'Lead'ing the DSC powered by Google Developers: Abel Mathew

'Lead'ing the DSC powered by Google Developers: Abel Mathew

Smruti Sucharita Nath | Sep 09, 2019

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Branches seldom restrict boundaries here at NITR. And who else can prove this better than an Integrated M.Sc Physics student, Abel Mathew, being a Student Lead of the Developer Student Club powered by Google. The humble pre final-year student, now leading the Developer Student Clubs powered by Google from the front in the summit that took place in Goa, is taking great strides in the field of Computer Science proving that will-power to achieve something, is supreme. 

Team MM caught up with the accomplished prodigy to discuss his journey to the DSC Summit in Goa.

Monday Morning(MM): You are the Students Lead of Developer Student Clubs (DSC), NIT Rourkela Chapter. Can you tell us what DSC is and how did this happen to you?

Abel Mathew(AM):  Developer Student Clubs (DSC) powered by Google Developers are community groups for university students. This is to serve the community more than what the organization is, hence they termed it as Developer Student Club. It aims at facilitating solution development initiatives for local organizations.

Around 200 Universities across India are a part of this community. NIT Rourkela has been a part of this particular system since last year. Sriya Sainath was the lead then. The existing Lead nominates the forthcoming Lead. The nominated members were interviewed by Google professionals. I was interviewed by Ghanashyam Das, the program manager of Google, over the telephone on 14th  January 2019. By the end of January, we got the confirmation. The main purpose of DSC is to promote developers within the community to be self-sustainable to solve the problems in the community

MM: What are the roles of a Lead in Developer Student Clubs?

AM: Firstly, the Lead is supposed to form a Core Team including faculty advisors, students, and relevant technology experts — to help in planning and execution of peer group readiness-focused activities. We have collaborated with OpenCode as it has the domain similar to DSC and as a community, we are supposed to focus more on the development of the community rather than who is doing it. Apart from that, we organize workshops, enable more students to become trainers and support them in conducting sessions, and train the developers to work on substantive projects.

MM: How were the Core team members selected?

AM: The core members were directly selected by me from the current 3rd-year batch. We have 3 app developers as of now. I communicated with people from Opencode and Monday Morning's technical team. People who showed interest are a part of it. The present core team is not the final one, anyone willing to contribute is welcomed. All the projects will be open-sourced and anyone can contribute to it.

MM: Recently there was a DSC Summit in Goa organized by the Google Developers Community, and as a Lead, you were invited to attend it. Share us your experience over there.

AM:  It was a 2-day conference from 23rd August 2019 to 25th August 2019 and 182 DSC Leads across India attended the summit at Goa. Kestone Company were handling flight details for the summit and travel allowance was taken care of by Google. I got 2 flight tickets, Ranchi to Mumbai and Mumbai to goa. We had a 3-day free stay at a 5-star hotel- Leela, Goa. Thought-provoking sessions were lined up one by one. It was a great experience socializing people from all over the globe.

MM: What did the Summit aim at?

AM: The primary motive was to get to know what DSC was supposed to do and how to train them to manage the community and to create a network between the Developer Student Clubs. To make us learn about various emerging technologies through a series of engaging sessions from experts from Google and industry and hands-on one-to-one mentoring activities. To train and inspire student Leads who will encourage the students in their campus to learn newer areas of technologies that will equip them with the right skill sets.

MM: What were the various topics and technologies discussed upon and how did that help you?

AM:  There were a plethora of sessions stacked for us. Here is a list of all the events organized for the 3-day Summit. 

  • Keynote session by Erica Hanson
  • Design Thinking Workshop by Ghanashyam(Day1 & Day 2)
  • Believe the Unbelievable- Illusionist show
  • Budding with Love by Sairee Chahal
  • Exploring Machine Learning by Nikita Gandhi
  • Why Web Still Matters by Saurabh Rajpal
  • Climbing the mobile ladder by Jitin Sharma
  • Kickstarting your Career in Cloud by Nikhil Raichur
  • Panel Discussion: Launching a promising career in tech by all the Googlers
  • Be an Agent of Change by Paul Ravindranath & Siddhant Agarwal
  • What's Next? by Biswajeet Mallik
  • How to host great events by Manikantan
  • Leadership by Naveen Nigam
  • Building a Student Community by Bhaarat Chetty
  • Closing note by Karthik Padmanabhan


MM: What are the perks of being a DSC Lead?

AM: The perks of becoming a DSC Lead are numerous. You advance your knowledge of developer technologies through dedicated workshops and events, gain industry experience by developing technology-based solutions, explore your leadership qualities and get connected to people all across India.

MM: What are your plans as a DSC Lead?

AM:  We are planning to conduct a few more hackathons and guest lectures by some trainers of Google. We have a google form, through which we report Google about the activities we uptake as Leads. We attach photos and mention the turnout for that particular event. Failing to report all these within 90 days will ultimately terminate our tenure as Lead.

MM: There is a dearth of opensource culture in NIT Rourkela. How can this be revived?

AM: The culture needs time to unfold and we are slowly advancing. We witness people showing interests for the workshops that we conduct and yes, it is slowly strengthening. We need to focus at the grass-root level for this and slowly it will evolve. 

MM: How would you describe the role of opensource in shaping career?

AM: By joining a DSC, students build their professional and personal network, get access to Google developer resources, and work together to build solutions for local problems in a peer-to-peer learning environment. Writing a piece of code, designing an interface, or creating graphics, implies that you are learning. What matters is the quality of the contribution you can bring. You increase your competencies and improve your visibility through the process.

MM: What advice would you offer the youngsters who wish to contribute to open source?


To create a product, you need to take some steps. Contributing to opensource can help you get into the technical field, together along with helping the community. By sharing any modifications to a project, you become a contributor. I shall say, small contributions matter. While we tend to focus seemingly on big ways to solve something, we often ignore the fact that true solution lies in making minuscule changes. Even if someone creates a README.md file for some opensource project or reports an error or propose changes to behavior or appearance, it also matters. Because small changes contribute to big impacts.

Team Monday Morning wishes good luck to Abel Mathew for his journey that lies ahead.

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