Connected Devices at Collab House.

Collab House is one of the most prominent maker spaces in the city with the amazing crowd of makers and product developers. We have an engaging crowd from Colleges and Universities with passion for electronics and ideas around Internet of Things. Hence we piloted an Summer Internship for University students to work on Connected devices, the newly announced focus of Mozilla.

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The prototype building kicked-off with a 2 week design-sprint which has a fabulous output of ideas and process to jump start. As part of the sprint, the students were divided in to 4 teams, 2 in each team.

Interestingly we had the majority of girl students engaged in the program. The first phase, identification of the challenge and forming the best team to tackle that challenge has created more interest among the students, since this is the first time that they are looking at the grass root level of the challenge and think of a solution in a bottom to top approach. The problem statement is sketched in the form of a map, a flowchart of the problem statement, causes of the challenge and the ways to solve it.

We had a line of industry leaders who educated the group about developing a prototype. With the makers in house and also professionals from our connections were invited to project a bigger picture of product development and also about their industry experience to our Interns team. There was a talk on Design Thinking by Vineel, a line of sessions on 3D printing by Sandeep and also on product architecture by Priyanka.

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The interns are also encouraged to be part of the regular events of Hackster.io and iRaspberryPi at Collab House. Vivek Manoharan, research scholar from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore spoke about his work in Biomechanics & Ergonomics, Design Thinking and more with our interns to help them get started with their work.

After the sprint, talks, workshops, there was a bit of hacking on Arduino and RaspberryPi to have an idea on functionality, feasibility to check whether the idea is implementable using a particular platform.

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1 month of the program and we have a solid ideas on paper and the students committed themselves to work on the prototypes for the next couple of months.

The enthusiasm for the students is was amazing. This initiative has created a spark among the Mozillians of Mozilla Hyderabad, encouraging the to take part of this program and make stuff while hacking the existing ones.

Connected Devices at Collab House.

Interactive art | A Blend Aesthetics of and electronics

 

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Collaborations are going to help mankind in making better, interesting and sustainable future for the generations to come. To catch up with the pace with which the world is advancing, there is an essential need of collaborations between individuals, ideas, companies and nations. Collab House as it’s name indicates, is a place for collaborations and a hub for connected communities. We are one of the most active makerspaces in the country while making amazing stuff in collaboration with other communities.

On 15th of June 2016, as Collab House celebrated it’s second anniversary, our team planned to set up an interactive art installation which binds and blends Art, Architecture, Electronics and Technology together. To celebrate the 2 years of Making,  our team, Vineel, Harsha and Akshay along with Himanshu (Banana House ~Makerspace in Delhi), Prasan Dutt (Mooshic Labs, Electronics product developers) has setup the installation on interactive art and electronics, surprising the people present for the party.

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“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist” –R. Buckminster Fuller

With the objective of pushing ourselves together to do more with the existing resources, we have committed to make an attractive and simple design which motivates makers and entertains others.

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The concept of the model is to make interesting sounds when there is a human interaction with the boxes, the interaction happening through water closes an electronics circuit while creating a unique sound with each box. The boxes are filled with water and simple touch on the surface of water closes the circuit making interesting sounds. The water acts as a slab of capacitance with the 2 capacitor plates being the bottom of the box and the person’s hand/palm/fingers.

The curiosity about design and technology has created an excitement for our communities to make things out of simple electronics yet sophisticated architecture and aesthetics. We are an ideologically elevated team challenged with the motto of building incredible things while focusing at the paining problems of the society. The concurrency in the alignment of our goals is the factor behind our amazing team to get things done, with out an excuse.

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Aesthetics, an open standard to be taken care of.

 

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Himashu at work, late in the night.

 

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The term ‘perfection’ is demoralising, hence we strive for ‘excellence’, since it is a motivating factor for every one of our community. There is no boundary for us when we try to excel, since we set new standards while making things. Perfection puts a cap on our standards, restricting us from breaking things and accepting failures.

