Category Archives: Life

90 days of Summer

No, not a sequel of the movie ‘500 Days of Summer’. This is about my 3 month long internship at TradeHero.

I peaked my productivity chart once again after a very very long time (read, after 3 years). The last time i was this productive, was during my 3rd year at college. It all started with a long travel on 28th May, 2013 from Göteborg to Singapore via Köpenham and Zurich.

I reached Singapore on 29th and navigated myself to the booked accommodation at Jalan Bukit Merah. 30th May was my first day at TradeHero. Ajay was the first one i met, he introduced me to Abert, Tho, Arup, Brendon and every one else. Julien, Dominic, Gary and Maddy were at the conference room when i came in.  After meeting every one, Julien and Maddy helped me to set up the dev environment.

The thing i like more about TradeHero is, they are a lot like Facebook. They have very high goals and they move very fast. It was my first day and by after noon, i was asked to design a permanent solution for the bug i found before i joined and i had to explain it on the White Board, which i duly did.  Arup had some questions on the security of the Algorithm which was answered by me and Dominic (The CTO) gave the go.

I was a lot less productive during my first week, thanks to my addiction to vi and nano, that was the first time i used a proper IDE on a windows platform after VB6. I got up to a very slow start, .aspx, C# everything were new to me. If you know me, you would have known that i was more of a C/C++/Python/php/Linux/Apache/AWS guy. But the dev environment at TradeHero was like, C#/asp.net/IIS/Windows Server/Azure, It was a sharp learning curve and i’m really happy about picking up a couple of languages over the summer.

A couple of weeks onto my internship, i was already peaking my all time commit levels, i reached my  longest 8 day streak and when people ask me how did my internship go, i show them this

That’s 31,527 lines of code and 62 commits, i think that qualifies my internship experience to be mentioned in some sort of superlative tense.

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Sinking Indian Economy

The below post is a comment made by me on one of my friend’s Facebook wall in reply to why Indian economy is sinking and what could we do to arrest it.

People’s Mistake:
I would say, we are saving too much on Gold. According to BBC[1], Indian House wives have 11% of the total world’s gold reserve. You have to note this 11% does not comes under India’s Gold Reserve (which is owned by the Reserve Bank). Majority of this 120 billion$ worth gold is sitting useless either in bank lockers or in house holds. This money must be put into some useful investments, either by buying government bonds or investing in private equities.

How it affects[2]:
With this much Rupee Idling, we have created a demand for Rupee within India, The government cannot print more Rupee like what Zimbabwe did, so they had to borrow externally. Borrowing outside, increases our already high fiscal deficit (Fiscal Deficit = Exports – Imports, wherein India; Imports >> Exports). To add up to it, few people ask relatives returning from outside India to buy gold since it is comparatively cheaper outside, what they don’t realize is, it increases our Imports, thereby the Deficit as well.

Possible Aftermath:
If Fiscal Deficit Increases beyond a certain percentage of our GDP, then rating agencies will downgrade our already low rating to Junk[3], and then all these FDI investments will be pulled out just like that.

Falling Rupee is not bad always:
When Rupee gets devalued against dollar, it means foreigners can buy Indian goods for a cheaper price and this gives an edge for our exporters in the global market. So countries often devalue their currency to gain market [Japan Yen few months ago which led to a huge gain in Toyota’s sales [4]]. But clearly what we have now is not this.

Problems/Solutions:
* Corruption: Our politicians are so corrupt that, they get bribes from companies that wants to invest in our country. So, many mid-sized manufacturing companies which doesn’t has much lobbying power circumvents Investing in India [But now our FM is literally begging investors[5][6] to invest in India during major economy summits, but that’s a different story].

* Bad Start: We are more of a reactive country than a proactive one. Our economy was liberalized only in early 90’s. Thanks to Nehru and his BS (No Offence) Licence Raj[7], the policy makers then thought that, if they allow Foreign companies to setup bases/invest in India, then it will become the story of English East India Company again. Then in 1991, when we were close to default, we let the shores open[8]. Had we did this so early, we could have been more richer than the likes of Singapore and Malaysia.

* Quality of Products: Most of our high quality goods (from tirupur) are being exported to global co’s[9] (like H&M) and local manufacturers don’t give a damn about the quality. So we people start buying products from those global co’s who bought their raw materials in India.

