Contempt, not Content

When they say the name PSG, everybody evaluates it to a technical institute as good as IIT or at least the next berth. I too had a similar opinion as some of my relatives were from this institute and they have achieved great heights in their careers and attribute their success to the basement this institute had imparted in them. With this image, we made our trip to this prestigious institute, participating in a fortnight long Staff Training Program organized by the CSE department.

We were representing the NRCFOSS team, which is a mixture of NRCFOSS employees and the Chennai LUG members. It was the least day of the program and I was accompanied by Aanjhan and  Bharathi from ILUGC. Our original plan was Bharathi will handle Qt, followed by me handling Glade, followed by Aanjhan’s VLSI talk, then my Collaborative development talk and finally the day ends with a Panel discussion about FOSS and GNU/Linux in general.

We are expecting mainly staff and a moderate amount of students. Bharathi was there a day before us and evaluated the situation. We got a feedback that the interest amongst the audience was very minimal and they were still blank about the basics. So, we stopped our full fledged preparation and decided to manage with our current level of preparation.

I landed there yesterday morning, with a gentle drizzle making the climate seem awesome.  The hostel room where we stayed was ok, though a bit of cleaning up would have impressed us. We had our breakfast, in a steel tray and this made us remember central jail. Bharathi felt that taking both Qt and Glade would be way too much for the uninterested audience and hence we changed our plan to Qt, followed by VLSI and finally my Collaborative development. We finished the day by 3.30 pm and had a small chat with the organizer of the event. We were literally wondering why the basics haven’t gone into their brains with almost a week of interaction and talks preceding ours.

We then spent the next few hours talking random stuff, mainly dominated by Bharathi’s experience in IITM. In between, Aanjhan’s Deccan airways flight got postponed two times and finally his 6.45 pm flight was scheduled at 8.45 pm. We left the hostel by 7.40 pm and had a confusion of where to go first, drop me at the bus stop or drop Aanjhan at the airport. With high drama surrounding the next half an hour, we first enquired in a Conti travels depot whether I can board my bus there, then left Aanjhan in the airport, dropped in back to the same depot and rang the main depot to inform them of my change in boarding point. Bharathi then left to the railway station and I had to wait till 9.30 pm in gentle rain to get my bus back to Chennai.

Our expectations and preconceptions about PSG Tech got entirely negated during this trip. We rather started feeling that the private engineering colleges we usually visited are far better in many aspects (other than drawing monetary benefits from engineering education). Thus, this trip leaves us with a contempt of an otherwise highly thought institution and not a content of another good workshop.


One thought on “Contempt, not Content

  1. as the person — partially to say the least — responsible for the schedule, I have the following comments:
    1. it was not the last day of the programme. the programme went on till 6th july.
    we could say that it was the last day for the NRCFOSS & associates group (though I had my own session on the last day!).

    2. we should start discriminating between creating FOSS awareness and training to work with FOSS. As the participant group was diverse and practically zero level starters, the focus was on telling them that there is enough in FOSS for each of them.

    3. If I am willing to accept that most of the participants are going to be “users” and not developers, then my expectation will be accordingly downsized. Thus, one will not shoot off with “contemptuous” comments.

    4. While saying the truth is virtue, being judgemental has to be tempered with knowledge of the realities. Change can be made sustainable if done is a paced manner — not be expecting everybody to come to own’s own “expectations”.

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