Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Reflections



The best advice I have ever given and will ever give is, "I have no tips for you. Not because I have not learnt anything, but because I want you to learn your share yourself! It'll only ruin the fun".

I am writing this piece, as learnings from my four life changing years! What follows are a few things I've learnt at DAIICT. Some of them are deductions of events that have shaped me. Others are general ideas about DAIICT that I am glad to have sculpted. It is a highly opinionated account and I don't expect everyone to relate with it. But I hope those who do, will benefit.


Rise and Rise again till Lambs become Lions! 


I was told repeatedly by my seniors that the final year is the best time you'll spend at this place. It turned out to be true for more than one reason. Of course, the academic pressure is light. Three hours of examination in the whole year will testify for that. Yet, surprisingly, the fun part is not this.

Freedom and discipline are like Yin and Yang. One leads to another, just like the two sides of a mountain. If you've been working hard, learning, rest assured, you are in for everything that is worth it. The intellectual freedom you get in the fourth year makes you feel relieved, more than proud, that you put faith in learning. More relieveing is the fact that you get to do things you've always wanted to do. Chase mad thoughts, build crazy shit, choose to say NO to stupid subjects. Its like living naked on a mountain, rearing sheep and writing songs.

For everyone who's finding it tough and confusing right now, hang in there! The final year is worth the hardwork.


Sail away! You'll find land soon.

 
DAIICT is a small University. For a Computer Science and Information Technology university, we work in a cave. Often, you'll find that work you're interested in is not pursued by anyone at DAIICT. When that happens, know that the road is difficult, but not non-existant. Do NOT stop and leave your field. Find other places in the world where your subject is pursued. The good thing about DAIICT is, it is open minded to students wanting to explore avenues outside DAIICT.

I wrote a piece on how important it is to be agile, to tune in to current happenings in technology. One needs to keep a vigilant eye for more of your kind. Once you spot them, have a dialogue. People outside are generally very welcoming. If you are ready to learn, they are ready to help. Interact with them, work and increase your levels.

Our Alumnus are everywhere. Use the Alumni network. They are only eager for more of DAIICT students to ask them for guidance.

DAIICT is only a miniscule entity in the ecosystem, yet open to growth. What matters is how determined you are to follow your passions.


Diversify early, Hit The Nail later



Most importantly, PLEASE STOP taking courses for easy grades. Take ones that you are interested in and find that getting grades is easy. 

We are not an ICT institute for nothing. We have respectable faculties in Computer Science, Electronics and Communications. Unless you are the exceptional ones who were born with light, do not close yourself early in your life. There is a reason to the philosophy that DAIICT follows. Newer Interdisciplinary fields are breeding like bacteria. If your niche ain't homogenous enough, you'll miss out on a lot of fun. Build your basics in more than one subject. But later in life, pursue only one.
Once, you know your calling, do NOT look at anything else. Dig deeper and deeper. Going beyond the DAIICT limit is the first goal.

There is no moment of epiphany where suddenly it will dawn on you that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. Don't wait for it, don't go looking for it. Instead, dabble in different fields, persist with them. Don't give up on things just because they don't work. Perseverence is always rewarded. The best things will be the ones that you will engage in without any incentives.

For people who have attained light: Passions are like girl friends. They demand time. One must be in touch with them daily. They will demand sacrifices and wreak havoc in your head if they aren't given enough importance. 



TDMA > FDMA  


Stop doing ten things at a time.  You are not Superman, don't aspire to emulate one. This comes from firsthand experience. This is a delicate thought that I want to convey. Here, I must admit, I have been majorly flawed.

In my four years, I have been involved in a lot of things. From organization, to sports, academic projects, extra-curricular internships and lately, Technical Projects and Teaching. Your undergraduate years are for you to do new things, experience various aspects of life. But, the way in which you go about doing it is crucial. Doing it one after another will help you focus on one thing. Sequential execution, for once, is better than parallel! Dividing your thought energy in ten different places will not only torture your brains, destroy your living experience but also result into unsatisfactory performance on all fronts.

Now, I filter my work. One must channelize one's energies well. It is better to nurture and let one particular dream bloom rather than have five mediocre performances.

Research @ DAIICT


When we started, we were going at an unbelievable pace. We had a research culture of the highest quality. I've been told that we had an army of excellent Professors, who not only encouraged the students to do research but also dived head on themselves. Over the years, it has diffused. 

My batch has seen such a lot of international success that one tends to feel DAIICT is on a roll! We have people going over for silicon valley jobs, research labs, MNCs of the highest callibre, Universities in the top 10. But there's a catch.

Why are the students not working INSIDE the college? I find the labs empty.  Only M Techs remove the dust off the instruments, a select few that. Very few fields, I can count them, in which we are trying to move ahead of the state-of-art. You can see remnants in the form of dormant labs, rusty infrastructure, kernels < 2.6.2 etc. I can virtually see how the swords, once shining, are now rusting in the shed. 

It seems as if, the thriving ecosystem has been punctured. The turning gears are creeking. There ain't enough incentives for Professors to pursue research inside DAIICT. Heck, there ain't enough incentives for Professors to stay here! This inturn is leading students to look for avenues outside.

Research can never be done alone. It is done in groups. Students and Professors need to be nurtured. There has to be an ecosystem in place. Someone needs to clear out the clutter. Ideas need a lot of space to run wild!


Coming of Age

 

I am nearing my end of term here. I've passed on my Cricket Captainship. I haven't completed my dream project as much as I would have wanted. But I would like to imagine there are people who will take it forward after me. I have had my share of fairwell wishes. One does not judge life by the desert but by appreciating the oasis!

Do what makes you happy. It is of paramount importance. Choose to do only those things that you do without incentives. 

Finally, I'd like to quote from a recent blog that I read. It has gone viral. 

Find that pursuit that will energize you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don't, you are working
        - Adrian Tan 

(This article first appeared in the April edition of Entelechy, DA-IICT's college magazine.)

No comments:

Post a Comment