Sunday, November 17, 2013

What is Success?


To laugh often and much to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child a garden patch or redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Facebook feed.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to be successful in US?

I have asked this question to two of my close friends/mentor and this is what they have to say:-

"Make yourself useful" - Tom Linehan
"The only security in this world is your skill sets. Sharpen that" - Prasad Chivukula

Monday, June 17, 2013

Coding > Teaching > Writing > Knowing

You think you know when you can learn, are more sure when you can write, even more when you can teach, but certain when you can program. 

Alan J Perlis
More here quotes : http://www.cs.yale.edu/quotes.html

Monday, June 3, 2013

Second Child

If you have a child, you got to nourish them and gradually make them strong and self sustainable. It is true even for pet project which people start because each new project needs nourishment and commitment. In 2007 beginning, I started with this blog with no idea where this will go but today I have total 261 article (some in unpublished mode, don't ask why :)) and a 13K+ visitor count till now with average of 400 visitors per month.

I could have never imagined that I will come so far with this experiment of mine but today I don't feel its anything outside of me. It seems like one of my identity. It come very natural to me when I have something to write, I just write. I don't cajole myself to open up the browser and don't bribe myself with  brownie treats if I finish what I start. It just happens naturally.

So, now I have got another child to raise. Since my first child is 6 year old, I don't have spend too much time on it and it is self sustainable. The second child of mine is my github profile  (If you are not sure what I am talking, read the PS.. if you are sure.. keep reading). Yes, its been a while I started it but not really paying attention to it. But due to my recent job hunt scenario, I realized that having my work for view to potential employers might help me gain some credit points where resume fails. Personally I would any day prefer a working code example over set of big claims on paper. Hence this project. Also, I think its a wonderful thing to do because now I am able to share my work with public and if there's anything of use to them, they can use it. It means, this is my own open source project and I am fine with people using it. Going ahead I plan to do some more independent projects and trace it over github so that others can participate with me if they wish to.

Well, its interesting to see that my first child is helping me grow as writer or nourish my writing skills which I completely enjoy, my second child is helping me to nourish the computer geek in me and yes I enjoy programming too. I had my first computer when I was in sixth grade. It was Intel 686 with 2 GB Hard Disk and 4 MB ram and 1.5" floppy disk. I have always enjoyed programming and the second child will help me grow in this dimension.

I guess I am handful now and before I decide to take up a third child (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been really good with this and I really respect them), I will wait for both of them to be good and self sustainable. Till then, wish me Happy Parenting :).

github is sort of public archives for programmers. Programmers like me can post their work here for public view. They can also work with others and collaborate in project. It's a great way to build a portfolio to showcase your skills and instill a sense of confidence to your prospective employer of your coding abilities and that you have some good experience. I see that specially in US, a lot hiring managers these days ask for github profile if one has any. My roommate got his summer internship solely based on this projects he posted on github. Its like you are going for a chef job interview and during the interview you make a nice wanton soup for your interviewer. Guess what, he wouldn't have as much question as he had before to screen you. :) Good luck.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Happy 35th Anniversary Mom & Dad.

This picture speaks all.

How to find "The Book" in the jungle of "Books"?

If you ever faced the challenge of finding a book on a particular subject which you wished to educate yourself on but couldn't decide on which one, then we both share the same problem.

The idea to find the right book amongst the lot confuses me always and not just sometimes. Being unknown to the topic I find it hard to narrow down to the one book which I might truly enjoy and be justified on the parting of hard earned money.  My recent trip to this journey was when I was looking for books to learn JAVA programming language. The JAVA language is a pretty popular one in industry and as you would expect there have been tons of books written by many accomplished authors. But the question still looms large, "How do I know which one is best for me and what if I am getting biased by selecting something which may not be right book to learn from?" 

Well, I think the answer is very subjective in nature but can be reached upon careful flow with these steps of ideas.

Step 1. Figure out what are the popular books in the domain. The reason is, that's when you know that you are not getting biased by your option and there have been many people who have read it before. Make sure you at least have two choices.

Step 2. Go and read the reviews (both good and bad) of the book and if sample chapters are available, read them too to get an idea about authors style of writing. This factor helps me a lot because for me I have specific criterion on style of writing that suits me otherwise I find it hard to read. Books which are verbose, with poor English grammar or with eclectic styles are not the ones I like when I am talking about something serious like programming language. I want them to be well structured and to the point.

Step 3. Ask yourself, what is it that you want to accomplish from this reading. This is because, based on what your goal is, some books do a better job in focusing on that particular need of yours rather than on side dishes. For eg. I don't need to know about EJB when I am focusing on Core Java. That way when I buy a book and read it, I will be content at the end by fulfilling my goal. 

