May 28, 2013

Thanking the souls that made my GSoC possible!

Getting a Google Summer of Code project wasn't so easy and it certainly wouldn't have been possible without the help of others. Here is the list that I found too long to be published in a Facebook status update!

Please note that anyone I have mentioned here can ask for a chapo anytime, provided I am carrying my wallet (which I frequently don't). For everyone else, I would ask you a round of questions regarding my GSoC so that I am sure you are not asking for one just for the sake of the hype.

First and foremost, the summer research fellowship programme of the Indian Academy of Sciences (IAS), through which I got a Geology internship last year. This year, partly due to overconfidence and partly because I thought that the professors do the selection, I didn't put much thought into the short write up for the application. Guess what, I wasn't selected. Looking back, I should actually thank them for not selecting me because one, it would have been difficult doing a GSoC along with an internship and two, this rejection motivated me to do something which is far tougher than getting an internship through the teeny weeny puny IAS!

Kshitij Awadhiya, for introducing me to the organization Inclusive Design Institute and encouraging me to start contributing to their code immediately. Although he was good enough to nail the GSoC for IDI, it's a different story for another day why he bailed out altogether. Maybe he would tell you that story over coffee sometime, provided you pay for the coffee.

Animesh Mishra, for NOT believing in me. You guys probably know him as the cranky dude, who gives titles to (and sometimes co-authors) many of my blog posts (and did I mention he's the only critic my blog has!) Anyways, so there was this night at the RJB canteen shortly after the organizations were announced that he said I was totally incapable of getting a GSoC and that I shouldn't even try. That was the moment I decided I had to do it even if hell broke lose!

Vivek Prakash, for being supportive at every single step and being my motivation (he had nailed the last two GSoCs). I can't possibly thank him enough- for his insights, providing his old proposals for reference and replying to me even though he is a very busy man!

Akshit Khurana, for not submitting a proposal to Ankur India (although that didn't matter in the long run as I was considered for both Ankur India and IDI- and given a choice) and for showing me a lighter side of everything! Even talking to him brings your stress levels down. Oh, and the introduction to SASS, and making me believe it wasn't something as huge as I initially thought.

Nitesh Kumar, for refusing to help with the overhauling of the ATutor design. That made me realize a GSoC project's time frame wasn't enough for the same and I started concentrating on smaller, yet crucial parts of ATutor.

The seniors who provided me the proposals of their previous GSoCs, Pradeep Kumar Gayam and Shaswat Lal Das, and sharing their experience in general.

Prasoon Shukla, the only junior to feature in this list, for helping me with the submission of my very first patch by making me understand the general working of github (Hell, I didn't even know forking then!)

IMG, or Information Management Group, as a whole (although three fourths of the above are from IMG), and the different people involved there for getting me what I am today. Especially (in no particular order) Somya Sheshank, Sandeel Ruhil, Aniket Mittal, Virendra Jain, Sampath Vinta, Mayank Garg, Vaibhav Gupta, Anurag Paul, Anubhav Agarwal and Aamir Khan (not the Lagaan one). This was possible only because of what I learnt in IMG and the way my thinking has been channeled over the years.

The Amateur Counsellor, for pointing out the zillions of grammatical errors in all three of my proposals. Considering the Grammar Nazi that I am, I wonder how so many errors crept in!

Alexey Novak, last but certainly not the least, for mentoring the project. It would have been completely different without him!

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