Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Senior - Friend - CEO

There was one important thing that I forgot to mention in one of my previous blog posts. During Amma's birthday celebrations, I happened to meet a wonderful person, whom I had no idea was going to influence my academic life later. His name is Dipesh Walte. He happens to be an M.Tech Computer Science student in my college. Our's was just a brief meeting. We volunteered together for the celebrations, exchanged numbers and parted ways.

We bumped into each other very soon, during one of our lunch hours and became close. We shared our work experience, during which, he happened to mention his idea for a start-up that would implement both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Impressed and influenced by his design, I proposed to conceive and implement it. Now, we are a team of four, headed by Dipesh, who is also the CEO of the start-up, the other two being my batchmates, who are well versed in analysis and programming. We are working together after college hours to achieve the target.

The planning period lasted for around two weeks. We approached our University Management for funding to which they agreed after listening to our proposal. To allow flexibility, we decided to create the backend using Python and jQuery. After about 3 weeks of work, a partially functional backend was created. Since the rest of the backend programming is frontend and user-dependent, I have taken up the task of designing and completing the frontend development while the rest of the team is giving inputs to help me achieve the target well before deadline. Hopefully, I shall accomplish my work on time and continue with backend development which constitutes most of the work. Live long and prosper!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A "Not So Small" Faux Pas

The long wait was finally over. All the work I had done culminated here. It was 10th February, 2017. Just when I thought it was going to be another normal day of programming, the announcement was made. GSoC 2017 application period was starting by March 2017. With not much time left, I started discussing with the coala community and made all necessary arrangements. Being my first time, I acquired the GSoC Proposals of my seniors and read through them several times to get an idea of how to write one. After all that, I patiently waited for the application period to begin.

Upon official announcement in March, with my parents' blessings and colleagues' support, I began to draft my GSoC Proposal for coala. It took me a total of 20 days to complete it. After that, was the review period when several people, all around the globe, from coala community developers to my own mom, checked the Proposal several times, pointing out and correcting the errors, thus refining and making it perfect. By the end of March, I was ready with my proposal, mentally prepared for what was in store. The deadline for submission was April 3rd, 2017. I waited for a day and submitted it finally on April 2nd by around 9.30 pm. I was overcome with relief upon submission since the results were only on May 4th, 2017. I tried to compose myself after nearly 2 months of immense pressure. On April 4th 2017, I received a mail saying that my Proof of Enrollment was approved, elating me even more.

During the one month I had before the final result, I was in constant touch with the developers in the community and spent my time contributing code patches. I kept asking them eagerly regarding the status of my selection and the only reply I got from everyone was to "chill out and not worry about it". The anticipation had built up so much that I couldn't sleep on May 2nd and 3rd. And finally on May 4th, the results were announced at 9.00 pm IST. I had skipped dinner to know the outcome. But, against my expectations, as a huge shock, I didn't get through GSoC 2017. The pain of failure, after all the hard work and sacrifice, was too much to handle. The events of that day and the subsequent days taught me several lessons in life. It learnt how to face failure, overcome disappointment and start afresh in life carrying all the lessons at the back of my mind. But most importantly, it taught me the value of good friendship. I take this opportunity to thank my friends who helped me during this difficult time and made me feel better. Live long and prosper!