Technology experts come together to program a geek nation

NEW DELHI: Long before Slack channels, the Meetup page and social media groups, or even the Internet, geeks in India had a functional online network to communicate with each other. In the early 1990s, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) connected young people and nerds through computers, encouraging them to organize small informal meetings, a forerunner of the technological communities that currently thrive in Indian cities. Discussions varied from philosophy to food and technology, recalls Udhay Shankar N, founder of Silk, one of the oldest mailing lists in India.

Since then, technology collectors of the Indian information technology ecosystem have come a long way. The titles alone: ​​Women Who Code, PyCon, AIMinds, Container Developers Meetup, Bangalore DeepLearning Club, would reveal that IT communities have diversified into several technology/gender verticals. Communities function largely as nonprofit evangelists, helping fraternity learn, establish contacts and often be referred. Admission to community meetings, or meetings, held at least once a month, is usually free. Several IT companies volunteer with space and sometimes with snacks. But community days once a year are a big party, organized and funded by the community members themselves.

Different communities sometimes join together to make collaborations or joint sessions when technological issues overlap, which helps members save time and learn better. For example, Docker and Kubernetes regularly collaborate.

Each community is led by a passionate group of people who volunteer to disseminate information about new technologies, reach out to companies and academics, train newbies, nurture new leaders and learn and experiment with new technological developments. His silent work, sometimes, it shows. The parent technology companies themselves present themselves to honor their heroes. Amazon Web Services has introduced a Heroes program to support some of its strongest evangelists who go beyond simply sharing knowledge with the community.

We support them through a range of capabilities: they get access to certain content, sometimes ahead of time, which helps them blog, create technical content and share it with the community in general, says Madhusudan Shekar, head of digital innovation at Amazon Internet. Services. The Amazon Web Services (AWS) community currently has five heroes in India. He says it is a high-level program: it does not focus on sales or market creation, but on a fundamental principle of leadership that we have within Amazon: the client's obsession.

Hotstar's cloud architect and the AWS community hero Gaurav Kamboj says that the Bangalore AWS user group has inspired him to start the Mumbai AWS meeting, which is now two years old. Mumbai participants vary from students to professionals, and Kamboj says that makes planning a session quite challenging. “Sessions generally begin with a general introduction, and gradually move on to the advanced topic. This helps the speaker measure the audience and keep up with his talk, ”says Kamboj, who is inspired by Jeevan Dongre, who has been instrumental in creating the AWS Bangalore User Group in 2011.

Dongre is a DevOps engineer and currently works with Nutanix . “While working on a project in 2009-10, I had to run the entire product on AWS. That was when I felt the need to connect with others who wanted to work at AWS. Our first meeting was in January 2011, ”says Dongre. The first AWS Community Day was celebrated in Bangalore in 2017 and there were almost 300 participants. For the third Community Day this year, the numbers almost tripled to 800.

The only woman AWS Hero is Bhuvaneswari Subramani, director of engineering operations, in Infor. When he decided to learn AWS Cloud, he did a Google search and became a member of the Bangalore User Group. As an apprentice, she quickly prepared to be a mentor/leader in four years. Another AWS hero, Nilesh Vaghela, founder of ElectroMech Corporation, was an active member of the Linux community before starting to work with AWS cloud technologies. By 2014, he had trained a dedicated cloud team and gave Ahmedabad his first AWS meeting.

The initiatives of the SQL community began in 2004 by Amit Bansal, the first and only Microsoft certified master of SQL Server in India (outside of Microsoft). Organic growth led to the formation of SQLServerGeeks (SSG) in 2010, giving a professional structure to community work. In 2015, SSG organized the First Asian SQL Conference, which had more than 50 speakers and 600 attendees.

Amit_BansalAmit_Bansal Amit Bansal, regional director and founder of Microsoft, DataPlatformGeeks

CloudYuga's Neependra Khare, which played a key role in the growth of 200-member DockerBangalore in a group of 7,000 in seven years, says all communities share the same DNA. Give a good demonstration to the professionals, they will see the value of new technologies, he says.

neependraneependra Neependra Khare, ambassador for Cloud Native Computing Foundation

“Going to companies and giving sessions on Docker technology (software used to run applications in containers) was part of DockerBangalore's community activities. Then Kubernetes appeared, managing several containers together. Even that also became part of our conversations, ”says Neependra, who believes that blogs and new technologies are ways of giving back to the community.

He retired as an organizer of DockerBangalore earlier this year due to time constraints. Neependra is an ambassador for the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation), which is under Linux Foundation who owns the Kubernetes brand. The first Kubernetes Day of India was organized in Bangalore in March of this year.