DrupalCon Asia 2016 Experience

Hey folks,

I was part of the Drupal Asia conference ‘DrupalCon Asia 2016’ which was held in IIT-Bombay from 19-20 February 2016. It was really a wonderful experience for me throughout the trip and also most importantly conference. I would like to share with you my experience in Mumbai with you.
I was offered a grant from Drupal Association which supported me from travelling and accommodation in Mumbai (You can imagine how hard its to go to a metro city like Bombay without any funding, Drupal helped me over here.).  Thanks to this wonderful community for their support.
I was accompanied by Pavan, second year CSE. We had to roam a big portion of Mumbai city on 18th(Kurla, Sakinaka, Andheri, Kanjur Marg,Powai are some of them) as the OYO services troubled us a lot with our rooms. But, anyway we took it in the positive spirit as we could have a better glimpse of the Bombay in the very first day. Finally, we could settle down in our rooms by around 11 in the night.
Next day, we woke up early as I was supposed to be in the volunteering team of the conference for the first couple of hours and was to be in the campus by 8 AM. IIT Bombay is situated in Powai. Powai lake is a famous point near to it and the campus is situated in a wonderful sight. We got off the hotel by 7 AM and started walking to Chakala(J B Nagar) Metro station. It was around 1.5 Kms from the hotel. We reached there within some 20 minutes and went to Ghatkoper by Metro and from there to Kanjur Marg by the Suburban railway. We took a riksha from there and reached auto by nearly 8 AM.
Now, speaking about IIT. This was my first visit to an IIT. So, I was really excited for this trip. IIT Bombay is really a well planned campus. It can be termed a green campus. We can find trees planted along the roads within IIT and they are maintained well. It is a very huge campus with good navigation systems(you will get maps pinned every corner) and the roads are also well maintained. I think the intra roads over there are more broader than the highways available in Kerala :).
The Registration Desk was setup in the VMCC hall. We headed to VMCC and cleared the formalities and I helped the Registration team for some time. We had the breakfast and headed to the convocation hall where the inaugural session and the keynote was going on. The conference was officially declared open by Dries Buytaert, founder and lead programmer of Drupal CMS. He gave a wonderful Keynote which briefed about the journey of Drupal and its upcoming projects .He spoke about the new trend in Drupal, the D8 version and the contribution of asian society in the Drupal which is quite a big one. Asia is the second largest contributor towards Drupal community.
Then started various sessions. The sessions were for all types people. It was mainly on : business, case studies, coding and development, contributions , front end, mobile and site building. If you are interested you could look out for the sessions held here.
I took part in a session led by Klaus purer on ‘How to publish a module on drupal.org‘. It was quite interesting. It stressed the importance of coding standards, sandbox, secure codes, community reviews.
I could also attend a session of Larry Garfield on ‘Make your code do your job’ and also a session of Shyamala Rajaram on the importance of drupal community and how to contribute to this CMS.
There were also exhibits of various Drupal companies in the halls. There were some random talks and fun sessions going on. We also had some fun,  playing games in the meantime.
The second day day started with the keynote of Danese Cooper, an American advocate of open source software. She has been in India for the past 18 years strengthening open source in various govenment organisations and universities. Then again followed various sessions on Drupal modules, Deploy module of Drupal, Discussion of growth of India in open source, Drupal 8 Site buIIT Bombayilding.
So, overall it was a wonderful experience in Bombay for both of us. We could also talk directly with some of them to whom we had only some IRC chats. They were also ready to help us for working on projects. They were also very much excited when they heard of a FOSS club in our campus.
The food was awesome in IIT. There was no separation like speaker, attendee. Anyone can eat whatever they want and there were numerous food counters.
The sessions were well arranged. Time management of the foreign speakers were something interesting to have experienced. If a session is to begin at 10 AM, they won’t care even if there is enough members, they straightway begin at 10 and stop at the exact time allocated to them.
I thank the entire Drupal team and the IIT Bombay representatives who made this event a memorable and an interesting one.

