Growing schools laboratories as our teachers wouldn’t allow

Growing up, inspiration
comes from the people around you and for me it was my father whom I looked up
to, he holds a graduate degree in Computer Science
and has worked most his life in the IT industry. I have watched him work his way through projects and simultaneously
woking on some exciting code. The immense possibilities from programming
intrigued me and I decided to pursue programming as a hobby. I was seven when I first started working with computers, my first accomplishment was
making the turtle move in LOGO after which I gradually moved on to Basic,
making some cool websites centred around topics on the universe, the Indian
cricket team, a personal website I built using Microsoft Frontpage and
developing video games using Adobe Flash. This romance between computers and me had only just begun. Sometimes my notoriety also swooped
in when I used to communicate through the inter-connected machines in my schools laboratories as our teachers wouldn’t allow us to speak during class
or when I built harmless malware engineered using batch files and placed them
in the startup folder of a friend’s computer as a playful prank. To summarise, I feel
as if I grew up at the centre, with computers and electronics all around me and finally when the
time came, I was certain that the best profession to chose would be something I
was passionate about and that of course was computer programming.


The boom in the internet certainly had caught
the eye of every youngster around the world and that was also when I started
taking the information technology industry seriously. I studied to write
better code using concepts such as data structures, libraries, OOPS etc. It was
during eleventh grade when I delivered my first project in C++, an adaptation of
the famous game show “Who wants to be Millionaire”. Most of my friends and
family were so hooked to the game that they strong-armed me into sharing the
executable files with them. Nonetheless, I loved every bit the feeling, when I
saw people enjoying my program.

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My growing interest landed me into one of the
most prestigious institutions in India, VIT University. Where I have
successfully completed my bachelors degree in Information Technology. VIT gave
me a platform to stage my knowledge practically and grow even more. I began
working on more projects that had more impact to the community and started
contributing back to the industry in a bigger and better way. I
developed a few utilities and games for the windows platform which are
currently listed on the Windows Store and have received a lot of downloads and
appreciation from my faculties, fellow students and people across the world.
Recognised for my work, I was chosen as a Microsoft Student Partner by
Microsoft, India and so was the representative of Microsoft in VIT and vice
versa. After I gained more experience, I was invited to take evangelism
sessions, teaching Microsoft technologies to my juniors. During the summer of
my junior year I also interned at a startup company in New Delhi where I developed
a mailer module in PHP. It is currently published on the company’s website and
is used in production by the admins there. I also completed a few other
projects under various faculties which are published in the open source
community. While working on these projects and because of my interest I also
completed many courses as a part of my academics, namely, Object oriented
programming concepts, network processing, data structures and algorithms, open
source programming and digital electronics and microprocessors etc.


Impressed by my overall achievements and
prowess, I was selected to attend a semester abroad at Plymouth University in
UK, where I worked under Dr.
Bogdan Ghita on a project on Cloud Computing, the
findings of which later went on to be published in IEEE Xplore. This was not
only a technical learning experience, but I also learnt about cultures
differences and diversity, met various people and imbibed the positives from
their lifestyles, it was a definitely a life changing international exposure.


All my achievements from my time at VIT helped
me land a job at VISA, the global payments technology firm in Bangalore. They
hired me as they felt confident about my abilities and believed in me making
significant contributions to their mission of making the payments domain, more
agile, robust and more importantly, secure. I have been working in VISA for
more than a year at the time of writing this statement and would have gained
two years of experience in the IT industry in August 2018.
I have worked on various tools during my time here at VISA, from JAVA Spring
stack,  angularJS, mongoDB, to working on
the ETL tool Talend and gaining professional efficiency in it. My work here in
VISA has been recognised and appreciated by my colleagues and they are confident
of my capabilities. I
believe in giving back to the community and I have done that by involving
myself in Corporate Social Responsibility activities where I contribute in
whatever way I can for causes such as education, health and well being.


While working in the corporate sector, I have
realised that there is a lot more knowledge I can gain and dive deeper into the
concepts of computing to achieve even better understanding. I find it most
suitable to work and study with highly esteemed professors of USC, Viterbi School of Engineering,
Department of Computer Science. I sought the advice of
professionals and veterans, and that helped me understand that the only way to
develop the ideal array of skills required is by investing my time and effort
into self-preparation and practice. I am applying for the MS in
Computer Science at USC to completely dive into computer sciences  and try realise my potential and passion. In
this field, the adage “knowledge is power” is irrevocably true: the more you
know about a computer and its
workings, the easier it is to build applications. Applying to USC is my attempt at this seeking knowledge among the smartest,
brightest and like-minded minds.