This summer was filled with unknowns.

London, a city I knew no one in, on a continent in which I’d never left an airport. Palantir, where I’d intern as a forward deployed software engineer — I knew it’d be something different, but not exactly how.

These unknowns led to quite a bit of discovery. I was able to reflect on my place in the world and interface with people of all kinds of backgrounds and attitudes on life, careers, and politics. I became a better conversationalist and a more aware individual.

At Palantir, I explored aspects of my skillset I…


Last August I realized I would graduate in May — earlier than expected. I wasn’t mentally prepared; I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue career-wise. So I figured, another internship?

I learned a ton this winter while at Lyft. My work was primarily related to data pipelines, and with the mentorship from Dan Fan and Ikramul Haq (and great feedback culture!) I strengthened my ability to evaluate technical design decisions, communicate across teams, and build solid services.

More broadly, I talked to several people about their career trajectories, which ranged from “I started coding at 14” to “I took a 2 year break after a few years in X and then got into tech.”

I came to terms with the idea that I’m probably never going to know if I…


From an interdepartmental communication tool to a marketing and news hub

Your inbox from 20 years ago probably looked very different than it does today. (For one, I hope it’s now on Gmail.)

From better spam filters to cleaner design and categorization, the email experience has certainly improved since its inception. But the real transformation of email is in the kind of content we now consume through this 50+ year old medium of communication.

A Brief Look Back

A 50+ year old medium of communication?

Yep, email has been around a long time, and it’s finally glo’d up;. A late bloomer, if you will.

The origins

The concept of intra-network messaging was implemented earliest in the early…


How to actually accomplish your New Year’s resolutions and keep the cycle of self-improvement churning.

Every morning as I leave for work, I grab my keys off the same place on the counter, stuff my feet into my boots, and lock the door.

Then I walk down two flights of stairs, and ask myself — did I lock the door?

For the first 3 weeks or so, I’d go back up and check. Soon after, I’d reassure myself it was locked — it always was.

Habits are an interesting phenomenon. A few years ago, my dad recommended I read The Power of Habit. As a high schooler, I didn’t heed much to such recommendations, but…


Let’s try and automate something [in python]

Photo by Rock’n Roll Monkey on Unsplash

Update: code and tutorial updated on June 28 to reflect Slack API changes

Slackbots: Why use them?

Before we get into the tutorial part of this post, let’s take a look at why this can be a worthy project and tool.

Slack is an increasingly popular tool for team-wide communication. It’s grown to include plugins for other widely used project management tools, like JIRA, Google Drive, and the likes. Any slack user knows — the more you can do from within the conversation, the better.

Common uses for a slackbot range from a simple notifier for when a task is complete (like a test…


Engaging homeowners without really knowing what it’s like to be one

Nine months ago, I got on a call with my future manager to talk about the scope of the team and understand if it’d be a good fit. Owner Engagement focuses on making Redfin resourceful for homeowners in an effort to retain their interest and ultimately convert owners to sellers.

Having in the past worked on engineering infrastructure, I was excited to diversify and work on the product side of a company — I wanted the fulfillment of knowing users were directly impacted by my work. Working on product development at Redfin, however, presented a new challenge: understanding the product…


growing that internship money

You’ve been watching those direct deposits come in — maybe spending lots of it on rent, recreation, and the likes. Maybe tuition or housing this Fall. If you have the bandwidth to save some of it, however, your bank balance has been rising. How do you make the most of it? Invest.

What Does It Mean to Invest?

According to investopedia.com (a great resource!):

Investing is the act of committing money or capital to an endeavor (a business, project, real estate, etc.), with the expectation of obtaining an additional income or profit.

Investing vs Trading

Investors are in this for the long game. A diversified portfolio (with stocks, bonds…


Taking the time to understand the “third” core tenet of Jainism

At #YJA18, Nikita T. Mitchell gave a wonderful keynote.

Your faith is rooted in compassion. Shine that light.

While sharing her story, she asked us to reflect on and share a defining moment for our faith. For me, I thought back to the couple distinctive turning points in how I approached Jainism and where I concentrated my efforts: my journey in understanding Anekantvad.

The Three A’s

If you went to pathshaala as a kid or did some research into Jain theory, you were likely introduced to the three A’s (and their common translations):

  • Ahimsa (non-violence)
  • Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)
  • Anekantvad (non-absolutism, multiplicity of views)

These…


supporting individual growth and exploration

Inception

As with most ideas, there were some building block experiences to this idea.

The Basis

Back in January, I watched a friend’s Snapchat story in awe as he posted videos from CES 2018 (a major consumer electronics conference). Later that day, as I took my usual mental break and went to the Student Center to chat with some bros, CES came up in conversation.

Aside from discussing some of the most random things we’d read about, we considered how cool it’d be to actually go to Vegas and check out CES ourselves. Except that we couldn’t all just drop cash like that…


Heads up, we’ve moved! If you’d like to continue keeping up with the latest technical content from Square please visit us at our new home https://developer.squareup.com/blog

What is osquery?

osquery is an an open source tool by Facebook that provides a SQL interface for system information.

Over the course of the summer I’ve been working on integrating osquery results into our internal asset tracker for automation/validation purposes. It’s been incredibly useful for monitoring various stats, and the SQL interface makes it easy to use.

Finding the miscalculations

small linux disk sizes?

I’d been collecting data for about 2 weeks, when I changed the UI to showing human-readable numbers, and noticed…

Vishwa Shah

@GeorgiaTech ’19 | https://vishwashah.me

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