FOSSASIA Code-In Grand Prize Winners Gathering at Google Headquarter

FOSSASIA was thrilled to be selected once again as a mentor organisation of Google Code-In (GCI) 2015 – a contest to introduce pre-university students (ages 13-17) to open source software development. Together with 13 other orgs we reached out to 980 students from 65 countries completed a total number of 4,776 tasks. As a part of our participation, I got a chance to present FOSSASIA at the Grand Prize Winners trip.

FOSSASIA Team, photo by Jeremy Allison
FOSSASIA Team, photo by Jeremy Allison

GCI 2015 Awards Ceremony

28 grand prize winners, their parents along with one mentor from each participating organisation were invited to a trip to the Bay Area as a reward to their hard work during the last GCI program. Students had a chance to meet with mentors and to interact with their fellow students from other projects, enjoyed a few days in San Francisco and received many cool gifts/swags from Google.

Chris DiBona and Jason Wong, photo by Jeremy Allision
Chris DiBona and Jason Wong, photo by Jeremy Allision

Chris DiBona – Director of Open Source at Google – a super busy man who was so kind to spend his morning personally congratulated each single student in front of his/her parent. I do believe enjoy what you are doing and get recognition for your work is the best gift ever and to be able to share it with your family is even better. Thanks Google for celebrating the open source culture.

Meet, learn and share

I was very impressed by the level of knowledge and abilities of all the 28 students. They are young, enthusiastic and inspiring. Thanks to all the parents for believing and supporting the kids in pursuing their open source journey.

Group photo by Jeremy Allison
Group photo by Jeremy Allison

It was wonderful to meet our two FOSSASIA GCI students for the first time. Jason grew up in the States, seemed a bit reserved while Yathannsh from India was very outspoken. They both were very new to open source when they joined the program and now have become active contributors and very eager to learn more. Three of us had a team presentation on FOSSASIA labs and our achievement from GCI 2015. Jason expressed his wish to go on as a mentor for the next GCI.

Jason and Yathannsh
Jason and Yathannsh

I had several interesting conversations with the parents who finally understood why their kids were on the computers all the time. About 14% of the parents are working in IT and very aware of open technology. The rest was super excited to learn about various open source projects. Many said to me they would love to have their second son/daughter to join the program as well.

The mentor group had a few discussions on pros and cons, how to improve and maximize the outcome of the program, and ways to keep students engaging afterwards. I learned a lot from other orgs and also shared FOSSASIA workflow and guidelines with them. The 7 weeks of GCI was an amazing experience for me and my team. I must give our FOSSASIA mentors credit for their incredible efforts. It was truly a pleasure to work with Mario, Sean, Mohit, Praveen, Nikunj, Abhishek, Jigyasa, Dukeleto, Manan, Saptaks, Aruna, Rohit, Arnav, Diwanshi, Martin, Nicco, Sudheesh, Samarjeet, Harsh, Luther, Jung and many more.

mentors
GCI 2015 – 14 Org Mentors, photo by Jeremy Allison

The Fun

It was the best field trip ever! The program was carefully planned: Meeting with Google engineers, a tour of the Google campus, a day of sightseeing around San Francisco and much more.

Segway Tour

I was my first time on a Segway and I loved it, so cool! Thanks Stephanie for encouraging me to try this. It is never too late to learn something.

Segway by the bay
Segway by the bay

Afternoon walk over the Golden Gate Bridge

Sanya and I could have completed the entire bridge but.. because of our slow male mentors we only made it halfway through. To all my geek friends out there – Please do more exercises!

On Golden Gate Bridge
On Golden Gate Bridge
Walking on the bridge, photo by Florian Schmidt
Walking on the bridge, photo by Florian Schmidt

Yacht Dinner Cruise

This was the highlight for many of us: sailing along the bay, relaxing time on the water, beautiful landscape, nice chats and yummy food.

Photo by Jeremy Allison
Photo by Jeremy Allison
Ladies pose, photo by Jeremy Allison
Ladies pose, photo by Jeremy Allison
with Cat Allman, photo by Jeremy Allison
with Cat Allman, photo by Jeremy Allison

Thank you organisers!

We just couldn’t thank Stephanie enough for her hard work and the extreme energy not only to GCI but also to the whole open source community and especially her care for us all during our trip. I was amazed by the level of details that been brought in: additional medication, sunscreen, chocolate tips, gift card, travel guide, luggage storage, special diet etc.

Stephanie Taylor, GCI program manager, photo by Jeremy Allison
Stephanie Taylor, GCI program manager, photo by Jeremy Allison

Last but not least thank to the lovely Mary, kind Helen, cool Eric, friendly Josh, awesome photographer Jeremy and of course my favorite Cat Allman for another unforgettable experience!

Links

Photos: https://goo.gl/photos/htCKY4yJooX9ZSNBA

Google Code-In: developers.google.com/open-source/gci/

Google Summer of Code: developers.google.com/open-source/gsoc/

FOSSASIA Labs: http://labs.fossasia.org/

Updates on FOSSASIA Activities – GSoC, Science Hack and Meshcon

FOSSASIA Participation in Google Summer of Code

An exciting summer is behind us, where we had lots of students coding on summer of code projects. Check out some of the outcome on our project repositories. For example the Open Event project, our twitter harvester and search engine loklak.net [repo] or the activities at our FashionTec knitapps project with lots of interesting blog articles.

FOSSASIA Science Hack

What else happened? FOSSASIA’s Hong Phuc is working on organizing Science Hack events across Asia in cooperation with Science Hack Day. She is now an official Ambassador. Congratulations! You can meet her in the US at the San Francisco Science Hack Day on October 24-25, 2015 at GitHub HQ.

FOSSASIA Participants Present at Meshcon @Maker Faire Berlin + Free Tickets

FOSSASIA participants are present at Meshcon@Maker Faire Berlin on Saturday, October 3rd. Meshcon brings together Mozilla’s Firefox Open Web makers, IoT experts, industry representatives, fashion designers, local producers, knitters, textile manipulators, software developers and DIY hardware makers. We will have a stand in the club area. So if you are there, please come over and talk to us.

And, if you are in Berlin and still need a ticket, we might be able to help you out. FOSSASIA is an official partner and we got free tickets. Please go to http://meshcon.net, choose your ticket and enter the code FLDUXH on the next page.

The event starts at 10am (until 6pm) on Sat. 3rd Oct. 2015 at Postbahnhof Club at Berlin Ostbahnhof. On top of topics around Fashion and technology, we are coding, doing usability tests and hack for refugees. The schedule of talks is available here: http://meshcon.net/schedule.pdf

130 projects will showcase their work at the Maker Faire. Workshops include FOSSASIA’s machine knitting project, 3D printing, and Arduino tinkering:

* http://www.meetup.com/FashionTec-Meetup-Berlin/

* http://www.meetup.com/OpenXLab/

* http://www.meetup.com/opentechschool-berlin/events/225532149/

Additional Info: http://meshcon.net | http://makerfaire.berlin

Location: Postbahnhof, Strasse der Pariser Kommune 8, 10243 Berlin