Meetup: Enterprise JavaScript Version 2

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Enterprise JavaScript Version 2 poster

After 3 long months, we had the second edition of Enterprise JavaScript meetup. The first one was in June. It was an interesting meetup. 40-odd people signed up (RSVP’d) and 10 turned up. That’s a nearly 25% conversion rate. Not bad! Despite the small group size, we had a good time.

Enterprise JavaScript: Building Beautiful Modern UI/UX

In this second edition of our popular NCR meetup, we will learn to build elegant, professional and modern user interfaces and experiences. Do not miss out on the opportunity to hear from and interact with distinguished developers. Learn from real-world experiences of the speakers.

Meetup.com: Enterprise JavaScript – Version 2

Unlike the last time’s conference-style schedule, we had this time only 2 sessions:

Building Enterprise-ready Web Applications With OpenUI5 and Fiori by Nitish Mehta

Creating Beautiful Cross-Platform Apps With Flutter by Anurag Bhandari (me)

A relatively short schedule allowed us to go deeper into our respective topics and entertain more questions from the audience. Talking about the audience, we had a decently diverse group of enthusiasts and learners from undergrads to junior devs to project managers. They were all just lovely. We even had a foreign guest: a nice guy from South Korea 🇰🇷. That means we have international reach now, haha.

As usual, Nitish’s session was well-prepared and touched most aspects of this topic, OpenUI5. I personally learned a lot since (surprisingly) I had never heard of this UI framework before. Too much Bootstrap hypnotism?

As for the Flutter session, it was my first-ever attempt at teaching and evangelizing it in public. I loved doing that as much as I loved coding my showcase app. Oh yeah, it was a mostly hands-on session where we spun up a beautiful Health App in just over 60 mins (including learning Flutter and Dart stuff on the way). The full source code and tutorial of the app is in my GitHub repository.

Okay, I am done blabbering. Here are some pics:

Meetup: Enterprise JavaScript Version 1

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Enterprise JavaScript Version 1 poster

As with a lot of other posts on my blog, this one is also delayed. I mean, A LOT delayed. The event happened in June, so you get the idea.

In Delhi/NCR, not a lot of software meetups happen. The scene is maturing but is not yet on par with the other techie cities such as Bangalore or Hyderabad. Again, not a lot of software meetups happen here and definitely not enough on JavaScript.

One tendency I’ve consistently observed in this region is developers’ reliance on jugaad. That is, they try to “duct-tape” their way through the code if they cannot find out the root cause in a reasonable amount of time. I know, we have all been there once. But this culture is less pronounced in technically more mature cities such as Bangalore.

When it comes to JavaScript, the attitudes are even worse. A lot of developers see it as a ‘scripting language used for validations in browser.’ Yes, some devs do realize the power of frameworks such as Angular, React and Ember in creating full-blown applications. Still, there’s a lot of us who do not see JavaScript itself as a first-class OOP programming language. That is simply tragic! So back in June I thought enough was enough and that this attitude toward JavaScript MUST change.

The opportunity to organize and curate a meetup themed on enterprise use of JavaScript came from Gaurav Gandhi, a great community builder, techie and AI geek. So I worked with him to organize this meetup, signed up a few speakers, and got the venue arranged.

From our consistent promotions on meetup.com, we got 400+ RSVPs! But going by our earlier experience, we weren’t expecting more than 30 (10% of total). Around 50 actually turned up. Man, that was no less than a mini-success.

Coming to the event’s agenda. We planned it as a sequence of conference-style talks by industry experts. For more, I’ll probably just copy-paste from our meetup.com page.

Enterprise JavaScript: Are You Using It THE RIGHT WAY?
Learn from startup journeys, hands-on exercises and product showcases

JavaScript is arguably the most popular programming language on planet[1] and yet a lot of us use it the WRONG way! But the blame is not entirely on you. With so many learning resources around — courses, blogs, tutorials, books, and what not — it’s hard to find the best place to start or improve. Most of these learning resources target a beginner audience. That is where the problem lies! In an attempt to be concise, they leave out the finer details that separate a good programmer from a bad one.

