The UnConference of Entrepreneurs

Imagine a place full of enthusiasm, activity and positivity. Thats how it was at Chennai Tie Unconference event last saturday hosted at Thoughtworks premises. The theme was “How to scale your business” and the idea was to do it in unconference style. This model we believe results in better knowledge transfer between the seasoned ones and the rookies.

The day started with Dorai sharing few details about the event and then requesting for participants to declare their proposed sessions. To be honest, we did not expect much activity in the beginning.. but we were surprised to receive about 20 sessions right within the first 5-10 minutes. So there we had the agenda for the whole day. Great start to an unconference.

Then started the sessions.. Couple of them that I enjoyed being part of were,

1. When to become an entrepreneur..

2. Bootstrapping your startup

3. (the high point) Panel discussion on scaling your business

Lots of discussions, many useful ones.. some not so useful, but a nice event at the end. It is rather difficult to summarize the events since they were so many and so distributed that I lost track of them all. But I’ll try to share few things that we tried out and learnt from this experience.

1. The position paper experiment

This was seriously good and has given me many ideas to make such unconferences/events more interesting and useful to all participants. My experience from conferences and events have been that I’ve always found myself bored at speakers/lectures sessions and waiting for them to end so I can meet other participants or engage in networking. Now imagine if I already knew all the participants and knew the reasons they’ve brought themselves to the event, it gives me a clear idea of who to talk to and what to talk as well.

2. Three sessions in parallel

Sometimes this means, people can only go to one session and lose on other sessions. But it also means lot of people getting a chance to share their views and having a smaller audience who’ve preferred this to the other things going on. Beneficial to both the parties.

3. Panel discussion

This was the only organized session in the whole day. Terrific panel and crisp replies to questions. Extremely efficient use of time. We expected this to be the high point and it was.

Pictures and more information on individual sessions are available on facebook and twitter

Organized by Tie and Thoughtworks with the help of Dorai, Sid, Satya (myself) and host of other volunteers.

Awaiting many more in future too..

My interactions at Devcamp chennai..

[tweetmeme source=”snarayan” only_single=false]

Wasn’t a regular saturday for sure..

Last week, on saturday, I was in NDTV office observing the shooting of a show on social media and its influence on the way we interact..  One of the arguments was that People have forgotten the art of social interactions. There are very less real-world communities.

Well, this saturday, this argument was totally written off. At Devcamp, we had 100+ programmers (creators of the virtual world) under one roof and discussing the thing that they love most. Technology.

This is not a recap of all the things that happened at devcamp. Its only restricted to my interactions there..

First mention to few people who I was meeting after a long time. Mr. Dorai Thodla(iMorph), Mr. Suresh Sambandham (orangescape) and Sriram Narayan(Thoughtworks). I admire each of them a lot and for different reasons. Was great to catch up with them and talk about various things..

Next, loved the self-organizing nature of the event. People were free to move around, talk to different people and discuss things the way they liked. Although, I felt the awareness level about Open Space Conferences was fairly low on the attendees. So at times it got a bit chaotic. But taking nothing away from the charm and enthusiasm, it was a nice show.

The presenters, I expected much more live code and variety of styles, which was missing. Most of the presentations were powerpoint stuff. Seriously.. in a devcamp you need to see more code. Editors, syntax, program, they were a little less. Guess, that will improve in the further sessions.

I had a presentation of my own along with Deepan, my colleague and friend, on “Code smells and Refactoring”. Got few techies interested and had a nice time discussing finer details of programming. (I had a full code session. No presentation.)

Next up was lightning talks/fishbowl sessions, which disappointingly had very little participation. So we thought, we’d change the style and invite people to talk based on topics we chose. It was an interesting little session, which really caught my imagination. Some really interesting topics discussed there.. Some of them are as follows:

1. Inspiration as a programmer.. Names starting from Larry Page to Joel Spolsky were mentioned as inspirations for being a programmer.

2. Products that we’ve appreciated.. Stackoverflow, Delicious, Winzip, Hibernate, Gmail, etc. were mentioned.

3. Products that’ll make future interesting.. Google Wave, HTML5 & CSS, Mobile apps, mobile/e-commerce. Here’s a post on it by Dorai.

Apart from these, there were couple of young Entrepreneurs (still in college), who are trying to change the world. Pretty neat stuff.

All in all, Devcamp was a step in the right direction. Though, there’s a long way to go still.

Check out few tweets here

You probably shouldn’t vote!!!

You probably shouldn’t vote!!!

1. Voting means taking time out of your precious schedule.
2. Voting means you don’t really know if your vote will be majority.
3. Voting means going standing in line (in this heat)
4. Voting means leaving your comfort of the home.
5. Voting means you are one of the many (not special)
6. Voting doesn’t bring you any recognition.
7. Voting probably doesn’t give you any satisfaction.
8. Voting gets your finger dirty (the mark stay for few days)
9. Voting means feeling embarassed that you’re not cool.
10.Voting makes you look embarassingly mature. (Being young and mature is so not cool..)
11.Voting means you actually care about other people. (Not the roadies way.. they don’t care about anything/anyone)

Voting is for people who..

1. Believe they can make a difference to the society.
2. Respect other individuals and believe in accepting their opinion.
3. are responsible about their duties to their country.
4. are matured.
5. love their family.
6. want India to be the best country in the world.
7. want everything around them to be world class.
8. want peace and prosperity around themselves and throughout the country.
9. really believe in the country and its heritage.
10. really believe in humanity.

You.. Yes you.. shouldn’t be voting. be cool.

Just have a look at some insane people.. What are they doing? LOL Voting..