* The so called Freebies: First of all, nothing is free. The TV, Grinder and all the crap you got are bought out of yours or someone’s hard earned tax money. The government could have used that money to a more useful purpose like to set up more of these restaurants or in some infrastructure projects, instead of bribing you to get your votes.

* Education: This is one of the important thing, there must be some sort of school for giving a crash course to Politicians or make them hire a bunch of goddamn MBAs for each and every Ministry.

[1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpdoRUMeshw
[2] http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-03-25/news/31234318_1_gold-imports-gold-demand-import-bill
[3] http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/WorldEconomy/S-amp-P-warns-India-of-rating-downgrade/Article1-1061685.aspx
[4] http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-25/japan-needs-more-than-a-devalued-yen
[5] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Chidambaram-promises-fair-transparent-regime-for-foreign-investors/articleshow/21016727.cms
[6] http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/chidambaram-arrivesus-to-pitch-for-investmentindia_914799.html
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licence_Raj
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_India_economic_crisis
[9] http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-06-30/news/40286848_1_knitwear-exports-crore-worth-rs

Did i adequately answer your condescending question?

I recently came across this post in the interwebs where the OP makes some baseless claims which calls for this rage filled blog post.

The OP seems to be a graduate of CEG and ISB, in his post he talks about branding CEG and preventing the contamination of the name Anna University by Affiliated Colleges’s Students. The reason which he states for branding CEG is one of the stupidest thing i ever read this year. I’m quoting the OP from his original post and this is almost the same reply which i left as a comment in his blog which i think will never get published.

Truth be told, there is a widespread and rampant abuse of the Anna University brand wherein both current and past students of private engineering colleges claim themselves to be Anna Univ alumni.

As a alumni of a affiliated college, i can assure you that my degree does not has a single reference to my college name. So when i go for an interview or write a SoP, i mention myself as an Anna University graduate (because my fucking degree says so)

Fyi, the issue is very serious now as we have come to know of people who are claiming jobs, getting admission in to IIMs and US universities misusing the Anna University brand.

This, This, leave the job part aside for a while. Seriously i have no idea how one would be admitted to an IIM without taking the damn CAT + clearing the Panel Interview; just by mentioning that you are an alumni of Anna University. Do not even speak about US universities, To make it to the Elite schools, no matter where you come from you ought to have at least a couple of publications, To get into Tier 1 and Tier 2, a good/decent GRE with a good profile is needed. Tier 3 and below cares least about where ever the fuck you studied, they just want you to pay the fees to them. So, you think affiliated college students who got into IIMs or US universities cheated their way in by saying they are alumni of prestigious ‘Anna University’. LÖL!

While we want to standout as smart individuals beyond whatever college we studied in we cannot allow our brand value to be diluted

wohh, wohh. You want to standout as smart individuals and all okay, but slide #5 in your presentation is quite contradictory to what you say you want to achieve or whatever. Here are the contradictory points
* Current students do not get recognized as cream
* Employers already perceive Anna University students as average
* Admissions to top tier universities are difficult (Now i can see why you want to brand CEG)
* Alumni job prospectus are getting difficult.
Had you been a smart individual beyond whatever the college you had studied (like you said), these things are the least you have to bother about, but since you base your branding opinion on this reason, i assume you aren’t as smart as you think.

Before you question about my opinion on CEG, i wish to clarify this. I have more friends who studied in CEG than the friends i have in my affiliated college.  so i know how cool CEG is. I’m quite familiar with how things work there and in fact i felt bad for almost two full years for missing out a 10 Mark question in Math and Physics.  But the problem is people like you, who blog under a closely related CEG domain, make your fellow college mates look like a jackass. So please, never ever write an article on a blog under that domain name. Not every one knows the truth.

I simply can’t resist posting this ‘Did i adequately answer your condescending question’ GIF

The Internship

If you are looking for a heads up review about the upcoming movie ‘The Internship‘ then you are probably in the wrong place, but i wouldn’t force you to skip reading this post. This post is rather a dramatical one, a collection of events that happened during the last couple of days in my life, which led to a Summer Internship offer.

