Mentored Students about Open Source at Google DevFest ’19

πŸ™Œ I was invited to mentor students about open source at the biggest developers’ event in Karachi called ‘Google DevFest 2019’.

GDG DevFests are large scale community-run events that can offer speaker sessions across Google product areas, all-day hack-a-thons or both. Each GDG DevFest will be inspired by and uniquely tailored to the needs of the developer community that hosts it).

πŸ‘‰ Check my GitHub profile

The moment I saw the call-for-speakers post, I immediately applied to talk about Open Source and GSoC.

πŸ‘‰ Look here to see my Google Summer of Code Experience

The very next week, I got an email from a mate at GDG DevFest Karachi who informed me that they want me to mentor students about GSoC and open source.

πŸ™Œ The DevFest Day

Fast forwarding to the DevFest day, it was 23rd of November, 2019 and I woke up, got ready as usual and started my journey to the venue.

The moment I looked at a huge number of vehicles in the parking, I knew there must be a crazy crowd present that made me even more excited.

Crowd at GDG DevFest Karachi 2019

My mentorship session was scheduled to be between 2:30pm-4:00pm but I went a lil early to the Main Auditorium and listened to Waleed Arshad’s talk about Animations in Flutter. It was a great talk indeed.

Next up, I moved to the community lounge at 1:00pm where I met Wajahat Karim, who is a Senior Android Developer at Contour Software and also developer of some of the craziest Android Libraries and nevertheless a great mentor and friend of mine.

πŸ‘‰ Check Wajahat’s work on GitHub.

We discussed some of our previous memories, talked about our startup ChatAir and some new Android technologies. After which, I had a really fun discussion with Saad Pasta and some really good laughs.

Luckily, I also met an alumni of my university Ali Azaz, who currently works as an Android Developer. I had a lovely discussion with him too.

πŸ‘‘ It’s time for my Mentorship session

Let’s kick into the mentorship session. It all started by me meeting two teachers from PIAIC. We had a discussion on how we can get more students into open source and make use of programs like Google Summer of Code.

Our discussion was indeed a valuable one. We exchanged contacts and they told me that they’re going to invite me to their mega AI classes that consist of over 400+ students to enlighten them about Open Source. I’m super excited and looking forward it!

Next up, there were students after students who were interested in knowing more about Open Source and programs such as GSoC and Outreachy.

Talking to students and professionals about Open Source Software

I guided the students from scratch that how they can start learning Git and play around with GitHub. And then gradually, what’s the right way of figuring out an organization according to their skills and making their first Pull Request.

Students asked me some great questions like,

What impact can open source have on my career?

Students at the mentorship session.

πŸ‘‰ Look here to see my open source work if you haven’t checked it yet.

There were also many professionals present who wanted to get a head start on open source. I guided them on how they can be a part of the open source community and give back to the community as well as enhance their skills.

πŸ”₯ What I learnt?

It was my first time going to such a big event as a mentor and it was amazing! I learnt a lot on how to maintain healthy conversations with students and professionals and talking in a language that I could convey even the technical details in a simpler way.

It always feels good giving back to the community. And I look forward to attending more events as a mentor/speaker.

πŸ‘ Honorable Mentions

Thanks a lot to Aminullah for a lovely company through out the day and also a great Chai company at the end of the day that was much needed. And yeah Wajahat was present at the Chai too where we had multiple Chais because one was just not enough.

Special thanks to Eric Bhatti, Hera Tariq, Abdul Sami, Dennis Rufi, designers, the whole GDG Kolachi team, the venue partners, sponsors and the DSCs for arranging and putting your effort in such a wonderful event.

And how can I forget the crowd? Thanks everyone for showing up. I’m sure all of you had a great time.

Thanks for the swag GDG Kolachi!

GDG Kolachi SWAG:
P.S: Thanks Wajahat for letting me use your image.

Thanks a lot for reading! I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

  1. It was great indeed to have you as a mentor. You are truly an inspiration for students and keep doing the good work.

    PS: Thanks for the double tea. It was really refreshing time after tiredness of whole day standing at event.

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