In a remarkable display of resilience and innovation, the Google Developer Group (GDG) Durgapur successfully orchestrated DevFest 2023 on November 5, 2023, a one-of-a-kind technology extravaganza that brought together the brightest minds of Bengal.
DevFest 2023 was organised in association with Think Again Labs, brought to you by Eagles Eye, and Orkes. The official partner was Buzz Community, with food sponsored by Momomia Durgapur and Telegraph Edugraph as the digital media partner. Seedheart, Arikraft, and Casartic were the gift sponsors for the event. Despite facing an unexpected venue change just 48 hours before the D-day, the event unfolded seamlessly at the NSHM Knowledge Campus Durgapur, leaving attendees with an extraordinary experience.
Under the stewardship of Souvik Karmakar and Priyanka Singh, the DevFest unfolded seamlessly, bringing together over 450 students and professionals from all corners of Bengal. Despite the challenges, the enthusiasm of both attendees and organisers turned the event into a resounding success.
The day kicked off with Imran Roshan, a CCNA-certified Cyber Security professional, setting the tone with his session on ‘Securing Workloads Efficiently on Google Cloud’. Roshan proficiently emphasised the critical importance of security, even in the college lives of attendees, urging them to fortify their digital presence against unexpected challenges. His jokes kicked off the energy of the audience.
The keynote address by Sanjay S delved into the blueprint for building exceptional AI products and experiences, providing a solid foundation for the day's exploration into cutting-edge technologies. Rishiraj Acharya, a GSOC '22 contributor to TensorFlow, took the audience on a captivating journey into the world of LLMs with Google Cloud Vertex AI and explored Hugging Face libraries like Peft and Auto Train Advanced. The session was nothing less than fascinating.
Sabyasachi Mukhopadhyay, a PhD researcher at IIT Kharagpur and a GDE in ML, mesmerised the audience at the event with an awe-inspiring talk on AI's potential applications, specifically focusing on user authentication. His detailed hands-on session not only informed but also offered practical tips to bolster application security and safeguard user data.
Arijit Hajra, recognised as the ‘Robot Man of India’, shared profound entrepreneurial wisdom. His interactive session highlighted that true innovation often takes inspiration from nature, reinforcing the importance of environmental stewardship and the initial steps towards financial independence.
The lineup of experts for the second half continued with Bhavik Makwana, GDE for Flutter and Dart, who led an enthralling journey through Flutter and Firebase. His morning surprise, where he built and deployed a Flutter app, left attendees inspired to embark on their own Flutter journeys.
Subhendu Mondal communicated his insights on LLMs and how they can supercharge applications. What set his session apart was his effective communication in Bengali, creating a more intimate and engaging connection with the audience. Harsh Akshit, a cloud and security specialist, shared invaluable insights on application security and DevSecOps, contributing to the diverse array of topics covered throughout the day.
The event was graced by the presence of Miss Charity World, adding a touch of glamour and significance to the occasion. The second half of the day transformed into a lively celebration with an awesome band performance and surprise giveaways by speakers, creating an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. Outside the event hall, live demonstrations on robotics by Think Again Labs became a center of attraction, captivating attendees and adding an interactive element to the tech showcase.
At the heart of the success story was Souvik and his dedicated team, whose sheer determination and hard work over the past 60 days turned potential cancellation into a triumph. The event concluded with an insightful session by Sourav Tiwari the lead organiser of Flutter Kolkata, leaving attendees with not only a bag full of swags but also memories that will last a lifetime.
In the end, DevFest 2023 stood as a testament to the belief that where there is determination, challenges can be overcome. With 9 speakers, over 450 students and professionals, and almost 30 community partners, the event showcased the vibrant tech community of Bengal, proving that even in the face of uncertainty, innovation and inspiration can flourish. As the sun set in Durgapur, it was evident that the city had not only hosted an event but had created an enduring experience that exceeded all expectations.