Friday, 3 October 2014

The Coders of CET : Tarashish and Tworit

By: Sradha Suman Mahapatra
Though we are an Engineering Institute, one of the premier ones in the state, a dearth of active and efficient coders is still prevalent. The ones who get into it do not always continue till the end either due to lack of opportunities or their declining patience. And hence we have very few to name when it comes to "Coders of CET". But here are two people who have discovered their interests and explored the opportunities to develop into one of those CETians who, others look upon for inspiration. The team-Pen-tastic talks to Mr.Tarashish Mishra [left] and Mr.Tworit Dash [right] about their learning experience, their projects, the conferences they have given their talks in, and their interests other than coding. Read on !

Tarashish Mishra, 4th year, C.S.E
[ Covered by Sradha Suman Mahapatra with the help of Dibyasha Mohanty]
Pictures creidts : CET_Photofactory [ Lipak Kumar Sahoo

SRADHA: Good afternoon, Tarashish. I and Dibyasha are here on behalf of our team CET Rising. The reason why we are here is in my first question. We'll start with your Berlin trip. 

SRADHA: We want to know how you came to know about it, what was the gateway; thereafter, your experience and the topic of your project or lecture.
TARASHISH: Okay! I went to Berlin for a conference called EuroPython and I have been involved in this Python or software-world for nearly two years. And this was like... The most important conference in the Python world is Pycon.us and then EuroPython is like the second most important one. So, it was quite obvious to know about it. You know, I always had this fear to talk. But it went well. 

SRADHA: There was a live streaming I guess...
TARASHISH: Oh yeah ! They had this camera operator who, you know, was a really really talented one. He actually edited the stream while it was being recorded and then he uploaded the whole video in only like five or ten minutes after the talk was done. He was really mind-blowing because he was editing the live stream only! 

SRADHA: Well, that is a wow ! And how was your experience with the other participants?
TARASHISH: Yeah. Actually I had previously worked with five or six guys and we started.. Uh! There's thing called IRC, stands for Internet Relay Chat. Most programmers and the whole under-ground culture of the internet uses this IRC to chat with each other, remaining anonymous. So nobody like knows who you are and all that. So it's very private and we used to chat on IRC only and we hadn't met face-to-face before the conference. It was amazing to meet them face-to-face and one or two of the guys actually have taught me a lot. I got to meet them and some of my mentors there... So, you know...

SRADHA: It must have been an extra-ordinary experience there. So Tarashish, can you tell me when did it all start? I mean your interest in coding, in Python; and when exactly did you realize that you're good at it?
TARASHISH: (Shrugs) Uh! Umm! I still don't think I'm good at it. But, I like it and that's the thing that keeps me going. Actually I got my first computer when I was in tenth. Before that I didn't even know how to play games and all that. It all started when I actually got internet. Because when you don't have internet you cannot do anything important. it's only games and all that. After I got internet, thenn.. One day I was bored and then there was... you know, as a 12th grade student, everyone in India dreams about U.S colleges, MIT, Stanford and all. (looks down and smiles) So I went to MIT site and there was a lecture called "Introduction to Computer Science". They had put all the video files and all that. I started checking 'em out and it caught my interest. Then it continued for like six to seven lectures and it got more and more interesting. So, Python was my first language and... 

SRADHA: And as much as I have heard, many people still do not know about Python. 
TARASHISH: Yeah, in India, most of our starter courses are in C or C++. But in abroad, like in MIT, their Introduction to Computer Science is in Python. Same is the case for Stanford and all that. So in the States, Python is the starter course; it's really famous there. But in India, people start with C then C++, JAVA and all that.

SRADHA: Do you want to suggest the students of C.E.T some ways to develop themselves in this field, or how should they learn Python and other programming languages ?
TARASHISH: Uh ! I think the only thing that matters is one's own interest. So if you have interest to learn, then, you know, computer science is pretty easy. If you know Google-ing then you are fifty percent a computer engineer. So it's all about interest. The thing is people do want to learn new stuff. But they don't really have the patience to keep going. They give up easy and that's not a thing you can teach people. They have to begin and then keep learning by themselves.

SRADHA: Absolutely. Well, Tarashish before this conference, you have had your internship with Google in the last summer and before that with Mozilla. So please tell in brief about both of them.
TARASHISH: Mozilla is totally an open source project. Their projects and courses are there in the open. They have like really small number of regular employees. Apart from that, most of their work is done by volunteers. The source-code is open and anybody can contribute to it. The paid contributors and volunteers guide you through the source and your contribution towards it. They have, in their websites, web-based projects. There were some projects based on Python language. So I started fiddling with one or two applications. And then I fixed a few bugs in them. You know, I didn't do anything substantially remarkable or anything like that...

