Habijabi | Can you solve this, Sherlock?

Warning. If you like puzzles, this w ill take up a lot of your time. I've been (trying to do)/doing algorithmic programming on Hackerrank and other similar websites for the past couple of months. (Practising competitive coding is the only way to get a soft engineer job, apparently.) Some problems are really fun, while others are now standard algorithms that took humanity 10s of years to figure out - you can't expect yourself to come up with solutions to all of them without sitting through the theory. I was trying out 'interview practice questions' on Hackerrank, when I found this. This question is one of a kind, I haven't come across anything like it before, and certain you haven't either. It took me 10 minutes and a slight peek at the discussions tab to convince myself this question is legit. A guy mockingly posted "IMHO, the problem is a hacker challenge - it's not a reasonable "practice interview problem" unless you are interviewing

People are Awesome | Pokemon Go

We all know the latest buzz. The world has been going crazy over Pokemon Go, starting their adventure as a trainer, merging the gap between _real_ life and the virtual world. There are hundreds of blogs about how Go has impacted the world, how it is forcing people out of their homes and to actually explore their city and meet new people, making the world a more social place. (Personally, I still don't believe this. Go reminds me of the people from Wall E . Everyone's under the influence of _The Screen_. But let's leave this for another blog :) ) Go & Open Source Developers This is why people are awesome. In less than a month since Go's release, there are dozens of Github repos creating unofficial APIs and tools to help you locate Pokemon, find the closest poke stops and gyms. My roommate has been going out everyday in hunt for Pokemon since he got hired last week. Last night, while discussing stories of his many adventures and how he met so many people p

How did you live without listening to these?

It's funny how only once you find a really good song you realize how much you needed it. Before that, you never really knew about it, and life was still fine. But now that you've heard it? - You can't live without it. I was very fortunate to find these songs this summer. Each one has a good memory associated with them, and I'm really glad music of this sort exists. The Strumbellas Spirits - The music video & the live version . I got this song in my head and it won't go! The Strumbellas aren't a very famous band yet - they will be very, very soon though. All of their music is soft and meaningful. Bonus- they have an excellent violinist; that instrument can entirely change the mood of the song :D While listening to the live version of this song, you can genuinely feel the pain in his voice - the second half where the lyrics are - And I don't want a never ending life, I just want to be alive, while I'm here. There must be more to this, a deeper mea

Android Libraries & How Android Has Kept Me In Love

My love for Android is never ending. I've thought of putting a complete halt to all Android development over thrice in the last year*, and haven't been able to so far. One major reason is the sort of things Android allows people to come up with! The endless number of libraries, both for UI, or development. Here's a list of super useful libraries you may not have heard of. Android Annotations I stumbled upon Android Annotations about an hour ago, and I'm hooked. It's an Android library that helps in making code smaller and easier to read. True. Android is based on Java, and we all know how Java, unlike Python likes things big and explicitly written. Annotations are those '@' marks followed by a keyword you see above method or variables in several languages. ButterKnife uses them to inject views instead of writing long lines of the same code. Annotations are also used to mark methods like so - @Override. Android Annotations takes this to a whole new le

Firebase | I can't stop saying *#%&!

Man man man! I've been smiling like a fool staring at my screen the past 4 hours or so. And feel like shouting out loud every time I read more about the work they've done. Firebase. Firebase. Firebase. Firebase. Firebase. Firebase. Firebase. Fireflies in my stomach. This is too good to be true!  One product that does everything . After yesterday's Google I/O keynote, there were a whole lot of notifications to my developer account. A major one was Google backing Firebase, notifying developers to update analytics, cloud messaging, and ads display to Firebase. What's Firebase? A platform to build applications with no server side code, stores everything in JSON. Firebase handles it all for you. Similar to Parse, which declared shutdown early this year ('16), people that used it were literally on the street. Yup. This happened to a whole lot of developers.  Including me. Startups too, including Social Cops . For those who know what (and how awe

Markov Chains and Trump

This is a super short post on a very interesting article I found online. Markov chains. The guy's written a brilliant article, and makes it super easy to understand what they are, and what they're used for. He's taken the example of Markov chains being used in text prediction. The introduction reads as follows: This is my shot at explaining Markov chains in a palatable and maybe even enjoyable way. How do I want to make this article enjoyable? Two things: Actual code. Donald Trump. He makes autogenerated tweets using his existing tweets. Wouldn't this make you want to read it? :D Go here .

Google Summer of Code - Taste of Defeat

You can cry your heart out. You can scold yourself for making initial wrong choices and continuing to work on them. But you just can't go back in time and tell yourself you're making a mistake. This is a post for future self. You can stop reading here. It has a lot of rant. It has a lot of shallow thoughts. It has written descriptions of thoughts, an hour after not getting selected. Why am I publishing publically then? I just want this to be out there. - If you aren't me, stop reading. - Seriously. Close the tab. - - For the first 45 minutes, I had no thoughts. The only occasional thought was, some days aren't yours. The past couple of days, that feeling of joy never struck. I did not feel like a winner. Just like the day I gave my bitsat examination 3 years ago. I worked my ass off for two years, was crazy about it, dreamt of how it'd be at BITS every night, wrote the university's name on every book, every floor tile, my whiteboard, but starting a c

Google Summer of Code - The Wait

Second grade memories. Pick a flower, pluck a petal. And another. She loves me, she loves me not.  That's the exact state of my mind right now. I applied to BuildmLearn for Google Summer of Code '16. For the past month, every other day or so, the thought of whether I'll get in brings me back to that second grade lover state.  For a minute, my shoulder angel tells me I'm in, I start to think of what life will be like once I get selected, of all the things I'll do. The next minute, the shoulder devil takes over and tells me, do you really think you'll make it? It's 19:08 UTC. Results come out at 19:00 UTC. I will not check until I complete this blog. I've put email notifications on mute. This feeling inside has wasted a good number of hours of mine every week and I really need to write this down. I hear someone shouting in Gujarati in the corridor, exclaiming he got in. Even more nervous now. The reason I know I will get in is because I

Why isnt web dev like Android dev?

Background : I have been doing Android dev for the past 2 years and know a good deal of webdev. I have decent experience in various frameworks; python flask and the MEAN stack, and have scratched the surface in React and Django, though haven't built a full fledged webapp in either. First things first. I love backend. APIs specifically . I love creating APIs, and use python flask for APIs all the time. Database and API architecture is where webdev is fun. And there are brilliant tools for the same. Jexia, a startup trying to make making APIs without code contacted me recently to test their tool. It is in beta currently. Do have a look if willing :). They've built an excellent tool, though it's the best for simple APIs, and not complicated ones. The mess is in webdev is the front end! Oh, the wretched HTML! Why do all frameworks still have HTML!? Yes, there's jade, and other similar alternatives but they all essentially follow the same idea. People think they kn

In the end, its just that one question

Out of the millions of things taught to us at our JEE coaching center, there is this one line our inorganic chemistry teacher said that's stuck on, till date. He was one funny chap, spoke in the most hilarious accent and had the spirit of a teenager. But what he said to us one day continues to prick me till date. At the end of JEE, everyone's going to ask you just one question. Tera hua kya?  No one is going to care how many hours you spent per day, how hard you worked, or how many books you read, agar nahi hua. If you're gifted, you'd have probably spent less time than the hard workers who make up for it by putting in long hours. At the very end, the only question that'll arise is, did you get through? And that is how human society is. No one really cares how you made it. The 'how' part only comes in if you're successful. Before that, your story is just another person's story. Have a look at 21 pilots. Before their music became famous, y