Python Pune Meetup, January 2015

After a vibrant response from the participants at the first Python Pune meetup, we planned for the second chapter on January 31, 2015 at Red Hat, Pune. This time the meetup was scheduled differently as compared to the previous time as we had call for papers days before the meetup which invited speakers from outside to speak on different topics. As usual, the RSVP on the meetup page was flooding and we had a huge waiting list of people who wanted to join us at the meetup.

The day started at 10:00 am and the first hour of the day was took over by Chandan Kumar where he included a quick revision of the basic python concepts he covered in the first meetup. Next, followed the workshop on Django by Tejas Sathe. It was great to see a University student volunteering to a take a workshop. It was a hand-on workshop where people could learn the basics and create some views for their website. He managed to complete his workshop in nearly 2 hours and then we had a small break for 15 minutes. During the break, some of the girls (who were present at PyLadies last week) walked up to me and shared their experience a bit, mentioned that they were interested in attending in some of the advanced level workshops too. Also, Tejas walked up to me to say a ‘hello’, he mentioned that he could not speak to me at PyCon India, 2014.

After the break and little of interactions, there was a talk by Jaidev on Categorical Data Analysis. This talk included some insights on Data Analysis using Python. The talk was nice though. It was followed by a couple of questions from the audience which proved that the participants were receptive enough to his content. The last was a short 10 minnutes talk by Rohan Kanade on oslo. We wrapped up the event by 2:00 pm giving them some additional information about the next meetup planning and coming up FUDCon 2015, a group picture and distribution of Fedora 21 DVDs. Few people interacted well even while they were heading downstairs which was good to see.

We look forward to another meetup this month to be held on February 21, 2015.

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PyLadies, Pune (January, 2015)

After long days of planning, we were finally able to organize the first chapter of PyLadies, Pune on January 24, 2015 at Cummins College of Engineering, Pune. PyLadies is an international mentorship group which support women who are interested in programming using Python. Keeping the current scenario in mind about women participation in the open source community, we thought it was required to encourage more women participation. The number of girls who turned up at the event was a little disappointing as compared to the number of registrations but the chapter was destined to start that day and it did 😉 . I started the day by giving a very small presentation where I covered introduction to PyLadies and how we can increase the women participation in the open source community. I talked about a couple of existing outreach programs like Ada Initiative, GNOME outreach program for Women, Linux Chix and also awards like ‘Women in Open Source Award‘. Also discussed about some of the common reasons why we see less women in the community and how together we can help improve the ratio.

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Later, Ramakrishna Reddy spoke on ‘Why we love Python’. The talk was beautifully structured and interesting enough for the college students. He spoke from his past experiences as when he started using Linux, installations involved a bunch of 30-40 floppy disks. He mentioned that it depends how a person wants to learn to program and how important are the programming concepts like data structures for students to begin their career in the programming. That one hour of the day was interesting.

After a short break of 15 minutes, there was a hands-on session on ‘Fun with Python’ by Chandan Kumar and Praveen Kumar. The topics to be covered were variables, data types,operators, looping, data structures, functions, modules and file handling. Chandan covered some of the initial topics with hands-on exercises for the participants and later Praveen explained some of the latter advanced topics. Anshul Behl grabbed the last slot of the day and explained how to use python-requests module to gather data from web and then using it for some purpose. He used the rottentomatoes API as an example for the same.

The day was concluded by Ramakrishna Reddy where he provided a clear and deeper understanding to data structures in five minutes. Praveen Kumar talked about how one can contribute to fedora and we announced the coming up event FUDCon Pune 2015. Also, we distributed some fedora stickers and DVDs to the students there.

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The first chapter of PyLadies, Pune was co-organised by Red Hat and was a successful event all together. We are looking forward to a greater participation by ladies in future.

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 😉 .

Experience at PyCon India, Bangalore 2013

I attended PyCon India, Bangalore from 30 Aug,2013 to 1 Sep, 2013. It was my first time to PyCon and to Bangalore. I traveled to Bangalore an evening before the scheduled event. After landing at the airport, I was welcomed by the heavy traffic at Bangalore where it took me nearly 2 hours (more than the duration of my flight) to reach my venue for stay. The weather at Bangalore is similar to that of Pune, pleasant enough along with an addon ‘rain anytime!’. I was all set to attend PyCon the next morning.

