“Goodbye grandpa”

My grandfather passed away today.

I didn’t realize how close I was to him until I heard of his death. That’s when it really hit me.

Some of my earliest memories of India are associated with him. When my family moved to India I remember staying with him and my grandmother. He used to drive me to school. I was still not used to Indian food, a result of which I used to put the food they served us at school in my school bag. What I was not so good at was removing the food from my bag once I’d get back home. He discovered this when he found a trial of ants leading to my bag. I remember him having a good laugh over it.

He taught me a lot about Hinduism. He used to take me the EME temple close to his house whenever possible. He also used to try and tell me snippets from the Ramayana when I was growing up.

Cricket and politics were his passions, and I must admit it was quite fun to see him getting worked up about both. He loved telling people that his son looked like Sourav Ganguly (which I believe he does).

Like me, he loved his food. We were both huge fans of my grandmother’s mutton curry. Kamling, his favorite Chinese restaurant in Mumbai, soon became one of my favorite places to eat as well. And man, did he enjoy his seafood! He tried to explain to me numerous times how to eat bony fish without choking by correctly deboning it, and I hope one day to actually be able to do that.

In later years I became one of his go-to people for all tech related issues, be it how to check his email on his phone, or how to configure his computer. In fact, the last time I visited him before leaving for the U.S. was when I helped him setup Gmail to allow him to reply in Bengali. That was the last time I saw him.

In short, my grandfather was awesome.

Goodbye grandpa. You will be missed terribly.

New Beginnings

I graduated in May after which I went back home to India for a while. I spent two months doing pretty much nothing, which I must say, was awesome. I spent time with my family, hung out with friends, read books, watched some movies, and lost two teeth (a result of which I lost 5 pounds yay!). I also spent some time with Akka, brushed up on my distributed systems knowledge and read one paper. Some of my loftier goals, which included learning Go, reading more than one paper, and open sourcing Gelato, were not achieved unfortunately. All in all though, it was a wonderful Summer.

I came back to the U.S. towards the end of July. I live in Mountain View with my awesome buddies Kevin, Onur, and Sam. I just want to say, I ❤ our house! I’m amazed that we found such a great place to live.

house
My house!

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I moved to Mountain View, it’s because I now work at LinkedIn! I’m a Software Engineer on the Service Infrastructure (SI) team at LinkedIn. As I’ve said earlier, my internship at LinkedIn was fantastic and it feels great to be back. Last Summer I worked on integrating the Play framework into LinkedIn’s existing infrastructure. As a member of the SI team I’m currently working on Rest.li (Rest.li on GitHub. This is also the first open source project I’ve contributed to).

IMG_20130819_191359
LinkedIn Building 2029

Super excited to see what the future holds 🙂

2012: Year in review

2012 was a great year for me for 3 reasons: The world didn’t end. 4 Hackathon victories: 3rd prize at Greylock, an award at an internal hackday at LinkedIn, 1st prize at the Facebook Hackathon at UIUC and 2nd prize at the Facebook Hackathon finals…

2012 was a great year for me for 3 reasons:

  1. The world didn’t end.
  2. 4 Hackathon victories: 3rd prize at Greylock, an award at an internal hackday at LinkedIn, 1st prize at the Facebook Hackathon at UIUC and 2nd prize at the Facebook Hackathon finals. We were also one of the finalists for the LinkedIn Intern Hackday 2012.I worked with Sam and Onur on all the hackathons apart from the LinkedIn internal hackday for which I worked with my awesome mentor Jim.I also love how our Computer Vision technology evolved over time for each hack: we started with object tracking using colors (we wore  colored socks on our hands for dance()), next we were able to pull of object tracking within a bounded region (we were able to track a finger in ABSees) and finally for StreetCoders we were able to have a system that didn’t require colored socks or a bounded region!

    I’m extremely proud of what Sam, Onur and I achieved and it was great working with them.

    What didn’t improve though was the quality of our Javascript code :(. Each of our hackathon projects started with us working on the computer vision first. This usually took the most time. Once we were pretty confident that our computer vision components worked locally (no images coming over the network), we started working on the Javascript portions of the code that actually talked to the computer vision servers. It was also at this point that we used to realize that we have 10-12 hours to build a majority of our application. This scramble to the finish line usually ended up with us having Javascript code that is functional but littered with code smells. Our overall tiredness towards the end didn’t help either. Oh well.

  3. I got an opportunity to intern at an awesome company. My Summer at LinkedIn was phenomenal.
  4. There was a new addition to my family.my dog

Looking forward to a great 2013.

Ciao!

