My first interaction with computer science was when I pursued Science stream along with computer science as my fifth subject in 11th standard. I honestly was always fascinated with computers and graphics but due to the limited resources available to me, I couldn’t learn things that early (as I always wished).
Anyways, after starting studying basic c++ in school I was determined to continue it. For one thing, I knew, I couldn’t pursue anything else. I was absolutely and madly in love with programming. It’s one of the rarest things in which I don’t lose my interest so easily.
In August, I joined my University with major in IT. I knew one thing (after numerous interaction with seniors from different colleges) that if you want to sharpen your skills you’ll need to work your ass off from the start. And programming isn’t child’s play. I remember how talking to one of my friends Abhishek (He is a brilliant Competitive coder and a friend). He really gave me some amazing advice and I tried to follow them.
I did questions mostly from competitive coding websites for a really long time. Initially, I was preparing myself to develop a mentality of a competitive coder. I was solving questions in my free time, reading new algorithms and trying to understand some new concepts.
This is the sole reason my c++ skills became decent. I used to read about various other stuff in my free time because I am kind of person who reads a lot 🙂
In December, after my finals, I had plenty of time in my hand before new semester started and I had to set my priorities accordingly. I did more questions, read more. In general most of my time was divided between maths, coding and playing games (also watching movies 😛 ).
This gave me quite a good idea of open source community and culture in some of the communities. I joined the mailing list of 3 organization (fun fact, I didn’t apply in any of them). Till now, there wasn’t a single project which grabbed my attention to the extent which I would feel I should do GSoC in summers. Though, that never stopped me from reading mailing lists (sometimes I used to skip them but mostly I’d read it).
Skipping next two months which I don’t think I did something extraordinary in, I just used to follow my routine. Before my mid-term began, Jogendra Yadav (another good friend of mine who is selected in FOSSASIA this year for GSoC) talked me into applying for GSoC this year, regardless of results. I told him how much I was worried about my mid-term. He told me then, that if I don’t apply this time I’d miss my one chance. This made me think, I didn’t actually have anything to lose. If not selected I’d learn new things, if selected I’ll have something valuable to do in summers.
I really searched rigorously for projects and organization. The organizations whose mailing lists I had joined weren’t so good in communication which I needed most. I was late, and so my chances were really slim. That’s when I stumbled upon apertus°. They had a mandatory challenge, which was really interesting. I was just amazed by their project ideas and they all are really helpful and friendly. They responded most of my queries really fast and guided me in the right direction.
I joined their lab ( lab.apertus.org), their IRC on freenode #apertus . This boosted my confidence.
I met another amazing friend there, Supragya Raj, he is currently in his 3rd year of B.Tech in Computer Science (VIT Chennai). He is really helpful, and one of the people who motivated me.
Engaging on irc was my best decision, not just because of GSoC but because the culture is amazing. We update our work regularly there. Mentors are very responsible, and cooperative. You can also catch us joking around sometimes 😀
Finally, after choosing my project, understanding it and writing the proposal which took almost 10-12 days and working there for almost a month I submitted my final proposal, crossing my fingers for the best outcome.
Even after proposal deadline, I was keeping in touch with the organization, sometimes working on the wiki or understanding a concept or clearing a doubt.
I was scared honestly, I did work well but wasn’t sure of my acceptance in organization. But nevertheless it didn’t stop me from contributing or it didn’t come between my determination to do the project. I really liked the project and I still love it, so it mattered a little but not that much if I was selected or not.
April 23, the day finally arrived. I was scared the whole day. I remember how much hard it was spending each hour. But when I reached home, my parents were there waiting for me to tell them the result. They knew I was working on it for so long ( I bunked a lot of classes :P). I told them I’ll let them know when the result is declared.
It was 9:15 and my friend Supragya called me, I was pissed at him because he is obviously genius and he needed not to worry, but I was so under confident and scared. Later, he told me he didn’t call me because of the result but because he was getting bored ( I’m a talking machine, so yeah it used to be kind of entertaining for him). We were still on the phone when I checked my result, and I screamed! Both of us were selected and I screamed and ran around my house. My father, sister, and brother were so happy and proud. This is the first time I cried because I was happy.
So, that was my journey of how I got selected in Google Summer of Code 2018. I’m just a kid who reads a lot, codes a lot. And I am still learning, I hope to complete this internship successfully and do justice to my project.
I’ll keep on adding blogs. This one was totally about my experience, the next ones will be mostly technical. Probably about my project and things related to it. Many people want to know about my project and it makes sense to upload blogs about it here.
I hope you all have a nice day, thanks for reading this!