[TW]²: June 16 — June 22, 2019 | #25
Internship week #1 + Session → SoAI TVM Meetup | TWTW #40
Woke up realizing I have got a lot to pack to take with me to Trivandrum. Invited Hari over for breakfast. We had a good discussion about our summer plans.
Ironed a lot of clothes while listening to podcasts. Caught the train at 2.30 along with Bhairavi (she is interning at Techvantage in Trivandrum). We were in different compartments initially and the TT said there was no space to shift together. My phone also died that time and so I decided to stay where I was for an hour or two.
I observed the guy next to me read The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo and thus it was my gateway to start a conversation with him (though I went through a massive internal debate regarding what would be the best way to initiate the conversation without making it awkward. Guess what? It was awkward regardless). He is Sagar from Amrita Anathapuri Campus pursuing his bachelors degree in electronics and communication engineering. He shared his story as to how life is in campus, how, thanks to the immense network that Amma has with different organizations round the world, the students get to participate in international competitions thus opening up new avenues. This is basically taking personal contacts on a whole other level.
Sagar got to go to the US for Formula SAE for a week and it was an immense learning experience. I was really amazed to see how much real world experience was he already gaining in life. The key difference between his college and mine is, at MEC every batch and faculty keep shifting in a cyclic manner and there is no constant point in the system to ensure progression. Each batch does what they feel is best and legacy continues. Over at Amrita, Amma ensures everyone in her network — from students to working professionals — gets the best she can connect with and the system as a whole continues to progress. Well, this makes me think how can MEC — and eventually every other college — shift to meet this criteria.
By 5 PM I decided to check on Bhairavi — apparently she gave up trying to call me and was relaxing watching Black Panther — a movie that many say I ought to watch because I resemble the lead character (talk about dark complexion stereotypes :) ). She shared her concerns about her accommodation at hostel and how she is trying to ensure problems do not ensue. We agreed to sit together and so returned to the coach of my seat ticket. I bid goodbye to Sagar after exchanging numbers and started discussing with Bhairavi about the book.
For the CS Guidebook, we discussed heavily for two hours — about what should be the primary focus, how it is alright to reinvent the wheel if required and how to chart out a deadline calendar to follow this summer break. She got down at Kazhakootam and my stop (Trivandrum Central) came 20 minutes later.
An auto ride later, I arrived at my grandparents safe haven at Muttada. My Grandparents (especially Grand father) were pleased to see me as they keep urging me to spend time with them (which, to be honest, I tried to avoid fearing of losing time to work). Thankfully this internship made it possible.
We had a good discussion, prayed together, watched the match while having dinner and finally called it a night. I went to sleep by 11.20 PM.
The first day of internship! Got all ready by 7 AM and departed at 8 AM after breakfast. I hope I do not forget any important documents.
Took an Uber as I did not want to take risk. Pretty expensive and not viable to use for 2 months. Got to figure out how to come by bus with Papa’s help tomorrow.
Reached right about time. I had to wait for 40 minutes in the lobby section until my reporting officer invited me in, and informed me of the work. Due to confidentiality I am not allowed to mention the exact details of the work but I can tell you it is related to Machine Learning and Cognitive System Development.
It was quite a different experience. After he explained me the specifics, I was directed to my machine, which was booted up and kept ready with a personalized account and memory unit. I spent the morning configuring the environment while the afternoon diving deep in the program.
I tried having lunch at a nearby restaurant. Even that was quite expensive and not viable for 2 months so would have to request my grandparents for lunch from home. I read a lot of terms and conditions documents and signed it all. My HR Manager requested for my original copies of certificates — I will have to ask for it from Papa when he comes home tomorrow morning.
I left in the evening after almost completing the assigned work. I am not sure if I am doing quality work as it seems a bit hard coded. Will have to research and see if the way I am doing is right. I left the complex at 6.45 PM — 45 minutes after the end time.
In the evening I met rest of my friends (Bhairavi, Anusree, Nikita, Rishikesh, Arjun) from MEC and we spent some time discussing how our day one was.
Anshul also called in the evening and we spoke about how life is taking us through a roller-coaster ride that we are forgetting the daily programming plan we initially intended.
I was planning to take an Uber back but finally got the courage to ask people how to get back. Took a bus to Palayam (saw a lot of architecturally brilliant offices on the way such as UST Global, Infosys etc) — from there to Pattom (gratitude to the gentleman who told me where to stand to get the right bus) — from there walked 3 KM to home. Reached by 8.45 to see my Grandfather on his chair outside — expected as he is very cautious about such matters. I assured them that this was only the matter for today and that tomorrow I would optimize the route .
After dinner, spent some time talking to Akshay — to learn about his day 1. They had an orientation it seems to get them to speed with the work they have. Interesting to hear that their work involves cloud computing — deploying it on the web.
Slept at 10.30 because I did not want to feel exhausted tomorrow after traveling to office via bus.
Woke up at 5.30 AM. Had a quick shower and called Anshul at 6.05 AM — a plan we made to stay accountable to each other to code daily. Got work done in the morning to ensure that I could depart from home at 7.30 AM. Left my laptop at home today as it does not seem like a necessity over there.
Dad showed me the Pattom bus stops to stand at to get bus to go to Kazhakootam — so that I can travel on my own from tomorrow. He dropped me for today (a bit too early though). I waited for a few minutes until another employee can and scanned his card to get in (yup I piggy backed on his entry).