I realized that I haven’t blogged in quite some time. My blog posts on Summer 12, which were to be a two part post, stands with only one part on my blog and the other part in my head. I’ll get to it eventually, maybe during Thanksgiving Break. I t…

I realized that I haven’t blogged in quite some time. My blog posts on Summer 12, which were to be a two part post, stands with only one part on my blog and the other part in my head. I’ll get to it eventually, maybe during Thanksgiving Break.

I think the main reason I haven’t had the time to blog is because of my 18 credit hours workload this semester. The last time I’d taken 18 hours was during first semester freshman year and the classes were nowhere near as hard 🙂

I’m not complaining though: the level of the classes I’m in this semester is absolutely fantastic. I think my favorite class right now is Distributed Systems (CS 425). It’s something that I’ve been interested in for quite some time and learning about the various algorithms, concepts and existing systems has been excellent. The coding assignments in this class are great too. So far I’ve worked on a distributed log querying system and a group membership system with failure detection and no SPOF. I’m pretty excited for my next assignment which involves building a simplified version of HDFS. My Java skills improved by leaps and bounds this Summer at LinkedIn, and this class is only making me better. I’ve had a chance to work with Futures, Timers and lots of Threads. Designing a system from the ground up and having it work is an extremely rewarding experience. 

Natural Language Processing (CS 498) is pretty awesome too. All the concepts I’ve learnt in that class so far seem intuitive and the math seen so far (mostly probability) isn’t too bad. Plus, the coding assignments are in Python :D.

Machine Learning (CS 446) is definitely my hardest class. The concepts are much more involved than my other classes and the math is much harder. But the feeling you get when you tweak a few parameters of your algorithm and watch the accuracy jump up 10% cannot be described. Even though it’s a really hard class, it’s also a great class and I would recommend anyone to take it. We’ve gone over some really interesting stuff so far (Perceptrons, PAC, SGD, Kernels etc.) and there’s a lot more cool stuff left for the rest of the semester. 

My other classes, namely Ethics, Software Engineering and Italian are also really good. 

Overall though, with all the work from these classes, I really don’t have time for anything else apart from school work. In other (maybe related) news, coffee is now my new best friend.

Life etc.

Installed node.js and MongoDB on my computer yesterday. Might play a bit with that over Spring Break. Another goal of mine is to finish my CS 241 programming assignment(implementation of malloc) and catch up in all my classes. And work on the CS 4…

Installed node.js and MongoDB on my computer yesterday. Might play a bit with that over Spring Break. Another goal of mine is to finish my CS 241 programming assignment(implementation of malloc) and catch up in all my classes. And work on the CS 411 project. 

Check out this amazing CSS 3 demo!

About midterms and blog neglect

It’s not been that long since I started this blog, and already the frequency of posts is decreasing. I think I am going to make a conscious effort to start posting more; I used to enjoy writing when I was younger and feel that I should continue do…


It’s not been that long since I started this blog, and already the frequency of posts is decreasing. I think I am going to make a conscious effort to start posting more; I used to enjoy writing when I was younger and feel that I should continue doing so in the future.

I found out today that I’ll be having two midterms and a final in a row after a week: 3/7 is my Physics 214 final, 3/8 is my CS 241 midterm and 3/9 is my CS 411 midterm. Hopefully I won’t have a hard time if I start studying like a week or so earlier.

The CS 241 programming assignment (sorting and merging numbers in files using threads) took me slightly longer than it should have: I made s stupid mistake while coding that was leading to disastrous race conditions between my threads. I guess I learned my lesson about not coding in the middle of the night while sleep beckons. On the plus side, I did learn about helgrind and used it to debug my code. I learned a lot doing that assignment and overall it was a great experience.

I also came up with, what I think is, a brilliant idea for a website that Sam and I will be building soon. I even went and bought the domain for the website. My plan is to build it during Spring Break and launch it within the end of this semester. More details to follow.

 

 

Of Dropbox and Gmail

Over the past few days I’ve been using Dropbox heavily, and I must say it is really, REALLY awesome. I usually work on multiple computers and keeping files in sync with each other was always a pain(unless it is code, in which case it is Github all…

Over the past few days I’ve been using Dropbox heavily, and I must say it is really, REALLY awesome. I usually work on multiple computers and keeping files in sync with each other was always a pain(unless it is code, in which case it is Github all the way!). Now, I just put everything in my Dropbox and don’t have to worry about anything. I even added a cron job to back up all my important folders to my Dropbox account every night. No more missing data for me!

Another thing that I think is super useful is the Desktop notifications in Gmail. I now sign into my gmail and university accounts, shift to a different workspace/window and don’t have to constantly check my mail anymore for new messages/chat threads. Hopefully, this will up my productivity a little bit. 

Just got done with my CS 411 homework. Goal for the weekend: finish my 2nd CS 241 programming assignment and study for the Physics 214 midterm. And of course, do some sweet Python coding. 

Also, CSS3-rounded-borders-goodness yay!