This post is eighth in the series of blog posts written by members of SDSLabs over the years on their experiences and lifestyle in lab. Everyone has gained from being in SDSLabs in some or the other way and this is how the students from upcoming years can have a peek into the workflow of lab.
Like many other students when I initially stepped into IITR as a first yearite, the most prominent two words(other than my hostel’s name) I heard were “CGPA” and “SDSLabs”. On digging more into these two words, I got to know that these are the two most valuable things one can possess here. And naturally thus I wanted to be a part of SDSLabs, to further my zeal to learn. I had developed an interest in Web Development before coming for the recruitments, as I had tried my hands at it just to find out that I really liked it. After some time, I was finally recruited through a long but interesting procedure of a series of written tests and an interview.
I had to face a hard time letting the classiness of being in SDSLabs waft over me, because that is the point where you stop learning and start flaunting. I started getting over this and actually got down to learning pretty soon. As the immediate pre-requisite of being a programmer in SDSLabs is Linux, I had Ubuntu 13.04 replace my super common Windows 7, and this has been one of the best transitions of my life yet. I was made to learn git, PHP, JS, AJAX, Linux Command Line etc. within 2 months of joining lab. As I continued work I got to learn more things about frameworks, MVC, REST and web security. Now that it’s almost an year, Sublime Text and the Terminal are the first applications I open in my laptop, also the last one’s to be closed. When within lab, knowledge is like in the air. People are always found discussing and you are sure to catch one or two valuables if you listen to them. Most of the learning in lab comes along this way.
What I worked on
I did some feature additions in echo, the e-book search application of SDSLabs like the Admin Panel and the Book Upload form that have to be used internally by the administrators for book moderation. It was built on the framework Limonade and used Solr for indexing. It was mostly written by one of my very helpful seniors, who later on proved to be one of my best mentors. As it was my first project I gradually learnt good coding and commenting practices commonly used among developers.
I also worked on comments, which is a SDSLabs clone of Disqus and intends to act as the commenting system across all SDSLabs applications. It was instantiated with the simple thought of providing better speeds which couldn’t be harnessed while using an online application(here Disqus). It uses Slim as it’s framework and is planned to be finished soon.
I was astounded at the number of Chapos(IITR lingo for treats) we had here. We had regular Dominos’ orders, Alumni sponsored treats, Convocation chapos, Placement chapos and what-not-for-no-reason chapo. We also have an annual trip to the most peaceful cities around. The Seniors here are so helpful and friendly that you can ask them almost anything(they’ll obviously omit what they want to though). The group interaction level is so high, that after some time you forget who you’re supposed to call ‘sir’ and who’s supposed to call you ‘sir’. We choose to omit the word ‘sir’ from our conversations instead.
At SDSLabs we have really diligent seniors who answer even the silliest of our questions, encouraging us to participate in the discussions and taking up responsibilities for lab. I have peers, each good at what they were selected for. One of my peers for example has crashed his ubuntu around 4-5 times and is now an expert in matters concerning ubuntu. One of them has his own version of bomberman that he wrote in class 11th, cooler than most of the student-made games I’ve seen. One of them has applications ranging from captcha breaker to network manager, and is undoubtedly one of the best developers of my year. Amidst such hardworking and dedicated people, all you feel like doing is become like them, the zeal to learn keeps growing. All these people have been greatly contibuting in my learning process from day one, inspiring me to push harder.
If you feel that such an environment is what you long for, do sit for our recruitments coming January. I hope it’ll be a pleasure for you going through the recruitment process, and an even greater pleasure if you join us. Visit join.sdslabs.co for more details on the recruitment procedure and dates.