Day 1 at PyCon India was scheduled with workshops. I had to attend a workshop on “Functional Testing with Selenium” by Baiju M. scheduled at 13:00 hrs. I started off my day with breakfast at  a South Indian Restaurant. I faced a little difficulty in communicating with the auto rickshaw drivers as most of them didn’t know either English or Hindi as a language (what they knew was to say proudly “only Kannada madam.. !!”). I did manage to reach Nimhans Convention Centre before the scheduled time for my workshop. Then was the time for registrations and meeting new people at the venue. Before the workshop commenced, I was introduced to Baiju M. by Kushal. It was a pleasure meeting the author of the documentation Selenium with Python that I have been following for use at my work. The workshop commenced with an introduction of the speaker followed by the introduction to Selenium. The documentation was distributed to each participant. Significant amount of time was absorbed by participants who did not do the required setup on their systems before coming for the workshop. It started with some basics about Selenium with Python. Baiju M. gave a demo how the selenium driver is capable of opening and closing a browser which appeared new to the students attending workshop. He proceeded with writing some test cases  for the application under test and simultaneously explained the required steps. I primarily attended the workshop to listen to what Baiju had to say all about. As I was already working on the same, I managed to help out some of the students sitting around me at the workshop. In a nutshell, the workshop went really well.

I visited the Red Hat office at Bangalore the same day once I got over with the workshop. I really liked the office located at 11th floor. Wonderful view from the office. One of the colleagues there made me visit the office and it was good meeting some people whom I talked to on irc before. I stayed in the office for around two hours and was enjoying the new workplace. In the evening, I visited MG Road and had dinner at ‘The 13th floor’. Ah! second time in a day awesome view from height 😀

Day 2 onward, PyCon India included keynote, talks on numerous topics and had several side events in the open space. The event was well organised including registrations, food, talks, open space events and distribution of t-shirts.

The schedule for all the talks was displayed on the board near Auditorium 1 and as a novice, I felt honored to be a speaker midst veterans. My talk was scheduled for Day 3 at 1400 hrs. There were two tracks running parallel in Auditorium 1 and Auditorium 2 .

The day started off with the keynote speech by Kiran Jonnalagadda where he shared some of his personal experiences. Moving ahead, I attended the talk “logging on Steroids-How we mange logs at Inmobi” which was more about using  logstash. Talk on “Package and distribute your Python Code” by Sanket Saurav was enlightening. Post lunch I attended the Panel discussion and spent most of the time in Open Space meeting new people and preparing a little for my talk the following day. Lightening talks was again a part of the day.

Day 3 was kicked off by the keynote speech by Kenneth Reitz. I attended a part of the talk “Python in Raspberry Pi” and found it interesting. Then I got busy with some of the last minute preparations for my talk to be held post lunch at Auditorium 2. The food at lunch was good on all the three days. Now arrived the time when I was the speaker. I was happy to see a good number of audience for my talk.

Let’s talk testing with Selenium:

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On a kick start interaction with the audience, I found a good 1:1 ratio of Testers: Developers in the audience. I started with an introduction to testing, the importance of testing and why should one do testing. How would a manual tester approach to test an application and why is the need to move to Test Automation? The test automation tool that I talked about was Selenium. I briefed a little about test automation with Selenium. My talk helped the audience build an approach to automated testing. The sample application for demo helped the audience understand and develop the skills to be able to start testing a web application. Then I explained structure of a selenium script to the audience that helped them understand some basics about Selenium with Python. I included code for some common test cases. The importance of generating test reports and how to generate test reports was included. A demo of test scripts running convinced the audience that Selenium really performs actions on a web application just like a human would do i.e. automation. I also talked about how should one maintain the test scripts and some of the best practices to be followed.

Video available at: http://goo.gl/YMfYel  | Slides available at: http://pyselenium-anisha.rhcloud.com/#/

Audience gave a very positive response. It seemed that the audience was overwhelmed to listen to what Selenium has to do with automating web applications. Some of them tweeted.. http://goo.gl/XWZaIxhttp://goo.gl/o9IkkXhttp://goo.gl/ShGMX8 , .. !

This was my first time to PyCon India and I had a good time socializing with people there. Also, happy to know that my talk was useful to people. I enjoyed not being a part of the audience for a duration of 45 minutes. The Q & A time after my talk was fully loaded with questions and people surrounded me with questions as I walked out of the auditorium. Alas! I did not have my business card for those who asked for it.. :D. One should make sure to carry their business cards when going to such conferences.

Some of the places I visited in Bangalore.. Church Street, MG Road, Brigade Road, Lal Bagh and UB City(similar to DLF Emporio in Delhi). I enjoyed visiting the Silicon Valley of India. I simply loved the food I ate during my stay or may be my choice of food made me taste better 😛 The public transport at Bangalore is pretty good but the city sleeps early(@ 2300 hrs) !!

PyCon India+ Bangalore [2013] -> All went well! Pretty awesome 🙂