Science Hack Day, Belgaum, India

I know I am pretty early to write this blog for ScienceHackDay India 2017, but got some free time I suppose.

Last year after completing GSoC successfully with FOSSASIA, my main aim with all the newly earned money was to attend conferences and meet like-minded people over hackdays and meetups. It started with PyCon India. Now it was time for ScienceHackDay, India...

So, as soon as I came to know about Science Hack Day, I had my tickets booked and ready to leave. To be honest, I had very little what's going to happen, who all were coming and all. I was just trying to hide my introvert self and get to meet new people.

Day 1:

The journey from Allahabad to Belgaum was pretty hectic. A train from Allahabad to New Delhi, then a flight from New Delhi to Mumbai and then a flight from Mumbai to Belgaum. But after landing in airport itself, it lifted up my mood after the tiring journey. Small hillocks all around and not a metro city. What can be better for a quick getaway? On the way, I came to know Sayan Chowdhury and Kushal Das were also going to be there. Little did I know that I was actually going to share room with them. The first word that came to my mind on reaching the destination was "WOW". It was pretty outside city, no usual cacophony, and the resort was awesome. The place where I was staying was designed in the form of a lake house.

So after reaching, I was really excited to meet Hong Phuc Dang. She is the founder of FOSSASIA and I have been associated with FOSSASIA for quite some time now, and heard a lot about her and also talked with her online, but now was the time. I won't lie, I was a little nervous. But then she came and casually asked whether I wanted to go for kayaking with them. I was like, REALLY!! Well, why not... She was so friendly and nice, I felt a little embarrassed to feel nervous actually. And yes, also realised I was terrible in kayaking...

Then, over dinner, got to meet some really really really awesome people. Everytime Kushal or Sayan introduced me to someone or I talked with someone, it was like WOW, his/her work is so cool.......

Day 2:

Started with inauguration. Things were going pretty well until Hong Phuc introduced me as a senior software developer in FOSSASIA to the crowd. I was like, was that my name?? Surely??? Needed someone to pinch me at that time actually. After the inauguration, it was hack time. So the thing was there were teams to be formed with one of who visited the hack day from outside and the participants. I was the only guy planning to do something with software, while others were trying to do hardware stuff ( the only hardware hack I can do is light a LED ). So I was joined by some interested participants and I started giving them a brief introduction about chrome extension and the plans of the hack. So the hacks continued and I kept peeping into other's works... It was all so confusing (that's the word I feel for hardwares, always....)

Evening we had lightning talks. I gave a lightning talk on Open Event Orga Server, my Google Summer of Code project with FOSSASIA. There were many other projects and new things that I came to know over those lightning talks. And and and and.... Praveen Patil did a laser show to explain Physics!!! I am so jealous of the students whom he teaches Physics to....

Day 3:

Wrap up day... Time to complete the project... And the others in my team didn't turn up. Weird experience but then Hong Phuc said you are the only software hack, so you are doing. That was all the motivation needed. I quickly started working on my chrome extension. It was a text to speech conversion of any wikipedia page in any language. Then it was time for presentation. I was nervous as always but didn't even think about winning so wasn't that tensed after all...

People were showing their hacks and I was like I should have been a participant and joined their team. It was result time and I was just chatting with Sayan about some random things I don't remember now. And suddenly, out of the blue, my project was declared as Best Education Hack. I was shocked, happy, surprised...

Later on, Rahul Prabhukhanolkar told us about bat detectors. It was pretty interesting to know that there were actually bats present there also and we didn't know at all.

Time to return

So it was time to return. Had a flight in the morning. So had breakfast and left for airport with Praveen. Entered airport, and I MISSED THE FLIGHT.... Seemed the flight was preponed and the airlines was ignorant enough to not inform us in anyway... Praveen was helpful enough. Took me for a small tour in his car, had some awesome dinner and then caught a bus to Pune. From Pune, got a flight to New Delhi and then a train from New Delhi. All tired, but full of excitement.

My purpose was fulfilled... Got to meet some awesome people... More than coding and tech goals, I got some life goals after listening to their experiences... Looking forward to meet them again...


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