Archive for June, 2008

The four years of my BTech

June 26, 2008

Semester 1 – Came to IITK knowing just 3 people. Studied for exams πŸ˜› Settled in. Got to work on the Techkriti site. Relief that getting 9.x wasn’t as tough at the IITs as rumoured as long as I put in some effort.

Semester 2 – The computer arrives. Watched all 10 seasons of F.r.i.e.n.d.s. in 2 months. Got elected to the Hall 2 HEC as CC secretary. Spent a lot of time censoring a particular individual on the Hall 2 Discussion Board πŸ˜›Β  Joined the group of elite CSE ex-9 pointers of my batch who had an SPI drop >2 πŸ˜› Realised that the “putting in effort” is not that easy for extended durations 😦

Summer 2005 – Returned to Muscat, did an off-site internship at home. Alternate week Pizza Hut partying with school friends πŸ™‚Β  Was selected for the Lucent Scholarship and went to the US for the week long Lucent Global Science Scholars Summit.

Semester 3 – Made a lot more friends πŸ™‚ , did my first CS course. Started working on SPO Automation. Trained the Hall 2 Webteam. Managed to “put in effort” academically.

Semester 4 – IMS started off as a CS course project. Got elected to the Students Senate. Another SPI drop.

Summer 2006 – Internship at Bell Labs Bangalore. First major paycheque. Tried rock climbing, trekking and parasailing (inclusive of an accidental crash landing 😦 ). Put on weight as a result of having dinner daily at the mall (Forum).

Semester 5 – IMS gets deployed by CSE-IITK to manage internships. Got selected for an internship with MSR Redmond. The first “real” CS semester πŸ™‚ Coordinated the deployment of a placement portal developed by an alumnus. Again managed to “put in effort” academically.

Semester 6 – The first of the three 5 project semesters. Voted Best Senator in the Students Senate. Deployed IMS in the SPO. A lot of new friendships developed and old ones got consolidated πŸ™‚ Looks like I have optimized the art of getting 9.x SPIs (would you call it a science or an art?) with minimal effort and maximum learning.

Summer 2007 – Internship at Microsoft Research Redmond. Got 3 patents in my name by the end of it. Travelled a lot on weekends – Hawaii, California, Texas, Michigan and Oregon. Tried trekking, river rafting and kayaking.

Semester 7 – BTech Project decided : an e-passport application that eventually got deployed by the Government of India. PAS gets deployed at IITK. Another 5 project semester. Got placed with Tower and Lehman.

Semester 8 – BTP got selected for funding from Microsoft. Got placed with Microsoft Live Search. Treats, treats and more treats. Multiple Farewells. Left IITK knowing roughly every 2nd person in my batch of 500 πŸ™‚

Summer 2008 – The IITK tradition of travelling around India followed by Convocation. Worked with the SPO on a proposal for revenue generation via ads on PAS. Thought of various possible ideas for a startup and rejected most. Learnt driving at last and got a license.

40,000 lines of code, 100+ exams, 40 courses, 20 projects, 20+ project partners, 4 years all for one BTech but well worth it!

Summer 2008 – May, June.

June 10, 2008

After the endsems, I went for this one week trip to Dharamshala and Dalhousie in early May. It was a nice experience and the weather was nice and cool in comparision to the 40 degree summer at Kanpur. I subsequently returned home via Bangalore (where I got to meet a few friends from school/college).

I got home in mid-May and continued with my driving classes for 2 weeks before appearing for my driving test which I cleared. After that, I went back with parents to IITK for the convcation.

We faced some problems in the onward journey : to start with the Jet flight got delayed by over 4 hours as a result of which we missed the train (Shram Shakti) we had booked. So then I called up Kshitizg who booked tickets for the morning Shatabdi. Shatabdi was the first train that left from Delhi in the morning at 6am and is usually on time but not this time.

There was the Gujjar strike that very day and they had blocked the train tracks. So the train just stood there for over 7 hrs before it started moving. The plus was that Shatabdi has a generator and so the AC was on the whole time (and it was in fact chilly inside despite being hot outside) and also they kept giving us something to eat every now and then. There was also a plug point so I could use my laptop all along. The train finally reached Kanpur at 7:30 pm, about 7 hrs late.

Kanpur was hot and so it was good that we had gotten a confirmed VH AC room. I was feeling tired and so slept off. The next day, after breakfast I went to Hall 1 to see the situation in my room (which I had yet to vacate). Then I went to the SPO at 11 for a meeting with the chairman (which should have been held the previous day but was postponed because of the train). Then I went to meet a few profs and subsequently for the rehearsal. The rehearsal was for over 3 hours and the second half of the programme was boring. But then, the entire deptt was sitting together so it’s tough to get bored thanks to the usual antics that go on πŸ™‚

After the rehearsal again I went back to Hall 1 with parents and we managed to pack everything. Then I remembered that I needed a gate permit for the courier company to be able to take the boxes out of campus and so drafted the letter. The next day morning I took the letter and went to the Hall office and left it there. After that I rushed through breakfast and headed to Audi for the convocation.

The convocation took about 4 hours after which we took some photos. It was nice to see all your batchmates and others going up on stage to collect their degree. After the convocation, there was the usual photo session for some time after which I headed back to the VH. I then went to the Hall Office toΒ  collect the gate pass which hadn’t been done since the warden was out of station (now they tell me!). So I then went to the SIS office and got the letter signed directly. I then went back to Hall 1, called the courier guy who took the gate pass along with the boxes and that was the end of that.

We left for the station around midnight. The train was late by about 2 hours again and we went off to sleep after boarding at about 3:30 am. It reached Agra at about 8:30 in the morning. We went fromt the station to a hotel and checked in and relaxed for a while. Then we left at about 11 to see the Agra Fort and then had lunch. After lunch, we went to the Taj Mahal. It was beautiful and looked better in real life than in the pictures. We spend about 2 hours there before moving on to a handicrafts place for some shopping. We subsequently went back to the hotel and left for the station and caught the Bhopal Shatabdi to Delhi – took 2 hrs to cover the 200 km.

We reached Delhi at about 11:30 pm and went to the IITK Transit Guesthouse at CR Park that I had booked for the night at the VH. We woke up in the morning and had a bread + omlette made by the cooks there. At Rs 2000 per night per room it is definitely expensive but in hindsight it felt worth it.

We then headed to the airport and caught the flight back to Cochin. From there we went home and caught a night train to Mangalore to meet my sister. We were there for a two days before leaving for Coimbatore to meet my mom’s aunt with whom I had stayed with long back for 2 years (before going to Muscat). We stayed there till Sunday before coming back to Kerala.