Wednesday 20 June 2007

A Lookback at Our Experience @ Imagine Cup India SDI Finals - The Beginning



Alright this was long overdue...So here goes a small adventure that I've been through this last semester@college. Its all about our (first)experience at the Imagine Cup competition held by Microsoft. For those of you who admit to be naive, you'd do better to click <here> and <here(details)> to find out more and the rest of you....read on with patience.

The competition has a strange knack of getting into the line of fire for various reasons by various people. Id love to talk about the Open source movement and alternatives to .NET as well as competition policies/privacy policies some day. But today is not that day.

'Twas the beginning of March (As far as my poor memory recollects) and I along with some friends & college mates was at the GRID lab...at the time discussing about current projects etc.
We were a team of 4: Roshan Sumbaly (Roshy - the senior), Shubham Malhotra, Gaurav Paruthi and O'course I, myself; and we were involved in a project related to GRID computing at the time. It is needless to say that BITS college life turns us into nocturnal creatures; and not being an exception, I could proudly say at the time: "Laziness is the most active thing inside me!".

Well, so as our discussions focussed on our techfest preps (QUARK - our own science & technology festival) we started thinking, inadvertently, about competitions. Having been to IIT Bombay's techfest earlier this year, we were in no mood to participate in another College festival (We had simply had enough of it for this sem at least!). We knew that the Ms organized compttn Imagine cup was coming up and upon inspection of the website, we realized that the theme this time was education.

What followed was a small brainstorming session (I would rather not call it a brainstorming session because we hadn't thought of participating whole heartedly - just to have some fun!). This continued over at DC @night and we finally hit upon an idea. The deadline was still out of sight, and, disconcerting as the habit is, it was remembered just the very day before round-1 submission deadline. I had to quickly make up a write up of our concept for submission and we managed to get it through just in the nick of time. Of course, who cares, we're just doing it for some fun; and even getting into the top 75 teams was enough as far as we were concerned. We already had a lot in our hands and mind you, QUARK 2k7 was approaching at the time.

The week that followed has been and probably will be the busiest week of my life@BITS. I was supposed to be the chief organizer of Quark (of course Hari Sudan was d head Org...and it was mostly upto him to manage the important as well as the nitty-gritty work. We were all there to assist and take responsibility). Roshan was the organizer too ... he'd, of course, the most imp role of gettin da main sponsors and organizing the main workshops, events etc etc. Shubham was the event management coordinator while Gaurav was the event manager of an event 'Lines of code'.


So, you see, we were all heavily involved in the safari ride that was to take place at BITS Goa in a week...and guess what? we were already stranded in the middle of the jungle! You see, organizing an event to be held on a national scale, that too the first time, is really a formidable job.

No, really!

As a spectator it seems easy and jovial but it soon becomes excruciating when the stakes are high. You get to learn a real lot from such an experience. It shows you that idealistic management is so different from practical management. So many new challenges at every step and a degree of risk involved with every decision. Of course, some of the crucial decisions were taken through a consensus....so we could take solace in blaming the rest of the committee if it didnt work out! All in all I think we managed pretty well for a first time. Of course we could have done better, but there are some things we couldn't help -things that jeopardized our budget plans. But we couldn't help it. Where there is power and where there are people, there is politics.

But hey, it was one hell of a battle. And we were one hell of a crew!

Oh..and did I mention, we had thought of participating in one of the 'Open Software showcase' events of QUARK with our IC (ImagineCup) Idea? Well, we had; but were forced to drop it due to stringent persuasion from the rest of the participating members of our college!

So! Round 1 results were out and we managed to clear the first round of the competition. Party Time! But wait...Deadline for Round 2 was approaching...and this time we were supposed to give an interview as well....That spells serious work! The next week or so saw lots of brainstorming over ideas and technologies and final project specifications. It was the one thing that kept us nocturnal creatures alive by the day and out of our den.

So the D-day arrived...I remember it was exactly the day before Quiz-II started. We had 'screwed up' our Quiz-1 thanks to QUARK..and we had absolutely 'No Idea' about the syllabus for Quiz-2 until now. Of course it would be utter blasphemy if I don't mention that Roshan was an extreme exception to this! (Im sure u get d point).
The Interview was scheduled to be at 3 pm...and we were toying around with our idea since 11 thinking of what we would be asked and what we should stress on. It went well...smooth and encouraging and we kept our fingers crossed.

As expected Quiz-2 went disastrous for us all.

Next thing we know we are greeted by a mail from Microsoft which says 'Youve Stepped Up!'.
We qualified to the Top 10 teams in India! Now this calls for a Party!

So now our real work had started. We were in the league...and on our way to the national finals.
Compre's were round the corner, no doubt, but we were attuned to this mode of 'Ignorance' which is bliss! And bliss it was...until the very end.

Ill be posting on the 'Finals Xperience' next. Keep tuned

10 comments:

Ravemzsdin said...

yoyooyoyo.....I cn jus say Dat...
btw hw abt blinger.com?? lol...i knw u"l say thuest..hehehehe

Abhishek Kumar said...

Lol...and I realized that ive forgotten to mention 'Team GRAS'
and AIGENLP. Edit reqd...lol agn

Roshan said...

Nice job dude...waiting for the 2nd part!!..lol!!

Abhishek Kumar said...

tnx, nd think Ill do that probly 2day...

Abhishek Kumar said...

btw, check out
http://mindset.research.yahoo.com/
Search for any thing and c the results...super cool stuff. It also uses NLP to summarize descriptions (lol)

govinda said...

mast likha..kip working dude..we all proud of u...
BITSIANs rox...

Abhishek Kumar said...

Thanx dude...
guys like u keep us going...
Hope u do well@IISc

Shashank said...

it seems u have written everything wat u had in ur mind as well as heart...
good keep it going

Abhishek Kumar said...

Thanks....

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!