Friday, 24 March 2017

Fossasia- A wonderful Experience

I came to know know about Fossasia during one of the Pyladies Meetup, when the organizer of Fossasia Hong Phuc Dang visited us and discussed about Fossasia. It was so inspiring and after that I decided to submit a talk for their conference. Then I started thinking about the topic on which I can submit a talk. So I just went through what I have worked on, then some topics came in my mind.Among all I submitted talk on "Robot Framework- A Smarter way to automate test", as I am a QE so this was the best topic  for me to discuss, as it helped me in my work and reduced my manual efforts, so it was best to share with others.

After submission I was just waiting whether my talk will be selected or not, and to my surprise it got selected and I received mail for confirmation. This was the first time I was going to some conference as a Speaker so I was little nervous  , also happy as for the first time I was travelling out of India to Singapore which is a beautiful country. So all together it was a mixed feeling. But I was excited for both of these. Thanks to Praveen who did all my paper work for Visa. So I was all set with my talk, slides and Visa.

We reached a day earlier before the conference, so got a chance to explore some places like Universal Studio, Marina Bay which we explored when we visited Microsoft office. Also I visited RedHat Singapore office and spent a half day there.


Fossasia organised a event for the participants in Microsoft Office on 16th March, so we all were there early morning, we had breakfast there, thanks to Microsoft for providing us all this. There we all introduced our self and our topics on which we were going to speak. After that we all visited Suntec City there and it was fun to see lots of hardware stuffs with new technologies and features.
On 17th we went to Science Centre where the conference was organised, it was nice place. So we all were welcomed there, followed by keynotes and some talks. Also there was a ceremony for code heat contest winners.  So the first day ended with Artificial Intelligence Panel Discussion which was enjoyed by everyone.
On second day there were many tracks, and some workshops. In evening there was a Speakers Dinner, where we interacted with each other and came to know about different technologies they are working upon. It was a nice experience. Third day we were there exactly 9am, as Siddhesh was having his workshop from 9:00 am, and Praveen was also having his talk early morning on MiniShift. I was also going to give a talk on the same day. So it was a big day for me as for the first time I was speaking in a Conference. And fortunately all went well, and it was a wonderful experience. We also managed to spend some time to explore Science Centre and it was a nice place to enhance our basic knowledge about Physics, Nature, Electronics and lot of others things.

Pyladies Booth at Fossasia

As I and Anwesha were travelling to the event, so it was good idea to have a Pyladies booth there. Also Hong Phuc  asked us for the same,and  Fossasia was giving us space for Pyladies. So we also planned for that and were ready with posters, stickers and some photo probes. Anwesha packed all the stuff for the booth, and we were all set to go. So on the first day Anwesha reached a little early to set up the booth, after some time I was also there. Then she figured out where we can set up the booth, after we get a table for us, we quickly set it up with all the things we carried. And as always Pyladies Umbrella was the center of attraction, It Rocks!!! Everyone coming to our booth was keen to pose with that and other probes. So we told people about Pyladies, how we started and what we do and how often we meet. Lot of people come up with different question like how can they join us, Is there a Pyladies chapter in their country too or can they start the same. So it was good as Pyladies were a part of Fossasia, our presence was felt by everyone there.

My experience as a Speaker 
As written earlier it was the first time I was giving a talk in any conference. So after my talk was selected, I started preparing slides. With lot of things going around as  training, exam, family function, visa stuff and also shifting of my home, it was very difficult for me to save some time for preparing. At beginning I was so confused what to keep in the slides and what not to, as it was a 20 min session. So here I have to make decision between lots of things. Then I decided to put very basics things for this so that even a fresher can also get an idea about it and can start using it. So I prepared my slides and a demo session too so that people can understand more clearly how Robot Framework runs. So for demo I prepared a very simple task to verify if Fossasia home page opens when we hit its url. I was prepared for the talk on the final day but still a strange feeling was there inside me as speaking in an empty room and in front of audience are two different things. But putting aside all the things apart I encouraged myself and developed trust in  myself that I can do it. Then the moment came when I was in front of audience, so I started with my introduction, I prepared 4-5 lines for that but there I ended up in two lines only may be due to nervousness. Then I just relaxed and was going with the flow. Slowly I gained a little confidence and go ahead, with all what I prepared and demo too. The good part was that there was good internet that allowed me to show the demo. As first time it was a good experience but now I feel I can do better than this. As we learn from our mistake and I know where something went wrong with me so now its the time work on those areas. We should not bound our self from doing anything with a fear that we can't do it, we should give a try, then only we will know where we stand. So keeping going there are a lot new things which we have to learn in life.