Inception | This is probably the best thing you'll read this month

Inception is the sort of movie that makes you think about it for hours after you see it. This is the second time I've seen the movie, and of course, after watching it I googled whether it was all a dream. I came across this post that I'm sharing as is. It isn't written by me, though I wish I could think of something as stirring as this. This will blow your mind, especially the very last sentence.  -  [Original post] Inception is one of those movies people theorize about, so here’s my take. I have not read about it or looked it up except to check the characters’ names, so this is based solely on what I got from watching it. Needless to say, tremendous spoilers follow for those who have not seen it.  It’s all a dream. Ariadne (Ellen Page) is leading an inception on Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio). The entire film is that inception, and we never see reality.  In reality (which I will label “level 1”), the details of Cobb’s wife and past are basically as we’ve been shown.

Mario's running on our wall!

It had been about two months since we shifted into our new home in Bangalore, and every weekend we would make such grand plans of printing posters and sticking them up. This one particular Saturday we even forced ourselves to sit down before ordering lunch to spend an hour searching for posters and discussing ideas. We ended up watching friends.  This procrastination happened for almost a month, until I sat down and forced myself to it all on my own - it's almost always impossible to motivate a group to get things done if there's no deadline. I made a list of things I like/liked as a child, but just couldn't find worthy high resolution graphics that I could download without paying. So here's what I did. I used to play Nintendo Gameboy a lot as a child, Super Mario Bros was my favorite game. I googled a whole lot of Mario grahics - the bricks, the clouds, the bushes, the coins, (which to be honest was quite tough) and resized them to all match the same size ratio.

The interviewer asked the elephant to climb that tree

TL;DR: Being a good interviewer is difficult; but it'll earn you a lot of bonus points and send you to heaven. As an interviewer you're practically shaping the near and even possibly far future of the interviewee. The very fault of every interviewer is to ask what he expects candidates to know, not to extract what the candidate knows best . Just as with enough make-up and wigs all air-hostesses are made to look identical, interviewers treat candidates from all walks of life as the same factory produced robots. This is exactly what happens. Horses, dogs, elephants and fish are treated the same. The lack of ability of an interview to mould himself to find the very best in every new candidate is what makes traditional interviews a terrible failure! Any professional worth his salt should be much like a psychologist, he should be able to pick up in the short duration he spends with you whether you're fit for the role you applied for, and even be able to suggest wher

Acing the Placement Season in University

TL;DR : Here's what I learnt the hard way about finding a job. It's that time of the year again; probably the most difficult of your years at university. One by one, companies come and companies go - and from the looks of it you seem to stay there forever. The typical format of these interviews is, each company sends a panel of ~10 people to your campus to hire about 1 - 15 people out of 80 - 300 candidates in under 8 hours. From the perspective of the panel, you can imagine how difficult that'd be! Some companies have a specialized panel whose only job is to hire from a large mass. But for most other companies that cannot afford a hiring panel, employees are requested to conduct these. It's a long day where they are forced to actively listen to similar stories over and over again. You can't change the format of the game, but you can play the rules to your advantage. Here's what you should do. 1. [ Target your companies]  Sit for only those you really wan

The BIllion Dollar Mistake | NPE

TL;DR: null pointers will ruin your life. If you've used Java on a large scale project, you're lying if you haven't faced this dreaded million dollar mistake, first introduced to the world of programming in 1965. It's uglier than a Windows backslash, odder than a ===, far more common than the latest release of a JS library, more confusing than understanding a GC, ever so slightly harder to debug than interger overflows - I'm talking about a programmer's guilty temptation, the horrid null pointer exception. Homer, and computer programmers all around the globe. Tony Hoare, the creator of null very casually says  "I couldn’t resist the temptation to put in a null reference, simply because it was so easy to implement . This has led to innumerable errors, vulnerabilities, and system crashes, which have probably caused a billion dollars of pain and damage in the last forty years. " Very true, Mr. Hoare. Last week, I (finally) re-released Lifehack