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Prasan Dutt fabricating the LED circuitry.

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The soldering and stuff
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Some serious, circuit integration stuff.

 

We have considered many ways to make this happen, while only the final one happened, the obstacles, the circuit breakdown, the soldering not going through, the arduino break down, and the nearing of deadline, nothing could stop us form making this amazingly cool installation marking its elegance at the party. The curious crowd, asking us on how we did this, we could say, it is a team work. Presented by a team of connected communities.

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Interactive art | A Blend Aesthetics of and electronics

Freecode Camp 3rd Meetup.

FreeCodeCamp Hyderabad, a local developer community started not even a month ago, just had their 4th meet-up in the city at everyone’s favorite maker space, Collab House. The community is mentored by three passionate developers  – Kapil, Ramana and Arijit.

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For this meetup, Ramana, who works as a web developer, taught the members of the community the fundamentals of web layout. The session covered concepts like how the browser treats the structure of any webpage, and how by understanding its inner workings we can break down complex layouts into a simple binary question of – “Is it aligned vertically or horizontally?”

This discussion was not about teaching the syntax of HTML/CSS or JavaScript. It was to convey the abstract ideas built into the fabric of the web. To be a web developer, one needs to take these baby steps. A web developer, at the very least, needs to understand how their code interacts with the browser.

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The session started off with a simple idea conceptualised thousands of years ago, called Divide and Conquer. This idea is so primitive yet powerful, that we can lay the foundation with it. We may think of it as a basic strategy for solving any real/virtual world problem.
The crux of the idea is simple, to be able to solve a complex problem, you need to divide it into subproblems. Divide it to the point of absolute simplicity, where you can understand the process from the fundamental level and then conquer it.

To apply this simple concept to writing good code, one needs to ask a few questions -:

  • What are the inputs to my program?
  • What outputs are we expecting?   
  • What logic goes in between to take the given input and convert it to the expected output?

From here, we move to understanding the fundamentals of CSS layouts.

You might be wondering now that how  CSS can have inputs and outputs?

And that is a good question. Well, no need to worry! Input and Output in this context refers to our target design. The UI Mockup or Wireframe you have been provided in a Photoshop PSD file. Or a random site whose layout you are trying to copy (nothing to be ashamed of! Mimicry is the highest display of respect).

Ramana pointed out to some sample sites such as OMGUbuntu, Wikipedia and even the FCC random quote generator project. Our output was going to be the UI base layout of these sites. Basically, creating the containers which hosts the data and images displayed on these sites. We started by asking the same basic question, is our input (sample site) aligned vertically or horizontally? We restricted ourselves to two placement algorithms – display block and display flex.

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By default, display block aligns elements vertically (one on top of another) and display flex horizontally (right next to each other). By using these two algorithms, we start constructing our target layout from scratch. Ramana demonstrated the usage of uncommon background colors to get quick feedback on your design. If some placement of component within the layout was not as expected, the feedback was clear about where we went wrong. The background color highlights the component. After a two hour refresher on this layout, we moved on to using simple jQuery to display data in a table format. Here’s the best part – we didn’t use any table component! We carry forwarded our learning from layouts – that one can implement any layout reliably using only the first principles.

It was a simple table layout to display some info about a group of people. Any data table would have the desirable property to be able to sort in order when one clicks on a table column header. When you view your email in Outlook or Thunderbird, you probably sort your mails by subject or sender or date. We implemented that with jQuery. The rendering logic and sorting logic to achieve this again followed the first principle – divide the main problem to a set of simpler subproblems that can be individually solved, and composed together to get a complete, end-to-end solution.

The session ended with a deeper dive into all things flexbox. CSS tricks has a nice article on all things flexbox can do to align your content in different directions, add proper space within the components, stretch or shrink them etc.