The way I started was to list the names of popular books dealing with JAVA and see if I can get a sample chapter to read from each of these books and also get reviews (I made sure I read the ones where it got single star apart from 4/5 stars) from other readers. I went to my school library and peeped through the pages and read a bit to get a feel of each of them. I finally ended up selecting Core Java Volume-I by Horstmann and Cornell. The reason I chose this book over 100's of other selection is because this book makes a smooth transition from C++ to Java. I am a C++ Programmer and a bridge to Java will be any day helpful than a jump over a gap. Next, this book is a no-nonsense style and comes to the point in few lines. That's my style in general as to come straight to the point and get it done. Know that the other books are not bad but just not my style. Simple.

Good luck in your next trip to book store.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Let's talk

If the idea of going on road trip on a avg decent car across America from Boston to Los Angeles excites you on a min budget, let's talk.

Here's how the trip looks like.

View Larger Map

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston Terror Attack : I am safe and pray for others safety.

Just a quick update for some friends of mine who might worry about my well being on account of the ongoing terror attack this week in Boston. I am doing fine and secure. I plan to be more careful before making any travel plans and I hope well for others in Boston region too. It is surely a grave concern. I never thought I will hear some news like this in this part of the country.

Stay Safe.

Half Staff American and my University Flag on account of Boston Marathon Attack.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to Meditate?

Here's one video which demystify the complexities of meditation in the most effective and easy way. I think its pretty neat and hope you like it too.

Yes, its that simple.

Some articles on benefits of Meditation:-
MIT/Harvard  Article Link
Yale University  Article Link 
Mayo Clinic Article Link
Art of Living Article Link
Ted Article Link
Boston Globe Article Link

Good Luck.

Some interesting documentaries

Here's few interesting documentaries I have watched in past recently. Hope you like it too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The day I just had fun and no work.

When I went to sleep last night, I had just one plan for today and that is to go to Boston Symphony Tour and get back to studies after coming back. But instead what I ended up doing is here:-

  1. Boston Symphony Hall - 10 am - 4 PM
  2. Staples Projector and Grocery Shopping - 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
  3. Helping Curran's Band setup and attending their performance - 6 PM - 7:30 PM
  4. Sleep 8 - 9 PM
  5. Prepare Dinner : 9:30 - 10:30 PM
  6. Watch a movie on a projector in my room : 11:30 - 12 : 45 AM
  7. Now, I guess I will go to sleep.

I don't regret not studying or not doing anything of work kind today. I think I really needed this break of not doing anything and just having a relaxed day. The trip to Boston Symphony Hall was wonderful. This was my first visit to any place like this. It was a good learning about intricacies of a symphony hall and about musicians there. Since there was a transport service, I didn't had to worry about anything. On my way back, I had discussion with Nita on various topics ranging for career/internships to relationships. Every time I discuss this topic with a new person, it gives me a new perspective of looking at it in a new way and I appreciate her sharing her views openly.

Curran and myself then went to Staples to buy a projector for his band performance which was today at 6 PM. The plan was to buy a new one, use it and then return it tomorrow :). Yes, we can do it in this Country. As a student, we cannot afford to have a project costing $500. Then we went for grocery shopping. It was our usual trip but we focused more on getting lentils and healthy food. I finally got cotton swab for myself, something I have been pinning for a long time. The total bill came around $85.

Once we got back, Curran  went to Egg Roll Cafe to setup his band but soon he called me to find out if I had a white bed sheet to be used for projection. Luckily went I went to home last December, I got my Mangalore dhoti with me. I have this idea of wearing it to my class one day (LOL) and note the expression of the other people. I took my dhoti and tact and helped them fix it on the wall of the cafe. Later the band started playing with projection of Curran's India trip video clips. It's always great to hear his band play and I like hanging out with these guys. I also spent some time with Curran's mom and her friend and some other friends  of mine who came for the show. Later I decided to leave early as I was feeling tired.

Went to bed but woke up after and hour and half because it was my turn to do the cooking and I wanted to make sure that I do cook. Since the grocerry was still in the car, I had to manage with what I had in the cabinet. There was red beans, chick peas and lime beans. I decided to go with them and also boiled some brown rice. Funny that I forgot to add bell pepper and tomato puree and hence decided to add it after it was already half cooked. Anyways, it turned out well and Curran and myself had dinner together.

