FSFTN with Chennai GNU/Linux Users Group (Affiliated to FSFTN) organized a Camp in Chennai at Loyolla-ICAM College of Engineering and Technology from 18th to 21st October.

Tech Synergy Camp Poster

Sessions & Talks

It was a 4-day Camp covering,

  1. Shell Scripting
  2. HTML, CSS, JS
  3. ReactJS
  4. Python for Data Science
  5. Openstreetmap
  6. Community Networks and Self-hosting

Preparations

It was a bit long journey to the Camp, starting from the Syllabus preparation, Speaker confirmation, Venue confirmation, Finance, Designs, etc. The planning for the Camp was confirmed 2 months ago to the date of the Camp. Chennai GLUG organized one full night Camp planning event to discuss, decide and deploy elements for the Camp. We prepared Website, Syllabus and Posters on the same day. Everything was in place except the Venue.

Yes, we had come up with a lot of venue suggestions for the Camp including IIT Madras, CEG, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, SRM and LICET. It was a long and hard struggle for the venue on reaching out to colleges, talking with HOD, explaining about FSFTN, etc etc. Thanks to Anand, Deva, Karthiga and Balaji (Myself) for the efforts in finalising the Venue. Finally we got LICET confirmed just before 3 weeks for the Camp. It was the time when we also had Software Freedom Day (SFD) in between and as an organization we are also in a condition to seek financial support from peers. The Campaigning started!

Posters and Letters for Colleges

We took a list of Colleges in TN especially in Chennai and started posting them with Posters and Invitation Letter from FSFTN. Karthiga from Chennai GLUG took responsibility for preparing the posts and Radhakrishnan sent them out. We sent it to around 60 colleges in TN. The shrinked the list to colleges where we are already in Contact and visited them directly. The volunteers of Chennai GLUG worked collectively, took decisions and divided tasks among them to visit colleges. It was a new experience for them to go and talk in Colleges. It was Karthiga, Radhakrishnan, Ashwini, Lokesh (SJIT), Uma, Sorna (JCE) and Poorajith from Chennai GLUG who took responsibility for the campaigning entirely. Apart from making students to register for the Camp, it was a good organizational activity for the volunteers where they can learn about the outreach and difficulties they faced on it.

It was out bad luck that University practicals is there for the Colleges right on the next day of the Camp. So, we fell short of Participants that we are expecting. We tried different methods like publishing news in paper, keeping posters inside the newspaper in the morning 5AM and talking directly with out contacts and GLUG members. Myself, Anand, Radhakrishnan, Prakash sent the pamphlets out to Newspapers in the morning. We got finally 17 participants and 8 volunteers for the Camp.

Finally, the Camp was on. We are on Day 1 of the Camp and this time it was a classrom rather than a big hall. Things seemed different and also exciting. We divided teams and assigned Team leads from the volunteers. The session started with live booting of Pendrive with GNU/Linux on it. It was a very huge effor put on by Radhakrishnan to prepare the pendrives with Ubuntu and made it possible on the day.

Day 1

HTML & CSS Session (Day 1)

Day 1 was for Shell Scripting, HTML and CSS handled by Survesh from SJIT (Working currently). We had volunteers for Lunch and Tea arrangement. It was entirely new for the volunteers to plan for Food in which the count might change (excess or less) and it is gained from experience. It was the efforts of Ajay and other volunteers from the Chennai GLUG who made this possible. We had a review meeting in the end with the volunteers to discuss the feedback for Day 1

Day 2 & Day 3

Fun Activities after Lunch

Day 2 we started with Javascript (Prakash) and ReactJS (Saravanan) in the afternoon. We had a session for the volunteers in the afternoon on Hactivism (Prashant Kodali) and it turned out really productive. Need to improve on the time management a bit on Day 2. Day 3 was more interesting and exciting. It was Python and Data Science in the morning and Blender in the evening. Python session was handled wonderfully by Nithya from Kaniyam Foundation and Blender was taken care by Vignesh and it was awesome as usual. Participants engaged themselves in with hands-on sessions and was discussing many things. The afternoon session for the Volunteers was based on Technosocial aspects of Free Software (Kamal & Ganesh - FSHM) and working organisationally. We also had some fun activities after Lunch.

Day 4

The Final day included Openstreetmap and Commuity Networks (Kamal & Ganesh - FSHM). Participants were interested in Openstreetmaps and as a Call to Action, we have informed them about the Mapathon that will be happening in November and also a Session for Women's Participation in Technology was handled. It was inspiring for the Participants as well as the volunteers. Food was plenty in Day 4 and need to manage Food based on the experiences had during the Camp.

Final 2 hours was completely about FSFTN, GLUG's, Collective Participation and How to Join FSFTN? (Prashant Kodali). In the end, we talked with participants to have a Free session in their Colleges and to start a GLUG over there. It turned out very good.

Just a Beginning :-)

On whole this Camp was a new experience for us and gave a new perspective on how to work in the future. Have planned for many quick events after the Camp to keep the participants engaged. That's it for #Camp2K18

Photos of the Camp can be found here - https://flic.kr/s/aHsmqKs6Hn

Thanks & Regards,
FSFTN