Life @Needle
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Life @Needle

The internship that transformed me

There are decisions in our life that we regret, and decisions in our life that we are proud of, but the best decisions are the ones that change the course of your life. In a good way, of course. To me, this internship was one of those decisions.

I took the decision of joining Needle Innovision Pvt Ltd as an Android Development Intern in May 2018. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if this is a great company or not, because of their lack of social media presence. Before taking the decision to join them, I tried to stalk them on social media profiles, but there wasn’t much to stalk. I also had other offers, and that made my decision more difficult. However, after an interview with the CEO Rupam Gogoi and reading about his vision for the company from his Medium articles, I took the decision of joining them.

And the 2 months of internship transformed me…

I joined as an Android Developer, but on the first day I was asked to learn Flutter, a cross platform mobile development SDK, and I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited, because I get this chance to learn a new technology and also apply it to a production level project. Scared, because I can completely fuck this up, realize I’m not one of those people who are “quick at learning new technologies” and this internship can turn out to be full of failed attempts.

Ofcourse, the title of the article gives away the story of what happened actually

I started with Flutter from the beginning of June 2018. Unlike learning other technologies, I actually went through Flutter’s documentation, because it is full of example snippets. I kept trying various codelabs and tutorial videos/articles. My mentor, Rejish was also a great guide. First week was a lot of tutorials, and the fact that I was supposed to finish one entire e-commerce like Flutter app for the company in another 3 weeks was challenging.

But I did that. And more.

By the second week of the internship, I started writing an article on Flutter, about how to break down any design and code it in Flutter.

And to my surprise, the article got read and retweeted by the Group Product Manager of Flutter, Tim Sneath, along with many others from the team.

Read it here.

This got me a boost of confidence, and I worked super hard on my Flutter skills. In the nights, I would work on upskilling myself in Flutter, and in the days, I would work on completing my project targets, because I was supposed to build two applications in those 2 months of internship, so there was no lazy week or lazy day. Every week was crucial.

DroidJam, a premier Android conference in Bangalore was also happening in July, and I desperately wanted to attend but I couldn’t afford the tickets. Rupam, who was also impressed by my journey, made sure I get to attend the event. He made some calls, got a good discount, and got me the ticket to one of the best conference experiences of my life.

Correction. It was the best conference experience till now.

Needle Innovision will always take part in your personality and career growth

My mentor, Rejish is also a genius who guided me throughout my internship. In my second internship project, I was working on a Visual Search based Android application, that I later ported to Flutter. It required me to work with databases, and I took that opportunity to suggest we experiment with Room Database. Just to let you know, I had only a week to implement that particular feature and I have never worked with Room in my life. Neither has my mentor. So it was an unknown territory for both of us, and I could have settled with simple SQLite, but now I have started liking challenges.

I realized, I can be one of those people “who are quick at learning new things”.

I realized I also had to learn MVVM architecture to correctly implement Room in my Android project. That was the one of the most challenging weeks. It was already Thursday, and I’m looking at various demo projects and still trying to understand how MVVM works. I think, there were a lot of times in that week, I thought to myself, that I was stupid to even suggest this in the first place.

Friday, my brain was like, “You know, this is how it works” and Eureka! I was able to implement the feature by the end of the weekend.

And as I was saying, my mentor is a genius. Even if he doesn’t know the technology, he would know how to solve the problem just by logic.

He is also fond of Physics and Maths, and would start taking Maths and Physics classes on some random day. :P This started when he was explaining how Animations work in Flutter, and he went to talk about how matrices fit into all this and then he takes out some IIT Delhi class notes on Matrices. *Phew*

And that is why he is a great mentor.

By the end of the 2 months, I had built two applications in Flutter for the company’s flagship product, transformed myself into a Product Developer because of all the upskilling Friday sessions conducted by Rupam, wrote a bunch of articles on Flutter which got me recognized in the international Flutter community and even got an invitation to join an elite community of Flutter influencers.

All work and no play?

That’s not a safe environment, ever. And it wasn’t the case here, either. In this company, it was always a chilled environment. Work from home, cafe or just the office terrace, they just want you to finish the work somehow. Every once in a while, there are team lunches or breakfasts either in the office or out somewhere. In fact, my first day at the office, I was taken to a nice little cafe by my mentor to get me comfortable, and we talked about our favourite movies, and why I hate superhero movies….and all the superhero fans just stopped reading this article and judged me for a lifetime… about photography, and music, and how I am a Biryani fan, and so my mentor promised to treat me the best Biryani in Bangalore, and unfortunately, he didn’t keep his promise. :P On the first Thursdays of every month, the co working space would also host community meetups, which meant almost good snacks, and great drinks.

It was also a equal gender ratio workplace. After a new intern joined in July, the ratio favored the females more. This meant, the lunch sessions were really long and loud. We would talk about anything under the sun. Why introverts are the best people? Drunk experiences? Soul, afterlives and OBE’s? How many of us almost got married because they wanted their parent’s attention? Haha :P

And why ‘dahi’ is the best invention ever.

Insider jokes. Non Needle employees won’t get this.

Few glimpses…

Having done four internships in the past, Needle Innovision gave me the best internship experience of the four. And proved to me, how it was one of the best decisions to have joined them for the summer.

Hello World, I am Pooja Bhaumik. A creative developer and a logical designer. You can find me on Linkedin or stalk me on GitHub or maybe follow me on Twitter? If that’s too social for you, just drop a mail to pbhaumik26@gmail.com if you wish to talk tech with me.

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