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.

Summer 2012 – Part I: The Internship

This Summer I was a Software Engineering intern at LinkedIn in Mountain View, CA. I worked on the Presentation Infrastructure team under CORE. You can find out more about what I worked on here. What was really unique about my internship (apart fro…

This Summer I was a Software Engineering intern at LinkedIn in Mountain View, CA. I worked on the Presentation Infrastructure team under CORE. You can find out more about what I worked on here.

What was really unique about my internship (apart from the amazing people I worked with, the excellent food and the ridiculous perks) is that I got to spend nearly equal amounts of time working on application and infrastructure development. Application development is something that I had “done” before, in that all hackathons I’d taken part in I’d essentially built applications. But I’d never gotten a chance to work on applications that function at “LinkedIn-scale” before and getting an opportunity to do so was a great learning experience. What I’d never done though was infrastructure development and I really enjoyed working on infrastructure components this Summer. The whole concept of “building applications used to build applications” really appealed to me.

I also got to code a little bit in Scala this Summer. I’d read about Scala and had gone through a few “Hello World”-ish tutorials before but had never actually built anything in it. I have to say, from whatever little work I did in it and from the code I saw others had written, that I really like Scala. The OO + functional form of the language appeals to me. The language has a lot of beautiful concepts (like pattern matching and objects) and, from what I’ve heard, it performs well too. Another concept that I really like are Actors (though I never got to write any code that used Actors this Summer). Side note: one of the reasons that I wanted to learn Scala was to learn a language that uses the Actor system, which I first heard of while looking into Erlang. This Summer got me quite excited about Scala and I will definitely try to learn the language properly, i.e. delve more into advanced Scala topics like the Parallel Collections, writing DSLs using Scala, Actors, Views etc. My experience with Java, Python and OCaml helped me get really good at Scala over the Summer and I want to retain this skill. I also want to build a complete application in Scala; I have this idea to build something similar to Scrapy using Scala + Akka, though I don’t see when I will find the free time to do so.

Overall, my internship was excellent. It was all that I wanted and more. Thanks for an awesome Summmer LinkedIn! 🙂