Yesterday, my team and I at IT Society hosted Introduction to Git and GitHub Workshop at MMU Cyberjaya. Rowena, who works as an Implementation Engineer at GitHub, has been gracious to come from afar to conduct the workshop for us.
The workshop was a success. The workshop was off to a good start when the turn up rate was more than the usual 50% of the total number of people who registered. There were over 80+ attendees from various levels of study and faculties.
The workshop started off with Rowena introducing herself and then speaking about the differences between Git and GitHub. Rowena then proceeded to the meat of the workshop which was explaining the Git and GitHub workflow. In the meantime, students could pose questions to Rowena through sli.do which Rowena would look into and answer some questions every 20 minutes or so. Rowena also took the time to share a little bit about her career as an Implementation Engineer at GitHub.
Throughout the workshop, student tutors (Too, Pritesh, Anonoz and Danny) were walking around and helping students who needed help. I, on the other hand, was busy preparing banana cake for the after-workshop refreshments :D
The workshop wrapped up with yet another Q & A, a presenting of a small token of appreciaton to Rowena and finally a group photo (and more Q & A after dismissal). I really liked the enthusiasm from some of the students. Some were even asking advanced questions that had to be placed for post-workshop discussion.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with Rowena through Jecelyn, the director of Women Who Code. This was a burning question almost everyone had for me (you just got your answer). I nor IT Society had planned to hold any workshop for the current term, and seeing that I was close to retiring from my position as VP of IT Society, I saw this as a good opportunity to kickstart the long-paused workshop culture that was once introduced and practiced by some of our seniors.
The workshop discussion with Rowena beginned during my last semester’s finals and the date of the workshop was finalized shortly after the semester break started. I thought it was too early to start promoting the workshop during the semester break and so I decided to start publicize the event a week before the new semester started (primarily through social media). Initially, I was concerned about getting enough participants to join since the event was happening on the second week of the semester and there would have not been enough time for publicity. But then the number of reponses were very quickly soaring and by the first week of the semester, the numbers had been over 70. This coupled with two posters sticked per faculty, we had garnered 112 reponses and decided to no longer accept responses thenceforth.
In my past experience organizing events, the number of turn-ups has on average seen only 50% of the total registered. But this time around, it was pleasing to see the percentage increase by ~15%. I had to change the venue to a bigger classroom to try and accomodate as many as 100 participants.
It was great to have an ensemble of a good support team through which tasks got delegated. Everyone did their jobs and ensured the workshop ran smoothly. There were a few problems that we ran into in the beginning. There was some trouble connecting Rowena’s laptop to the projector and the air-conditioner was shut down. But thanks to Danny and Too, they solved the issue with Rowena’s laptop connection to the projector and Florex for contacting the Faculty Management Division to solve the air-cond issue.
Overall, we garnered positive reviews for the workshop. However we did receive two feedbacks which mentioned that the time was too short for the workshop and one more saying that the workshop was too fast to follow along. This is quite normal to expect, given the time constraint and the wealth of knowledge to be shared for just an introductory topic alone.
The success of the workshop, albeit the small-scale of the event that it was, felt especially rewarding to me. I enjoyed every part of the process of executing the workshop: from connecting with the speaker, to gathering responses from the participants, keeping the participants informed about the workshop and getting an appproval for the venue booking as well as recruiting volunteers for the event. I can’t thank my team enough for working together to make the event a success.