Cloud Conclave 2011

The weekend of 18-20th November was awesome!!! I had taken part in this contest called “What’s Your Cloud Idea” conducted by Amazon (Yes, the Amazon) and The contest was for students from all over India and it involved coming up with an innovative idea to use Cloud Computing. Now being a Computer Science Major, I took part and even though the idea was pretty lame in my eyes, apparently, the guys at Amazon loved it and I was thus invited to Cloud Conclave 2011 at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore where I was to be felicitated by the CTO of Amazon, Dr. Werner Vogels himself! 😀

Now for why the weekend was awesome. For starters, this was going to be my first technical conference ever since I started College . Secondly, I was travelling to a place which was more than 1000 kms away from my current location, all alone. And finally, I was going to meet my cousin brother Shobhit (who’s studying in IIM-B) and some of my friends from college who were working in Bangalore.

The journey was brilliant! I had to skip a day of college in order to make it there. I caught a train on the eve of the 17th and was at home in Mumbai by nightfall. Next day, frantic packing and prep for the flight to Bangalore. By 1:00, I was at the domestic terminal, making my way to security check, and enjoying every moment of it! The flight was full of people who looked like they were returning from some form of business meeting. Heck, even the guy on the seat next to mine was working on his laptop before take-off (I am suspicious he worked for Renault).

I made it to Bangalore by around 5. Thanks to my father, a vehicle and accommodation had been arranged for. And thank God for that! Bangalore is a complete and utter mess when it comes to traffic. It took me a good 2 hours just to cover 20-25 kms!!

The climate was great however. It was pleasantly cool and seeing the tech capital of India was an adventure in itself.

Now about Cloud Conclave: The morning before it started, I met up with an old friend, Sanchit Suman and we had lunch together at KFC and relived the old times we had when we were both in college. After that, I picked up a great senior and friend, Prakhar Gupta (who is an engineer at Microsoft!), and we made our way to the Conference.

We made it to IIM-B with plenty of time to spare and I was awestruck at its beautiful campus. I rang up my brother and met up with him. He was kind of busy due to an Alumni meet, and thus asked to call him after I was done. We made our way to the Auditorium, where tonnes of others in suits were registering themselves. After a little chat with one of them, turns out most of the people there were professionals and I was seemingly the youngest there.

The conference started late (Dr. Werner was stuck at traffic :–P), but once it did, it was really brilliant! The keynotes by Dr. Werner and Dr. Vaidya Nathan really showed us how leveraging Cloud Computing could really carry forward our projects and businesses, how we could minimize error costs and how Cloud provided a level of ease in scaling and security that was tough to achieve anywhere else. The Q&A was the best part as the crowd asked some really interesting questions which were answered adeptly by Dr. Werner, Dr. Nathan and Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capitals. Really informative and mind-expanding stuff here!! Here‘s a great piece that summarizes the keynote in a very crisp manner.

Finally, once it was over, I met Rutayan Patro and Tapan Deka, more friends from college and with brother Shobhit, we went for a guided tour of the campus where one of my favourite movies, “3 Idiots” was shot. We took some great snaps at the landmarks of the institute and had a great little evening walk.

Finally, the day had come to an end. We bid our goodbyes, promised to do something like this again, and made our way to our respective destinations.

The next morning was again frantic, in the sense that I had an 8:00 flight, so I had to leave the guest house by 6:30. Left in time, made it on time, boarded my flight, reached home, caught the evening train to Surat, and was greeted with cheers from my friends!

The weekend really was one of the best! 😀

P.s. For more about my idea, please go here.