe 😛 ) The theme for the jam was “AB3”. None at the jam had an idea what is “AB3”! All the attendees were split into three teams and think of an idea, do some research, design a service, device or a project which may become a reality and showcase their work at the end of the jam session. One of the teams related AB3 to “Aim to be a three Tree”. The idea is for humans to behave like a tree. AB3 takes you one step closer towards a state where you exist individually and in harmony with everything around you. So this idea has a mission as well “We envision AB3 (Aim to be a Three Tree) doesn’t exist in 15 years and we create a world where there is no need for AB3 to exist as AB3 becomes a second nature of human-kind like breathing”. So what if AB3 succeeds in their mission, what a world it would be and not to forget India would truly be incredible :). Another group of people gave a thought to the desert area on Earth and the idea was to harvest moisture in the air and convert it into purified water which could be used for different purposes such as cultivation of Aloe Vera. Just to share the team came up with the name “Nami se Paani”. Food wastage is a big problem today and one of the teams worked on the same. They called it “Food Connect”. Enormous quantities of food are thrown away every day, all over the world. “Food connect” helps to re-distribute the leftover food to needy people. The service aims at achieving financial, social and environmental sustainability by avoiding food wastage, making the needy people self-sufficient and allowing them to earn an income.

aim_tree food_connect nami_pani

So what else happened at the jam besides working? You tend to meet new people, learn new things, share ideas, play games(Connect, Ninja.. 😛 a secret it is) and yes work at the same time. A fun -filled jam it was! 😉

ninja_gamemain

We must do our part to save our Earth, after all its the only one we got.