“Informative and comprehensible approach towards layout in large. Ramana made sure that we learn new ways(read: flex) to structure elements on the page. Overall I feel these sessions should continue along with pair programming to increase the participant’s competency in the language.” – Rahul Nayak | FCC Hyd Member

Freecode Camp 3rd Meetup.

Photowalk with Google Local Guides

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An initiative of Collab House and Local guides of Hyderabad has enabled the photographers and culture enthusiasts to capture the beauties of ‘Golconda Fort’ and present them to the world. A photowalk was well planned and organised on account of ‘Google Local Guides day’ on 18th of June.

Local Guides is a global community of explorers sharing their discoveries on Google Maps. Helping others find the best spots in town, make new friends, and unlock exclusive benefits along the way.

Google hosts exclusive events in cities with the most active contributors, and there are casual meet-ups everyone can attend as well.  Anyone can organize a meetup on thier own. It’s a chance to meet, mingle, and discover the newest cultural offerings in the community.

Showing off what our city has to offer the world, Finding a quintessential skyline, a breathtaking panorama, or a spectacular sunset and capture the moment with a camera or phone is the main objective of this photo walk. Many people photograph the exterior of structures but far fewer people have seen the inside. Whether it’s intricate detailing, lofty ceilings, or famous artwork, this lies as a chance to share interior shots of Golconda Fort with the world.

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Photowalk with Google Local Guides

FreeCodeCamp Hyderabad.

Collab House is a place for connected communities and we have another cool community added to our hub. On 11th of May 2016, Collab House has hosted the first meetup of FreeCodeCamp-Hyderabad. A regional chapter of the global open-source programming learners community is going to host a meet-up on every weekend to teach and learn coding and programming to fellow community members.

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FreeCodeCamp is an open source community that helps people to learn to code. People can work through their self-paced coding challenges, build projects, and earn certifications. It connects with other learners in the city through meet-ups and gets you started with programming. Hundreds of people have gotten software engineering jobs after completing the coding challenges at FreeCodeCamps

FreeCodeCamp is not a direct coding bootcamp but a lot of coding bootcamps use Free Code Camp as part of their curriculum, though. The curriculum, nonprofit projects, and verified certifications are all free. They offer four free verified certifications: front end development, back end development, data visualisation, and full stack development.

Once the members finish the first three certifications, they’ll get to build a series of solutions for nonprofits. You’ll work in pairs, under the supervision of a volunteer project manager and a stakeholder from the nonprofit.

The community has done nearly a million dollars worth of pro-bono coding for nonprofits so far. You can pledge a monthly donation to a nonprofit of your choosing while you learn. It takes about 2,080 hours to earn all four of our certifications. This translates into one year of full-time coding. We’re completely self-paced though, so take as long as you need.

Many high school, college, and adult ed programs incorporate Free Code Camp into their coursework. FreeCodeCamp is an open source initiative, so no licenses or special permission from the team is necessary. They even building special tools for teachers.

Quincy started the FreeCodeCamp open source community in 2014. He is now just one of many active contributors. Quincy set up a company in California called Free Code Camp, Inc. to support the Free Code Camp community. It pays for servers and other expenses. It also sponsors Quincy, Berkeley, and Michael, who oversee infrastructure and nonprofit projects.

That was an amazing start to FreeCodeCamp at Hyderabad with the tech savvies attending the meet-up with utmost passion and eagerness to learn.

FreeCodeCamp Hyderabad.

Startup Grind with Naidu Darapaneni

 

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Collab House is a hub for startups and related activities. Every weekend, we host prominent personalities and open communities to engage people from startup community of Hyderabad. Startup Grind is one such global initiative and Collab House is the hosting partner of Hyderabad chapter for Startup Grind.

Startup Grind is an event series and website designed to help educate, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs. Each month we welcome an amazing speaker who shares their story with our community and tells us what worked, what didn’t, and what they’ll do differently next time. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the best, network with other members of the startup community, and improve your chances of entrepreneurial success.