SRADHA: And about the other one, in the summer...?
TARASHISH: It was Google Summer of Code. Google Summer of Code is a kind of a summer internship where Google actually pays you for your work for open source projects. I worked for this organization called OpenHatch, a project which actually helps people learn programming and get acquainted with the concept of open source software and all that. Actually, I was offered internship by two companies, Uh ! two organizations. One was MoinMoin and the other was OpenHatch. I really liked OpenHatch a lot because they were were introducing new people to open source and also they were helping people learn stuff. And my mentors there were super-duper friendly. I had never seen a guy more friendly than my mentor. I worked for them for like three months and they...

SRADHA: Paid you..
TARASHISH: Yeah, a lot of money ! (grins)

SRADHA: Well Tarashish, you seem to spend a lot of time pursuing your interests in programming and related projects. But do you find it difficult to manage your time between your academics and your interests ? Quite frankly, I see you very less in the college.
TARASHISH: I don't think I manage well. I want to do a lot of stuff, but I don't really have so much patience, especially when it comes to academics, I don't think I study at all. I study just before the sems. Basically, I don't think it's an issue of time. You see, I waste a lot of time watching crappy cartoons, movies and all that. When it comes to time-management, I would say I'm not at all good.

SRADHA: So it's an issue of your interest !?
TARASHISH: Yeah. I...I...spend most of my time fiddling around with codes. I don't have the patience to work for bigger projects because you have to work on and on... on one thing continuously for like three or more months to build something big. Mostly I do some small stuff here and there and then move on to another thing.. Annddd... That's all. I don't know. I am trying to get better at this thing; trying to concentrate on one thing for longer time period and then another. But right now, I'm not very good at it.

SRADHA: Ah ! Well, you will surely get there. Do you want to say something about the scope of this line, that is coding and Python and all. Of course, we all know it's vast but we still donot see too many in the line, at least from C.E.T. So do you have to say anything to encourage more CETians?
TARASHISH: I think there is always more developers' jobs available than there are skilled people. So you don't have to really worry about getting a job. And most C.S. Curriculum in India teach people how to be in IT services jobs and not real software-world jobs. So if you know these things, you'll probably be at a better position to get jobs in the real software line than your batch-mates. And you actually get paid a lot more, unlike mentioned in the recent article I read in the newspaper that an electrician gets paid as much as or more than an engineer these days. And specifically for women developers, as they are less in number, there is a lot of scope as almost all the organizations are trying to encourage more women and are giving them vast scope to bring them into this.

SRADHA: What about your future plans Tarashish? You are definitely not sitting for the campus placement rounds, as I see.
TARASHISH: I have planned to work with some start-up for two-three years. Start-ups actually help you know more and you have a lot more impact as an individual on the whole company than you will do in bigger companies.  because there are like thousands of developers working for specific areas in bigger companies, while in start-ups there a total of ten to twenty people working on all the areas. So you get a general overview of the entire product. You get to know a lot and you get to work on a lot of different things. So you get to develop into a real and better software engineer.

SRADHA: As you already said, women developers are very less in number all over the globe. Why is that? Do you find any particular reason for that?
TARASHISH: Uh ! One thing is that computer science and software industry in general has always been like a men's world kind of thing. And when there are like hundred men in the room, a single woman doesn't feel comfortable, may be. Plus, the mentors are all, mostly men too. Yeah, so that's kind of a problem. And again, in some parts, some software community members are also responsible because it is a men's only event or something then.. Uh ! sexual jokes may be acceptable. But when there are like two or three women among those hundred men and you tell something like that then those women will probably feel insulted and might never attend such events in future as well.

SRADHA: Do tell something for girls in CET.. so that they get encouraged..
TARASHISH: Um ! I don't think it is a concern at C.E.T. It's not a gender issue, it's a general concern. People in general are not into coding here; not male, not female. So in general people are not interested. I don't know why ! (spreads his hands in the air and shrugs)

SRADHA: So we hope this situation improves with time. Till then, Tarashish, apart from being "The Tarashish Mishra", what are your other interests; like games, movies or music, 'cause you're after all a normal engineering student, aren't you ? 
TARASHISH: Mmm. I.. Like to play games. Computer games. Not all computer computer games interest me, though. I like to play specific kinds of games like Battlefield Heroes; it's a cartoon-style shooter. Then I'm interested in 3D modelling. I am interested in it. I'm trying to get good at it, but currently I'm terrible at it. 

SRADHA: And what about music? sports? cricket ?
TARASHISH: Well, I'm interested in any sort of outdoor games but just as any normal kid. Movies, yes. Music, Yes, I guess but I'm not the kind of person who actually concentrates on what I'm listening to and remembers the lyrics. I just hear it like that.

