Does the thought of automating your hostel room’s lights to turn on and off using the Bluetooth on your phone excite you? How about being able to take those really cool aerial drone shots with your own homemade quadcopter? But the excitement stays just long enough for you to soon realise that you have no idea where to begin. And the laziness isn’t of much help either.
You’ll be surprised to find that a lot of us are on the same boat. Welcome aboard Techtanic, where we call our typical passenger a tech noob, colloquial for a person who’s inexperienced in the tech sphere. According to our statistics, ages range from enthusiastic first years to desperate fourth years. Our passenger’s skillset range from ultra-supernoob to successfully executed default LED blink code (And if you didn’t understand what that meant, you probably fall under the former).
Your achievements may seem vast and varied in their own sense, but your tech skills are at a zero. The fact still remains that you are a student of one of the best tech schools in the country. Ultimately, you’ve gotta get your hands dirty on some technology. With ATMOS’16 round the corner, here’s a definitive guide to ATMOS for the non-technical.
Workshops are the best ways to get yourself acquainted with the tech sphere.
Initially workshops can seem pretty intimidating- been there, done that. In my first year I didn’t even know what a Quadcopter was, let alone attend a workshop to build one! A line follower bot? Like those robots made by the likes of Steve Jobs? (Exaggeration, but you get the point). I’ll admit, I was ultra-mega-superdupernoob when it came to tech in my first year. It took me an entire year and a harsh reality check to finally realise that I probably needed to level up in the tech sphere. In my third semester, I enrolled in an IOT workshop. I had no idea what the ‘Internet of Things’ could possibly mean.I was almost certain that I had just signed myself up for humiliation in front of a crowd of tech geniuses. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised on the first day of the workshop to find a room full of noobs just like me. Although I didn’t walk out the workshop a tech god, I was at least one step ahead of the ultra-mega-superdupernoob I was in first year.
BPHC is one college at which opportunity presents itself at every corner. It isn’t difficult to find workshop posters spread across FEG and shoutboxx (that is IF you manage to navigate your way past the pesky Cab Sharing posts and slow internet rants).
The days leading up to ATMOS are usually lined up with several workshops by the technical associations and clubs of BPHC. You’ll see various workshops like the Quadcopter workshop, Bot Shot and Maze Perilous workshops (both are competitions for ATMOS as well), Competitive Coding workshops and many more.
The mentors at the workshop will teach you from the very basics, if need be, and guide you through the entire process step-by-step .Not only do the workshops help you get hands-on experience, but they also give you the opportunity to interact with students who will guide you through technical projects you might work on in the future and be more than willing to help you even beyond the workshop.
Workshops aren’t the be-all and end-all to your technical enlightenment! They’re merely the initial whiff to technology that’ll leave you craving for more. At the end of the workshop you’ll likely have an enhanced toolbox (in terms of skillset and hardware) to venture out on your own projects. Surf the interwebs, binge watch tutorial videos and begin working on a project of your own! And if you ever get stuck, don’t hesitate to call your workshop mentor and ask for help.
There’s so much more to technology beyond the world of robots. From Code Jams to ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ which puts your experimental biology to the test, from ‘RoboWars’ where you live out your ‘Real Steel’ dreams in real life, to the SciTech Quiz, ATMOS hosts a plethora of events that you can participate it in. Although some events might require technical expertise, you can participate in most of the events with the skills you pick up from the pre-ATMOS workshops.
Once you surpass the stopping potential posed by your laziness and inhibitions, your photoelectrons of technical enthusiasm are sure to come shining through. So here’s calling all tech noobs to unite and join in on the Assimilation of Technically Motivated Souls!
To check out more of the events at ATMOS’16 visit http://www.bits-atmos.org/
– Supriya Subramanian