Chennapanaidu Darapaneni, a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of MeraEvents.com, the online event listing, promotions and ticketing portal that revolutionized the event industry by effectively bridging the gap between the event organizers and attendees. Several products like MeraEvents, MoozUp, EasyTag, Digibroc, and Planica, which are operating under the umbrella of Versant Online Solutions, are also the brainchild of Naidu Darapaneni.

With over 18 years of experience in the IT industry on various capacities Chennapanaidu Darapaneni and has always emphasized on finding the right and innovation solution for all the problems and create a win-win situation for everyone he is associated with.

Naidu started his career as a Software Engineer who worked in various roles in various technologies in India and abroad before exploring his opportunities as an entrepreneur with the Versant Technologies Inc. in year 2000 in USA, which subsequently expanded its operations in India in 2004.

“A person who sees an opportunity in a problem is someone who can come up with innovative solutions and achieve success,” is the secret motto that has driven Naidu. He found a gap in the event space and was determined to fill the same with the bouquet of MeraEvents. The journey has been eventful. He hived off Versant Technologies. Before hanging up his boots in the hardcore technology realm, he bootstrapped another venture, Versant Online Solutions, the mother of MeraEvents, which has several other sibling products.
Branding, hiring and funding are the three fundamental areas he handles in his venture. Under his stewardship, MeraEvents began making rapid strides into its upward journey with big-ticket deals in its kitty. From accounting to auditing, and from technology to ticket sale, Naidu Darapaneni is Jack of all trades. He is trying to be Master of all too. Currently member in HYSEA, TiE Hyderabad, NASSCOM etc., has inspired many budding entrepreneurs and encourages intrapreneurs within the organization.

Naidu Darapaneni has inspired everyone in the hall with his success story with every venture that he has taken up and the obstacles that he has dodged and tackled on his way to success. There was a networking session among all the attendees after the talk.

Startup Grind with Naidu Darapaneni

CoderDojo steps in Hyderabad.

CoderDojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led,  community based programming clubs for young people. At a Dojo, young people, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment, a social space where people can go to explore technology together and get advice and support from skilled mentors. In Dojos young people get the opportunity to make apps, websites, games, play with robotics and more. In addition to learning to code attendees meet like minded people and are exposed to the possibilities of technology.

“CoderDojo is about encouraging creativity and having fun in a relaxed, social environment.”

Within the CoderDojo Movement there is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self led learning,  with an emphasis on showing how coding is a force for change in the world. The global CoderDojo community is supported by the CoderDojo Foundation. The CoderDojo Foundation consists of a core team based primarily in Dublin, Ireland. Founded by the co-founder of the very first CoderDojo James Whelton, the Foundation is focused on supporting new and existing Dojos through resource and community development while also scaling CoderDojo through partnerships and creating awareness globally.

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The chapter of Codedojo in the city starts at Collab House. As people know Collab House as the hub of activities for open tech communities, we’ve double quoted our mission once again  by embracing one of the most prominent programming community globally, ‘CoderDojo’. The alignment of ideology between Coderdojo and Collab House is the most essential reason for starting this initiative. On our goal of creating the global hub of connected communities, now we have another member in our team.

The chapter or a regional community of Coderdojo is called a ‘Dojo’, there are more than 1000 Dojos world wide, spanning across 63 countries. Named as ‘Hyderabad@CollabHouse’, Coderdojo-Hyderabad would be having an event every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Young people from various backgrounds would be invited to learn about programming, electronics and robotics.

 

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On 1st of June 2016, Collab House hosted the first event of CoderDojo-Hyderabad. With the well planned agenda and strategic time frame, the event was super exciting for all the attendees. We’ve had a session on design thinking for prototyping an electronics project and then jumped off with building prototypes using Arduino. The session on Arduino programming was the most energetic with every student beaming with the entusiam to learn stuff and build cool projects.

Harsha is the organiser of this dojo and we have many exciting things under pipeline for the coming events of Coderdojo-Hyderabad.

CoderDojo steps in Hyderabad.