“Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you’ve found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for.”
Spring Semester 2009,
I was busy with my work for Kshitij ‘09 and once it ended it was like a void in my life . I never realized that I had to look into something to do during my summer break. As I was fresh from my year round web development work I decided I won’t go for a web based internship.
The mailings started and after some time I was like bored when no replies came. Then came February 11, I woke up and checked my gmail and all I could in the unread posts was Re: Internship in Web2.0 . I opened the post and wow it was like there couldn’t have been a better start to my day as I read through the mail which said:
I’ve been forwarded your interest in Web2.0 internship, over the summer months. When are you available for a phone call?
I immediately got to work . After 2 rounds of interviews my internship was confirmed at the National University of Singapore.
As I was told that my internship would be in creating a web application using the latest web 2.0 tools, I was a bit upset about again working in the web. But then I thought this is what I am best at.
I landed in Singapore and from Day One I was told the exact design of the Application we were supposed to make.The application was a Cloud based Tagging and a Google Maps Mashup( a mashup is a web page or application that combines data or functionality from two or more external sources to create a new service ) which was supposed to be based on Google App Engine and was written using its Python SDK.
I was excited about the use of new technologies . Cloud Computing was a really fascinating field for me and working on some solid project in Python and that too on Django was something I was dreaming for since my last winter when I learned both.
My team consisted of my mentor, a Masters student in Software Engineering ( which to my surprise was also from Midnapore … ) and myself. The project was supervised by my professor.Also at the office I had a really good friend from Canada , who was working on E-governance and really helped me in all my Ideas regarding the application.
It was really exciting for me to start working with Google Apps Engine(GAE) the very fact that you can deploy your applications in the cloud and scale them as per your needs or as per people’s demand was something I have never worked before. We also used XML as a format for data passage between the different parts of our application which really gave it a modular look and made our app really extensible for future use.
Also the fact that we used services from different other web applications made the app a really neat example of code reusability.
We also had the crawler part of application coded in Java as my co-worker was already working on it before I arrived.
A basic design of the Application which I made is shown below:
After days of effort my application finally got working. It had features for user to mark places on the Map and attach information to it. A filtering scheme was used in the background to remove redundant data.
The day of presentation came and I preferred to call my application Tagging Singapore
. The presentation went great and our application was applauded by the audience which mainly included
professors working in Software Development and Entrepreneurship. It was really satisfying to see our efforts being appreciated. My supervisor gave me Farewell lunch which was the best Singaporean Food I ever ate.
In the mean time being a member of AIESEC I joined the Local Chapter at NUS as a Cultural Envoy for Exchange and Development and helped them with their Communications Department which mainly included creating their website and giving them Technology related suggestions. It was really fun being with a huge student community in a foreign land. The innumerable parties we had made it all the more fun.
I also attended a Microsoft Conference on their latest Web Technologies which included Azure Services, Silverlight 3.0 and the Expression Suit. It was nothing less than a marvel as I ended up winning 3 books on Silverlight in the Audience questions.
The National University of Singapore was a gem of a place with some state of art Architecture, really amazing Food Courts and an excellent transport system (which in fact was the trademark of entire Singapore). Even during the winter breaks the vibrancy of the place was quite evident.
I took more than 5000 pictures during my 2 months stay .As a part of my tourism spree I went to all the amazing places in Singapore – from the amazingly natural Zoo and Bird parks , the highly posh Clark Quay, the ever amazing and fun water-parks and the Heavenly Sentosa Island. The hospitality I got was really amazing and the friends I made were something I’ll treasure all my life.
To sum it up my experience all I would say that it was simply:
Code , Click & Celebrate.