MINET: MIS's Technology ClubBuilding a programming culture in highschool
MINET (MIS Information Network) is the official computer club of The Mother’s International School, New Delhi, India. The club participates in inter-school technology events and hosts MINET X, the city’s premier symposium.
When I was in school, MINET membership was considered super exclusive and mysterious. Slowly infiltrating their circles, I joined the club’s competitive programming team in 10th grade and represented them at several inter school competitions. After becoming the head (aka Executive) of programming, I set out to build a programming culture in school and held introductory workshops on Python programming for students aged 12 to 16 years.
I also co-organized MINET X 2014, our annual inter-school symposium with over 200 participants. At that time, most symposiums consisted of independent events like competitive programming, web design and quizzing. We pioneered a shift away from this format by having a unifying theme to MINET X. Each participating team was a technology startup who had to ideate, design and code a product prototype in the space of 48 hours. The team who’s product pitch generated the most funds from a panel of fictitious venture capitalists won. I also handled the programming event and ended up learning the coolest things when I was sitting on the other side of the table: creating problem sets for participants. Docendo discimus.
The 3 month long process of conceptualizing and creating the event was an unforgetable lesson in teamwork and organisation. It also exposed me to startup culture and sparked a fire in me to apply programming to solving problems and building products for real people, not just complex data structures and algorithms!
The event was a grand success and lead to other technology symposiums in Delhi following and building upon MINET X’s concept. Since then, MINET continues to grow in size and host the most innovative events in the city.
Started after MINET X 2014, Make was an initiative by the MINET team to celebrate and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and to Make useful things. Young students at MIS formed teams to work on innovative products and ideas (like e-Business Cards!) under the guidance of a group of seniors, including me. Today, the tradition continues and the concept behind Make is embeded into everything the club does.
Looking back, MINET has been one of the most significant parts of my school life. I owe my decision to pursue computer science to all the passionate, inspiring and amazing people I worked alongside and made lame jokes about at MINET.