The Art of Summarization

At Google I/O, the CEO conveys an entire years worth of work of over 50,000 employees, and also hints at future developments. All in less than half an hour. At a TED talk, the speaker conveys years, if not decades worth of research, their journey and enlightenments. An entire summary keeping the audience as engaged and as attentive as possible in a span of under 20 minutes. - An entire semester is dedicated to doing a project in our University - most students do internships during this period. At the end of the project  we go back to college to present what we did in the 4 months. Every year students complain professors shamelessly thrash students, especially those who do their internships outside of University. They do so rightly. Having sat through 15 such presentations of my batchmates, students just don't know how to put their point through! Presenting what you've done for 4 months in 10 minutes is an art. You have to give them a background of where you're w

C'est La Vie

I learnt a funny lesson recently. This is not a rant, but really something anyone should note for the future! TL;DR: Put Sunday as your last working day - even though it isn't a working day . I sent an email during my last week of internship stating Friday, 28th April would be my last working day at the company. Accustomed to receiving the same amount every month over the past 5 months, I noticed a 2 days cut this time. I was surprised - I didn't take an ungranted leave, and I swiped every day of the month - I even worked on a couple of Saturdays. Why'd they cut? So I did what anyone else would do - I wrote an email to the woman who handles finances and asked her quite politely as to why this was done. "Rishabh, you notified us that 28th April would be your last working day. Hence, you have not been paid for 29th and 30th April." "Whaaa! But that's extremely silly! Those two days were weekend days, they aren't even official working days! And the

A Sophomore's Guide to the Summer

I can't stress enough how important it is to work on self projects when you're in college. Everything you learn and do then goes a long way. You have all the time in the world, and have the chance to explore as many things as you'd like. Here's a list of simple projects that I did / wish I did in my 4 years at college. [OS, OpenGL] Use opengl to make a city of your file system. Basically, something like nautilus (Ubuntu's file manager GUI) but a 3D model where buildings represent folders and trees represent files. You'll learn a lot of opengl in this which is a really handy tool in the graphics stack, and you'll understand basic file operations. View an implementation by Nikhil Marathe here . [OS, FAT] This was something we had to do for the OS course in colg but was a weekend project and it was so much fun. A FAT table visualizer - ie, a visual guide as to how the FAT table changes over course of thousand iterations of rename, creation and deletion

Organization Skills 101

I've wanted to write this down for a long time. Here's how I use my laptop. All folder names are lower cased. This helps when traversing folders using your terminal - it's unnecessary having to press Shift every time you want to go to ~/ D ocuments, for example. (Except it doesn't matter anymore, now that I use ZSH as my default terminal). Plus, to me, lowercase on the terminal is aesthetically pleasing, for reasons unknown. All my written code resides in one folder - the ~/code folder . The code folder is then divided into multiple directories - all named on programming languages, which contain workspaces/project names within (remember, they're all lower case). Larger projects that grow over time, or span over different languages, or become my primary projects are sent into ~/code/primary. Oh my zsh . It's awesome. The thing about using IntelliJ all the time is, you expect autocomplete everywhere you type/code. ZSH has an amazing context based tab autocom

Concentrate on the yellow wall, mind.

TL;DR. Food for thought. Can a monk's true ability to control his mind be tested under the influence of recreational drugs? Our mind is an ever-wanderer. The minute you think, hold on, I'm just going to sit here and think about one thing, and one thing only, say the yellow wall in front of you, your mind just won't let you.  For the first minute or so, you think of just the yellow wall, you see, you start to immerse yourself into it. Except then, suddenly your mind remembers a tune from Coldplay's track and you start humming.  No. Brain. Shut up. We're concentrating here. Not the yellow song. Yellow wall, that's it. You go back to just the yellow wall, except this time you're sure nothing can distract you. You're trying to discard all triggers from sensory events that remind you of yellow. But then! The fridge starts it cooling cycle and it suddenly becomes louder than usual.  Yellow. Mind yellow wall. Fridge? Agh. Yellow. Oh wait! I have a m