Harshil Agrawal's cartoonised headshot

The Flutter Bootcamp Story 

This is the story of how two Student Community Leaders came together to successfully organize the very first Flutter Bootcamp, in Vadodara.

20th April, 2019, we organized an Open Source Festival, to help a fellow student developer community. During this event I met Ayush Bherwani, a fellow Developer Student Club(DSC) Lead for Parul University. Ayush and I knew each other for quite sometime now, and we usually shared our community tales with each other.

During the networking hours, Ayush told me that he wanted to start a community focused on Flutter, in our city, Vadodara, since a few students were asking him to do more and more meetups for Flutter. But I was a bit skeptical. Starting a community for Flutter, where we don’t have Flutter developers would be challenging. Since we were focusing more on students, it was difficult to start something that they are not even aware of. In the meantime I was planning to organize a bootcamp on a completely different domain. So I thought why not have a bootcamp for Flutter, where we would start with Dart, and slowly move on to advance topics. The goal behind this was quite simple; Flutter has a smooth learning curve, the students will be easily able to understand it and also we will get to know how many folks are interested to join a community for Flutter. Ayush understood my vision and happily agreed to it. And this was the very beginning of Flutter Bootcamp Vadodara.

The very next day I created a GitHub repo for the website, we started discussing more about our plans in details. We started discussing the dates, the format, the content to be covered in the sessions and every other thing organizers discuss.

Although we hadn’t finalized the date and venue we started reaching out to people to get ideas on how it should be organized, what all topics should we cover, the do’s and don’t. I talked to my mentor, Pranshu Khanna, about our plan and he liked it, and he became our constant support. Whatever issue we had, we would go to him, and he always had a solution ready for us. Him having our back made us more confident.

I realized that organizing this bootcamp was not a two man job. So I asked two of my community members, Arpan Patel and Pranit Brahmbhatt, who also were very much interested in learning Flutter, and have been asking me to do meetups for the same, to help us organize the bootcamp. These guys not only agreed to help us out, but later on took sessions on dart. This was going to be their first talk ever, and they were both excited and nervous. Their talk went really well, and they got some really great feedback. The work these guys did made be proud.

The next step was to seek sponsorships. Since the bootcamp was planned for a month, with at least 4 hours of workshop, I thought it was our responsibility to provide snacks to the participants and cater to their needs. So we tried reaching out to sponsors. We were fortunate enough to get support from organizations like GitHub, Mozilla, Microsoft, and GitKraken.

Getting a venue in a city like ours, where the developer communities are still very new for a lot of people, was really difficult. Both me and Ayush could have done it in our institutes, but our institutes were at least 15km far away from the city, and transportation was a major issue. I asked my friend Perin Shah, who had started a community in his university, Navrachana University, and was looking for opportunities to host events for the community, for his help. Navrachana University, was located in Vadodara, and had good space for organizing the event. Perin took the responsibility and got us the venue. This was such a relief.

That was all about the basic arrangements. The next was to work on the content, talk to speakers, seek advise from them.

I met Dilum De Silva at FOSSASIA summit 2019, where we both were speakers. Dilum was already working with Flutter. He was giving talks on Flutter and also wrote articles on it. He also started a Flutter Community in Colombo. I shared my plan with him and he really appreciated it. He pointed out certain topics that we were missing and gave us some really good tips. He also happily agreed to take a session, but unfortunately he couldn’t do it in person. But this didn’t stop us, we arranged a webinar and it went well!

The main highlight of our bootcamp, that everyone was excited about, was the session by Pooja Bhaumik. Pooja, is the first woman Google Developer Expert for Flutter, from India. Pooja not only delivered a session, but she also guided us with a lot of other things. It was really amazing to meet her. The session she took was amazing. We tried our best to make her feel home, and I guess we were quite successful.

At the end of the three workshops, we organized a hackathon to give the participants a chance to showoff their skills and build something amazing. For the hackathon we had Dhrumil Shah, Google Developer Expert — Flutter, Hardik Mistry, Microsoft MVP, Bhavik Makwana, Co-organizer Flutter Ahmedabad and Pranshu Khanna, Mozilla Representative, as the mentors and the judges for the hackathon. With the participants we too learnt a lot of things from these amazing mentors. Team with the mentors A special mention to Pratik Parmar, who has been our constant support. Pratik came to all the sessions and made sure everything went smoothly.

Me and Ayush, both didn’t expect such an amazing response from this bootcamp. For registrations we were getting inquires not only from India, but from different countries as well, and this motivated us even more. This has inspired me to continue this journey and help as many people as I can! You can know more about all the fun we had in the blog-posts below

Oh there’s also an amazing After-movie we made to share with you all! https://medium.com/media/0863f8f1deb4e8c26dcd17789d771b8e/href

Last Updated: Thu Dec 31 2020