In high school, "imposter sydrome" or the fear of performing had a very strong grip on me. Therefore I usually resorted to being "behind the scenes guy".
I was always intrigued by the art of public speaking and in my freshman year in college, I attended almost every conference that made a little sense to me. Some quotes have stuck with me and I realized why conferences are held in the very first place. Nobody can teach you something in 30 minutes. It's humanly impossible. But what it can do is to be kicked out of your inertia. It is to hear people with years or decades of experience lift the veil on mystery. It is to leave with words burnt into your mind, changing you, and pushing you to do things you would never dare, otherwise.
If you’re passionate about your work, then sooner or later you will want to share that passion with others.
I started sharing my experiences and knowledge with my college peers and juniors and gradually overcame my fear for public speaking. Lately, I was fortunate enough to speak at Pycon, the premier conference in India on using and developing the Python programming language.
Speaking at Pycon, 2016
I started using Python 5 months back and when I got selected, I was quite surprised myself. I had to give a talk to an audience who knew more about the language and it's ecosystem than me. Therefore I decided on leaving the technicalities, rather share my experience working with Python through this project and how it had made me come up here all the way from Chennai (the talk was in Delhi). I wanted to share the beauty of Python, that as a even a designer could learn and start hacking onto code. I used the example of my Google Summer of Code project and walked through it, describing the pain points and insights into how to ask for help.
Through the project, I wanted to highlight how NLP (using NLTK toolkit in Python) can help in improving User Experience. Slides.
Workshops and Introductory talks
Following patterns in the success stories of my seniors and on the Internet, I have come to realize that most of the learning happens outside of the classroom. College is only to give you data points eg: if you didn't have an image processing course, you wouldn't get to know that such a field exists. What you do with that data point is upto you. The problem is of distribution of the information or more formally called: information asymmetry. By sharing our experience with juniors, I wanted to restore the imbalance of information so that the playground becomes level.
So along with my group of friends, we organized couple of workshops ranging from the joy of software development to how to growth hack your undergrad dev career in python.