Sem 5

Okay. It’s been a long long time since I blogged. It’s not that I was busy or anything (at least not more busy than I usually am).
So now I have almost four months of stuff to write here.

The sem started of fine after I got back from Bangalore. We hardly had any contact hours this semester (<12 hrs of classes a week), so I had a lot of free time in the first half of the semester. But then the second half was quite busy because of assignments and projects. I had heard from seniors that third year was very heavy because of assignments and projects but as of now looking back, I wouldn’t say it was that bad. It was intense alright but not that bad. I in some sense enjoyed it too – writing “deep” code in OS and to some extent in CS355 rather than the usual code that feels superficial (writing code to display GUI etc – which I feel is in some sense is “mindless”).

Then, I got an intern offer from Microsoft Research at Redmond for next year (2007) summer, for 12 weeks. There are 5 others from IITK who got it, totally 11 from all the IITs in India who got offers from them. The stipend is pretty good (higher than the other internships CS students at IITK usually go for) and I’m hoping that the work would be good too. When I started thinking of selecting internships this year, I was keen on interning at a (reputed) research Lab outside India, so from the list of places where students went, that reduced to MSR, INRIA and Bell Labs. Bell Labs at Murray Hill I think has stopped taking UG interns from India so that left me with INRIA and MSR. INRIA as such is good but a student from here who went last year had said that the work wasn’t as good as she’d expected.So, I guess it was the best offer I could have gotten that matched my interests…and yet, when I did get an unofficial nod from the interviewer after my phone interview, I suddenly felt very uncomfortable/insecure. The reason was something like this : Two of my (good) friends had gotten intern offers from a particular company. The internships from that particular company were in demand since they paid well and also the work was good. Now, in all their happiness and celebrations, they somehow forgot to tell me about the offer and I got to know from someone else in the mess. I was a little hurt since, being good friends, I had expected them to tell me the good news directly rather than me hearing it through someone else. Apart from this, in general, the idea of them having confirmed internships and me not having one, made a little distance grow between me and them.

Basically, when I got an unofficial offer fro MSR, I was worried about this happening between me and all my friends in general, so I felt uncomfortable/insecure. It also reminded me of a mail sent to me long back by a senior/friend of the Y0 batch at IITK who had described the way many of his friends started behaving differently when he got the highest paying job in his time. I was afraid of something like that happening with me too. Anyway… what I did was tell most of the people I consider good friends directly and a month later, they still talk with me the way they always used to. With others, things are fine now but in the initial days I distinctly remember a few friends acting different.

That’s that about the internship.
Now for acads…this sem acads are better than last sem, except in TOC. My midsems went fine in all the subjects except TOC. The endsems are from coming Wednesday and I started studying today, because of other things that occupied me, one being the deployment of the placement automation system and the other being the development of the Internship Management System.

I had made a project as part of my Database course last semester, which was a web based system to automate the internships. The work that was completed by the end of last semester, wasn’t that good and like most “academic projects”, needed a lot of changes to be made if you were to deploy it in real life. In terms of number of lines of code, it was 1000 lines when this sem began and as of now it is more than 3000 lines.

It took a lot of my time in the first two months of this sem, but was finally deployed in Mid September. The prof who was handling the internships from my deptt is quite happy with it as of now and it will be used next year too and so on. This project is different from most of my other projects since someone will actually be using it rather than it sitting as a zip file in the home directory of a professor along with n other similar projects. Also, if it is going to be used every year, it would feel nice once I pass out of IITK, knowing that something that I made is being used by my institute and is helping people there.

Okay now I really have to get back to studying so will wind up with the last bit on my winter plans : I will be spending this winter in Muscat. This will be the last time I’m going to Muscat since my parents are permanently returning to India next year. I will be leaving IITK a few hrs after my last exam on 5th Dec and returning a few hours before the New Year begins.

I guess it will be the last time I see most of my schoolmates.
The last time I see all the teachers who’ve taught me since 1st standard.
The last time I hang around in the school canteen.
The last time I’ll be able to walk through those corridoors peering into the classes.
and the last time I’ll get to be in the school assembly hearing the music teacher play those songs we sang daily from the time I was five years old.

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