Play! framework + BeagleBone workshop at NSS Engineering College

Dec 21, 2011

I was at the NSS Engineering College, Palakkad on the 20th (at the invitation of "ABACUS", the association of CS tudents of the college) to conduct a workshop on the broad topic of "do something fun with GNU/Linux". The audience was a bunch of 6th semester CS students with very little exposure to GNU/Linux. My plan was to show them how to develop a small web-app which will interact with some Python code running on the BeagleBone. This was going to be my first public demonstration of the amazing Play! framework as well as the lovely BeagleBone.

As there were students in the audience who did not even have exposure to HTML, I started with a quick intro to HTML and then explained the basics of the HTTP protocol, how does a web client interact with a web server and stuff like that. This was followed by an introduction to Play. I didn't get enough time to explain the working of some Python code I had written for the BeagleBone (the code simply turns LED's ON/OFF) - so, I had to be content with just giving a demo of the final program which lets you turn ON/OFF the LED's on the BeagleBone through a web interface.

The surprising thing for me was the very low level of awareness about GNU/Linux among the students. The college CS labs still seem to be using primitive stuff like Turbo-C and the only notion students have of an "IDE" is the Windows Notepad!! Hopefully, things will now change for the better, as there are some students who are taking the initiative to bring more FOSS awareness.

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