Don’t worry, we have all been there. Learning is a great way to improve. But is there a better way? Of course there is: it’s called “hands-on experience”.

In this special edition event of our popular NCR meetup, we bring to you that priceless experience in the form of 5 sessions. Do not miss out on the opportunity to hear from and interact with distinguished developers behind some massively scalable consumer and B2B apps. Learn from real-world experiences as speakers share their journeys on implementing NodeJS and client-side JavaScript at scale.
Learn to code in JavaScript and NodeJS the RIGHT way!

Meetup.com: Enterprise JavaScript – Journeys, Code Labs & Showcases

Here are some pics from the event:

Many thanks to 91springboard for generously sponsoring the venue and food. Kudos to all the wonderful speakers. And special thanks to all who came to attend, learn and share 🎉.

Building a Career in AI

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COMWETT 2019 poster at WCTM featuring Anurag Bhandari
COMWETT 2019 poster at WCTM featuring Anurag Bhandari

A couple days back I spoke at World College of Technology and Management in Gurgaon. My topic Building a career in Artificial Intelligence was directly aimed at students at the cusp of starting a career. Without going into deep technical details, my session was designed as an eye-opener for students (and teachers alike) who have wondered today’s hot question–what does it take to become an ‘AI engineer’?

The keynote presentation (by Nishith Pathak) talked about the importance of AI, the various possibilities it opens up and some industry use cases. My session having been scheduled right after the keynote benefitted from the expectations the keynote speaker had set about AI. While the keynote highlighted the functional and business aspects of today’s arguably #1 buzzword, my presentation dived a little deeper into uncovering the skills and knowledge required to try and enter this amazing field of study. I say field of study since most of the useful work on AI is still purely scientific and even academic. But since corporations are increasingly adopting the set of ideologies that define AI in an attempt to create intelligent solutions for their clients, job opportunities have started to open up for people who know the science and math behind AI. As any sufficiently technical person would know, machine learning is at the heart of developing AI solutions. And, so, my presentation put focus on ML and the skills required to learn it.

A special thanks to the organizers at WCTM college (especially Dr. Pooja Sapra) for inviting me over and giving me the opportunity to connect with at least a hundred students about something I’m passionate about. And thanks to Nishith Pathak for recommending me at this event.

I leave you with a preview of my presentation, hosted at Google Slides. I hope absolute beginners will find it useful. People already working in machine and deep learning, please do let me know your thoughts on how it may be improved.

AR – From POC to Product

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Delivering my talk on Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality, the buzzword of corporate boardrooms and the talk of developers’ town. A topic talked about so much, yet understood so little.

I had the opportunity to speak on AR at a meetup yesterday. Tending to a mixed crowd of practitioners and (mostly) mid- to upper-management audience, my presentation was technically deep enough to allow practitioners to take the knowledge home and start and AR experiment of their own and decision makers to start prototyping based on the newly learned possibilities.

Judging by curiosity of the audience and people’s various (good) questions, I think it’s fair to assume that the session was well-received. I’m embedding the PPT deck below in hopes it will help the audience at large.

As for the demos, I showed one each for marker-based and marker-less AR. For marker-based, I used AR.js sample app linked here. For marker-less, I chose Vuforia View sample app (iOS, Android).

Celebrity Recognizer and Bulma

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Last Sunday, I took a beginner’s session on getting started with artificial intelligence as part of AI-Creatives meetup Code & Coffee. To get the fancy of attendees, I picked up computer vision; more specifically, image recognition using deep learning.

As time was deliberately limited (90 mins), I focused on inference more than training. Deep learning, as you know, requires time (weeks to months) and resources (specialized GPUs). I based my demo on the Tensorflow’s image retraining tutorial.

Celebrity Recognizer WebsiteCelebrity Recognizer Website

The core idea was to quickly retrain a trained ImageNet model, and then create an API around it for inferences. This API would then be tested by using it on a webpage. I think the session went well. You can see the deck I used here. Source code for classifier, API and webpage is on GitHub.

Continue reading Celebrity Recognizer and Bulma