InternFeel: Hello Aayush! Pleasure to see you here. Please tell us something about yourself.
Aayush: I am a student at Communication and Computer Engineering at LNM institute of information technology and avid technology enthusiast, striving to achieve excellence in the field of Data Science. I always believe that one cannot fulfil his ambitions and dreamsuntil he or she has a clear vision that acts as a driving force to always push him forward in tough situations. Over a period of 1.5 years in college, I have developed a thirst for knowledge and an attitude which could enable me to apply my knowledge to bring about a significant change in the present day scenario. Overall, it’s all about my ambitions that keep me motivated and active.
IF: Tell us something about the internship.
Aayush: It was not an internship which was pre-planned or something like that. I was always keen to meet some highly enthusiastic people with entrepreneurial spirit that bring about a change in society. Finally I got an opportunity to interact with two Ph.D candidates of UC Berkeley, who had a vision of reducing corruption in India through a smart and effective use of technology. I was inspired by their vision of inventing some substantial product that could bring transparency between Government and its citizens, which in turn could be used as a tool for reducing corruption. I decided to share their vision and we started thinking over the lines of developing a web based product. Mine was a work from home job. I was in Lucknow (my hometown) and they were in California, the journey of building this product was tough, but with the determination to see our vision into reality in the next three months, we began our work. I was working as an intern under them. My job was to design and develop a smart and appealing User Interface for the website and think of an efficient backend work using PHP and NoSQL database of MongoDB.
We didn’t even talk of a stipend for me, because what was important for us at that time was developing something, which could drive a change in the current political scenario of India but ya I did get a stipend of around 10,000 and a job offer of Technology Consultant afterwards.
IF: How you came to know about the internship? You told that you got chance to meet Ph.D candidates from UC Berkeley. Tell us a bit more. How the meet up happened?
Aayush: I was developing quite a serious interest in the field of web development and design, I was in touch with the people of Data Analytics startup named Innovaccer. The skill and art of working in an industry was inculcated in me during my regular interactions with them. Upon seeing my current skillset and the motivation to do something great, they connected me to Mr. Raj and Mr. Sravan who were looking for some enthusiastic people who can share their vision of driving the political scenario of India towards a significant change. It just started with formal talks and discussing each other’s vision. Finally everything was fixed, and my position was decided as an intern who would plan the design and backend of the web application. I started off by modifying their startup’s website. We termed it as a Data Search Engine for RTI filings in India. Everything seemed to be ok, but still we could not see our vision turning into reality as we were not getting a significant response from public.
This is where Your Adhikar was born. A Free Online RTI filing Engine. I worked on both, its frontend and backend design to ensure its smoothness. The project was completed in three months of time. My summer vacations got over, and hardly after a month’s time from the day the product was launched, had we seen our 1st sign of progress. More than 1000 RTI’s were filed in less than a month’s time. This was just an awesome news. Gradually we progressed more, and so did I. Based on my interest and enthusiasm, I was offered a job of Technology Consultant where my job was to maintain and develop the YourAdhikar website in future. From just a formal meet to a tech job right after 1st year summers, the whole journey took a lot of input from me and had made me believe in myself that I can something great for myself in times to come.
IF: What qualities of yours – educational / otherwise, you feel gave you an edge in grabbing this opportunity?
Aayush: Frankly speaking, I barely knew very things about web development and other such technical stuff. I suppose that all that the sole reason for I being a part of such a good project is because of my never back down spirit and the attitude and determination to win at any cost. I was initially hesitant enough to drop the idea of working with them as it sounded way above my level of skills that I had at that time. But they inspired me and somehow instilled in me the feeling that “No Defeat is Final until you stop Trying”. With this faith and confidence, I always took two steps forward when I was pushed one step back by any tough task which I felt was beyond my capabilities
IF: What all preparations you did (academic/otherwise) before starting the work?
Aayush: Nothing J. I learnt everything from Google during the internship and applied in the project work.
IF: Any problems that you faced before starting, which you feel could have been easily avoided if known in before?
Aayush: Had I developed some good programming skills, then I would have been stronger in my thought process algorithmically. I learnt the importance of good programming skills during the intern period. One has to be a good coder before any other thing if he or she aims for doing something cool in the field of Computer Science. I still strive to build strong coding skills as it makes you think smart and quick.
IF: How was the feeling and celebration of getting the news of being able to work under them?
Aayush: If you get something great after putting down more than 100% out of you and pushing yourself at every moment that you live for a particular thing you want to happen, then you don’t get the feeling of celebrating for that when you get it there. You just get to a state of humbleness where you rewind and value each moment of your hard work that you’ve put in to be at the state where you are right now. I just felt contended and expanded my vision with the fact that I can do wonders for myself and the world around me. I only need the right push and the right motive towards something. However, I did celebrate this by giving a small treat to my friends.
IF: Really nice to hear you Aayush, could you please tell us with what work/research project you carried out during the internship period? It’s application in near future and your work in it?
