Nov 3, 2013

What goes around comes around- My tryst with HackerEarth

Roughly two years ago, I had just begun work on the placement and internship portal of the college, for which I had started learning Django. There's this senior who called me asking me that he wanted to discuss certain things. Since I had worked with him on the NSS website in the past, it seemed like an opportunity related to web development. I was curious to know what it was.

He redirected me to two of his friends Sachin (not Tendulkar) and Gurbinder. (No, I wasn't being ragged!) They had launched the website of their startup, MyCareerStack, which catered to needs of students preparing for technical interviews, preparing them for the questions asked in interviews, to be precise. They already had a few hundred users and tens of thousands of clicks.

They explained further. The current site had been developed in PHP and any person who has been in web development knows Python is better. Naturally, they wanted to change it to Python/Django. But that was not all. Their ultimate aim was to make something like an online code testing platform, where you could code within your browser, and get the results.

On the offset, it sounded pretty impressive.



There were many reasons for doing that. First, I was just a Django newbie, with no idea how to write code which would cater to tens of thousands of people. Hell, I didn't even know much Python then (I can safely say I learnt Django first and then Python!) Back in the day, I was also hooked to the game FIFA. A daily dose of it was certainly necessary to keep me in my good senses. Add to it the responsibility at IMG, I couldn't shy away from it. There's one more reason though. Deep down, I thought that maybe, just maybe I couldn't do it- it might have proved too big for me. Perhaps it was a mental block of never working in something like that before.

Two years on, things have changed a lot. Sachin eventually made it to Google and left it soon thereafter. Gurbinder left the startup for higher studies (he's in the University of Texas now), whereas Vivek (also an IMG senior) joined it. MyCareerStack is now HackerEarth, the original idea a part of it. They have successfully implemented all their plans their point of time and done even more.

I learnt Django at my own merry pace (looking at Sandeep's code though.) I played FIFA to such an extent that it doesn't really need to be a part of my life anymore (more on that some other day). I did a GSoC in the meantime and learnt my fair share of JavaScript. I also started freelancing.

Even though I have been involved with HackerEarth in the past regarding some other things, there was something else in store for me. Just a few days ago, Vivek came up with an interesting proposition(do note that I have been in contact with him every single step of my programming career). They were looking for someone to work remotely for them and he asked whether I would be willing to do it. I didn't think twice before replying. Turns out I have to work on the MyCareerStack code base yet again. Do you believe in destiny or fate? Well, you can't fight fate.

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