People first; Tech second

Community = People > Tech

Community-driven technologies are built at the speed of inclusion — the pace necessary not just to create a tool but to do so with in-depth communal input and stewardship — and directly respond to the needs, ideas, and wants of those they’re intended to benefit.

Community building is comprised of practices geared toward the creation or enhancement of community among individuals within a common interest.

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Last weekend I was invited by Paras Pundir from Venturesity to deliver a talk at Hacktalks on “How to build and grow a Hacker Community?” I was really excited to meet folks from multiple sectors ranging from students to professionals in startup ecosystem and more. My entire approach towards this talk was to pitch in more about how to ensure Community building in any ecosystem. Say it a college/university campus or a startup.

People often do a lot of analytical case study on communities with numbers. I believe communities need more of strategic approach thinking beyond numbers.
There are 3 – mantras which can definitely help one to build and grow/sustain their community in a long run.

  1. TG [Understanding the Target Group]
    – Know who your audience is – is it a college freshers / your developers crowd at your healthy startup?
    – Well, the approach is different even b/w a fresher & a senior crowd of a college – the strategies varies.

  2. What is #TRENDING
    – Know your abilities and then move ahead – Don’t expect a freshers crowd who just are done with +2 to come and interact in a Machine Learning/AI community meetup.

  3. Get CONNECTED
    – Build a network of folks where one can make connections and create connections. That’s how communities work after all.

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Congratulations to the entire team of  
Venturesity for hosting Hacktalks to build a grip among the Community enthusiasts from Bangalore, IN.  The CMX Chapter Bangalore led by Shreyas has been very active in hosting and continuing similar meetups engaging communities & community enthusiasts on weekends. I’ve attended the Community Manager’s Breakfast Meetup. I’m sure there will be more. If you’re in around do attend one. Cheers!
 

design HIGH ; pitch SOBER

I belong to the conventional developer background(technically speaking) because after all I am Computer Science Engineering student. But I never believed that one’s stream or branch can restrict one’s learning. If you’re passionate enough (or) a jerk: who’s probably interested in exploring all possibilities then yes you’re rolling it well.

I believe, “Being a Techie isn’t enough. If you’re not aware of what the market is how the business works you won’t be able to make money.” I really don’t consider myself greedy saying that because it’s something we all have to admit at some point in time. I mean, who doesn’t want to die rich?

So early this year I started off looking for an Internship which could help me to get knowledge closely on multiple business models and strategies. And it always had to be a Startup – to keep up the pace and go-to-office-in-shorts attitude in me. I landed up at Inkmonk – India’s largest marketplace for printing services.

Key take away from a 2-months Internship on Business Development at Inkmonk?

  • Know your CUSTOMERS
  • Know your PRODUCTS
  • Understand and build the STRATEGIES to SUSTAIN with your PRODUCTS & CUSTOMERS.

Basically, don’t shoot in the dark, we had enough blindfolded-donkey-tail-nailing birthday parties for that!

design HIGH; pitch SOBER
They say, never promise more than you can deliver. In fact, promise less, deliver more- and see the client’s eyes twinkle!

Startup culture is like a fresher in college who starts smoking. You are skeptical about it first but do it coz everyone else is doing it. And then it’s addiction.

Thanks, Isaac and team for giving me this opportunity to intern with Inmonk. It’s a good addition, you guys!

 

All about #HelloWeb Curriculum Workshop

#1
Growing your Community participation isn’t about how “social” you are or how many meetups (or) events you’ve hosted/attended.

Growing your Community participation is about recognizing the most impactful activities in the community and consistently executing them at a high level. Anyone can do it, it just requires a bit of elbow grease.

It’s been over 3 years that I’m involved with the Mozilla Community and I’ve been closely working with a lot of dynamic characters from all across the 🌎. Yes, I’m using the word characters and not individuals because they’ve been improvising their role in the community from time to time.

A quick recap from 2015–2017.

 

#2
Aren’t we just taking the same content being delivered to us and just distributing them? Are we just meant to BAKE — DELIVER and repeat? 
Can’t we MAKE? 

And this thought was followed by a long thread of emails, video calls, WhatsApp & Telegram messages and even offline meetups. A jamming session with Makers, Educators, Developers, Designers and Activists where they would ideate and build teaching tools/activities. Why are we building these activities?