Getting Ready for DrupalCon Asia 2016

Hey folks,

Finally DrupalCon Asia 2016 is nearing and the wait for the most exciting events of the Drupal is coming to an end. I was really excited to see the Drupal event coming to India(seems like for the first time may be atleast in the past decade ). I registered for the event in the very early days of November along with my other Drupal contributors from my campus. It was really a blessing for us as this was also the year we started contributing to the awesome content management system- Drupal.

But, at the same time we were also concerned a lot about our expenses for the same. Then came the offer from Drupal that it was distributing grants and scholarships for a selected number of the conference. We applied for the same within a  few days and was eagerly waiting for the results which were to be declared on November 23rd 2015. A couple of days before the actual result declaration, I got a mail asking to authenticate  some details regarding the grant eligibility. This really increased my confidence and once the result was out, my name was also pinned into the grant winners list . Thanks to the FOSS club, Vipin sir and also my friends who encouraged me in the contribution activities. I think some of the bug fixes which I did in the early days helped me crack the grant.

So, now I am supported with the travel and accommodation expenses by Drupal Association.  I will be leaving for Mumbai on 18th February. I am sure it will be a great experience  and I want to make the best use of it. The conference is from 18th to 21st February in one of my dream institute in India-‘Indian Institute of Technology Bombay’. This is going to be my first visit to an IIT and that enhances the beauty of my trip. Hope I could meet up with the awesome developers of Drupal and have a wonderful weekend in the city of dreams with new visions and ideas .

I will definitely post my Mumbai experience in the coming posts.

Thanks for spending your valuable time with me.

Have a nice time guys.

Bangalore Days……

The first weekend of February 2015 gave me a wonderful opportunity to be in the Garden city -Bengaluru.10 students of my campus-‘Amrita school of Engineering,Kollam’ were part of the Amrita squad for the ‘InBloom-15’-the official cultural fest of Christ University,Bangalore.It was really a memorable trip for me.It was  4 days trip .

DAY1 ,

We went to kayankulam Railway station around 5 PM.We had 2 faculties along with us-Prashant sir from CIR Dept(who was the main corinator in arrranging the trip ) and Ashwathy Miss(from English Dept).We booked our ticket in the Kochuveli-Bangalore Express.Our train was scheduled at 6.15 PM from Kayankulam.We reached by around 5.30 at the station.We were feeling very tired since we were coming  after the classes and didn’t have any tea/snacks.So we decided to have something from the food stall nearby.The train arrived by around 7 PM.

Six of us had the berths in S10 and remaining in S13.Shyam and myself was in nearby berths.I  switched on my music player and found some time to listen to some melodius songs saved in my Phone .I also got some nice views of Alappey,The train arrived at Ernakulam Junction by around 9PM.Others had their dinner from some suppliers from the Pantry car by that timeWe didn’t like the quality of that food(as all of us know where they are prepared from-near toilets and quality of ingredients in them.).So both of us decided to get down and have something from the station.We came down with the expectation that the train will stop atleast 15 minutes there(as it is a common scene).

We quickly spotted a parcel centre working near the station entrance.We ordered 2 masala Dosas and were patiently waiting.Soon we found the train moving(within 5 minutes of arrival-really hard to believe Indian railway is following the time standards).At first sight I thought it was a signal mistake.But later on it was found to take more pace.We were in a stressful situtation.I even thought of going back to the counter and asking back the money.But a big round of applause to the food stall team who acted in a positive manner and in a very quick time they packed and gave us the parcel.We ran into the train and somehow managed to enter one of the sleeper coaches.We knew they have faced lots of such cases and for them it is one more to that list.We had the dinner peacefully from that coach(it was not that crowded).Then we moved on to our coach.It was time for us to sleep.

Day 2:

I woke up by around 6 PM.The train was in Dharmapuri. It was somewhat cold.I luckily had a sweater with me.The outside view was blocked by the thick fog.I could witness a pleasant surprise when my train reached White Field station.I saw the GOLDEN CHARIOT-often termed as Palace on wheels.I have heard a lot about its luxury.

tgc-bb126 goldenchariot-train

We reached Bengaluru City Railway station by 8.30(Its rare to see trains on time).It was my first visit to the station since I used Bus in most of my travel to Bangalore.It was comparatively a big one with 10 platforms.It is one of the busiest station in India.It is really a well planned station.It is supported with all the necessary requirements of people.Good security system too.There is escalator too.

