Generally, my blogs take an educational route, but today, I write about a more personal journey. So, bear with me through it – I have a feeling, you will!
Think about this – What’s the ideal job for a 20-something? A job that provides the freedom to travel, flexible working hours (for that coveted afternoon power nap) and at the same time, work on something “that makes the world a better place”! Funny thing, my job comes really close to that.
Minus one. Realisation.
A few months back, I received a message that stopped my heart, figuratively, by people who wanted me to make algorithms to make the heart better, literally! This was like a dream come true. This was like working deeper on my thesis project, which had the same subject, minus the inedible hostel mess food and, plus the resources to bring it to a fruitful conclusion.
Before joining here, I would spend all my waking hours at my college lab. Not that working, and sleeping, in the only full-blown air-conditioned room accessible to me, with unlimited Wi-Fi to buffer my movies isn’t great, but a state-of-the-art lab, full of people from diverse scientific fields. We were a few pizzas and more than a few diet cokes away from our Iron man suit. Also Jarvis.
Zero. Moving out.
Working at a new company, everything is as new to the company, as it is to you. People here were nice and patient, realising that they had hired a non-computer-science guy for algorithm development. And they still are – well, because they know I am trying hard too. They decided this opportune to confess that I was their lone wolf in the sub-continent. My office was slack.
Slack is an amazing online platform for communication. It comes totally unequipped with features like read receipts (Yes. WhatsApp has it. Also Facebook). If your enquiry did not get replied to, your boss is vacationing in the Bahamas. Or possibly, what you asked was dumb. (The force is strong with this one)
Work from home took on the literal meaning and I moved in again! Now that’s something that really excited my parents, because their little boy can work his dream job sitting at bay! And believe me, as much as sitting with small towners from Ajmer, who have no sense or interest in Machine Learning mechanics, excites me, it made me resort to the seclusion; albeit with my Maa’s home cooked meals and my family’s loving embrace. But I had to grow over it, if I really wanted to learn. So, low on cash, I boarded the cheapest flight from my town – taking me to Pune.
One. Moving around.
New IIT-graduates go to either Pune or Bangalore, to find a partner, and, of course, a job. My friend in Pune had both, and an apartment. So, I moved to Pune to keep the competitive spirits high. The city is full of beautiful opportunities and provides a lot of scope to connect with other algorithm geeks and data scientists to keep you updated and on your toes.
I was slowly learning about working remotely – One-hour meetings, two days a week – not sufficient to build organic relationships with your colleagues. I didn’t know if I could crack my righteous “that’s what she said” jokes, or any, at all!
Two. It isn’t always that easy
Having stayed for a while in Pune, I was kind of over it, so when a couple of friends, based out of Bangalore, hailed me over, I accepted gracefully. (They appreciate my jokes. So, you know!)
Plus, their apartment had a swimming pool, gym, squash court and sauna – a month at this resort definitely suits my style of working.
As I was getting comfortable with my decision, so was the company with me. By this time. I am championing the python (scientifically speaking), with some assistance from Stackflow and Github. Now the company felt that I could be introduced to some exceptionally not-so-trivial problems. Even though I was a python-charmer of sorts, I just couldn’t get past this one hurdle in a new situation. Two weeks into a headache which neither Disprin nor sitcom references could solve, I missed my lab in Chennai. I needed someone to put their hand on my shoulder and say “it’s easy bro”. Someone who knew what they were talking about. Someone.
Fortunately, I am blessed with some of the most talented and absolutely badass friends who have the crazy ability to say, “it’s easy bro”, ready for solutions for the hardest problems. No bottles were ever broken. Nothing went up in smoke either.
One phone call, one “it’s easy, bro”, and a discussion – ingredients to a well-deserved, two-weeks-overdue, sound night’s sleep. Life was good again.
But you know me by now. How could I have left it to that? I have an irresistible urge to keep it challenging for myself. So, I took off. AGAIN! But this time, for a twister – a revealing realisation that makes me believe in the “Life is indeed a 360 -degree learning curve” saying!