Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Back to school: 'Cloud & Bluemix' @ MIT Manipal

This was my first visit to MIT-Manipal in 13 years after my 'Bachelor of Engineering' graduation. My thoughts prior to the visit were a mix of apprehension, excitement, anxiety and one of guilt that I had never made any visits in the past although my home town is less than 30 miles from Manipal.

Considering the number of years gone by, I just felt right to title this blog based on the 1980's classic with the same name, although unlike the movie my visit to MIT-Manipal was limited to a few hours and I am definitely not a 'wealthy uneducated father' depicted in the movie :-)

I had the opportunity to meet several of the faculty members and it was interesting to run through memory lane talking to them on how things have changed over the years. All students now have individual laptops, assignments are emailed to students, classrooms are all air-conditioned with projectors and white boards (no more back boards) :-) and lot more interesting changes.

 Although I was apprehensive on the students attending, considering this was @ 2:00PM Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised (infact overwhelmed) looking at the 150+ strong audience in the packed auditorium.

All in all a fantastic event where I had the opportunity & privilege to interact with some of the brightest students.

Key take-aways for me:

* Amazing to see the level of awareness of students on latest technology trends. IoT, Big Data Analytics, PaaS were not new terms for most and were aware of these relatively new technology paradigms.

* I was truly amazed looking at the kind of technology questions from the students around Cloud/PaaS/Bluemix that I am typically accustomed hearing from experienced Architects and Entrepreneurs during similar events. Goes to show the level of understanding of the students on the technology terrain.

* I also had the privilege of visiting the MIT - Business Incubation / Innovation center. It was humbling to see young under-graduates building on ideas around robotics, 3d-printing, analytics, drones and the like. It appeared the students were well groomed for entrepreneurship with industry relevant skills. Good to see some company names already registered for these ideas.

* Further to add, it was exciting to notice a big board with already filed patent ideas with authors (mostly students and professors)

It just struck me then that MIT-Manipal today is no longer just an education center, and infact a full-blown innovation & entrepreneurship hub. I am sure the next-gen entrepreneurs and leaders are today being created and groomed there @ MIT-Manipal and undoubtedly see a great future ahead.

My sincere sense of gratification to all the staff & management @ MIT-Manipal and for helping making this visit a memorable one.  Thanks of course to IBM for this opportunity!

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