We have been hearing about a lot of women in open source initiatives and endeavors happening all across the world. There have been mailing lists, women centric conferences events,awards and meet ups. There have been debates, brainstormings on the need for such women centric initiatives. The underlying basis comes from the fact that the women represent only 2 percent of the total open source population. One such group is “Pyladies” which is an international mentoring group aimed at increasing the participation of women in the python open source community.
Recently I got in touch with the Pyladies US team to know how we could participate or co organize a pyladies event since encouraging women to open source and technology is a mutual goal across. This helped us understand that there were pyladies volunteers Manali Gadre and Shreya Bhattacharya from Cummins college of engineering. And that’s how we planned our first event at the campus. Thank you girls, you were splendid.
The event started with the introduction to PyLadies by Anisha Narang.
Ramakrishna Reddy caught the nerve of the audience by introducing Python and its evolution as a programming language . Students were interested to know how the language evolved with the internet and how a completely unknown or nontechnical person could learn this language with ease. He quoted Late Kenneth Gonsalves an open source enthusiast and as someone who learnt Python at a later age and yet contributed so much to the community. The sure takeaway for students was when Ramakrishna gave them a few tips to be efficient at the language while choosing Python as a career Viz.Understanding memory consumption, data structures, algorithms, Core OS skills, Putting codes on internet for companies they wish to work for and getting statistics and probability as helpers to drive the programing language. He also asked the PyLadies to know and learn more about API’s.
An excellent piece of advice that came from Ramakrishna was when he encouraged students to intend to be good programmers and not just to fetch jobs. Ramakrishna also hinted a few career options in fields like Big Data, Animation defense. And while doing so he also cited the example of the animation Movie Kunfu Panda which used python and did problem solving through virtualization.
PyLadies nodded in appreciation to the well covered aspects of python in the industry by Ramakrishna.
Praveen Kumar and Chandan Kumar added real life to the event when they actually undertook hands on workshop by starting with simple programs like hello world, addition subtraction through python interpreter to a brief covered by Praveen Kumar about functions, file handling, exceptions, class and modules in python with basic examples.Anshul gave a demo about fetching data from rotten tomato’s API using python request module which was equally interesting.They carried Fedora system live DvDs for the hands on. Thank you Siddhesh Poyarekar for making these available for us !
All ended well when students asked us to come to their college for more such sessions. Since open source is all about crossing borders and sharing we informed ladies about the upcoming python meet ups and FUDCon 2015 to be active and get to the open source world to learn more, share more and grow more. We wish all the PyLadies luck and support in their endeavors. Nothing closes better than a selfie moment:)