SRADHA: So you do have a good set of hobbies, apart from coding, but coding being the best of them all. This is my last question, Tarashish. What do you have to say to the CET Rising team ? Now that it is going to be almost a year, do you like its work ? Please give us your feedback.
TARASHISH: I like CET Rising's work, of course, but as I have already told you twice or thrice, Blogspot is not really a good option to host your blog. You should move to some other platform like tumblr or something. And you definitely need to change your theme. (with an it-is-horrible look!) 

SRADHA: Well, as I have promised you earlier, we'll look into it. We are already planning a re-design. We'll definitely consider your feedback. Thank you so much for talking to us, Tarashish. It was really a pleasure for both Dibyasha and me.
TARASHISH: My pleasure ! 

Tworit Dash, 3rd year, I&E

[Covered by Sidhant Sourav and Aayushi Jajodia]

AAYUSHI: An awesome senior that you have been, to many of us and now, Eurucamp, the Mecca for enthusiastic coders, being the only one from the country and the youngest of the lot, what is the feeling, to have achieved so much at such a young age?
TWORIT: (shrugs his shoulder) What can I say? I mean, obviously it was a great feeling to be the youngest one since I got to learn so much. Specially the fact that I started coding in Ruby 6 months back and then being a a part of the Ruby community, it feels great!

SIDHANT: So from when and how did you get to know about Eurucamp?
TWORIT: Basically from Tarashish Bhai. Not exactly Eurucamp , but he had suggested me to go through Ruby conferences. Soon after my 4th Sem, I searched for the Ruby Conferences and got to learn about Eurucamp..which was going to be held in August and I applied for that.

AAYUSHI: We would like to know more about your trip, I mean how was the environment different?
TWORIT: The trip was really awesome. Got to learn many new things. The technology used abroad. New places, people, basically coders, with different ideas and ideologies. It was a dream come true. 
AAYUSHI: And specially the moment when you actually met the CEO of Sinatra?
TWORIT: (laughs) He was not exactly the Sinatra CEO. I was mistaken; he was the Chief Manager of Sinatra. In my first talk I pronounced   Sinatra in a different way.  It’s the framework that I had used to design my bot. I could actually see him murmur the word Sinatra when I pronounced it wrong.  Later I got to know that he was the Chief Manager and yes, it was a nice feeling.

SIDHANT: Now after your return we have heard lines like “You’re the next Tworit” used on the budding coders in the college. What would be your advice to them? How can CETians get accustomed to the developments in the tech field worldwide? And how do people increase their involvement in such conferences?
TWORIT: To be honest, I am a medium developer.
SIDHANT: You are just being modest!!

TWORIT:(laughs) No. It’s a fact. To be frank I have been into computers for just two and a half years. Before that, I didn't have any idea about an Operating System. I have been into coding for just over a year. It’s nice people following and getting ecstatic over my Eurucamp stint, but personally I don’t feel this is the ultimate thing. But nonetheless, humbled. All I have to say is, just make your own path rather than being in the crowd.

AAYUSHI: To what would you like to attribute your success to, I mean what all courses have you done to equip yourself with so much knowledge?
SIDHANT: Who has been your mentor or your inspiration?
TWORIT: My idol is Tarashish Bhai, without a doubt. I got to know about computers from him. His projects in Python used to have a great effect on me. Also my family, specially my brother,Tadit. They have been my support system and undoubtedly my brother has been my role model. Also I have done courses in embedded systems, ruby on Rails and many more,both online and offline, basic ones which most coders do.

SIDHANT: People know you mostly as a coder or someone who is academic based. What are your other areas of interests?

AAYUSHI: Can be anything like painting singing…
TWORIT: Yeah, I used to make sketches . And yeah, I dance a bit. In our Freshers I danced.
SIDHANT: (laughs) You were the Chocolate Boy I guess!

AAYUSHI: What are we going to witness from you in the future? What else do you plan to do in this field?
TWORIT: My future plans are to get involved in robotics artificial codes. That’s my thing. And develop Codes,libraries for the artificial intelligence. And I have great affinity for Physics too. So, I want to make something combining Physics and Artificial Intelligence.

SIDHANT: A mentor to me and so many, lastly, any advice or suggestions for enthusiastic coders, or any junior for that matter?
TWORIT: I want to advise all the people out here in the college that besides academics in your curriculum, you should get on with the thing that actually interests you. Give time to it. Try to gather knowledge. And life would be great. That can be anything ranging from studies, crafts to sports. Follow Your Dreams!!


  1. Awesome duo! Feels great to be around you guys!

    PS: it's tumblr ;)

    1. Oops. Guess you now know why we are at blogspot ! ;) Jokes apart, the changes will be done soon. Criticism helps us improve. :)