Since, I knew the day was pretty much gone, I did not bother to stress myself but flow with it. For a long time I had this curiosity of watching a movie on a project in a home setting.  Today was a perfect opportunity and I decided to grab it by neck and got it all setup. I played the popular "The PhD Movie". It was good time and experience to see how I had some similar interactions like the ones in movies. It's a fine movie and does a decent job of showcasing the life of a graduate student.

So overall, it was a fun and relaxed day for me. I think I will be fine. Its good to break the cycle and relax sometimes. But I do look forward to an exciting day tomorrow where I got to accomplish twice as many things as it was initially planned. 

Good Luck and good night.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What do I dream for future?

This is a common question which we all stumble upon at some point or the other. I guess this is what drives people to do big things in life. I have been asking myself this question ever since I could remember to remember. For now I am following things in my mind:-

  1. I have interest in writing and plan to write a book and maybe turn to full time writer (making sure that I have enough savings to live on while I am out of job :D).
  2. I wish to become a Software Architect.
  3. I wish to start a software business because I love computers and how wicked smart they are.
  4. I wish to win Ironman. Google it if you are hearing it for first time.
  5. I wish to support at least one under privileged girl child through her entire education.
  6. I want to make sure my family has a decent comfortable life and I am with them when they need me. I guess sometimes I think how much my parents have sacrificed their own life for my well being and how they are usually under recognized.
  7. I want to grow spiritually and know myself better.
  8. I want to help as many people as I could with what I have to give.
  9. I want to read more, think more and interact with diverse set of minds.
  10. Make a small difference in society. I don't mind if no one notices it as long as I am convinced about it.

Note : I am really good with making things happen if I truly believe in it.

Let's wait and watch.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I love thee Computer Science.

I was asking myself this question in the morning while I was sitting in the lab preparing for the upcoming test in OPL (Organization of Programming Language or SICP as popularly known). I looked around my lab and I saw large number of students glued to the systems and some even smiling while staring at it. Not sure if it is some crazy code bug they resolved or Harlem Shake. :)

Anyways, the feeling keeps coming back to me again and again that I do enjoy studying Computer Science and the variety of topics we talk in this field. It is not limited with one field of Software Development but it practically goes to any nook and corner where you could see a computer being employed for use. I just read how NLP (Natural Language Processing) techniques are used in law firm. Crazy, isn't it. Also, considering this is one of the youngest field of science, there are many young minds who are working in this field and there is still lot to be achieved before we call it a day.

Computer Science is one field which welcomes with open arms people from different background ranging from farmers to investment bankers and if you know/ learn little bit of programming  (python could be a great place to start) you are holding a key to the door to this massive opportunities. It just enables you look at things more deeper.

These days I am trying to get my nephews who are in 8th and 5th grade to learn some basic programming skills. You could say that I am trying to guide their interest towards my side but not really. I am just exposing them to ideas and I will leave it to them whether they want to pursue it as a career or not. At the end they will have enough information to at least make a decision. Since they are in India and I am in US, it is difficult for me to teach them so I will try to make some basic programming videos for them to learn Python programming language. Let's see where does this idea goes.

Not sure if I told you guys but this is my last semester as Masters student at UMass Lowell (I wish I could extend it by another year) and I am quite ready to look for jobs. If you know any good job in States, do let me know. You can message me at achoudha@cs.uml.edu . I want to make sure that the next place I land as job is a great match of employer and myself. So hope for the best :).

Wish you all a wonderful life and I hope you too find something in your life you truly enjoy.

Take Care.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow my dream

It was snowing when I went to bed
With a secret wish I slept
Only to wake up in the morning
To see my childhood dream fulfilled

To play in the world of snow
Like those in cartoons and movies
Where kids will be happily playing
Throwing snowballs at each other.

I peeped out of window
My eyes woke up as if it never slept
My joy knew no bound
I smiled all along

The next urge was
To share this moment
To go out and play
To howl and to run around.

I did it all
Like a dog to greet his owner
As if nothing matters more than the sight of it
I went out, in slippers and played.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How does my last semester of MS looks like?

Yupp, this is indeed my last semester of my MS studies. I must say, its been a great learning experience and a memorable moment for life. Though this semester is equally hectic like others more so because I have job hunting to do together with my studies.

Here's how my schedule looks like
  1. Organization of Programming Languages - MWF
  2. Database - II - T
  3. Advance Visualization - TR
  4. Part time job - 20 hr/week
  5. Committed for half-marathon happening on 12th May'13 at RI. Need to train myself for that.
  6. Job Interviews Preparation - 2 hrs everyday.
  7. Rest of the time to Eat, Sleep & Pray :).
  8. Also, a secret project which I will talk about once its done. It has to do with writing.