One of the most incredible times of a student’s life is his/her Internship. A chance to taste the dream job, to meet the leaders of your world, to experience how exactly the organizations function, and most importantly to be a part of something extraordinary. Those times don’t come very often in one’s college life. I had the opportunity to ask some of the final year students of CSE who completed their internships this summer at the most amazing places for engineers in India, to share their experience and with us.
- Hitesh Sharma, of 2015 batch, one of the seven students to get a Pre Placement Offer after his internship at Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore.
- Gourav Pathak, the first ISMite to get a Pre-Placement Offer at Amazon.com after working as an Intern at the Hyderabad office.
- Ankita Yadav, a BufferedWriter herself, the only one in the 2015 batch to earn an internship at Microsoft.
- Shashank Kumar Tiwary, one of the two interns at Arista Networks, Bangalore.
Q. How did you get interested In Computer Science?
Gourav: I had no background of Computer Science until I reached ISM. But I loved mathematics and logic. My teachers at my coaching institute in Kota told me that Computer Science is closely associated with mathematics. That’s the major reason I chose Computer Science as my subject of study.
Ankita: When you see the amazing applications of Computer Science around you, it surely seems interesting. And I had also taken up Informatics Practices as a subject during 11th and 12th std., so I had some idea of what would I have to do if I take up Computer Science as my field of study. So, opted for this branch.
Q. What were your initial thoughts when you came to know that you were going to your respective companies?
Hitesh: I was glad to know that I was selected for internship at Samsung and was very enthusiastic to have a taste of corporate world.
Ankita: I had heard a lot of good things about Microsoft. So, I was pretty excited! Since the whole selection process took really long, I had a sense of relief too that I had finally achieved it!
Gourav: I was looking forward to my first industry experience. I was eager to know how computer science fundamentals could be applied to real-world applications.
Shashank: I was excited that I was going to be a part of international work culture. I was pretty much sure that we will be working in a core networking field and my expectations were met.
Q. What were the projects that you were assigned? Give us a high level description.
Hitesh: My project was Differential Encoding for Web Based Services. My task was to design and implement a client server communication in which client requests for a latest version of a file from server. Server computes a compact and invertible encoding of the latest version of said file compared to an older version of the same. This encoding, called delta file, is done using the VCDIFF data format. Client reconstructs the latest version of the file using the received delta file and the older version that it has.
Ankita: I was an SDE intern at Microsoft. My team was concerned with the development of a Bing app named Health and Fitness. My project required me to enhance the GPS tracker of this app. The tasks included plotting path based on GPS accuracy, displaying splits on the map, adding fastest and slowest splits in the splits table.
Gourav: I was assigned a project on Carbon Testing. Carbon is a testing platform developed by Amazon primarily for UI tests. My team was working on Product Customization which allows users and customers to customize products that are sold at Amazon and develop their own designs. They had prepared an interface to assist Amazon customers with product customization features thereby increasing the variety of products being sold at Amazon. My task was to prepare a set of automated test cases to check the entire functionality of the UI. I authored the test plan and coded all the necessary positive and negative test cases. Coding was mostly done in Java along with Graphite API. I was also assigned the task of preparing automated and manual tests for Question and Answers on the UI.
Shashank: I was working on a project named Reservation of ACL Entries and Inplace-Replacement of ACL. It was something related to routing of packets from one network to another network. ACLs are Access Control Lists which consists of certain set of actions/rules to decide whether to drop or permit a packet. The rules of ACLs are loaded onto a TCAM memory which is embedded in routing switch. My task was to add a reserve keyword in ACL to allow the addition of rules once the ACLs are loaded onto TCAM memory.
Q. What was the best part about working with your team, and your manager?
Ankita: The best part was that I never felt like an intern there. At Microsoft, they treat interns like full time employees (but of course, you have got lesser work than them!). They listened to my ideas and discussed them thoroughly. Being an intern, you can ask as many questions as you want. They would patiently entertain all your queries. My manager was a really hard working person, so he was an inspiration.
Shashank: I got acquainted with synchronised team working and learned the importance of sharing responsibilities and proper knowledge flow among team members . Managers at Arista were amicable and had clarity in direction. The work culture at Arista was very nurturing and the employees were very frank and straight forward in their know-how.
Q. What’s something you’ve accomplished during your internship that you’re most proud of? Or something you’re looking forward to working on?
Hitesh: While doing my project, I realized that the theoretical subject Software Engineering which I mugged up for the exam is so important in software development. I did my project phase wise exactly as software life cycle. Starting with requirement gathering, then design, then implementation and finally testing. Doing the project in such an organized way was really a good learning experience.
Gourav: Well, I was lucky enough because I had to start my project from scratch. Amazon has a huge code base and wide range of tools that are difficult to master in a period of 2 months. The Carbon Platform which I was working on was extremely new to me as well as to Amazon (It was built just around 9 months ago). None of my team mates had previous experience of this platform. So it was my task to give them a deep-dive on this testing platform. It was quite interesting to guide engineers who had been working there for quite some time. During my internship period, I came across a very interesting project which was to design a search engine for the Customizable products. It would require a great deal of analytical power and programming skills to complete that project. I am looking forward to provide my inputs on it.
Q. What is your favourite part of the offices you worked at?
Hitesh: Phoenix building of Samsung is wonderful. Cubicles and meeting rooms are well organized, making environment quite enjoyable. The Cafeteria of the 4th floor at Phoenix is the best I like at Bangalore office and wish I’d get a cubical at 4th floor next year.
Ankita: I liked to play with fellow interns. Foosball and pool were new to me, so I enjoyed it. And I also liked the concept of Mother’s room where you can go and sleep to take break from your work.
Gourav: My favourite part of the Amazon office was the pool table and Xbox gaming centre. We used to chill out at these places during evening.
Shashank: Happy hours, which serves as an interaction period for employees and are basically treats given by some employees which is conducted on each Friday.
Q. What do you think about the cities you were in? The best place outside your office, according to you?
Ankita: Hyderabad is a nice place. Although many people prefer Bangalore as there are more places to hangout. But Hyderabad is less crowded as compared to Bangalore, so that is a plus point. There are many tourist places in Hyderabad like Golconda fort, Ramoji film city, etc. And Hyderabad is famous for its cuisine as well.
Shashank: I had a enjoyable stay in the city, the weather was very pleasurable. There were lots of interesting places to be explored. There are many but the nearest ones were Forum Mall, MG Road, Brigade road.
Q. What is your dream job, and city if any?
Hitesh: Google, Mountain View.
Gourav: My dream job is to work with companies like Google, Quora or Facebook. I am not quite into open source programming or web designing and development. I am more fascinated to work where elements of competitive programming, mathematics and algorithmic development and optimization are involved.
Ankita: I don’t have a dream job as of now. To begin my career I would like to join a company where I can get a good project to work on and learn as much as I can.
Shashank: My dream job would be working for a company which have a good work culture, where the job is exciting, rewarding and the future growth prospects are strong .