Aayush: I had to think and design the entire frontend structure of the website initially. After that I was also given the task of integrating social media with the website which involved extensive use of Google and Facebook API’s. Seeing my substantial progress in the previous tasks, I was then given some of the backend work, which involved the writing PHP code for generating RTI query forms for clients and maintain a database of it using a NoSQL database MongoDB.
Though PHP is now considered as a old generation web backened development language, but still I think that one should begin working with PHP if he wants to be a successful backend programmer. The things in it are raw and crude, and you need to develop everything by yourself with least use of inbuilt functions and libraries if you are coding an application from scratch without using any framework. Though now effective web frameworks are available such as Code Ignitor for PHP, Ruby on Rails for Ruby, Django for Python which make our work much easier. Definitely they should be put into an extensive use when you are working on an industry level project, but to understand their architectureand modularity of the code structure that these frameworks offer, you need to be sound enough in developing applications from scratch.
IF: What was the best thing you liked while working on this?
Aayush: Since I am a very lazy person, so I like to work minimum 😉 I enjoyed the backend that I made because it was not that boring and tiresome as the frontend design and analysis. Although my frontend work during this internship dominates over my backend work J.
IF: What problems you faced, while carrying out the internship?
Aayush: As I discussed earlier the major problem I faced was lack of substantial prior knowledge in the field of Web Development. Due to this I often got very late in submitting my assignments and hardly met any deadlines that were set for me.
IF: As with almost everything, what were the cons of the internship? The elements which you felt, if wasn’t there could have made this internship super awesome?
There was nothing as such which I actually disliked; the only thing was the distance problem. My learning rate would have been much higher if we would have worked from the same place. Plus I would have grasped more and more new concepts also, but however that was not at all possible as my mentors were operating from UC Berkeley, not in India.
IF: What was the guidance provided by your guide? What all support you received from your intern place?
Aayush: The only support that my mentors provided me was motivation and vision of doing something great at its best. hey just told me my tasks, and I had to google out and figure out myself that how the task had to be done. “Learning to isolate and debug is an important skill”. My mentor kept saying me this thing whenever I got stuck with something.Probably that is the reason that has made me patient in today’s date.
IF: Any special experience which you had during this period, which you would like to share with us.
Aayush: No defeat is final until you stop trying. There are thousand’s people who are ready and waiting for the opportunitythat you currently have right now, so if you don’t push yourself ahead with it, they will kick you out and move way ahead of you in the race of life.
IF: To whom all people you would, like to thank in context of this internship?
Aayush: I would like to thank my parents for bearing with during summer holidays. As I had to work in co-ordination with my mentors at California, so my working hours were just opposite to what it usually is. I started working at 10PM at night and ended around 7am in the morning as these are the standard working hours in terms of Pacific Time. I usually went to sleep after taking the morning breakfast
IF: How much difference this period of 8 weeks made in your intellectual capabilities and mindset. In broad terms what are your gains from this?
Aayush: These 2 months were a kind of revolution for me. It has completely changed my mind-set and the philosophical bent of mind with which I can perceive and analyse things in a more proactive way than I did earlier. I am now full of motivation and confidence. I have realized that life is actually very short to achieve everything what you want from it. This world is a tough place to survive and if one has to make his own mark and position, he has to push himself at each and every moment with a strong realization and faith in himself that he would one day surely turn his dreams into reality.
IF: What advice you would like to give to your juniors, which can help them in getting “such internships” in their future college life.
Aayush: Often a number of opportunities knock your doorstep and we ignore them and just simply drop them because they seem beyond our present capabilities and level of thinking. This internship was also one such kind of opportunity, it was not something pre-planned or something had to be worked for it. It was just like a challenge put in front of me and I to accept it or deny it. I chose to accept it like a challenge because I had nothing to lose, by God’s grace it was successful, but even if I would have failed, I wouldn’t have regretted my decision at all because I would then happily live with the feeling that atleast I tried for something big.
IF: What are your future plans after this internship and how much impact this internship will have on it?
Aayush: I have to pursue Masters from a good foreign university after completing my B.Tech course, the internship has definitely provided a solid foundation for it, now I will leave no stone unturned to build a huge monument of my dreams upon this foundation
IF: Any views about this initiative of InternFeel, and how beneficial it would be?
Aayush: Awesome initiative by InternFeel this is. It gives a platform for every student to convey his experience in a very proper manner. It would definitely help all the aspiring students who are looking for internships to build their mind-setand act accordingly when they get one.
IF: So Aayush, we are at the end of the interview. From the entire team of InternFeel, we thank you for taking out your time and sharing your experiences for everyone and we wish you best of luck for all your future endeavors.
Aayush: Thanks to you guys too J. I really just spoke my heart out during the entire interview session. Awesome set of questions they were which brought me in a right flow and mood to express myself in an appropriate manner. I hope InternFeel goes on achieving several good heights in days to come.