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Pooja Mistry
Pooja Mistry

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Reflecting on Challenges, Changes and Growth in 2020

2020 has been a year of immense challenges, changes, and growth. One of the biggest challenges and changes that we overcame as a developer advocacy team was pivoting from in-person events to 100 percent digital!

Although making this pivot felt apprehensive at first, we were surprised by the many different growth opportunities.

  • Our audience and our reach was now worldwide, whereas before, our geo-locations bounded us
  • There were countless opportunities for collaboration with different teams and subject matter experts
  • We were able to create more content that can turn into a series
  • Most importantly, our content is documented and recorded for our audience to reference

Most of our advocacy last year happened through our Crowdcast channel.

Follow Us!

Anyone who follows us has access to hundreds of webinars and series on topics ranging from AI/ML, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Serverless, Web development, Java, Quantum and many more hosted and taught by IBM developer advocates from around the world.

As an IBM Developer advocate, content producer, and educator, here are some of ….

My 2020 Digital Event Highlights :

Women in Data Science Digital Conference

In March, I hosted the first-ever digital Women in Data Science Conference with six incredible speakers.
Topics included :

  • What do I do with this? : Making Data Science Actionable
  • AI technology + answering human-ai interaction research
  • Changing the Face of Medicine: How Data is Improving Medical Education
  • Visualizing shared musical experiences
  • Data and Risk Management Impacts

Watch Replay Here

Call for Code - Covid 19 Challenge

In April, we launched the Call for Code Covid-19 Challenge! This challenge was designed to help developers worldwide fight a global pandemic with the use of technology. Watch the replay or read this blog to learn more and fork our starter kit to start with the code!

AI/ML Master Class Series

In May, I hosted a series about building, training, testing, and deploying AI/ML models. Check out this blog to learn more about this series and find the links to replays and resources.

My colleague Jenna also re-vamped this series in December and introduced further insights! Check out these replays here :

Node-RED Master Class Series

In June, we launched the Node-Red series, which focused on building applications using low code programming methods. Check out this blog to learn more about this series and find the links to replays and resources.

Exploring Quantum Computing with Qiskit

In July, I was able to host Doug McClure, a Research Staff Member and Manager of Quantum System Deployment at IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, to introduce basic ideas in quantum computing, survey state of the art in building real quantum computers, and provide a hands-on introduction to the Qiskit programming language for building and running quantum algorithms.

Watch Replay Here

Building Applications with Watson - A Developers Guide to the Watson SDK

In August, I created a workshop on getting started with the Watson SDK. There are over ten different unique services on the IBM Cloud that are free for developers to use with the lite account. Services such as assistant, speech to text, text to speech, discovery, visual recognition, tone analyzer, natural language processing, and language translator, to name a few, provide unique insights for developers to use in their applications.

Watch this replay to learn more.
Check out this git repo to get started with the code.

All thing Open - Embrace Challenge

Throughout the summer, IBM launched the Emb(race) Call for Code for Racial Justice Challenge to combat systemic racism. Focusing on Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability, Diverse Representation, and Policy & Legislation Reform, we are formed open source projects to help combat discrimination and promote racial justice. We invited people across the globe to channel their frustrations about systemic racism tangibly and authentically by getting involved with these projects and making an impact in communities.

Check out our GitHub and submit pull requests and issues work with our opensource project around Police & Judicial Reform, Diverse Representation, Policy & Legislation Reform:

Watch our session replay at the All things Open Conference to learn more.

Tech Talks with Bee Travels

In October through November, I hosted a 5 part series called Tech Talks with Bee Travels with my colleagues Max, Mofi, and Nick. Bee Travels is a polyglot demo microservice application that demonstrates key capabilities of Kubernetes, OpenShift, Istio, Knative, and many other cloud-native technologies. This series aims to touch on topics such as

Check out the docs, workshop, and tech talks to this project here.

Data & AI Conference - Building Smarter Conversational AI

In November, I spoke at the Data and AI Conference about building better conversational AI. This talk was about building conversational AI in chatbots with Watson Assistant and how Natural Language Processing plays a role in having meaningful conversations. I also discussed some tips and tricks into making your Assistant work smarter for you.

Watch replay here

IBM & Infosys Present: Modernize with Containers: Migrate Legacy Java Applications

In December, I wrapped up the year with an Infosys partner event where we talked about Application Modernization and had a hands on lab where we modernized a legacy java application with the help of containers.

Check out this replay to learn more.
Check out this GIST for all the resources.


Although 2020 was challenging in so many ways, I am grateful that technology has allowed me to work on so many different ideas and collaborate with so many amazing people world wide!

I hope you find some of my highlights and resources interesting as you go through your technical journey. I plan to keep creating and sharing content and topics with you throughout 2021!

Aside from the content I have produced this year, we have hundreds of different webinars on numerous topics; all hosted on our Crowdcast channel made by IBM developer advocates from around the world!

So be sure to follow our channel to stay up to date and learn more!

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