 Imagine teaching an English kid Sa Re Ga Ma Pa instead of do re mi fa so la ti do! No, as the language, culture, country changes, so does the mind set. We are the torch bearers of open source, we are responsible for the upholding of the web, so let us act like one! Read…

We had Shreyas with us to deliver the Keynote — talking about Mozilla’s mission and Mozilla Learning Network.

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I gave a short talk on Curriculum Design and a brief on the 5 tracks we had for the day — Internet Basics & Privacy, Machine Learning, WebVR, IoT & Hardware. 

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You can see a lot of work/networking all throughout the day. It was good to have on board with us a few Googlers, #CMGRs and few more from the Startup ecosystem.

(Grab the entire in-action album here)

We made sure we don’t count our success rate as per the number of attendees and focus on the cumulative learning outcome the event. The projects ie. Activities/Teaching tools build are up on GitHub. Feel free to contribute to any of these projects.
For clarifications: Say Hi 👋

Team #helloweb

All about #helloweb Curriculum Workshop at Go-JEK Engineering Office, Bengaluru, IN.

APARAJITA– the undefeated one.

Wounds heal, words don’t. Sometimes, it takes more than a packet of air to be able to breathe. A heart break hurts more than a broken bone, it only takes one person to change one world. The Bengali word Aparajita means the one that cannot be defeated. I had a read a story where the writer said that usually, when parents name their newborn, God smiles an evil smile. The child spends the rest of his/her adult life trying to live up to their name and miserably failing at it. I met a girl aged about 18yrs. An average teen on the outside. A fierce warrior inside. She did not let God win, she lived up to her name.

Her name is Aparajita – the undefeated one. The internet is something humans made but humans fail to understand. Social media is the new data giant of homo sapiens, by homo sapiens, for homo sapiens. The 0s and 1s of the computer’s brain cannot do any physical harm, and yet cyber bullying is real, cybercrime is rampant and ignorance is evident. Parents always fear the unknown, for their child’s sake if not their own. That is why mothers cried so hard when their sons left to study or trade in far off lands. This is also why parents warn their kids about the cellular phone and the internet. They despise it but their love for their kids makes them install the devil at home. To top that, you have India’s patriarchy where women are at fault even if the sun fails to rise in time. Now, in a situation like this, imagine the situation of a girl who was a victim of cyber crime, was also an Indian daughter and thus an obvious defaulter, under the Indian judicial system and thus sure that justice would not be met with. You would expect her to accept defeat, right? But it’s persons like her who show us the light, set an example, tell us that if the purpose is true, one soul is enough to save the world.

“Facebook-The imperfect corner for improper stuffs.” – Aparajita.

Let’s MAKE & not just BAKE

There is a reason why the original Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is priceless, Mozart’s music is worshipped, Shakespeare is immortal. An idea can change the world if it is original enough. Because no one loves a baby more than a mother, nobody appreciates a painting more than the painter. Adoption, improvisation, innovation – they can only take you so far!

Communities are recognised and praised across the globe because of their strength and continuous efforts towards the cause of the open source. But before we proceed, let’s huddle up, sit, and introspect. We are good. But is being good enough? Can we be better? If yes, why haven’t we started already?

Clubs/Communities focus on hosting events and taking sessions with the help of the existing resources. The focus on curriculum building is minimal, thus attempts to address issues being faced by the attendees are often overlooked.

One of the biggest issues that the Mozilla Community in South Asian sub-continent face is the lack of curriculum designers. The clubs who have the personnel capable of designing viable curriculums lack the mindset to design their own curriculums.
I blame our work culture for that, but we are here to break the stereotype, I believe?

WHY?
We host and organise events based on the existing curriculum, the existing curriculum/teaching activities is sufficient in all spheres; but sometimes, in order to maximise impact and make the web, the existing curriculums need to be modified to suit the circumstances. Imagine teaching an English kid Sa Re Ga Ma Pa instead of do re mi fa so la ti do! No, as the language, culture, country changes, so does the mind set. We are the torch bearers of open source, we are responsible for the upholding of the web, so let us act like one!

Through Curriculum Design Workshops, we intend to focus on this issue. We need to change the way Mozilla Clubs / Mozilla Campus Clubs and above all communities in the entire South Asia perceive the entire philosophy of Curriculum Design, understand its importance and most importantly include it as an integral part in the functioning of their respective clubs.

With the help of Curriculum Design Workshops, we attempt to raise awareness towards the art of ‘Curriculum Building’ and ‘Understanding the Target Group’. We want the clubs to focus on quality and impact, every place has a different set of people, pertaining to different social backgrounds, facing different issues. So it is very important for the sessions facilitators to understand those issues and design a curriculum that will help people solve those issues (candid to the particular area). In this way, we believe the impact of a sessions/campaign can be maximised.

