Get more out of Slack for your team

Make your work simpler on Slack by using some of the below mentioned tips :

Daily stand-ups

Daily stand-ups are great because :

  • Managers can monitor progress on tasks
  • It gives visibility into everyone’s tasks
  • Saves time by eliminating an in-person meeting

Here’s how you can do that :

  1. Pick a channel and time to run weekday stand ups.
  2. Use slash command (/remind) to set reminder that asks your teammates to share their updates.

Share code snippets

This slack feature is very useful for Developers to discuss code, finding & fixing bugs, offering suggestions.

Here’s how you can do that :

  • Click code block icon (or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + C keys ) to the bottom of the message field.
  • Then just Paste your code snippet
    Another way to attach code snippets :
    1. Click on paper clip icon below message field (or Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys)
    2. Select Create New
    3. Click on Code or text snippet
    4. Paste your code snippet and select the programming language from the drop-down menu. You can optionally give it a title and add a message explaining the snippet to others in the channel.

Event reminder & notification in Google calendar :

Connect your Google Calendar to Slack so you can see daily summaries of your schedule & respond to event invites.

Here’s how you can do that :

  1. Open Google Calendar app within Slack and send it any message to get started
  2. Click “Connect your Account” button then follow the steps to link your Slack and Google accounts.
  3. You can even join conference calls in a single click from event reminders.

Upload and Share files

You can upload & share any type of files like photo, PDF, video or spreadsheets.

Here’s how you can do that :

  1. Drag and drop up to 10 files into Slack or click the paper clip icon below the message field.
  2. Choose a file from your computer.
    If you want you can write a message describing the file and click upload.

You can also use Google Drive Slack app for sharing files.

Welcome new employees to your team

When someone joins your team, help introduce them to everyone and make them feel welcome.
You can share important documents, policies, and due dates to get them started
It will help you to create and maintain a healthy work environment.

Here’s how you can do that :

  1. Create a channel called #new-hires and post important documents and messages that explain policies and due dates which will help new employees. Invite your HR staff to join the channel and allow new hires to ask questions.
  2. Create a channel called #intros and ask new hires to post their brief introduction.

GitHub Slack app

You’ll get updates about what’s happening on GitHub without leaving Slack.
You can Subscribe to repositories, stay up to date about New commits and New pull requests, see the details like Pull requests, Issues & Developer profiles.

You can even take actions on GitHub with slash commands on Slack like : Close an issue or pull request, reopen an issue or pull request or open a new issue.

Importance of Internet Privacy & Getting started with Web based Virtual Reality

I was invited as a Tech Speaker at Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University where I gave a talk on Importance of Internet Privacy and Getting started with Web based Virtual Reality.
Event was attended by more than 150 attendees.

Selfie with attendees

I explained about what is Data Privacy, why one should care about their Internet Privacy and various generic Solutions to ensure Privacy.

Importance of Internet Privacy
Mozilla Firefox privacy tools

I also talked about what is Virtual Reality, Problems of Virtual Reality, what is Web based Virtual Reality and How to create a Web based Virtual Reality scene. After the event received an excellent feedback from attendees.

Getting started with web based virtual reality
Selfie with attendees
Reward and felicitation after the event

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Organized Webinar on How to Contribute to Mozilla & Getting started with Virtual Reality

I organized a Webinar on How to Contribute to Mozilla & Getting started with Virtual Reality.
Webinar was attended by Computer Engineers. I explained about How one can contribute to Mozilla Technically and Non technically, various ways of contribution and why one should contribute to Mozilla.

How to contribute to Mozilla

I also explained in detail about what is Virtual Reality, problems of Virtual Reality, what is Web based Virtual Reality and How to create a Web based Virtual Reality scene.

Getting started with web based virtual reality
web based virtual reality scene

The feedback of attendees after the webinar was excellent. A huge thank you to those who attended, and especially those who took extra time to email or message me with appreciation.

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Slack TinySpec 2019

What is Spec?

Spec is a Slack’s Developer Conference

At TinySpec 2019 there was discussion around the latest developments on the Slack Platform, updates from the Slack team on the news since annual developer conference, Spec.

Apps are a fundamental part of bringing workflows into Slack, improving the way teams work together. But the Slack isn’t just a set of APIs to connect workflows and teams – it’s a global community with the resources, support, and tools you need to be successful.

Mr. Gregg ( Partner Engineer at Slack) explained about what is #tinyspec2019 and about Slack Apps

Mr. Aman Gupta ( Partner Engineering at Slack) talked about various features of slack which are very helpful for developers to build slack apps. He explained and showed videos of block kit, modals, advanced surveys, home tab, integration of google calendar with slack and actions from messages.

Mr. Vishwesh (Engineering Site Lead @ Slack) described in brief about latest development which Slack team is working on and about new slack features

Ms. Emily Pinkerton (Content Senior Strategist at Slack) explained about slack app toolkit. She talked about Slack’s growth over the years in terms of users, slack apps, etc.

