I am Ekansh Gupta (@eKuG, the reason behind this username is ‘eku’ is my nickname and ‘G’ is the initial of my surname), currently pursuing engineering in Electrical branch from Delhi Technological University (DTU) 2nd year, Delhi. Apart from this, I have various hobbies, for example, I love to swim, in social aspects my love for anime is unparallel and in my professional career I love shaping young minds has been much interest to me. My story starts way back when I started Grade 11, students in India mostly choose what they have to do in life during that year. When I started grade 11, I made my mind pursue engineering with Computer Science but wasn’t able due unforeseeable circumstances and restrictions which hampered my understanding of the syntax and programming languages that were new to me where everyone else was way ahead. Due to the competitive environment in my University, Guidance and mentors were very scarce. This became my motive in building a healthy technical environment.
Community for me involves an aggregate of diverse minds coming together to share ideas, struggles, and resources in the spirit of collaboration. Community can be formed on the basis of community sentiment. It is extremely essential. It implies ‘a feeling of belonging together.” It is a ‘we-feeling’ among the members of a community. Because of this feeling, humans unleash their most valuable resources: creativity, imagination, and original thinking and makes them capable of thinking about others rather than just take actions out of self-interest.
With this in mind and some help from my seniors and friends, we were able to establish a student club known as Android Techies collecting likeminded people to develop and mentor students who were majorly associated and/or interested in Android. After completing a couple of projects in the industry, we felt that the need of other technical domains such as ML, iOS, Game Dev, etc were also catching up and was in quite a lot of demand thereby expanding ourselves from Android to Open Source Development in all major programming languages and Competitive Programming rebranding ourselves as Software Developers – DTU (SD-DTU) becoming an official society recognised by college administration.
Having attended various technical conferences, events, and hackathons, our team got exposure to tech environment. We observed that the lack of a developing community has hindered the growth of various students across uncountable universities which paved our path for further expansion of our student-led organisation. SD-DTU was further expanded and renamed to International Organisation of Software Developers (IOSD) which we got registered to the Government of India. Due to the lack of guidance in various colleges, IOSD established student chapters at all the major colleges in and around Delhi, NCR. Every college chapter name is prefixed by IOSD. Leading the student chapters are the core team and its chapter head, and every chapter is officially registered and recognized by the university administration of where it has been established as a technical society of the college. For newbie developers, collaborating on open source projects is the fastest way to learn – it’s like labs for tutorials. For senior developers, contributing to and collaborating on open source help sate the desire to build cool things that matter, along with building up bragging rights in the tech community. We at IOSD are completing 4 years together with around 5000+ connected students pan India and I feel very proud to be a part of this wonderful organisation. Having started with 4-6 members, growing to where we are now, giving us all the opportunity to interact with a very vast and diverse crowd and shaped us to embark on any challenge that comes in our way.
What are your community’s shared struggles?
IOSD has always been focused to bridge the gap between the less and more privileged people which may include either educational level, monetary level or diversity. Due the lack of proper guidance for projects and collaborative learning, we initiated many special interest groups (SIGs) which can offer these resources in addition to developing skillset for jobs and placements. Our aim is the equip everyone, regardless of their major, with technical skills to increase their job prospects. IOSD’s Core Value include: * Education * Perseverance * Innovation * Collaboration * Creativity
What is the mission of your community?
We at IOSD have always focussed our resources for the upliftment of technical expertise amongst the community. To do so, SIGs are conducted both online and offline to make the students aware of rising technologies and world of Open Source. I have been in this community for about 4 years now and the kind of projects for the upliftment of society are unparalleled. Projects ranging from those from Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh Police to United Nations, from college websites to full-fledged commercial websites and app deployments, my journey with IOSD has been that of a pretty exciting yet fulfilling rollercoaster. Apart from Projects, India’s biggest student run hackathon (HackDTU) was organised by IOSD at our college with the help of 400+ students from all over the country pooling the resources combining a cash prize of over 2.5 Lakhs for the winner. It was by far the epicentre of programming fuelled by coffee and energy drinks promoting the presence of open source as the core of IOSD.
What do members look to get from your community?
With over 5000 members in just under 4 years of inception, communication has been very pivotal to our organisation. WhatsApp groups are made every year of graduation wise. Use of Slack and Gitter is very much promoted. But as we all know, how so ever the platform might be advanced, a student always gets inspirations from seniors when talking face to face or over call which is why, we at IOSD are always available to the organisation whatever the time/day it might be.
Future-proofing your community
Due to the exponential growth of IOSD over the years, from last year we had decided to set up a base of all operations which can be termed as an HQ for centralised operations from where all major decisions are taken. The office also acts as a place for nurturing all interns who are unable to work from their home or college as a result of any pressure. The control over every student chapter is then decentralised to the core council of that college which is usually handled by the Pre-final years and sophomores. As the year progresses, students are monitored on the basis of their contributions in various domains not only technical development but overall holistic development. The freshers thereafter are given opportunity to take part and control the organisation and the college level. The organisation runs on a model of scalar chain. This way, the existence of monopoly and monotonous behaviour is rarely present and to the surface.
Although I must tell you that the journey has not been easy. I have had my fair share of setbacks and failures. But in the end, these are the situations which make you stronger and help you succeed.
So, if there is any takeaway from this, it is to do what challenges your mind. Always be open to learn new skills and improve your abilities. This is the one and only way to grow as a person.
I would like to conclude with the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson. >Always do what you are afraid to doMicrosoft Student Partner Facilitator at Mozilla International Organisation of Software Developers Data Science and Machine Learning Enthusiast