Wednesday Oct 29, 2008

Connected with 500+ University Students in India

I was given an opportunity to connect with students through Sun Learning Services and I gladly accepted the challenge. The topic of the seminar was "Sun Technologies - Giving You a Edge". For this seminar, I traveled to Kochi city on the evening of October 22. Kochi is the commercial hub of the southern state of Kerala in India.

I was accompanied by the Marketing manager of Aptech Computer Education throughout my stay there. Aptech is one of our education partners who provide Sun Java and Solaris certifications. He was telling me that it is the first time a person from Sun Microsystems is visiting this college and that the expectations are high. A week prior to the event, Aptech had distributed posters and pamphlets to 20 colleges that a free seminar on Sun Technologies is going to be delivered by Sun technical evangelist and subject matter expert and asking for participation.

The venue was Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies (MACFAST). This college was chosen because this college is closer to several other engineering colleges and they want to utilize this seminar to the fullest extent. This college also has a good infrastructure. They have given laptops to each student and the entire college is connected through wireless.

Just to give some statistics, around 500 students from 16 colleges along with the students from MACFAST college attended the seminar. The exact number of students was 523. Students are from the Engineering and Computer Applications background. They were seated in a nice two-tier auditorium.

I got very excited when I saw the auditorium full of students. When I entered the auditorium, they gave me a rousing welcome by standing and clapping. After the prayer, college profile, and welcome address, I started speaking.

I started my seminar by asking them basic questions about Sun. I made sure that the session was interactive throughout by asking several questions. I covered topics such as Innovations in Java, Open Source, Virtualization, Zones, products in the Sun xVM portfolio, Sun certifications, and SDN. I spoke for around two hours with passion about Sun technologies. Sometimes, I even deviated from the slides and stressed the students to develop soft skills such as communication and develop the art of blogging in order to kick start their careers.

I also gave a demo on Sun xVM Virtual Box. Students were excited in hearing about Virtual Box. I could feel this in terms of the number of questions they asked about Virtual Box. Q&A session went on for about 30 minutes. There were also questions on how memory management works in Java, purpose of java.net web site, why Java cards are used in ATM cards, network virtualization, para virtualization, why there are no pointers in Java and so on.

I also talked about the need for having certifications and pointed them to the Aptech folks for more information. All the students filled up the SDN registration forms. These forms allow Sun to connect back to students.

I also had a brief interaction with the college principal after the event. It was nice to see that the college has adopted a strategy to buy open-source software such as Apache Web server, Open Office, PHP, MySQL.

The feedback from the students is very positive. Aptech is planning to organize more seminars in that region next month and asked me to plan for the same.

It was an enjoyable and enriching experience to spread awareness about Sun in the student community.

I will share the pictures from the event soon.

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This blog provides news and insights about Sun's xVM products, including Sun xVM Ops Center and Sun xVM Server.

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