February 09, 2021
RudderStack is an open-source customer data pipeline tool.
Being a part of the open-source community is something we pride ourselves on, and we’re always committed to finding new ways to contribute to it. For instance, we recently partnered with GitHub in their GitHub Sponsors for Companies initiative, where we sponsor the OSS community developers who contribute to the RudderStack project. You can follow the instructions in this post to know more about our bounty program.
In addition to this, we also open-sourced our docs and blog to encourage more developers within the community to contribute their thoughts and opinions on various data-related topics.
However, we feel this is not enough, and giving back to the community means doing a lot more. We believe in getting people interested in the open-source cause and kindling their curiosity in building cutting-edge open-source software that powers a better world.
As part of this initiative, we recently conducted a webinar for the NSHM Knowledge Campus students, a premier management and engineering college in Kolkata, India.
About the Webinar
Around 30 students and the college staff and faculty members attended the webinar conducted by Arnab and Dipanjan - two crucial team members with close to 30 years of software development experience between them.
The objectives of this webinar were:
- To introduce the concept of data-driven marketing and Customer Data Platforms (CDP) to the students.
- To encourage them to learn more about RudderStack, its open-source architecture, and how it is used as a customer data pipeline to collect, transform, and route customer events to various activation platforms.
Data-Driven Marketing and CDPs
The webinar started by introducing the students to the idea of data-driven marketing - how businesses these days offer the right product to their customers at the right time and how data-driven marketing helps them do that. It highlighted the use of valid, refined data obtained via customer interactions and third-party tools to drive various marketing use-cases and enhance the customer experience.
The webinar also introduced the students to the concept of a Customer Data Platform. Furthermore, the webinar showed how one could use it to collect, organize, process, and unify the data from disparate sources for all the business activation use cases. It also helped them differentiate between a CDP, CRM(Customer Relationship Management), and a DMP(Data Management Platform) - acronyms people often confuse regarding data-driven marketing and insights.
Demo of RudderStack - An Open-Source Customer Data Pipeline
The next phase of the webinar introduced the students to RudderStack - an open-source, enterprise-ready customer data pipeline. The webinar demonstrated RudderStack’s open-source architectural components, the high-level workflow logic, and the underlying technologies used to build these components.
After getting a demo of how to set up the RudderStack server, the students also got a first-hand understanding of a sample event payload. The webinar showed how to set up a data source and destination in RudderStack, and route event payloads in real-time reliably.
With this exercise, the students understood a data pipeline in action and how businesses can use it to route their data for their analytics and marketing use-cases.
The webinar proved to be quite useful to the students, who got practical exposure to all the technologies they’ve been learning in their curriculum. They’re also hopefully more aware of the modern enterprise trends and how various open-source technologies are being used to build sophisticated platforms that are invaluable to businesses.
We also encouraged the students to take up our internship program, where they would be able to learn different open-source technologies and best practices in software development. They could then apply this learning to build and improve RudderStack and gain invaluable experience in building cutting-edge software for various domains.
The Head of the CS Dept at NSHM, Mrs Suparna Dhar, aptly summed it up:
“The kind of code we write as a part of our curriculum is rather simplified, similar to how a child starts to read with simple words. However, in the actual world, the code is much more complex. The system’s significance starts to emerge when this type of code is used at a much larger scale to drive more complex use cases. That’s where having an internship in a real-world IT company helps.”
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