Devsprints Experience


Kurian Benoy


November 3, 2019

Devsprints is an event unlike in Hackathon, you start working in established projects which are usally FOSS/Open source. @MEC our Devsprints was planned to be a one day event on November 3, even though we would have loved to make the event duration a bit more long. We had participating organisations:

The day started of by me collecting [Abhijit PA], DD from Pattimatom which near my house. Abhijit works remotely from home and gets paid for his contributions to Debian by sponsoring companies(how cool is that). The event kickstarted at about 9:20 AM. At first we had Joel V Zachriah who introduced about why Devsprints and why contributing to DVC is important. We had various mentors who introduced their respective organisation during Devsprints. Abhijit pitched for Debian project. While Jithin KS came all the way from Chennai with his friend Anupam to mentor for Processing Foundation. I was the mentor for DVC and explained a bit about that project. Adam Shamsudden and Kamalraj introduced about what is IndicNLP and their project.

Now for the DVC sprint, we had Ivan Shcklien joining us on a video call to see the particpants of the event. He gave a engaging talk to audience which was based on two planks that is: - What is DVC? - Why contribute to Opensource?

Participants of devsprints were delighted to see someone from SanFrancisco, USA joining for Devsprints. The video call plan with Ivan was a last minute effort and I should have planned such things much more earlier. Next as majority of DVC particpants were relatively new to Machine Learning, all of them attendes were asked to attend KamalRaj’s talk on NLP techniques in general. Kamalraj gave a very informative talk on various NLP techniques from the bag of words which was used in 1990s, to CountVectoriser methods, TFIDF and even Word2Vec(I finally was able to understand that). He went on explaining about Sentence classifying task, to named entity recognition, to much more. This talk was like 6 months of learning curve of content being condensed to a single 1 hour talk by one of the India’s best NLP enginners, KamalRaj. Adam after that explained the scope of this project and tried to woo some DVC contributors to IndicNLP.

Good lunch was served for the event! (really)

We continued doing some actual work by afternoon. Installing development environment requirements in everyones laptop was a difficult especially with majority of laptops using windows. - solved 2-3 PRS for newbie contributors

After that one my way back to home with Abhijit. We had an amazing conversation regarding FOSS, security. As most of the secure stuff was not available - ditch gmail(forwarers etc) - remove unnecessary google maps - Fix other service, like mail client