Sunny Srinidhi did his MS in Embedded Systems, and has been working in software for 7 years. He loves technology so much that he avidly blogs to share his learnings with others. Read the story of his journey and experiences in the world of programming.
How did you start programming and what about it gives you a kick?
I don’t remember how I got interested in programming. But in 10th or 11th I had VB and Oracle in the curriculum. I went through the textbooks I had before school started. It was so interesting that I finished studying before classes started. Why I found it interesting is because it’s amazing to make something out of nothing. The other subject I liked was Chemistry but it needs raw materials. In computer science, things take shape on the screen.
So I tried a few examples from books and built some systems like a library manager, a personal expense tracker and I started automating frequent tasks. Some of the existing apps I tried either didn’t have essential features or had other things I didn’t need.
Building small tools with only the features I want – it’s both challenging and fun! Programming has changed my way of thinking. I’ve become more logical in life.
What do you like or dislike about technology?
I would say we can’t think of technology as either good or bad. I dislike a lot of things we can do using technology like hacking, identity theft and cyber weapons.
I studied electronics and embedded systems before jumping into programming. I used to build embedded systems to automate gadgets and appliances at home. It was pleasing. But at my first job which was at an industrial automation company, I was able to see the impact data can have on the quality and efficiency of a system. We were working on an IoT product – a combination of software and hardware – where we used data coming in from users to keep improving the product. We were able to give the client a lot of business inputs derived from the data part of the work that we did. That’s when data caught my interest – when I saw the impact of having and analysing data.
Interesting challenges you have come across?
I was on the team that developed a solution to monitor the production line for a multinational vehicle manufacturing plant. Our job was to step in and deploy hardware without causing any damage to the existing hardware. It was only during deployment that we found out a lot of new critical information about the existing process that we previously didn’t have.
Recently, I got to work on a new type of ad delivery system for a US-based ad delivery product. It’s a big platform that’s so far delivered half a billion ads and has around 25 million users. I was part of designing, building and maintaining the product. The scale is huge. There are over 50 backend services – one of the first projects I’ve worked on at this scale. It’s been a great experience orchestrating a system that doesn’t go down, and being a part of the team that built this.
What kind of work do you look forward to?
Data has been a part of my work from the start. I am planning to be in the data and mathematics field, doing work in ML, AI, NLP etc. I want to specialise in data, as scaling gets bigger than ever across domains in the future.
Having seen the impact data can have on businesses, I’m curious to see how data can help solve different problems. The beauty of it is, you can instantly see the difference when you use data to take decisions and it leads to measurable results. It’s a source of joy and I have a lot of fun working in data.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The first thing that comes to mind is, there is always time to do it right. As John Wooden said, ““If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” So it’s better not to take any shortcuts and just do things the right way. I took shortcuts in a couple of projects with tight deadlines. Later, even to add a feature, we had to change a lot of things in the code. If it was done right I wouldn’t have had to spend all the extra hours.
A few more things I’ve learnt:
- Select a tech stack after you design the solution, don’t design the solution around a stack.
- Understand a technology or tool thoroughly before deciding to use it in a solution. Don’t have any assumptions about the said technology or tool.
- Never depend on your employer to help you build your career. Choose your mentors early in your career.
- Spend a good amount of personal time playing around with new tools and programming languages whenever possible. That knowledge will definitely come in handy.
- Always work on personal projects.
Working at startups vs. MNCs
I haven’t worked at an MNC. I like working at startups because you get to see the business problem up close, get a clear understanding of the problem and design the solution better. You get to learn a lot. There may not be a lot of senior people to guide you. You do your research, learn and do the work, make mistakes and learn to do it better.
Your thoughts on Indian tech?
I would say the work happening in India is not very different from the rest of the world. There is a lot of work in data, AI, ML, IoT, electric cars being built, AR/VR – there is no need to go to the west to get good opportunities.
Experience on Geektrust
I solved the challenge on Geektrust and got feedback on my code. It had a very positive impact on me. To some extent it has changed my programming. I saw the silly mistakes I was making and how easy it is to make my code better. I wrote about my experience with Geektrust here.
So that’s what Sunny had to share with us. We have been in touch with him since the time he submitted code, regarding multiple things. One of those is to write about specific technology and coding related topics on our blog. So besides his blog where he writes about whatever interests him about technology, he will be writing here on topics that will help developers in their skills and career. Stay tuned for some interesting posts from him.
About Geektrust Dev Stories
Geektrust is a platform for technologists to find interesting opportunities and shape the future of tech. We meet inspiring people and companies in our work, and we see some great code written by our users. So we started the Dev Stories series, to bring stories of different developers to the world. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as we love writing them.
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