Within some 10 minutes we came out of the station.All of us were new to the area.We were welcomed by Taxiwalas and rikshawalas(a common scene in almost all stations outside Kerala.).We took 2 Autos and directed to Christ University.The traffic was normal.At one point,we couldn’t find our other auto.We were tensed.I enquired with the driver(my Hindi helped me,moreover great to see drivers in the cities knowing atleast 2 languages.).He told us that he took a different and shorter way.We reached within 25 minutes.After lots of Bargaining with the driver,we finally gave him 200.We could locate others in the main entrance.

It was a festive mood in  Christ University.The music was ON and all were in a happy look.We did our initial registrations and were taken to a nearby hotel which was another surprise(in other campuses , accomodation is given in class rooms).We were given accomodation in hotel TNC (An A/C Deluxe hotel).It was a nice hotel with Television and all stuff in each room.3 were asked to share a room.It was really close to ORACLE.I took some photos.One big thing about this trip is that I learnt names of many local places around Bangalore.Christ university was in Koramangala,close to Forum Mall.We refreshed and went to the venue of the sports and entertainment quiz.We did our registrations and went inside the hall which was in the 10th floor of the building.There were around 40 teams.My team-mates were Aswin Babu and Agney Rao from EEE Dept.

The prelims of the first quiz-sports and Entertainment was over by 11 Am.It was a good one.Even though we couldn’t get many,it was really interesting one.We had our lunch in the college canteen.We went to FORUM Mall nearby in the evening.It was a nice time there.I tried some variety ice-creams there in the food court.Then we went to our hotel by around 9 PM.We had a small dinner form a nearby restaurant.At 11pm,some of us decided to have a walk through the city(Harigovind,syam and me :).).It was nice.We also tasted egg Dosa from a street Dabba.Then we returned and had a long sleep till around 8 am next morning.

The second day was a really special one to me.I will explain it.We had a General quiz prelims in the morning hours.Again,we couldn’t clear the prelims.We were really upset by the results.Some of my cousins were working in Bangalore.They invited me to their house when they heard about my visit.So,I decided to have a short visit to some of their homes.We had our dinner again from the college canteen.The special was:

photo0965

yes,this is the Belgium Dark Chocolate.Really a super  one .Delicious.It was economical too(30 Rs).I took 2 cups of the same.It was having a very good demand there.I think the favorite dish in Christ.

Then I decided to go to my cousin’s house in K R puram.I started at 3 PM.I took a bus to Silk Board and form there I  got a volvo bus to KR Puram.It was around 1 hr journey to KR puram.Then I took a bus to Hoody(ITPL).My cousin was waiting for me there(since it was a saturday,he was free).He took me to his apartment.My another cousin sister was staying next to him.He took me to her also.We had some chit-chats there.It was 7.30 Pm.I decided to start my return journey after remembering some harsh traffic of Bangalore in news channels.My cousin helped me to get a bus to silk board.The bus conductor told us that it will go to Silk road.When  I asked other passengers,most of them were saying this and that(not sure about ).Later on I understood that I have boarded a wrong bus.I got down and found a van to silk board.I entered the van.It was keeping on waiting there.I sat inside for around 20 minutes.They were trying to get as many as possible.I reached silk Road by 9 Pm.The traffic was fully jammed there.I found that it will take only 20 minutes walk form there to Koramangalam.So I decided to make a short walk.

It was really a nice walk.After some time ,I found a place fully of keralites(Madiwala).My cousin later on told me that it was a Kerala colony.After around 25 minutes of walk I reached the Hotel.It was really a wonderful experience for me.I really enjoyed that evening.I learnt a lot about Bangalore in that 6 hours journey(traffic,routes).

We returned to Kollam the next morning in the Ernakulam intercity.Thank you Bangalore for a rich experience.I will never forget those 2 days in the Garden City.