In conversation with Hari Kiran G and Ganesh Samarthyam | How CodeOps is organizing 8 popular meet-ups with 13,000+ members!

Surbhi DhawanSuccess Stories, Workshops and Conferences

Q. Tell us a little about yourself! Where has your career taken you in the years prior to CodeOps, and what led to the decision of starting something of your own?

A. Both of us (Ganesh & Hari) were college classmates. When we met some 10 years after college, we found that both of us were bored with our mainstream IT jobs – we were more interested in sharing knowledge, building communities, and exploring new technologies. What’s more, we discovered that we shared a common dream of having our own company that focused on creating products in cutting-edge technologies. Soon after, we started CodeOps to realize our dream.

Q. What were some of the key goals you set out with when you started CodeOps, and how many have you achieved already?

We set out with two goals (a) to share knowledge and build developer communities and (b) to build products in cutting-edge technologies. We started out together by writing a book on Java, a language we were very well versed with. Writing a book was exhilarating and had amassed a lot of knowledge in the process. We started a Java meetup to share that knowledge and slowly expanded to other topics. Now we run eight popular meetups in Bangalore with 13,000+ members.

We saw that there are several large conferences run world-wide on modern topics that brings an awesome confluence of speakers, companies, and participants together. However, in India, while there were well-organised conferences on various topics, there were no conferences on modern technologies such as containers. So, we organised Bangalore Container Conference (BCC) in April 2017 to fill that gap. Encouraged by the resounding success of BCC, we are now organizing India’s first conference on Serverless technologies – India Serverless Summit on 27th October. We are right now channeling all our energy to make this conference a success.

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On product development front: we have just started our journey. We are exploring ideas, creating prototypes and trying them out in the real-world. Slowly and steadily we are making progress and we’re hopeful that we’ll realize our second goal as well.

Ganesh Samarthyam, Co-founder, CodeOps.

Ganesh Samarthyam, Co-founder, CodeOps.

Q. What does a normal work-day for you look like? What’s a recent challenge that you tackled that you’re proud of?

A. Every morning when we start the day, we wish we could have many hands like an Octopus: We have to handle queries from our customers, respond to emails from clients, file taxes & maintain invoices, follow-up on co-ordinating meetups, have technical discussions with our engineers & work on our product backlog, plan out trainings and bootcamps, and so on.

That said, the only thing we know when we start our day is that it’s going to be a ton of work and a whole lot of fun: the unpredictability, in a way, makes our work day exciting.

On a recent challenge that we tackled that we’re proud of: it’s certainly our recent Bangalore Container Conference ’17. Though we were thinking about organizing a conference from a long time, we got serious only in early January. We set set the date as April 7th – an aggressive deadline of just 3 months for running a conference! Now, we really needed to work backwards from that date and hurry up. We were running against all odds – we had no experience organizing a conference, didn’t know how to pitch for sponsorships, didn’t know how to engage people like event organisers, etc. Fortunately, thanks to our wonderful circle of friends, well-wishers in the community and god’s grace, everything turned out extremely well. The tickets were sold out a month before the conference date, we ended up with good sponsors, found great speakers and the conference turned out to be really successful.

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Q. CodeOps has also organized various events and meetups in the past. Which was the most memorable one for you, and why?

A. We had organised a Java meetup in our early days. That was the time when Java 8 was released and was slowly gaining traction. Assuming that there will be lot of interest in Java Streams, we announced the meetup. On the meetup day, we were shocked to find that only 15-18 people turned up! It was a bit embarrassing because we promised the meetup host that around 40-50 people are likely to turn up. We learnt a number of things from this experience: Interest in the topic, kind of speakers, the accessibility and quality of location, how much we promote…all this matters. These were some of those experiences that helped us build successful meetups and communities later.

Bangalore Container Conference.

Bangalore Container Conference.

Q. CodeOps is now organizing Serverless Summit in October, and I’m sure our readers would love to know more about the event. According to you, why should someone attend Serverless Summit, and what kind of people is the event meant for?

A. This conference is for anyone and everyone interested in serverless technologies! There are three main reasons to attend this conference: to listen from great speakers, for networking and for learning & growing:

  • Speakers: The keynote is by John Willis, ‎Director of Ecosystem Development at Docker who will be speaking on “Devops in a Serverless World”. Amazing speakers from AWS, Oracle, Microsoft and other companies are lined-up for this conference.   
  • Networking: We strongly believe in what Reid Hoffmann, co-founder of LinkedIn said – “Who you know is what you know!” We are expecting around 400+ professionals to participate in this summit. Conferences are an excellent venue to meet like-minded professionals – so this summit would be an excellent venue to meet passionate people and connect with the community.
  • Learn & Grow. This summit covers a range of exciting topics, including how Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), and chatbots relate to serverless. You will also get exposed to key serverless technologies and frameworks like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, and open source frameworks for serverless. You can get insights on adopting serverless in your projects and get that much needed boost in your career by being an early adopter of serverless technologies.Book your spot for Serverless Summit!

Q. What goes behind organizing an event like Serverless Summit? What are a few things that your team and you focus on to ensure a great experience?

A. In many ways, organizing a conference is like conducting a marriage! Our objective is to bring-in “a wow factor” for the attendees. For that, our team works hard to find best speakers, innovative ways to engage the audience (like gamification – we are still trying though ;-)), unique swags, etc.

Q. We’d love to know about the some of the speakers we can expect to see at Serverless Summit! Who are you personally looking forward to connect with / listen to, and why?

We are especially looking for hearing from John Willis – we have read his book “The DevOps Handbook” and are eager to meet him in person. He is also conducting a one-day workshop on DevOps on 28th October (next day of the summit) – and we are quite excited to learn from the guru in this topic.

We are excited to hear from Adrian Hornsby on how we can create Artificial Intelligence-powered applications with Serverless. John and Adrian are flying from US and Finland (respectively) for this summit.

Madhusudan Shekar from AWS has amazing expertise and we’re looking forward to hear from him on how IoT (Internet of Things) relates to serverless. Vishal Biyani, CTO of InfraCloud always surprises with his ability to cover interesting topics and attract attention from attendees. Srushith from CodeOps is a young and passionate technologist. He will be talking about building chatbots with serverless technologies. We have many more interesting sessions and amazing speakers lined up for this summit and we’ll be announcing them as and when they are finalized.

We have the Call For Papers (CFP) out and only a couple of speakers slot left. If you are interested in speaking, please submit your proposal now.

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Q. What’s next on the cards for CodeOps? Any future events / meetups in the works that we should be expecting?

A. This year’s Bangalore Container Conference was a big success and we’re planning to host it next year in a larger scale. Recently we have started meetups on Serverless, Bots, and AI & ML. Please join our meetup groups and spread the word about them in your network.

One of the goals of CodeOps is to be a technology company & create products in cutting-edge technologies. We are now putting our energy in realizing this goal. So, you can soon expect some cool tech stuff coming out of CodeOps.

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