Overall I had a fantastic time at #tinyspec2019 meetup ! It was an awesome event where Slack team shared a lot of insights on what’s latest in Slack. I loved the live demo of Salesforce integration with Slack.

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Speaker at HTML/CSS Event

I was invited as a speaker at VIIT Engineering College for a session on “Learn HTML/CSS by creating a portfolio”

I started the session by giving an introduction about HTML and CSS. In the introductory part I explained about what is HTML & CSS, HTML & CSS syntax, HTML Tags, correct HTML syntax, examples of HTML & CSS code, different ways in which CSS can be added for a website, CSS selectors, etc.

After the introductory part I explained about importance of having a portfolio and various uses of having a portfolio.
Then we started with hands-on session (coding) of how to create a portfolio.
During the hands-on session I explained about various HTML/CSS tags and concepts while coding and creating a portfolio.

Once our portfolio was created I gave a demo.
In the demo I explained step by step in detailed about :
1. How to install git
2. Uploading their portfolio code on GitHub
3. Using Netlify free hosting for their portfolio
4. Netlify continuous integration and continuous deployment feature

At the end we had a Q&A round where I cleared all the doubts of attendees.
Overall it was an awesome event. After the event many attendees created their GitHub account, used Netlify for hosting and created their own HTML/CSS portfolio.

Review of attendees after the session

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‘Unicorns of Pune’ event

I attended an event “Unicorns of Pune” which was organized by MCCIA.
There are total 3 Unicorns in Pune.
Unicorns are those who have reached the $1 billion mark in their business. In this series of events I was able to interact with inspiring folks in Pune, who have a lot of insights to share about different communities, startups, entrepreneurship.
This was an amazing event because it helped me gain first-hand advice from those who have built conglomerates.
The first Unicorn (guest speaker) was Mr. Monish Darda (CTO and Co-founder of Icertis). There was an Interesting panel discussion between Mr. Amit Paranjape and Mr. Monish Darda.

Summary of the session :

1. Hiring at Icertis is never aggressive. They always ensure that they never hired the wrong person. Marketing for hiring is always given importance. Pune based Icertis do marketing in Bangalore for hiring.
2. Values are very important. They help you as a framework for decisions. values help in getting customers, values are important for culture fit in a company.
3. Tip for Young and Aspiring Entrepreneurs :
Leave your ego aside as an entrepreneur and do not be arrogant about how you do business. To become a successful entrepreneur you must separate passion and emotions.
4. Things Mr. Monish Darda do to de-stress : Apart from coding Mr. Monish loves gaming on platforms as well as cellphones.
5. Mr. Monish discussed about his college days, initial Startup days, his career transition from Mechanical to IT.
6. Icertis shares company finances with their employees (company belives in transparency and open culture).

MCCIA
Mr. Monish Darda (Co-founder and CTO of Icertis) and Mr. Amit Paranjape

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Hacktoberfest webinar

Hacktoberfest is back for the 6th year
I’ve gotten Hacktoberfest shirts the past two years, and I wear them with pride.

Hacktoberfest is a month long celebration of open source software. It was started by Digital Ocean in 2014.

I organized and hosted a Hacktoberfest webinar for Developers who have never contributed to OSS (Open Source Software).
Webinar was for Developers who have never done open source contribution, who doesn’t know where to get started.
The main motive of organizing this webinar to help Developers to start their opensource journey.

In webinar I explained about the OSS in a beginner friendly manner.
I explained in detail about what is Hacktoberfest, why Developers should contribute to OSS, I guided them through hands-on step by step process of how to open a pull request and contribute to OSS through Hacktoberfest.
I also explained about how one can claim swags from different companies by opening a pull request during Hacktoberfest.
At the end of webinar we had a Q&A session, where I cleared all the doubts of attendees.
Webinar was attended by Developers from different cities of India.

At the end of webinar everyone were happy and every attendee signed up for GitHub account, opened more than 4 Pull Request and started their open source journey.
I created a GitHub Repo ( beginner friendly ) for all the attendees, so that they can contribute and start their open source journey.

Review of attendees after Hacktoberfest webinar

Review of attendees after Hacktoberfest webinar

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What is a Virtual Machine and How to Setup a VM on Windows

A virtual machine is basically a way to create a computer within a computer.
Nothing that runs on the virtual machine can impact the host computer.
For instance, if you are using a Windows computer you can run Linux programs inside a Linux virtual machine on the Windows computer.
A hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) is a computer software, firmware or hardware that creates and runs virtual machines. A computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines is called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine.

Few drawbacks with virtual machines :
Since hardware resources are indirect, they are not as efficient as a physical computer. Also, when many virtual machines are running at the same time on a single computer, performance can become unstable.

To setup a virtual machine you will need a virtual machine program. There are many different virtual machine programs you can use like : VirtualBox (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X), VMware Player (Windows, Linux), VMware Fusion (Mac OS X) and Parallels Desktop (Mac OS X).

Setting up a Virtual Machine :

To setup a Virtual machine we will use Virtual Box (virtual machine program). It is an open source program from Oracle. It allows users to virtually install many operating systems like Windows, BSD, Linux, Solaris, etc.

