Mini AppDay & Webmaker – Mar Athanasius College of Engineering

Nidhiya V Raj

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We organized a Webmaker Party and and AppDay on August 2, 2014 at Mar Athanasius College Of Engineering, Kothamangalam.  A team of 7 Mozillians reached the venue on time. Most interestingly, we had a “Doing good is a part of our code” poster to welcome us.

The event was coordinated by Kumaresan C S along with Abid Aboobacker, Abin Abraham, Nidhiya V Raj(that’s me), Rigin Oommen, Saraswathy and Vysakh. The event was conducted by MACE in association with the silver jubilee celebration of the Computer Science department. We had lots of enthusiastic students from the Computer Science & Engineering Department as attendees. The day started with an introduction by Namitha. I was very excited because we had a hall full of enthusiastic second year students of MACE. Kumaresan gave a brief description about the agenda of the event and later handed over to Abid who gave a talk on “Why open-source?”. And surprisingly, only a few hands were up when he asked if anyone could brief about open-source. Later on, he gave some swags to the person who recognized Aaron Swartz. Before moving on to the next session, we announced the tweeting competition with hashtags #MakerPartyMACE #TeachTheWeb #MozillaKerala. Having known about open source, it was the time for us to start with Mozilla and its mission; It was Abid who took that session too.

The next session was taken by Eldhose K Shibu on Firefox OS. After the talk, we gave the participants a sticky note. Abid asked them if they could discuss in groups and suggest the various modifications/suggestions to provide an effective customer experience (kind of an UX idea pitching). They were given 5 minutes to write down their suggestions on the sticky note. Though many of them suggested the existing technologies, there were a select few who thought out of the box. We took a small tea break which was followed by a song by Anju. Meanwhile, we showcased the Geeksphone Keon and the Firefox OS tablet.  The participants were crowding around us to check out the new Firefox UI and all.

Then it was Nidhiya‘s (my) turn to introduce the basics of web designing – HTML and CSS. Once the participants got familiarized with the basic tags, I thought of introducing the Webmaker tool X-Ray Goggles. To create a curiosity among students, myself and Abin planned a trick with the remix of “The Hindu” newspaper which showed MACE Maker Party as the headline. As expected, they got excited to know about X-Ray Goggles. It took more than half an hour for everyone to activate the tool due to an internet connectivity issue. After that, we broke for lunch. The students were eager for the next sessions. Without further ado, Vysakh started off with Web APIs and it was followed by introduction to the Appmaker tool. Abin and Vysakh continued with Appmaker. But due to the slow internet connectivity, we had no other option but to concentrate on X-Ray Goggles. And the Mozillians helped them to get familiarized with the tools. We announced that there would be a “Best Make” competition and give away the swags to the best Website Remix and App. After the competition, it was our turn to evaluate the makes and apps. Abin, myself and Vysakh judged the makes. We found them very interesting. the participants had eyed on the Kerala Government website, MACE website, Google home page, Starplus and even Webmaker.org. We had themes from Modi to Thattathinmaryathu. And of course, we had a wide variety of apps as well.

Then it was time for us to choose the “Best Makes” and “Team Google” from the X-Ray Goggles category and  “Cracker Light” from the Appmaker category were chosen as the winners. It was Mr. Eldhose P Alias, faculty at MACE who distributed the prizes to the winners. Surprisingly, the team who won in the X-Ray Goggles category bagged the swags for the tweetathon too. To conclude our event Abid talked about How to contribute to Mozilla?. Actually, that was not the end. It was a call for a beginning.

And lastly we had photo session. We decided to stay inside the auditorium since it was raining heavily outside. But there was no shortage for fun at all. From selfies to crazy group photos. We had a special photograph session with the organizers and volunteers namely Prince Raju, Tany Thomas, Kunjeriya Kuruvila and Eldhose K Shibu.