The last time I blogged which was a few days ago, I told myself that the next time I do it, it should be something other than writing about my experience in some tech event. Looks like I should postpone that for another time. Because here I am, writing again about yet another tech conference. This time there is one difference though. I am writing this as I am still in the summit. What summit? I am talking about the Great Indian Developer Summit 2018, that is happening right now in Bangalore. And without any delay, let me straight away take you through what all happened so far.
The event started at 8.30 in the morning. All the delegates and the speakers gathered in the Main Hall for the keynote sessions. They say first impressions matter a lot. If it’s really true, then Michael Carducci made sure that he made the best first impression. He delivered first of the keynote talks and the hundreds of people in the hall got glued to his presentation. With two decades of experience in programming, he talked about good and bad ways of development and programming through his experience and stories. He gave an enthralling, entertaining and a rockstar presentation and made us clap and laugh throughout his talk.
Guru Bhatt from PayPal came next and he didn’t hesitate to announce to the audience how tough it is to continue when the speaker who talked before was Michael. His talk was about using AI to solve real-time problems. If you own a banking system, one of the crucial things you want to handle without fail is fraud detection. He gave an example of one specific use case — seller and buyer colluding which causes the baking system to lose. This can be detected using Collaborative Filtering and Deep Learning. Use cases like these prove that AI is not a mere hype. He said people should see PayPal not just as a payment business but a trust business. Having said all that, he concluded by saying, “Not every nail needs the AI hammer”.
There were few more talks during the keynote. Andy Younis who is the founder of Rocket Software company said, “What we do at Rocket is innovate. 28 years ago I wanted to start the kind of company in which I would love to work.” His talk was about how culture plays a very important role in how a company can evolve and innovate(he walked onto the stage with a guitar and played music along with his team before starting his talk!). Girish Dhanakshirur talked about serverless architecture, IBM patterns which I got a chance to check from IBM booth. IBM patterns contain tested solution code which can be used to solve a specific problem. For example, I saw the demo of using IBM Patterns for analyzing traffic. If you are familiar with Google Codelab, I found this similar. Harshad Oak ended the keynote session by talking about how it’s important for the startups to have the network and mentorship besides their brilliant ideas and talent. Whether it’s Oracle or any other organisation that now has startup mentorship programs, he urged that it is very important and necessary for startups to be involved in such programs.
By the time we came out of the keynote, all the expo showcase booths were setup and ready. There were booths from Google, WalmartLabs, PayPal, Amazon Alexa, Sapient, Sabre,Goldman Sachs and many others. People looked excited as they went from one booth to another, participated in quiz and contests, kept filling their empty bag with goodies. This was the best part of the summit, not just because they were giving away gifts. We could directly talk to representatives from all those organisations, get to know about what kind of interesting things they are doing and their current career openings. There are some sessions which are going on. The ones that I wanted to attend on Machine Learning are sadly cancelled. I will be attending another session soon, so I am actually in a rush to finish this blog.
The above is one of my favourite demos here at the event. It’s a personalising mirror. It predicts the gender of the person standing in front of it, detects and classifies the clothes of the person and then gives some clothes recommendations to try out. For this, they make use of Deep Learning ResNet model with 50 layers. It’s interesting to know that the team that’s working on it is currently in Bangalore! So if you are looking for Machine Learning job opportunity, you should check Sapient’s career page right now!
I have a session to attend now. Will update the blog for more(this includes the goodies I filled in my bag!)
GIDS is not just a one-day event. Its sessions, workshops and deep-dives happen for multiple days. I attended it only for one day, yesterday and it was a great experience. Besides attending few sessions, I spent most of the time interacting with people from different organisations at booths. With contests and quizzes, these booths kept the summit lively and full of buzz. I took Pluralsight’s IQ test for Python from Google Developers booth.200 is what we needed to score. I failed the first time with 178. I gave a retest and scored 205. That’s how I won Pluralsight’s pen! I participated in few quick quizzes. Some were technical and the others were fun. And I also got a present from GIDS organisers for blogging about the event yesterday!
I have been going to conferences like these for the past few months. Though they undoubtedly help you know, learn and improve technical skills and knowledge, the best part is meeting and interacting with friendly, like-minded and inspiring people. Few people I talked to, shared their contacts to help me with some of the queries I had and it was really nice to see how willing they were. It has been a great day at the Great Indian Developer Summit and I look forward to attending it next year! Oh, I shouldn’t forget this. Thanks to my organisation, Unisys, for getting me a seat to the summit!