Winter break of 2012-13: I was looking for a online stock market simulation game, like the good old rediff money to practice my trading skills, but had no luck in finding one, most of them were paid ones and the rest were absolute BS.

Early March 2013: Vignesh’s facebook feed showed something interesting, he was using an iPhone app, which was exactly the one i was looking for. what to say, ‘like minds think alike’.

Early March 2013: I made some wise investments and already started reaping out profits, had almost a constant 3% ROI.

Mid March: Thanks to my third quarter examinations which coincided with Cyprus’s credit rating getting downgraded to crap, i was not online for a couple of days till my exams got over and guess what, every stock i had suffered a 7-10% loss. Vignesh made a smart move to sell them when they started to fall and decreased his loss ratio, but i crossed beyond that point and made almost a 2K$ loss in a week.

27th March (whatsapp conversation):
……….
……….
Vignesh: Flaw with ———-
Vignesh: I found one
Me: To change the values?
Vignesh: 28% Increase
Me: How come?
Vignesh: It showed 14% when i was about to sell but after selling it showed a 28% increase
Vignesh: Probably because of bad internet at college
………….
………….

28th March: I started to pentest the application, had a breakthrough the first day, but wasn’t able to exploit anything.

29th March – 2nd April: Was hanging out with Sathya anna and his TCS folks at Gothenburg, i was explaining about my area of interest in security to kaushik, who happened to be a program manager/consultant in TCS and suddenly an idea to exploit the app sparked in my mind.

2nd April: Successfully exploited the app and had an ROI of 432% 😛

3rd April: Contacted the Lead developer of that app to report security problems

3rd April: Received a e-mail from CTO of that company thanking for reporting it and a possible employment offer

3rd April: I showed interest in working with them.

3rd April: I was asked to take a ACM-ICPC style programming test which i took the same day mid night

4th April: Skype Interview with the CTO and a formal contract was offered.

Credit goes to Vignesh, if it wasn’t him i would have never used this awesome application and if it wasn’t his whatsapp message, perhaps i would have never thought about testing it for flaws.

Involuntary learning

Learning is a thought process, believe it or not every one learns something every day in one way or the other. I remember reading somewhere in a reddit discussion in which there was a comment stating that the best and the practical way to learn is to learn from your friends. I just stumbled upon it and thought for a while to recall what all the things which i’ve learnt myself from my friends without knowing that i was learning and decided to blog it, may be it would be funnier to read after few years.

Naveen: He was my classmate from 9th grade to 12th,  He was the class dobber topper at that time. I would recall a punch dialogue from the Hari’s flick saamy ” போலீஸ் காரனுக்கு நு ஒரு திமுரு இருக்கனும் “,  Similar to this punch, he utilized what all the privileges he had to the fullest.

Niranjan: He was also my class mate and he had the confidence and courage to show his middle finger to  Naveen (Mhh, well, not literally)  while every one succumbed to Naveen’s authority.

Kabilan: He was my roomie during my Freshman year, the best thing which i found in him was,  he sorts his desire very well, in other words he remains in total control of his desire. He chooses which one to give up and which to never give up.

Varun: He was my கூட்டாளி for the last 5 years,  The best thing in him is that, that that smile, that smile which he would sport casually whatever the situation is. He would smile when the teacher praises him and even when the teacher says GTFO of here. Every one would call him as “Maddy”, he thinks they are trolling him, but seriously they aren’t!.

Venky: கூட்டாளி again, he was and is the family guy in our gang. Family guy is the word used in recent times to indicate that one is in some sort of deep relationship, but that’s not what i intended to mean. he is a family guy literally. He is that son, that every parent wishes to have. He works hard for his family to keep their business running.  The last time when i went out to buy groceries for my house was when i was in my trousers and had no sign of a moustache in my face.

Naresh: கூட்டாளி number 3, yet again a family guy, never disobeys or objects his parents, works his arse off if you say there is going to be a exam tomorrow 😛 and would recharge your mobile for free if you are a, are a…. well, i don’t want my bones broken.

Vignesh: Cousin/Brother/Friend, While i was watching Cartoon Network, he watched Discovery and NGC, While i was seeing random Tamil comedies, he saw NDTV.  If you start a conversation about anything, anything, anything with him, he would have at least a word or a huge summary to speak about that particular thing. The best part is yet to come, if you ask about something to him, he simply wouldn’t say i don’t know, he knows everything somehow :D, guess what, he eats Wikipedia for lunch.

