Internship @IBM - The first productive period of my Engg student life.
The title clearly states that till this internship I have not done anything productive. On the academic front it was bound to happen considering the way college was being run, the competence of the people who imparted knowledge and the way exams were conducted. Had I been dependent just on these things then probably all that I would have been is a book-worm. But thank god, there is this world of open-source software which saved me. Thanks to a few seniors, a few peers and partly also my ego, a fire to learn things beyond the books was kindled and I started "wasting" my time on things not present in our textbooks. But it was all learning, a one-way traffic. It was never reflected back in any achievement. Though I and my friend Ashwin Biyani came up with a paper, we both know what research (re-search) we did for that paper.
I do not know what held me from doing anything. It was my laziness or probably lack guidance. But neither of these are reasons worth mentioning. All that matters is the outcome and what can be present in "white and black" and there was no such thing in my case. We did have certain failed attempts though. After our 4th sem we stayed back in holidays and learnt HTML. Of course the plan was to further continue it and come up with a project which of course did not succeed. Then probably in 5th sem, we tried joining GNOME, Bangalore with projects like Mono or Evolution. Again that too failed. We did try to knock the doors of Novell but backed out later, just because of laziness and lack of josh and passion.
It was so until the middle of 6th sem. I was at our university hockey tournament at Tumkur (I guess it was Tumkur). At the end of first half of first day we had won our first match against PESIT and were to play our second match later that day. It was a little late in the evening and we were getting thoughts that we will not be playing our second match that day as the first round was still going on. Around this time I got know (I do not remember how, I did not have a cellphone with me back then) that the very next day IBM-ISL was visiting our college for offering internships. I was a little disappointed considering that I will have to travel and reach hostel that night and the very next morning I would be attending the test and hopefully the interview also. I hurried without informing all of my teammates. Kushal, the team captain, was pretty reluctant and tried retaining me for the rest of the tournament. He said "VTU Cup maga". I said "Nanna career Maga" and he said no more. (I now realize that I was absolutely correct about what I said. This internship did shape my career as a s/w engineer.)
When I reached hostel I could feel the heat of the next day's test by seeing all my able friends gummed tight to OO - related books, mainly C++ ones. (It was revealed by a senior interning at IBM that selectors would concentrate on OO concepts) There were few BOOs and WOOs when people saw me back, as I guess they were expecting me to miss this internship opportunity. I was a bit tired because of the game and the journey. But I had to hold the books and I did. I started with Herbert Schildt's C++ and I started to realize that there is so much in C++ that I do not know. But this attempt for last moment preparation was in vain as I was very sleepy. I do not remember much about that night, but I am sure I would have had a few discussions with friends, both technical and non-technical. I would have narrated the hockey match and finally when we realized we were wasting time, few punters would have gone back to books and I would have gone to sleep.(of course with some hope - which I always like to carry)