On one fine day, Anand Chitipothu of Python Software Society of India (PSSI), visited goibibo office to help us sponsor PyCon, 2013. He explained how the event has been beneficial for the participants and the sponsors. We started our preparations to sponsor PyCon 2013 at Gold Level.
This being the first time for GoIbibo sponsoring the prestigious PyCon, we started off the preparations little early. We met up with PyCon organizers to keep up with the event schedule and preparations. We hosted few python meetups at our office on MG Road, Bangalore.
(Python meetup at GoIbibo, Bangalore office)
In this three-day event, we aimed to develop good relationship with the python community, unveil the beta version of our API portal and organise a hackathon on it, let people know more about how goibibo’s technology stack evolved, pay attention to their grievances and come back with suggestions to improve end-to-end user experience. We also wished to educate people about how we test our code efficiently and thus make it better and bugs-free.
With these goals in mind, we started rigorously working on API portal, the workshop and an hour long interactive session which would educate people about goibibo. Brain-storming sessions, late-night stays in office and pestering QC team to check for the quality finally prepared us to face the crowd of over thousand participants at PyCon, 2013.
On our marketing and branding front, we wished to reach out to as many people as we could. We composed various quizzes and decided to give away goibibo goodies to winners of these quizzes.
A day before PyCon, we set up our small GoIbibo stall at the venue.
(GoIbibo stall at the venue, NIMHANS Convention Center)
The first day, Friday the 30th, started with Rantadeep’s (@rtnpro) workshop on Python Code Testing. 30 to 40 python enthusiasts attended the workshop. Participants were amazed by the potential of nose to test python code efficiently. After the workshop, Ratnadeep was surrounded by curious people.
Day 2 started with heavy Bangalore rains, but there was no subsidence in participants’ enthusiasm. We had many things in store for participants. We started the first half with riddles and travel quotient questions and people started wandering around our stall. Everyone was enthusiastic to see questions and literally rushed to solve those riddles and bag in the GoIbibo goodies.
(engrossed in solving the puzzles)
(Attractive goodies to be given away)
In the second half, Vikalp, our CTO, gave a presentation on how GoIbibo’s technology stack has evolved. In this interactive session, he answered many queries participants had. He discussed the technological challenges GoIbibo faced, how those challenges were faced and problems that still remain unsolved and GoIbibo’s future plans to tackle those problems to provide users smooth end-to-end user experience.Hacking on the open-source libraries that python provides, and goibibo developed on top of that,was described in detail.
(Vikalp explaining the growth in our tech team)
The session was a raging success and the GoIbibo stall was crowded more than ever. Everybody was in search of our Big Data Guru, Gevent Guru, and Redis Guru to understand how things worked at GoIbibo. The trio answered crowd’s questions with equal enthusiasm. By the end of the day, the entire team was exhausted with the day’s hard works.
(Gevent Guru, Pranjal Pandit, in action)
(Big Data Guru, Abhishek Pathak, explaining participants how we use hadoop)
The day ended with speakers’ meet and a delicious dinner.
The third and the last day opened with announcement of hackathon on our API portal. We announced attractive prizes for the winners of hackathon, teams which would come up with and execute the best ideas. Python enthusiasts bombarded us with enormous and interesting questions about the APIs. They scratched their heads, coded in the gaps between the sessions and submitted their ideas to us. Around 10 to 12 teams of developers participated in the hackathon and we shortlisted two ideas that we liked.
(one of the finalists, explaining his idea and showcasing his code)
(Two of the finalists with Vikalp and Sudipta)
We met many people at the PyCon, we saw how technology problems are solved by people, got different perspectives on the things we do and suggestions to improve them. We reached out to many people, offered the PyCon participants various discounts on GoIbibo Flights, hotels and bus bookings. The event helped us build up some good relations with python developers’ community.
(Men and Women in blue)
(And a big thank you for all those who helped us)