I have been involved with Sun's University relations
initiative for a few months now. The present project involves evangelizing
Sun's technologies in colleges so as to capture the mindshare of students.
Acharya Institutes is situated on the outskirts of Bangalore and we needed to get there by 8AM, so I had to pull myself out of the bed very early (I rarely see early mornings , it was beautiful :))
As we reached the institute, all of us were amazed by this huge campus of 100 acres with around 20 buildings under construction and mind blowing architecture (award winning apparently) . Mr Vishwanathan, who is the HoD and other college authorities welcomed us and took us to the auditorium.
Audience was final year students from various colleges of Bangalore and adding to our surprise, there were International students (from Africa) with basic knowledge of Java. My goal was to get them interested in OpenPortal and Portlets. I started with some visuals of OpenPortal samples and iGoogle to give them an idea of Portal Server. I introduced the concepts of Portlet development and explained why this is interesting since they are eager to figure out why this is important to them. I then presented the main topic of the day “OpenPortal Portlet Container” and “NetBeans Portal Pack plugins” by showing several screenshots and a demo.
Demo got everyone's absolute attention as they were amazed to see with just few clicks on NetBeans (pre-installed with Portal Pack and configured with OpenPortal Portlet Container), a Portlet got developed, deployed and most importantly running in our OpenPortal Portlet Container. It was pretty cool to show this demo to these students (customers!) I was thrilled to see the curiosity and excitement in their eyes! Kudos to NetBeans Portal Pack and OpenPortal Portlet Container team for such a wonderful gift to industry.
This demo resulted in healthy Q&A session as students showed a lot of interest and asked great questions about Portlet Development and NetBeans. One of common question worth to mention was “Can they really contribute with limited knowledge they have”, my answer was “Yes” with reasoning, and they can learn a lot from experts in an Open Source project and develop themselves. There is lot of scope for contributions in any Open Source project, not just 'Write Code' as they seem to think.
As a final remark I have informed them Portlets are here to stay and conquer the web development world so be a part of it … Pointed them to Open Portal, OpenPortal Portlet Repository.
Next in turn was “Application development using NetBeans” by Amol Desai then much deserved lunch. At the end we have received Memento and “In Office Golf Kit” which was best part according to my team mates when I reached office after long journey in peek hour traffic of Bangalore.
An End of Wonderful Experience but Beginning of OpenPortal at University programs in Bangalore.
(from left) Prof . Vishwanathan , Amol , Myself , Srinith , Students @ Acharya