Quickly got to work and completed what was pending from the previous day. My higher up suggested ways to improve and I spent the rest of the day slowly but bitterly suffering to figure out that. It sure was rewarding to see every tiny progress towards the end result.
Set following conference goals to be completed today:
- Send 10 Sponsorship mails to tech companies.
- Invite two speakers for the conference.
- Mozilla collaboration request for the conference.
At 1.30 met with other friends for lunch. I had mine at the Pantry room though. Starting to like the bondings in the company.
Another employee of the company agreed to drop me on the way back to her home (Oh wow just saved myself from the trouble of toiling through 1.5 hours of multiple bus rides). She also agreed to have me tag along every day for the rest of the two months. I am grateful for her kindness. I got down at Peruthipara and walked 1.5KM to reach home — at 7.30 PM. Big improvement compared to yesterday.
In the evening a lot of amazing things happened:
- Received a mail from Codepreneur Week stating that I was selected to attend the residential program from 11th August to 18th August! A fully paid experience at another city. Again, grateful for the opportunity.
- Received a mail from a faculty member of a college in Coimbatore seeking support to initiate a open source community in their campus. The person mailed me after reading my article The Six Kinds of People in Computer Science And Engineering. I feel humbled to know that my words created waves near and far.
Today has been such a blessed day. From the positive feedback from my higher up, ride back home — to these two mails in the evening, destiny has brought me to such happy times. I felt somewhere inside that it is unfair that I received this internship — there are so many more deserving students than me who are without internships now. It does not feel quite right to have too many good things in life. Please don’t get me wrong — I am grateful for all these good result but I wish it others also got a bit of it.
All this is making me even more determined to maximize my time this summer to meet targets and be as productive next semester to bring about noticeably positive changes in the system for the betterment of the student community. I hope my juniors will have better results and opportunities will be evenly showered.
Apologies to the few who might think I am flexing. Just openly sharing my thoughts. World is unfair and it feels unfair to be on the better side.
Slept after completing pending deadlines — way past 12 AM.
Anu Ma’am picked me up in the morning. It is nice getting to know here better. She is extremely friendly and does her best to ensure I feel at home even at office.
Today the task shifted — now learning a new type of memory system. It certainly is interesting and it helps when it was a technique I wished to eventually learn.
Spoke to the representative from Coimbatore in the afternoon and evening. Explained how the scenario was in Kerala and how they could eventually get to the end goal of developing the conference in their institution. I hope that goes well.
I am barely getting the time to study for placements amidst all these huddles. No response from the sponsorship mails. Things look bitter for the conference.
Another great day to look forward too! Getting to know Anu Ma’am even better. Today took a deeper dive on what I started yesterday.
In the evening received this heart-warming mail from Jag.
I replied thanking him for reaching out and encouraging him to call me so that I can provide a more personalized support.
Last day of the week! I struggled to make significant progress but did what little I could. The conference work in the parallel is eating my mind space to think. I jotted down a lot of points about what to tell Jagannath — the good news is I can now use this and the feedback from Twitter discussion that it caused to better shape the guide book.
Got to learn that Anu Ma’am’s son loves swimming, coding and learning. I suggested spending a day with him tomorrow so that I could introduce him to the school of AI Trivandrum community →hopefully it will be a good start for his path in the tech world.
Since Jagannath did not call, I decided to mail him a few points.
Went to sleep after preparing for tomorrows Kaggle Day talk at School of AI Trivandrum.
Woke up to the call of Tino — they reached Trivandrum Central. Jithin and Tino came for Idea Fest finals while Shahul came to speak at School of AI Trivandrum. They left after breakfast. I was working on the talk for today’s meetup when Anu Ma’am and her son Rohan arrived. She got to better understand our family by conversing with my grandmother while I spoke to Rohan on the various computer games he likes.
I tried to pique the 7th std students curiosity by introducing him to Google’s AI experiments on the web. I do not think I did a good job mingling with him before that because he sat still feeling a bit shy to talk to me. I showed him the trailers of some other upcoming games that I was looking forward to. I guess that better got his interest.
After lunch, we left for the meetup at 12.30PM. I got to meet the SoAI Trivandrum for the very first time! A lot of other surprises happened too:
- Sinta from CET came forward and told me how she read my articles over here and found it useful. It was fulfilling to hear that.
- Rindish a junior from college came for the meetup — he stays in Trivandrum it seems.
- Abhishek a junior from school came forward and introduced himself — much to my surprise. He transformed a lot in appearance and mannerism (for the better).
- Found a 12th standard student who is from Konni, Pathanamthitta — my Dad’s native place.
The session began by 2 and I introduced the gathering to the numerous features of Kaggle — discussions, datasets, competitions, courses etc. I hope I did an alright work.
I sensed Rohan’s boredom and so ensured he returned home peacefully. Had a good time watching Shahul talk and interacting with the rest. I am grateful for the opportunity to speak though internally I felt like a hypocrite to talk matter that I was not well versed in.
I voiced my concerns to Pranav college junior about how I am painting myself to look good externally but feeling empty in knowledge internally. He told me rightfully that I should spend less time overly helping others (especially when they do not ask for it) and instead invest in oneself. I should not let the blog make me look good before the digital lens but rather ensure that I know what I speak about IRL.
I don’t know guys. A lot of waves but not sure if the source is solid in values and reasoning. And if that does not make sense, it is probably because I am not in my senses being in a dangling mess between conference work, book writing work and internship work, not to forget placement preparation work and project work. I hope it all works out in the end.
Thank you for reading through. I hope you found it engaging. Shall try to have results to show next week.