I came back home on the 5th of December- the first day of my internship. Exhausted, I sank into the sofa and sighed, “How on earth am I going to learn 3 new languages in a month?”
Within a span of 3 days, I was working at breakneck speed, working with all 3 of them.
On Anirban-da’s recommendation, I had applied to intern at SIBIA Analytics last semester. A telephonic interview was scheduled, and I was scared. Partly because I had never had a telephonic interview earlier, but mostly because I had no idea how to prepare. Finally, the day before my Networks exam, I got a phone call.
Two gentlemen, Pulak-da and Biswarup-da, quizzed me on my knowledge of data structures and databases. Data structures has been one of my favorite subjects at college (I was taught by none other than Dr Chandra Mouli), and I had just taken my Database exam the previous day. The interview went well. Samrat-da called me up a few hours later to welcome me into the team.
Quite relieved, I finished off my semester and flew back to Kolkata safely (quite unlike the last time). Eager to impress from Day 0, I started going through tutorials after tutorials, learning how MongoDB works.
I still have no clue of what happened on the first day. They assigned me to a project. And I spent the rest of the day bouncing between Ronnie-da and Biswarup-da. They tried to teach me everything, from how tunnels are set up, to why they break, to how they can be set up again.
Tunnels, just like the one JFK used to meet Marilyn Monroe, are basically secure lines of transmitting insecure things.
My profile was that of a MEAN-stack developer, which meant I had to work with data preparation and integration. Simply put, I had to convert lots of raw data into information, and then represent them in beautiful live infographics.
To satisfy mean clients.
Believe me when I say this: the thrill of creating a program is exhilarating. Before this, the only codes I had ever written were to score marks in exams. Finally I was writing codes that were being implemented in real life! I was actually making a difference to the world in my own small way! This made me feel so good, that I never minded staying back late hours, just to optimize the code a little further.
Other than the coding stuff, here are some other things I learnt:
- Milliseconds matter. Because if you add it one million times, then it becomes sixteen minutes. Remember that website that took two minutes to load? You don’t? Thought so.
- Use your brains everywhere. While casually glancing at the data of a reputed newspaper, I noticed a huge spike in popularity on the 8th of November. It was suspicious because I remembered that the US elections and demonetization were trending on the 9th of November. We looked into the code, found the error, and fixed it.
- Don’t take anything for granted. JS is so fluid that I began taking everything for granted. Made an error as basic as using = instead of == for condition-checking.
I know lots of people who do not have that strong a coding background. I too was in your shoes a month back. But if you are lucky enough to intern at a data analytics start-up like SIBIA Analytics, learning these would barely take a week. And if you have colleagues who are willing to discuss everything, from puzzles on number theory, to conspiracy theories about movies, you’ll have a great time while you’re at it too.
Thank you for reading!
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