To and fro SDSLabs

I want you to close your eyes & imagine the most satisfying experience you have had. It feels good doesn’t it? Even if it’s all in your brain. For me, that experience is perpetual. It’s learning.

That is the most fulfilling and rewarding experience one can get. It’s when you’re curious about something, when you have a ton of questions - every one of them starting with How or Why! And you scratch & pick your brain to get your head around them, for days, all in vain. And then suddenly, on one such day, comes the moment of realization & delight when you get to the bottom of it. It is that I’m talking about.

Believe it or not, I just described how each of my visit to SDSLabs feels like!

The journey so far

A year ago I was just another tech crazed enthusiast. I liked fiddling with computers and I liked to wonder. Although that’s describing what everyone here does (in a very minimalistic way)! But you get my point - every time I fork a child process to retrospect my time here, it transfigures to a human torso giving me two thumbs up! Such a spellbinding time it has been!

No question (as the seniors said when I first came) is silly, if it can’t be answered! Or there is nothing like a stupid doubt. It is here that I have grown from being a naive freshie that I was, wondering about what happened to the data when we clicked submit to working with technologies like Laravel, message queues and Docker. There has been much to learn in these past 11 months. At this very time last year, in a similar blog post, Ashish says, “all discussions are open to all lab members and it is this lack of bureaucracy which makes lab a very comfortable place to be in “. I couldn’t have said it better. Being here has taught/made me aware of a few very important things e.g. how to look for help to help yourself (read stackoverflow), introduced me to the world of OSS (read filing PRs) & taught me how to stay updated in a rapidly evolving and tremendously dynamic field of software development (read HN).

Every time I walk in, I’m surrounded by fellow members brainstorming an idea or a design or trying their hands on some fancy new dev platform. And as I’m about to sit and open my laptop I look at the wall in front of me embellished with markers showing the bounties and glory our senior members have reaped for the group and the milestones we have reached. It is both motivating and humbling.

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Neither Jack nor dull

Once in a while, someone would win an Xbox for a change and as you can imagine it goes fantastically well with the 40” TV!

Being here is definitely fun. Now you don’t get to crash servers often, do you? In a few hackathons that I and other members participated over the year in places like Jaipur and Surat we have had people who recognised SDSLabs and that’s rousing!. Once in a while, someone would win an Xbox for a change and as you can imagine it goes fantastically well with the 40” TV! With the fun yearly trips that I’ve been to and the sheer number of cheese bursts I’ve had, I can say, with utmost conviction that this is the quintessential campus group.

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Pièce de résistance

Innovation and collective learning go hand in hand. SDSLabs has been at the very core of cultivating and nurturing a computer programming culture in the campus for several years now, acting on the aforementioned philosophy. It is indeed a very gratifying, humbling and a matter of pride when we as members see the effect SDSLabs has had as group in opening up I.I.T. Roorkee as a whole, to the vast sea of tech enthusiasts all around the country and out. It might seem to you as if I’m over emphasising, which I’m not. The competitions which we hold on our platforms witness participation from top teams across the world with our dedicated servers handling hundred thousand requests at a time! And that is no overstatement. As Paras Chetal says in his blog, it feels good when we see random people around the world recognising our platforms.

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I can start listing the tech giants from Google MTV to Facebook and universites from M.I.T. to N.Y.U. where the alumini base of this group has expanded to, but that (although motivating) will be being boastful, which does not serve the purpose I talk about when we started.

Circa 2015…

It is then I knew that this is the place which could provide me with the pleasure I talk about in the very beginning!

There (generally) is a lot of fuss & confusion among the latest lot of students about what this group is, what it does in the campus. Unlike many, I came to Roorkee with no previous knowledge (or bias) of this or any other campus group for that matter. I knew that I enjoyed programming and hence attended the intro talk of every other tech group. SDSLabs being one of them. And it is after seeing all the applications it had for the masses and the vast variety of fields the members worked in, I knew this is the place that could provide me with the pleasure I talk about in the very beginning! I let the work of SDSLabs influence me not what they talk about it.

Pens Down!

As we are browsing Facebook and quickly arriving at judgements whilst being in the warmth of our bed, from the little NAT-enabled bubble of comfort (called Internet), we forget that the roots of this group lie in the time when people didn’t have access to the world of fuss outside. It is then, Muzi was born (still boasting a collection of 180,000+ songs) and Live and D.C.. This just goes on to show that unlike the common perception, SDSLabs is one of the most open group, all our secrets just a click away! I have been fortunate enough to be a part of this group and hope I can keep adding to the legacy.

So long. Till next time.