My First Open-house Session


Hello!! Today I thought I’d talk about my first open-house session in Zense.

Zense..?

Zense is the software developer group in IIIT Bangalore. Over the course of my first semester, my interest in development led me to join the group to enable myself to learn more from people who have similar interests to me (but better skillsets). The aim of the group is to develop meaningful software for use by not just a few thousands but millions of people. They work on their interests and help others who share those interests. Regularly they have a session where a member of the group experienced in a certain field talks about the said field. My first such session was conducted by a current 5th year iMTech student by the name of Vikas Yadav. If you want to know more about him … here’s his blog.

The session

The session was conducted on the software development cycle and some of the basic tools one would use while starting off with software development. The session was very well structured logically to ensure that it was assimilated by all the students in attendance.

Vikas bhayya started off with a brief enumeration of some tools he used when he was starting off and the need for such tools.

  • Git
  • Virtualbox
  • Vagrant
  • Docker The tools were all explained in a very concise and informative manner to kindle our interests.

But, the main takeaway from this session for me was the software development cycle, that is, the history of software development and the notion of all of us being mere specks in the creation of software. We were given the example of Facebook and Netscape to make us realise the magnitude of work that goes on under the hood. The two projects were compared based on the idea and the management that went on in the background. Also with the example of Facebook we were given valuable insight into where people of different interests come in the big picture. We learnt the role of algorithmists, linux enthusiasts, application developers and most importantly management. I learnt that with each role there comes a multitude of work and dedication, which is an essential for good project health. The interdependance of these people with varying interests accounts for the need to write good code. We were told of the different aspects associated with writing code like making it extensible, scalable,flexible, fast and optimized for the use cases.

The discussion on the software development cycle was thought provoking and useful. It put into perspective the nature of work one had to perform to fit into the bigger picture and be of use to the world at large.

Concluding thoughts

I genuinely enjoyed the chance to be able to interact with someone who had experience in my field of interest and learn of nuances that the internet could not have given me. And I would look forward to more such sessions by both Vikas bhayya and others so that guys like me are motivated to do something useful with the resources we have been given.

Please feel free to comment on your ideas on related topics ( or unrelated if you wish :P).

Moriturus te Saluto!