Srushtika Neelakantam


They say I’m lucky!

Earlier this year I flew from Bangalore to Sofia, Bulgaria to speak at a conference called Mobcon Europe. It was the month of March and my final semester as an undergratuate Comp Sci Engineering student. I spoke as usual about VR…bla bla bla..

Wait! Is this post about Mobcon?No it isn’t.

This post is about what happened after that. Hence I thought it would be interesting to know about what happened during this event that led to what happened after that. Damn, all mixed up with confusing words?

Well, during Mobcon, I met an amazing group of people, fellow speakers, organizers as well as the attendees. One such person I met was Phil Nash — Developer Evangelist for Twilio. When I saw his title, I was super curious to know what it was about. That was pretty much the first time I even heard that term! As he told me about these amazing things he does and gets paid for doing and talking about things that matter to him, I was much amazed and thought to myself what a great job that must be and it could easily be a ‘dream job’ for someone like me who loves to talk about tech and meet different kind of people from different corners of the world.

Six months later, after an interesting and completely unexpected turn of events interrelated to each other or pretty much one leading to the other, I’m now in Berlin as a Developer Evangelist at this amazing company called deepstreamHub. (yay!) It’s been almost over a month that I’ve been here in Berlin and there’s so much opportunity to learn and grow every day, every moment of my work. When I told this to people, everyone was like, whoa, that’s some luck! There are a ton of people who have guided me and helped me reach the current spot.

Okay, wait! I forgot to mention an important detail in this story. Chronologically this goes before the Mobcon thing. People who know me, know that I’ve been a volunteer and contributor at Mozilla since the past four years. So, during this long journey I got an opportunity to be part of many amazing things — including the Mozilla Techspeakers program. They trained me to speak, they encouraged me to take up a challenging technology to speak about and that’s how I got started with A-Frame VR and also ended up co-authoring a small introductory book as well.

Okay, so getting back to what this blogpost is really about! It is about this conference that I spoke at, last week— FrontendConnect 2017 in Warsaw, Poland. My talk’s title was “Building realtime VR on the web” and it got the attention of many attendees (Well, atleast that’s what I was told :P)

It was my first time in Poland and since I was flying from Berlin, they did not stamp my passport, bit dissappointed about that. (I collect immigration stamps, if at all that’s a thing xD)

So, this conference for me was all about the experience and exposure. I’ve spoken at conferences before but this was my first conference as a Dev Evangelist. I used all the tips and tricks from my previous experiences and was pretty confident as opposed to being super nervous the previous time.

Amidst a huge crowd of super cool speakers, I was like this kid who was being appreciated and being given advise to continue making a similar impact in the future as well. This time, I enjoyed being a kid and being guided. These amazing speakers were also organisers of a couple of other conferences and meetups happening around Europe and they said I would be a good fit in one of their future events. Such compliments, much wow!

By this time, I think I completely lost the purpose of writing this post. Meh!

Well, atleast let’s talk about what I presented. I did a VR talk using A-Frame, only this time, I used deepstream to power up the talk and tell people how one could make VR apps easily on the web, that operate in realtime. I made a cool demo (atleast I like to think so) which involved everyone in the audience connect to my app in realtime and a ghost-like avatar would emerge and rotate and move around as they moved their phones. I was a bit skeptical about some possible latency due to Internet speed but it all worked out well in the end and people loved the demo. (Again, if they lied, that’s not my fault :P)

The demo ,the associated code and the slides are available publicly (of course!).

If you have a conference around you and are looking for are speaker like me, just give me a shout on Twitter :D

I guess, I indeed have been lucky this year and I look forward to turn it into something that would make people say that I was worth this luck and that Karma has just been loyal to me!

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