Pretty good amount of skills learnt through involuntary learning, Not bad.

The Higher Education Bubble in Tamil Nadu

   Many people, particularly in TN don’t get a picture of the bubble which is all set to burst in few years. I’ll try to explain it in a simple way.

Time line of Tamil Nadu’s Higher Secondary Education:

Government Forms a committee to design a new challenging curriculum for 12th and 11th students and succeeds in designing one, For some reason the same Government thinks the curriculum is too hard for students and for few teachers too and then decides to scrap *most of the portions* of it. Then the government sets up a simple question paper for the final board exam with just one or two *twisted/thinkable/knowledge-based* questions. Then after few weeks the Govt., decides to give grace marks to those twisted questions in a result to beef up the pass percentage of students. In Parallel to this, the state approves a shit load of colleges under its mighty *Anna University*.

What the high scores in board exam means to parents of students from rural areas ?

The parents of those children from rural areas don’t think that the score which their child has got is a result of monopoly played by the Govt., [On a side note, most of the parents from urban areas too don’t realize it] according to them, their child has scored a good score in their higher secondary, so most of them decide to sell their *agriculture land, cattle, property*   etc to fund their children’s higher education.

What happens in Engineering Colleges?

*MOST* of those students who were pushed to be passed by the government find it next to impossible to clear their exams. And many students in the fear of thinking that they had taken a wrong decision and now that their family is in risk of losing everything they had earned till now sadly end up in taking choices like this, this and these. Other students who survived their 4 years of engineering life in a –not-so-worthy- college  obviously might not have got a good education [see teachers in college and their mindsets for clarification] end up either getting unemployed or taking up a M.E course at another –not-so-worthy-college and chose to be lecturers in engineering colleges.

Bubble Burst:

At a particular period of time, the elite professors in engineering institutions will be replaced by these students who failed to succeed thereby diluting the quality of teaching rapidly. And what if a mass IT recruiter didn’t turn up for recruitment for a year ?. How many investments made by those poor people are at risk ?. Can they repay their loans on property ?   Who is responsible for the miserable state of TN students ? You do not need to be a detective to figure it out. It’s the Govt., which rakes money from private engineering colleges as well as colleges owned by politicians, approves them and adds it to their Anna University affiliated colleges kitty, sets easy question papers, gives good marks to most of the students irrespective of the easy question paper and not so great answers thereby driving/manipulating them to invest in a engineering college. On other words, it’s all a fuckin  evil Plan laid out by the then Govt., which said it contributed a lot to the higher education reforms in the state.

My suggestion:

Readers need not mistake me for being a hypocrite over rural students on this issue, after all I’m not a urban student, I won’t say I’m a rural student either, I’m from this awesome town. I’m not generalizing that students from rural areas don’t perform well in engineering education, there are many bright students too; but this post focuses on those not-so-bright students.  My suggestion is to give quality-uniform education to all at the school level and based on competitive exams they should be given admissions in engineering colleges so that a deserving student gets his dream accomplished and a non-deserving students doesn’t ends up in losing his life and his family won’t get bankrupt.

Being (Un)Productive

Its been a long time ! yes,  i’ve become lazy nowadays. A typical day cycle of mine starts with

  • waking up at 10am
  • Break Fast at 10:30am
  • Playing Games and Refreshing Reddit till 1pm
  • Lunch at 1:30pm
  • Watching some random movie till 5pm
  • Playing Games, Refreshing Reddit, Facebook, Twitter,SMS till 9pm
  • Dinner at 9:30pm
  • Good Nite at 10:30pm

There were times when i was coding even while eating [ thanks to KPP of  Kurukshetra 2010] and remained fully occupied, but these summer holidays and a joboffer made me lazy, i feel like i’m in a hibernate mode. so let me kick this out; i need to do something take my mind off from this hibernate cycle. so im gonna start something which i’ve been thinking for a long while [during Design of Electrical Apparatus lecture classes] Facebook Application Developement.

I’ve been going through the documentation of Facebook PHP API’s and FBML from this morning,  i’ll keep you posted about my first Facebook app  !!