C@deFest 2.2 a Success


By Pijush Paul

HOUSTON: On April 2, IIT Alumni of Greater Houston (IITAGH) and the Houston Community College (HCC) hosted the second C@deFest 2.2 at HCC Alief Campus for the greater Houston high school students and HCC college students. This six hour event was intended to provide hands on experiences on developing a website and publishing it live on the web to attendees, who have no coding experience. Anand Chauhan a graduate from IIT Madras and currently a Senior Solutions Architect at JP Morgan led the class, which was also supported by volunteers from IITAGH and HCC.

This event was the second on this series in Houston area but I was amazed by the attendance on a sunny Saturday. It was well-attended by an enthusiastic and curious group of students with diverse demography background. One thing I found in common among them was that they all had positive entrepreneurial ambition. Some of the students found it so useful first time (C@deFest 2.1) that they attended the event second time.

Anand took an interesting approach to this class, teaching to build the website with bare minimum i.e. using a notepad and limited knowledge of HTML language.  Although there are multiple paid and free biz available to build website nowadays, students like this basic approach because it gave them the confidence of being in complete command. I talked to several students and they were so excited to build their first web page and publish it. Students were provided with 1GB of free domain space, which they can use to promote their profile and business. Volunteers helping students were amazed to see that irrespective of their differences in age and level of computer experience no one wanted to stay behind. In the later part of the class, Anand even taught them how to make a web calculator using Java scripts and also diagnose issues in a HTML script. In a way it was a full recipe for a beginner.

Over the free pizza lunch, Anand explained the benefits of having a coding career in today’s globalized economy. Young students were especially interested to know more about how to pursue a coding career. The six figure starting salary of a coding engineer was inspiring for them. I managed to talk to several students during lunch time.  One of the student, Lynda, pursuing online Doctorate in Business Management wants to open her own business and C@deFest was her first step towards building and managing her business website. Another student, a retired HR manager, considering to start her own leadership consulting business and C@deFest provided the skills that she needs to manage her webpage. I talked to several High School students, they want to utilize this knowledge in the class projects as well as making their personal profile.

I managed to talk to Ravi Brahmbhatt, Director of Student Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the HCC about the goals of the C@deFest series. He said that the goal is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Houston community. Students’ responses and energy indicate that the initiation is moving in the right direction and successfully surpassing its expectation. IITAGH and HCC will keep working on organizing more of these events in future.  Anyone interested in attending can contact Ravi Brahmbhatt, ravi.brahmbhatt@hccs.edu.

IITAGH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  We help our members connect, develop, and give back to the local community.

For more information, please visit www.iitagh.org. For more information on the IITAGH /C@deFest// please visit http://code-fest.org.