My Journey as a Developer - DevRetro 2023


5 min read

Hello World 🤖

Hey folks, I've been putting off this article for what feels like an eternity—blame it on the whirlwind of University exams and then a generous sprinkle of holiday season lethargy. Another year of college is officially in the rearview mirror, and boy, do I have many more tales to spin compared to last year's Dev Retro. Let's kick things off by dissecting the grand plans I had envisioned for this year, contrasting them with the reality that unfolded. I'll then take you on a rollercoaster ride through the major events that peppered my journey in the tech realm this past year, capping it all off with some crystal ball gazing into what I predict awaits in the upcoming year. Buckle up, enjoy the read, and catch you on the flip side!

Dissecting My Predictions from Last Year

I'm going to be taking excerpts from last year's Dev Retro and trying to justify them a bit. Reading through my old Dev Retro did make me cringe a bit, but it's nice to see that I've grown both in my Technical skills as well as my Vocabulary skills (*wink* wink ChatGPT)

I thought I'd write last year's Dev Retro as a Bride prepares for an English Wedding, "Something Borrowed; Something Blue; Something Old; Something New," but looking back, that wasn't it. The titles seem outdated and inconsistent with the blog's core message.

Technical, this year was the first year I started actual development, from tiny HTML Pages using the Basics of CSS to Dynamically Loaded Pages using the popular Framework Django

I quit Web Development probably 5 seconds after that blog went out. It wasn't for me. I get so bored writing out the most basic logic for no reason.

Starting with Data Science and understanding the math behind it, this year has allowed me to start growing and exploring

There we go, that's more like it! Let's Go Data Science. I fell in love with data this year. Starting with Data Science and the ETL process, to Data Engineering, where I was able to Intern at one of India's Biggest FinTech companies, and finally, settling on a more mixed role in Data Engineering and Machine Learning (DL).

Developing simple Dart apps using Flutter and understanding how DApps work in the Solidity Framework made me realize what the future of Web3 might look like

Quit after 5 seconds. NEXT

.. solving some (easy to medium difficulty) Data Structures and Algorithm problems.

I wish I'd continued to do that. I wouldn't be scrambling for a summer Internship for the summer of 2023 (Resume Plug, just in case you're a recruiter)

Maybe not the most significant flex, but I also got featured on Hashnode's Twitter account!

Yup, it's the most considerable flex of the 2020s to date. Allow me to embed it again ;)

Yup, that's enough of a diss of 2022 Aryan. Snapping back to reality, the following section focuses on what I accomplished this year.

Hop into the Way Back Machine

Makeathon 5: Organising it all

If you don't know, I'm the Joint Secretary of the Microsoft Learn Student Chapter present at my university. Still, this story predates that when I was just an ordinary "Core Member" (basically a glorified Grunt Worker). Anyway, we plan the most elaborate Hackathon in Punjab, where we Invite special guests and speakers and end it all with a 24-hour hackathon. What made this year special? I got to interview Mr. Mr. Mr. Richard Stallman (I hope someone gets that joke). It was amazing; a few friends and I got the unbelievable opportunity of a lifetime to interview the man who created GNU. It was a total fanboy moment, and I don't have words to express how amazing that one hour was for me. Unfortunately, Mr. Stallman got diagnosed with Cancer this year, and you can see it on his face in the image below. His contributions to Free and open source make the world we live in today.

Here are a few more pictures from Makeathon, just because (sorry for the huge photo)

Interning at Paytm

You read that right; I got the unholy opportunity to work at Paytm over the summer. I worked on an in-house SQL Optimizer for the Paytm Business Analysts in the Data Engineering Department. It was a stint for two months, and I learned a lot about the underlying processing of SQL because of the Internship. (Thanks, Vikash and Anand, for making it a fantastic learning opportunity)

Visiting PyDelhi and (almost giving a Lightning Talk)

PyDelhi was super fun. I got in super cheap because of the student discount and spent the two days in hostels to save on Hotels. I learned a lot and got decent Swags from the Sponsors ;). I also got to explore Delhi for the first time in years.

Notice how my card doesn't have my name on it? They forgot to get my card printed on the first day, and I got it on Day 2. Still, it was a fantastic opportunity to learn from amazing people. (Plug to Vipul Gupta (X); he had a fantastic talk)

Internship No. 2: Researching for DST, Haryana

I jumped when I saw a call for students for a research role for a project sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Haryana. I gave the interview a day early (that's how anxious I was) and got shortlisted. We're working on a way to regulate type 1 diabetes in patients using ML, but apart from that, I can't dive into the details just yet.

SIH: So close, yet so far

Me, a classmate, her friend, and 3 of our seniors had teamed up for the Smart India Hackathon. The problem statement we chose to ideate on was about providing feedback to the government about its actions via social media, newspapers, e-newspapers, and articles (including YouTube) from the web. We worked on a prototype that used nontraditional Machine Learning applications like BERT and Whisper and presented our pitch deck. Unfortunately, we got put on the Waitlist for our Problem statement, and no other team backed out. It was a quick month, but we worked a lot. Cheers to SPAARS :)

Working on Next Year

As for what's next, considering my love affair with data, diving into an open-source project in data science or machine learning sounds like a plan, and maybe, just maybe, organizing a tech event or workshop at my university to share the knowledge. Here's to more tech adventures in the coming year!

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