Coding for a living – /lisa

This is probably a bit late, but I really wanted to do this and well, I am now. Apologies, for blogging months later, but I don’t want to repeat what I’ve said here, so go ahead and read the first two lines of that if you haven’t already.

Another thing before I begin, this post will contain a number of instances of the phrase ‘coming to the point’, which is my tribute to a particular Physics teacher that has just left our school – one of the best Physics teachers that you might find out there.

So, coming to the point, when I came across the Facebook invite to ‘/lisa’ , I followed the normal sequence of events I normally do when dealing with annoying Facebook event invites – if the name or description of the event contains any of the following, decline immediately :

  • Incorrect Grammar
  • WrITiNG LyK DiS
  • Irritating symbols or emoticons

However, since none of the above were present, I decided to investigate further. Turns out Mozilla and were hosting a first of its kind ‘Hack Fest’ in Delhi – at the Indian Institute of Technology. The prospect seemed exciting enough – build something, so I was all for going, and convinced some friends to come along.

The Delhi Metro and the rain, however were about to play spoilsport – the Metro had their Mock Drill on the 28th, the day of the event and the rains, well, were falling, for the lack of a better word. However, since we really wanted to attend, my father dropped me and a friend there with the condition that we’ll come back by ourselves. We reached considerably early, and ventured into IIT’s mega campus looking for the venue of the event. On asking some people and looking out for signs, we finally came across this :

The registration desk. Not so cool.

We got ourselves registered, quite literally, as they were noting down names manually in a register, and proceeded, being led by a volunteer until we arrived at a place called ‘Block – V’ – the venues being LT – I (Lecture Theater) and LT – II.
We went inside to find a relatively empty hall, with about 20 people in a theater of capacity about 400, and Diwank Singh Tomer, whom we were familiar with because he is a DPS RKP alumnus, was readying people up, setting up their Wi-Fi connections and teching a bit of JavaScript. Here’s what it looked like when we first got in.

Yup, that’s my screen right there.

Coming to the point, we seated ourselves and began to set up. A person came up to us and gave us some files he said were ‘Wi-Fi’ files, so we took them, grinning at the prospect of connecting to IITD’s amazingly quick network. There however, was one problem, we (my friend and I) use a distribution of Linux called Ubuntu (English translation : A different operating system), so the files they gave us won’t work. Ignoring Diwank’s little JavaScript tutorial, we continued on, looking for a solution to our problem.
More and more people began arriving and slowly both the halls filled up – and all my friends were there too. The event formally began and we shifted ourselves to the first row, for better viewing purposes, and since the charger cord is only that long. First up were introductions from all speakers about who they were and what they were going to teach -which took about an hour. Bhuwan gave little sneak peeks of the HTML workshop he was going to deliver, and a couple of other interesting people talked about Natural Language Processing and Design Aesthetics, which seemed really exciting. After about a couple of hours, we broke for lunch, which as it turned out, was rolls, one other thing, and coke. Seemingly pleased, we returned to our places and waited for the workshops to begin. This was how they panned out :

Awesome, huh?

And there were a couple others, which were about Entrepreneurship and SMS Spoofing. They did begin, and we sorta waltz-ed around from one to the next until finally deciding to enter the competition and build something. Come on, why not?
We did get our Wi-Fi set up and began to work – in the hall itself, somewhere in the corner. What we decided was building a Quiz Web Application using PHP, which I’m sad to say wasn’t what we intended, but we just weren’t skilled enough in Python – which we will be, because Python is awesome.

The main competition we thought we would face (Go ahead, call us over-confident), was from an all-girl IIT and CMU team who were building something that had to do with Twitter and Hashtags.
In the end, each team had to present what they made to the judges, although informal and interrupted by a lot of bugs and wisecracks, I thought we were pretty good.
So we did win, and we did get those awesome certificates that I don’t possess a picture of, and best of all, we won the complete collector’s edition of Calvin and Hobbes, which, being so magnanimous, we decided to donate to the school and get it placed in Mukesh Sir’s room – where we hang around pretty much all day.
And not to forget, Mozilla stuff like that sticker in the picture above and a bag. And a badge. And a wrist-band, I think it was.

So any of you guys, who are/have one or numerous of the following :

  • Suspicious if we actually did win or not
  • Just the biggest die-hard fan of Calvin and Hobbes
  • Access to Mukesh Sir’s room

You can drop in anytime to read – they really are pretty epic.

P.S : I’m attaching this image because for the first time in my life I got a seat in the Metro, and well I want to show off.


7 thoughts on “Coding for a living – /lisa

  1. I saw that Calvin and Hobbes Collection on the shelf when I came for my interview , now i know where it came from,really awesome prize though.

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