FOSSASIA 2016 – Collaborative Spelling Dictionary

Hi! Been a long time!

I just got back from Singapore last week (March 18-20, 2016) where I was a speaker in FOSSASIA 2016. This was my first ever experience as a speaker at an international conference and it was pretty amazing!

For those who are new here, I worked with the WikiMedia Foundation as a Gnome’s Outreach Program for Women intern last year and developed the Collaborative Spelling Dictionary extension under the mentor-ship of my mentor, Kartik. This March I was invited to talk about this project at the FOSSASIA conference at Singapore! 🙂

FOSSASIA is renowned open source conference across ASIA and developers from different parts of ASIA as well as from the world attend the conference. The first day at the conference started off with Hong Phuc delivering the welcoming talk, after which Mario Behling took the stage and spoke of the conference in general. The conference formally kickstarted after Harish gave the keynote. In his talk he went through many history lessons, and also discussed about GPL. Another interesting talk followed as Rethinking Drone Delivery with Open Source from Singapore Post. In another talk Cat Allman gave an insider view of Science and Open Source program in Google.

My talk was also scheduled on Day 1 of the conference, post lunch. I had a 20 minutes session, in which I delivered the talk in 15 mins and interacted with the audience in the remaining 5 mins.
My session comprised of around 40-45 people. I explained the technologies used, showed the demo and basic functionality. I also talked about the possible future features and their implementations and received a nice response from the community. The talk was not only from those with a background in programming, but also for those who did not possess the skill set of a programmer. According to me the event went well.

You can view the talk presentation here.

I was been approached by few attendees to know more about other Language related MediaWiki projects, and were really enthusiastic to know more about Content Translation, localization and internationalization system in MediaWiki, ULS etc.


March 19th, the second day of the conference  started with the Introduction to GSOC, and GCI talk from Stephanie Taylor. The room was full with many ex-GSOC and GCI students, and mentors. I myself being a GCI mentor, found the talk really relatable, with Stephanie sharing some really cool tips for everyone. In order to get more people involved with the project, I had created issues in the same extension for newbies to fix them. After my intern, I had also mentored the extension’s issues in Google Code-in this year and had several students submitting their patches for the same, where I guided them constantly giving them an easy and smooth entry into the open source community.

I also attended various lightning talks like LabPlot and FarmMind Technologies.  Later I attended some cool talks on Chat bots, followed by Daniel Pocock’s talk on Free Real-time Communications (SIP, XMPP, WebRTC), Ivan Kirichenko’s (from SeeSaw Labs) talk on Go Apitest and a talk on Introduction to React JavaScript Framework!

On the get together at the end of the second day, I interacted with some students who were interested in coding and contributing to open source and in our MediaWiki projects but did not know how to start. I shared my experiences as a student with them and also exchanged contact details with them, so that they can directly reach out to me in case they need any further help.

Day 3 was also packed with some really amazing sessions. I started off with attending a talk on MySQL Performance Schema – A great insight of MySQL server execution, and then kept attending pieces from different workshops and talks, trying to take in and learn as much as I could. I had to leave early on the third day as I had to catch my flight back home in the evening.

It was a great time there in the conference connecting with people and learning new cool things going on in the open-source community. There were multiple tracks on Big Data/Open Data, OpenTech and IoT, Hardware and IoT, devOps etc going in parallel. With some really experienced people giving the talks on things they have extensively worked on, I really enjoyed the time spent in the conference!

Here are interesting stats about the conference: the conference witnessed people from 32 different countries, 206 speakers and had an attendance of 1086 unique participants.

I wish to thank Hong Phuc Dang and the FOSSASIA Community  for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the conference. It was an experience worth being in.
I also wish to thank Wikimedia for supporting my travels and accommodation. Without their support, I could not have managed to avail this chance.
Thanks a lot! 🙂


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