We are a country of 1.2 billion brilliant minds, let us use some to enlighten the rest.

IMPACT

“I am currently studying in Mumbai. If I save up some pocket money by the end of the month, I buy story books for the kids of an orphanage I visit every weekend. Story books were the best part of my childhood.”

“I do a part-time job after college. That pays enough for my maid’s daughter’s dance lessons. Mom doesn’t know.”

“Those calls I keep getting at night, my number is also a suicide helpline.”

Yes, you cannot change the world. That is a hyperbole. But you can change one person’s world. – Adwitiya Rahman (Brother you keep telling me this and you’re right.)

Let me tell you a story. A 20-year-old Swiss boy was on the verge of committing suicide one summer. He had two options – to die or elope. He eloped. He used his saved up pocket money to buy a ticket to India. Two weeks later, he landed up in a small village near Madurai. There, while he thought he could save the twenty children of a small orphanage, the children saved him. And he returned the favor.

He asked for help from everyone who he knew could help. He built a wall to give them a sound sleep at night, he worked to pay for their school fees, he moved to India to keep his promise – he was their anna.

Now, that was one man making a difference in twenty lives. Did he change the world? No. But he did manage to change their world.

Do not say you cannot make an impact because you are not rich enough, not smart enough, not free enough. Don’t say, “Oh, I want to teach kids but I got no space.” The world’s largest companies started in the garage in the backyard. Wait, don’t have a garage? Start teaching in the kitchen, on the road. The Government is messed up? The System does not facilitate change? Defy the system. And, finally, if your country really keeps you from doing what you think is the right thing to do, no one’s stopping you from leaving. Only you. All the rest are no excuses not to try. You alone cannot change the world, but you have to try.

I do not expect mom to change the world. But I do expect a brother to. The world belongs to us today. The Gen Y. The millennials. The earlier generations complain that we do not have an organizational attitude, we do not follow rules, we never learned how to work in teams, our generation has gone to the dogs.

I refuse to take the blame. Yes, we are violent and radical. Yes, we have an abusive tongue and poke holes around our body to hang silver rings. Yes, we do not stick around for too long, maybe because we refuse to settle for anything but the best.

We have the first generation of truly empowered women; we are the first generation to have fought for gay rights; we are the first generation who held candle lights nationwide as a raped girl died. We aren’t flawless, but we are the first generation that’s trying.

Do you know what’s the only thing that will break our momentum? Time. We are impatient and we never have time. The only way of creating a real impact in a short time is to hold each other’s’ hand and strive – for a better end to today, a better beginning for tomorrow. It’s not such a good time, the world is crying of doom. Let’s hold closer, tight. We will fight. And we will win. And we will win right.

I will repeat what I said. Changing the world is far-fetched, at least single handed. But together, we are stronger than we think we are. Together, we can make an impact – one that lasts. So, I pray. Try.

Let us change the world, one person at a time.

#MyStory

19 Years, 19 Experiences, 1 Person

01.Be an alchemist – don’t learn the art to make gold, learn it for knowledge and gold will follow your fingertips.

02.All five fingers of the hand are equally important – treat colleagues as brothers and you will never miss family.

03.Working hard is important – work smart is though, the only way to success.

04.Friends at work make better friends because they struggle with you through your hardest hours of the day.

05.Be a Roman when in Rome – but make sure the Romans do take notice of.

06.Trust yourself, that’s overconfidence – trust your effort, that’s experience.

07.Do things which is impactful -not for the sake of doing it.

08.It didn’t work out in the past because it will work out in the future.

09.Know your goals and run towards the post – the world is at your feet.

10.Prevention is better than cure, why go for disaster management when you can avoid the disaster?

11.Explode, scream, hit the wall, cry – don’t tell yourself no one cares.

12.You cannot save nature, you are nature. Love yourself, save the planet for the next generation.

13.Do not settle for the mediocre life, leave a mark. You owe this to yourself!

14.Only a good listener can become a good speaker.

15.Don’t beat around the bush, specificity is the key to a successful conversation.

16.Worrying never solved a situation – so let’s not stress the mind.

17.Life isn’t hard. The brain just needs a constant dose of self-motivation.

18.Discuss work. Not people.

19.Learn – Ideate – Deploy – Repeat.