WoMoz India- Women in Tech, Community Development !

Srushtika Neelakantam

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It was just another day, when I saw this blog post inviting women in Mozilla for a community development programme at Hyderabad, India. I was a little reluctant at first as I had never attended an  event in another city or travelled alone ! But, by the end of the day, there was Jafar and Abhiram, who pinged me, encouraging me to attend the event. I got inspired and excited and went ahead and registered, though I had no hopes of getting selected 😉

After a few days I actually got a selection mail and I don’t even remember how I convinced my parents to allow me to go, but they did, considering the learning curve/exposure associated with the event. I was literally on cloud 9 for the remaining week, and as I had exams just before my departure for the event, I did screw up a few of them 😉

Finally the day came, 4th of September. I took an early flight to Hyderabad and joined 5 other WoMoz who had already reached, Shivika, Suchita, Krithika, Vnisha, Jyotsana !! Everyone was so excited to start off and curious to see what’s in store.

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We reached Collab House, what an awe-inspiring place !! You just enter there and you have so many ideas already in mind. Soon after, we started off with the first round of discussions.

Day 1

Vineel anna (as he’s popularly called) (“anna” is a term used in South India to refer big brother), started off with introducing Mozilla, its mission, WoMoz and everything else. He clearly specified how awesome our coming three days were gonna be. Akshay, Santosh also spoke about the purpose of this community development workshop and how we were the few lucky ones to get an opportunity to attend this exhilarating event. The rest of the day was spent in some exalting discussions, prudent debates and commoving activities. In just a single day, we already had learnt so many new things and got involved many new activities.

While not forgetting to document every single sentence that was spoken (Etherpad 😉 to the rescue ), we also indulged in exploring other cool projects that were part of Collab House ! One which caught my attention was the  3D printer which they owned and operated. I could scrutinize its working and the technology involved. Mr. Sandeep, who was part of 3Ding, popular 3D printing service, was sweet enough to print a custom keychain for me :)

Day 2
More energetic than ever, we started off early. The second day had an added guest speaker, Diwanshi, Mozilla Rep from Pune Community. She is really sweet and always ready to extend a helping hand in whichever way she can ! She followed up on what was covered on day 1 and then we spent most of the time discussing what changes need to be brought out in a woman living in today’s mostly male-chauvinist world.
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The next day was to be the main event for other girls from the local Hyderabad colleges, so we quickly started distributing various topics which needed to be covered through the event. Me and Shivika zeroed on Imposter Syndrome as we both strongly felt a need for the community to know, such a thing exists and many of them were secretly a victim of it, we wanted to spread awareness about it, basically. Ideas, strategies, presentations, one of the rare times where Prezi served a really good purpose, not being a critic, though !
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All the hard work paid well with Vineel anna’s treat at a nearby Starbucks 😀

We could finally make up a decent presentation for our topic. Our presentation can be found here: http://prezi.com/5ku6_hi-lmn7/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share
Oh and BTW, on the second day we had a special guest from Bangalore, Moz Santa as he’s popularly called, Galaxy sir 😀

Day 3

The D-Day !! We reached the venue on time. Thoughtworks’ office is really a pleasant and beautiful workspace ! We were welcomed by many women participants who had come from the nearby colleges. Vineel anna gave the initial keynote and handed over the rest to us ! We being newbies, a tad bit nervous started off anyways !

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Each one of us did our presentations and everything went on very well ! The various activities we had planned for, were a huge success among the masses 😀 Kritika and Santosh’s session which involved hands-on work continued till evening !

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Shivika and I were told that we rocked our presentation. Not sure, how true it is 😉 😛

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Imposter Syndrome was something each girl there seems glad to know !21992833806_8af7df98bd_z21832626489_799ce98cdc_o

The “MacBuddies” picture 😀

And before I knew, I was reminded of me being late for my flight way back !

Selfies, Pictures, Hugs, Dramas

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Vnisha’s “mat jao na please moment” ..(Translation: Please don’t leave us and go ! ).

I’ll miss each one of them. It was a huge opportunity for learning and it allowed me to get to know Mozilla and especially WoMoz much much better !

Not to forget, Suchita’s “one more picture without specs” moment !!

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Laughters, friendship, learning !! Thank you Vineel anna and Santosh anna for inviting me !

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Thank you Flore, for letting share this awesome event here on this blog 😀

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