Start with downloading and installing VirtualBox. You can download it at this link : https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

You will also need to download an .iso file for the operating system that you want to run in your virtual machine. For instance, you can download a Ubuntu .iso file here:
https://ubuntu.com/download

Once you have VirtualBox running, click the “New” button

Create a new virtual machine

Next you will have to choose which OS you plan on installing. In the “Name” box, type the name of the OS you want to install. VirtualBox will guess the type and version based on the name you type in, but you can change these settings if you need to.

Configure the virtual machine

The wizard will automatically select default settings based on the OS type and version you selected. You can always change the settings as you go through the wizard. Just keep clicking “Continue” and “Create” until you get through the wizard. It’s usually fine to use the defaults.
Next, start the virtual machine you just created by clicking “Start“.

Start the virtual machine

Once the virtual machine starts up, select the .iso image file you want to use.
Your virtual machine will now load your selected operating system. The operating system may require some setup.

Ubuntu is successfully running inside a virtual machine

Congratulations! You’ve run your first Virtual Machine in VirtualBox.

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Importance of conferences and meet-ups for developers

I am fortunate enough to attend and speak at many meet-ups and events. I do try to attend local meet-ups in my city.
This got me thinking – why do developers attend or speak at meet-ups and conferences and how beneficial are they to developers and their careers ? This brought up 2 main topics that could answer these questions: Learning and Networking.

Learning

Many developers go to meetups and conferences to learn something new, about either a specific topic or just something new that they might not have heard about. With many resources out there such as blogs and online courses, we have many platforms to learn from, so what do meet-ups and conferences give us that’s different?

Well first, we get to learn from the best. Most of the time, speakers and attendees are people that have been working with a specific technology for a while and have experienced the good and bad.
You also find people sharing different ways of using a specific technology that maybe the speaker didn’t mention. In person communication is something awesome and helps any developer grow.

The transfer of knowledge during these events can help with the growth of a developer and even their organization.

Microsoft Insider Dev Tour

Networking

Meetups and conferences are the places where we share ideas, learn from each other and help each other grow. I found that I have learnt the most from awesome people.

Networking is all about how we collaborate with other people, by speaking about open source projects you might be working on or talking about the amazing culture you have at your company. This opens up so many opportunities for developers to explore.

For me personally, I think that having these type of communities in the software engineering space is amazing. They help many people become part of this learning, sharing, networking and collaborating environment that so many other industries don’t have.
These events are also fun because you get to speak to so many amazing people.
I would say, if you get an opportunity to join a developer community do grab this opportunity. You will get to meet some awesome people along the way.

Mozilla Firefox Annual Meetup
Microsoft Insider Dev Tour

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Take screenshots of webpages in Firefox

Are you working on a website & need a quick way to send someone a screenshot of what you are doing ?

Firefox has a screenshot tool built right in the browser that you can use to grab the entire web page or just what’s showing in the viewport or hover over a specific element on the page & capture just that.

Many of us take a lot of screenshots & send them to other people to communicate about websites we’re working on, projects we’re working on or ideas we have.
There are a lot of tools, plugins & add-ons to take screenshots.

Firefox has a screenshot tool that might be just the right fit for making it very quick and easy to take the screenshots that you need.

Firefox screenshot tool

In the above image, you can see up in the URL bar, in the Page action menu, click on three dots and select Take a Screenshot from the drop-down or you can also take a screenshot by right-clicking on a page and selecting Take a Screenshot

Firefox screenshot tool displays two options

In the above image at right side corner you can see that after clicking on Take a Screenshot you have a choice.
We can take a screenshot of just the visible view port or we can do full page.

Firefox screenshot save visible option

Let’s say if we click on Save visible, we can see that it does take a screenshot of what was visible (refer above image)

It doesn’t take a screenshot that includes the browser tabs or anything else that’s going on in your computer.
It just gets the exact webpage that’s inside the viewport.

If we click on Save full page, we can see that it does take a screenshot of the entire webpage for this really beautiful website.

This is really helpful for those of us who design or build websites.

You can also drag and pick the part of the webpage that you wish to capture (refer image below)

Mess around with it until you get what you want, and then save or copy your screenshot.

Another way to pick something is to hover over elements on the page.

In the below image, there’s sort of the wrapper, probably that goes around the text or you can even hover over an image to get a wrapper

This is a really great way to get just part of the page without having to fuss with crop marks and try to get it exactly to the edges of the pixels.

Select a region to take screenshot

Firefox knows what a DOM is, it knows what all these elements are. It can help use those elements to grab exactly the part that you want.

And after selecting a specific part of webpage we have three choices :

  1. We can download the file (which is going to put our screenshot image file in my Downloads folder)
    or
  2. We can copy this image (which means the file is not going to end up on my computer at all and I can go over to some sort of chat window or whatever and I can just paste it quickly)
    In the image below at right side bottom corner you can check the popup displayed which says that your screenshot has been copied to clipboard.
  3. Cancel: To cancel your selection, click on the Cancel icon

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