From Spectators to Contributors: Gramener’s Experiences at PyCon India 2023 

Pycon India 2023 gramener experiences
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PyCon India is a premier conference for Python enthusiasts and professionals. It offers an unparalleled opportunity to dive deep into the world of Python and explore its limitless potential. The conference is held annually and features workshops, presentations, poster sessions, and more. The latest edition of PyCon India 2023 happened from Sept 29th to Oct 2nd in Hyderabad. Gramener represented at PyCon India 2023 as one of the volunteers and keynote speakers (Programming Minecraft with Python by Anand S, CEO, Gramener

We talked to the volunteers – Amritha (Sr. Information Designer), Jai Prakash (JP) (Lead Data Science Engineer), and Shivan (Assoc. Data Science Engineer) from Gramener – who shared their experiences through the event, sharing their excitement about Python India 2023.

Amritha’s Story – Stepping into an Uncharted Territory 

Amritha’s role as a volunteer started with a zeal to do something out of her comfort zone. Initially, she wasn’t sure. Python and all its jargon seemed like Latin and Greek to her. But when the chance to volunteer came knocking, she thought, “Why not?” Joining PyCon India’s communication team, she found herself in a whole new world.  

“I was looking to break free from my company bubble. PyCon India felt like the perfect opportunity,” Amritha shared.  

Admitting she didn’t know much about the field, Amritha chose the communications path. “I thought I spend most of my time on social media anyway, so why not give it a shot and use it well?” Little did she know that this leap would lead her to manage 300 postings from PyCon’s official channels for over six months!  

“It was a huge milestone for me. I had my fair share of ups and downs, but the team was so supportive,” she chuckled.“I encourage more women to join and support the community“, she added.

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Managing social media for a community-driven event isn’t a walk in the park. Amritha faced pressure during the event days, but the lessons she learned were priceless.  

“Coordinating with volunteers was challenging. You can’t just demand things; you’ve got to be kind and patient,” she explained. “It was a learning curve, figuring out how to talk to people, get things done, and avoid social media mishaps.”  

Despite being tied to her posting duties, Amritha found time to enjoy talks, connect with attendees, and even have dinner with speakers. “The networking opportunities were amazing. I got to meet so many people who appreciated our work,” she shared.  

Amritha and her team cracked the code to social media success. “We experimented with posting times, monitored engagement, and learned what works for our community. It wasn’t easy, but it paid off,” she said.  

The success story of PyCon India is heartening. Starting from scratch, the community now boasts 7.1K followers on LinkedIn and 10.7K on Twitter. “We started small but look at us now—trending and all!”  

As we dive deeper into PyCon India 2023, Amritha’s journey is an inspiring tale of growth, perseverance, and the power of community spirit.

Shivan’s story – Igniting Young Minds with Python Coding 

Shivan’s PyCon India adventure began with a nudge from Amritha. “Amritha told me there’s this amazing opportunity, so why not give it a shot?” recalls Shivan. This sparked his journey as a volunteer at PyCon India, Hyderabad.  

The excitement didn’t stop there. Bhanu, an ex-Gramener employee, introduced Shivan to the “Young Learner’s Workshop,” an initiative to teach Python to junior-grade students. Shivan and his team taught the basics of Python coding and distributed Raspberry Pis to the students, enabling them to code at home.

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“Kids nowadays want to explore and learn new things,” notes Shivan. Recognizing this curiosity, they reached out to schools, especially those where students had limited exposure to such opportunities.  

 “We organized everything, from getting them to the workshop to ensuring they reached home safely,” Shivan explains.  

Admittedly, the initial coding syntaxes left the young learners a bit bored. Shivan and his team turned the tables by promising something exciting by the end of the course—a game they would create themselves.  

“We knew kids love games, but they don’t realize there’s coding behind it,” Shivan laughs. “We made coding interesting by showing them how small changes in the code can alter the game’s functionality. It clicked, and now these students are still connected with us, continuing to explore and learn.”  

Discussing Dr. Shailesh Kumar’s (Chief Data Scientist, CoE AI/ML – Jio) keynote, Shivan conveyed that Dr. Shailesh envisions future advancements in AI and ML, highlighting the possibility of integrating AI across diverse devices. The broad scope involves linking AI with multiple devices to create an extensive network. This network is anticipated to span from tower to tower, utilizing network protocols implemented through Python.  

Shivan marvels at the transformation. “Before the workshop, they didn’t even know what code was. Now, they’re eager to learn.” The success lies in teaching Python and kindling a passion for coding in young minds. 

JP’s story – Meeting Gramener Alumni, Exploring LLMs 

PyCon India 2023 buzzed with excitement, and at the heart of it all was the hottest topic—LLM. JP delves into the dynamic discussions that revolved around this central theme, sparking conversations that echoed throughout the conference. 

The conference wasn’t just about technicalities; it was a reunion of sorts. JP had the chance to meet Gramener alumni like Revanth, and Bhanu.  

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“It’s fascinating because everyone in the community knows Jaidev and Anand,” JP notes. The exposure gained by being alongside them added an extra layer to his conference experience. 

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JP usually attends conferences, does his thing, and heads back. This time, it was different.  

Thanks to Shivan and Bhanu, JP found himself not just attending but contributing. The workshop, particularly teaching kids, brought a fresh perspective. “Explaining complex concepts to kids made me rethink my learnings and improved my communication skills,” he reflects.

Teaching wasn’t all smooth sailing. JP encountered the challenges of engaging youngsters, from kids playing with friends to others needing explanations multiple times.  

“A kid once told me to fix a ‘while loop’ issue because of which the game got stuck. I asked him to restart but he asked me why couldn’t I fix it if  I am a programmer. It was a shock, but it made me adapt and explain complex coding concepts in simpler terms,” he shares. 

JP was pleasantly surprised by the inquisitive nature of the kids.  

“They were programming to find out the biggest integer value and debugging actively, even taking notes from the workshop,” he chuckles. The experience proved to be both amusing and insightful, showcasing the untapped potential in young minds. 

Diversity took center stage as JP interacted with people from different corners of the world—ranging from very young kids to college students and recent graduates. 

“It’s really interesting to see this mix of perspectives,” JP remarks, encapsulating the essence of the diverse PyCon India community. 

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End Notes

PyCon India 2023 was like a big learning party! We talked about cool stuff like LLM, met old friends from Gramener, and even taught kids how to code. The workshops were like treasure chests of new ideas, and meeting people worldwide was super interesting. As we wrap up our PyCon Chronicles, we’ve collected a bunch of awesome memories and knowledge. Can’t wait for the next PyCon adventure!

Our Experiences at PyCon India 2023 - Podcast

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