Until a few weeks ago, my workdays used to look exactly like the ones Sid has mentioned in his answer (as I used to work at Hashnode :). These days I head an engineering team modernising legacy e-Governance applications — so my current workdays align with the ones Ritwik mentions — get in at around 10:30-11:00 AM in the morning, and I try to wrap it up by 10:30 PM.
I have always been in love with computers. My dad enrolled me in a C++ course when I was in 7th grade; this was around 2002, if I recollect it right!
Fortunately, I've graduated from a college — probably the only college in India with no required attendance whatsoever — which put a high emphasis on student freedom, and their all round development.
This meant that the curriculum for the first two years was almost the same irrespective of your chosen major — Programming & Algorithm Design Fundamentals, Basic Electrical Engineering, Intros to the aspects in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; through various courses!
Also the fact that you were free to choose any elective (from any major) you want meant a lot of Computer Science, and some Math electives for me. My favourite electives to date — Graph Theory; Multimedia Computing; Internetworking Technologies.
Oh, and I graduated with a dual honours degree — Bachelors in Pharmacy; and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences! :)
Network Security Intern
I have always thought I would end up as a Computer Networks engineer! Even back in college I used to work with a professor setting up IPv6 (when it was all new) test-beds, and studying a whole bunch of protocol RFCs.
This landed me an internship as a Network Security Intern, where all we did was setup CISCO NAC servers. It was complex in the sense of figuring out and setting up the configuration; but it was not cognitively complex, and was not mentally stimulating, as such. But I thought it was cool, nevertheless!
Something rubbed me the wrong way, and I figured Computer Networks aren't probably for me, this is when I decided to get back to programming; albeit just as a hobby
Fast forward a few years with hobby programming, attending related events, and being a speaker in a couple of them; I ended up in a Computational Biology lab. Here my main job was to create software to ease the life of the fellow biologists in the lab.
But with due permission; I have also chosen to impart the PhD scholars (they are super smart, so it was a right choice) with what little I know about programming. This by far was the most interesting work experience I had.
Through a mutual acquaintance; I have come to know of a talented CTO (who is now a Masters student at MIT Media Lab), and a small Software firm that he used to head. I wanted to be his padowan, and he accepted my request! I give all the credit for my Frontend Engineering proficiency to this position!
But when I heard that Sanjay (the CTO chap) was leaving (for MIT), I knew I had to leave too!
Full Stack Engineer | Developer Evangelist
When I first visited hashnode.com I was blown away! It was a super well designed, awesome, welcoming community! I saw that it is incorporated in Delaware.
Only later did I come to know that the team is from Bangalore; and my gut feeling was that whoever is making this has got to be insanely smart (SPOILER: they are!); and I needed to take a shot at joining this team. I did, and I did! I have learnt a lot at Hashnode!
Huge props to Sandeep, and Somasundaram; they are excellent engineers! While I learnt a lot about Mongo, and Database design from Sandeep; I have learnt a lot of awesome tooling from Somu for increased developer productivity, and aids to write clean code! I've found that the rest of the team is super amazing in what they can do too!
I'm still a full stack engineer, but at a different company... the journey is still on!
Tech scene in Bangalore
As Sid has pointed out, the tech scene here is pretty rich with everything (meetups, hackathons, conferences) for everything (all languages, technologies, etc...)
I frequent the React Bangalore Meetup, and have given a couple of talks here!
What worked for me!
- Surround yourself with smart people — if I am what I am today, it is only because I was fortunate enough of the company I had. Make an effort to be around smart people on a daily basis (that is why I visit Hashnode everyday). There is a saying which I quite agree with
You're the average of the five people most close to you!
- Keep doing what you love, and people will come knock at your door!