I grew up in Mumbai, India spending most of my life in a fast-paced demanding environment. My fascination with technology dates back to my first encounter with a computer at the age of 8. I started coding in C++ at the age of 12 and am a fanboy ever since. Building software solutions to problems like helping my mom with her budget calculations made me fall in love with technology and gave me an insight into the possibilities.
I continued my schooling in Mumbai, majoring in Computer Science wherever I could and ultimately became the guy everyone went to get their computers fixed. One summer vacation, I did a course in Computer Hardware in Mangalore, which gave me my first opportunity to take apart a computer and barely manage to put it back together. More than anything else this course rid me of the fear of breaking stuff.
I graduated from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Kota with a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering in May 2017. At IIITK I fell in love with Android and eventually Java. I started building Android apps and PHP websites and people loved it. Not very long after that, I had entrepreneurs approach me with their ideas. I often found that they were always a bit fuzzy on their ideas or at least on how to make it a reality. And there’s where a hidden talent in me kicked in.
I would always use small diagrams to depict the flow of things that needed to be implemented. I sketched out what the actual flow of a use-case would actually end up being and the clients loved it. Me asking them the right questions would help them understand their own ideas better themselves. They would pay me for this assistance and I could party every weekend! Gradually they would ask me to build their project and I would take it up in whatever capacity I could. I ended up building up 2 android apps and 2 websites built up this way.
One particular project was huge and I ended up hiring a third party team of developers to develop the project for me after the initial design phase was complete. I would assign these developers some well-defined tasks in the morning and check and test their work in the evenings. This was incredibly fun! I could concentrate on architecting the solution while the developers concentrated on coding. The client was happy as this project was really complicated and me having to think only in a single channel helped a lot.
While in college, I also had the chance to work with distributed systems, image processing, machine learning, Android security and cloud computing. I have some of this work published at conferences and journals. Research is fun especially when you hit a wall and have to jump over it eventually.
I spend the next 6 months contributing to the Defence Research and Development Organization, India as a system automation intern. I moved to Hyderabad and indulged myself in a completely different environment. Security and accuracy were over-valued here. I was the only computer science engineer in a pool of scientists from an electronics background and I learned a lot. I developed some system automation tools for the organization and they could not thank me enough. I brought down the duration of one of their typical experiments from 20 hours to under 30 minutes!
I moved to California, USA in December 2017 to do my masters at CMU Silicon Valley. This was a life-changing experience. Mountain View to me meant close proximity to Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft, NASA and every other of my dream organizations in close proximity. The courses at CMU themselves were very indulging and exactly what I needed to compensate for my lack of professional work experience in a large company. I had the chance to work with an amazing team on a SCRUM model and I loved it. I involved myself in a research project for the city of Palo Alto.
I am continuing to train myself as a software engineer and a software architect at CMU. I aim to refine my skills as per the needs of the Valley and become a dream employee for my dream companies. It’s not long before its recruitment season and I’ll be actively looking for an opportunity. Till then it’s where they bytes lead me…