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Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript

Not once, but twice, our college became a part of an International community of highly productive and engaging people. The most recent installment took place on last Saturday, May 21st, 2016. From Lisbon to Lahore, from Belgrade to Bengaluru, from Berlin to Bainbridge, we all came together on a single day to celebrate a Global event, a fun event of teaching, learning & hacking together the concepts of JavaScript / NodeJS. Divided by borders, united by JavaScript! Yes, I’m talking about NodeSchool International Day !

Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript

A brief history of NodeSchool

On a fine day, a few people from a little upcoming community of daring open source hackers decided to challenge the world with the powers of a language that others dismissed as “too slow”, “a toy language”, and “web only”. They came together to build what would be a simple “ workshopper ” module, called stream-adventure .

What’s a workshopper? It’s a simple framework displaying a set of challenges to be completed right in your terminal, and has a test runner incorporated within it to test your code solutions.

Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript
javascripting Workshopper

These guys then went on to create the initial workshopper modules, such as javascripting and learnyounode , which consisted of beginner level JS and NodeJS problems. They thought, “Well, this is fun. We should have an event focused on these things!”

Soon, ideas came pouring in, which became modules in the NodeJS ecosystem (npm). Participants created repositories and set up websites. And in late 2013, the first official NodeSchool event was underway in Silicon Valley.

The community started to grow, and local chapters sprang up all over the world. By May 2016, there were more than 165 worldwide city-based chapters, which have hosted more than 500 events so far!

Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript
NodeSchool Upcoming and Past Events

Node Comes to Kolkata

In July of last year, I hit upon the idea of hosting a NodeSchool event in my city. Tech-wise, Kolkata is a laid back city with few meetups or hackathons to speak of. Most of the cool events are either in Bangalore or Hyderabad. We have an IT Park — known here as Sector V — which was a promised utopia of budding startups and big companies alike. But let’s just say that it hasn’t flourish as much as those of other metropolitan areas in India.

There are tech companies here, but most are service based. There isn’t much of a product or startup footprint. Undergraduates and graduates in my city miss out on the most important medium for networking and skill learning just because of the current landscape. And thus, they resort to joining service-based IT behemoths, which just treat them as disposable resource.

Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript
Sector V, Kolkata, India

With only a short time to set everything up, I reached out to a NodeSchool core team member, Adam Brady , and asked him to guide me. I had three priorities for the event:

  • Create awareness in my city and my college
  • Train college students and help them shape up with new technologies
  • Put our college to the global map

All NodeSchool Chapters are city based. This meant that, technically speaking, I had to host NodeSchool Kolkata. But due to time and space constraints, I had a better idea. Why not setup a smaller college-level chapter instead? After talking it over with Adam, he agreed to my proposal, and hence the NodeSchool IEM Kolkata Chapter was born on August 2015.

We had our inaugural workshop on August 31st, 2015, with 25 participants. Together, we coded together on mainly beginner NodeSchool modules using JavaScript and Git.

As far as new beginnings go, it exceeded my expectations, to say the least! The attendees went home with a little hands-on knowledge, some freebie stickers, and a lot more confidence! IEM Kolkata was added to the world map, and Max Odgen (principle founder of NodeSchool) commented on our pics !

Waking up a sleeping city with JavaScript
NodeSchool Workshop in IEM Kolkata on 31st August, 2015

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