January 31, 2005

Life is Beautiful

Today I saw the movie "Life is Beautiful". My brother has been asking me for a long time to see this movie. Once in last year I had a chance to see this movie, but I was not able to see the complete movie that time. It is only today I saw the complete movie. Its good, the director/actor Roberto Benigni has done a really good work. The way he explains things to his little son, his way of expressing love towards his son and wife are great. Also I saw the movie Anbae Sivam, yesterday, I think the third time. Kamal's and Madhavan's natural expressions and dialogues have struck my heart. Hey I think both the movies are equally good on all the aspects, on my view. I don't why Anbae Sivam was not given big awards? Really Life becomes Beautiful on seing these movies, it gives you good thoughts.

January 24, 2005

Enjoyable week !!

For me the last whole week was good. To start on monday, I took a seminar on UNIX kernel internals. Coz., it was realted to my favorite area, Operating Systems, I enjoyed a lot taking that to my classmates. The following day we had a hottest fight ever with a staff member. His name is Mr. Balaji, he used to tell that TCE is poor and we the students are not doing anything great. He always has three things to say, TCE is bad, TCE students are not stuffed and then CSE is the worst branch. That day we started shouting at him. Nearly five of us guys (Venkatesh, Nethaji, Myself, Keyan and Nagaraj) stood up and just straight to his face denied what he was telling these days. After few minutes everyone started shouting at him. A joyful day, I think he won't talk on this here after. The problem with him is the way he says. It makes every student to get angry eith him. And during the friday and saturday, I was busy with learning Bochs with my project mates. It was on friday we made a base design for our project. On the same saturday we conducted a mock GD and interview for our juniors. I really enjoyed that and had a satisfaction of helping my juniors. On sunday night we had a new audio system (Sony MHC RV22, Mini HiFi system) in our home. It plays audio, video and mp3 cds and the cassettes obviously. It really ROCKS. Today morning I felt do I really need that much big sound system, coz., it shocks your heart on every beat. A nice weekend and hope there are good days to come in future for all!!

January 21, 2005

Discussion on goatee design

Today in Joe's house the goatee team (we) had a discussion on the base design. I think after a long time we have had a good discussion. When we started to discuss we were not able think the way we need to. Joe started to talk first. He told something on what the first task must do. Then we were put in the stream and we started to discuss on the design. Slowly the different functionalities of the different servers were listed. The dependencies between these tasks were also listed. The priorities of this were also finalised. Today somehow I need boot up the ProX kernel in Bochs. The minutes of the discussion is on http://sigos.blogspot.com/

January 19, 2005

Getting placement is a cakewalk for me

This article is published in the January 2005 issue of IT Inside, a CSE Association monthly of Thiagarajar College of Engineering.

Have you ever heard of this statement from someone, before? I think most of the people who have got their placement in some company say this. Do you think that it is that much easier to face interviews? Yah, it is an easier one, provided you are prepared for that in advance. The simple secret of making anything come on your way is *hard work*. It is a matter of planning and executing those plans with dedication and hard work.

Basically you must equip yourself with few skills before the campus recruitment starts. Look back! I have used the word ‘starts’, because once the campus process begins, the companies will be pouring down daily like anything and you won’t have time to prepare rather you will be missing them out one by one. The skills you need to have are

(0) Mathematics skills (general aptitude)
(1) Technical Skills
(2) Soft skills (communication)

Let me discuss these one by one. I will start with the Technical skills first, then Soft skills and finally to Math.

Technical Skills:

Technical skills never mean that you have to be a genius in all your domain related areas. The interviewer expects the fresher to be strong in all the basic concepts. He knows how a fresher would be and what he could expect from a fresher. For *comfortably* clearing the technical interview, you need to have an area of interest first and then have done few projects.

(Area of Interest) I know, most of the third year students still won’t have any area of interest for them. Well, when I ask the question, "What is your area of interest" to the third year students, the most probable two answers are, "I’m interested in all the subjects and don’t know which one to choose" or "I’m not interested in any of the subjects and don’t have any idea of which one to choose". If you are in any one of these categories, I promise that, you will never choose your area of interest. The best option for you is to choose any one of the papers which is easier and may be a little interesting for you. Anyway, you have to force yourself to choose something at least for the purpose of interviews. I have a point for those who have a peculiar area of interest (like Neural Networks, Genetic Algorithms or some specific technology) which might not be known to all. It is better that you have another area (common ones) also. It is because if the interviewer does not have any knowledge in that peculiar area, he might be put in a situation to ask questions from the area in which he has more expertise and you may be put to trouble in that case. After you have picked up your area of interest, you need to spend at least a month, reading any two standard books in that area. You must be able to answer any question from your area of interest.

(Mandatory Areas) Apart from the area of interest, there are few mandatory papers which you must read. Any two Programming Languages (C, C++ or Java), Data Structures and basics of Computer Architecture will do. Better be strong in C. You are expected to know the concepts like pointers, file handling, storage classes, structures and unions in C. In the case of C++ or Java, all the OOP concepts and the specific special features of them are important. Learn the differences among these three, the most favorable question in the interviews. At least, be strong in any one of them. Regarding Data Structures, you need to have a thorough knowledge on arrays, stacks and queues, all kinds of linked lists, trees, graphs etc., Learn all the operations possible in these structures and always be ready with a code example to explain these operations (adding, deleting, inserting a node, etc). Different types of Sorting and Searching are also important. You are sure to get a question in anyone of the sorting techniques. As I mentioned read about the basics of Computer Architecture.

(Projects) Projects play an important role in technical interviews (even in HR interviews) as it is considered a must. There are many people who have excelled only because of their projects. It is preferable that you have at least two projects in your resume. Make this as a mandatory one. If you don’t have any one now, start doing one. Many times, interviewers get impressed by the projects and they keep on talking about those and forget to ask questions from the technical subjects! So try to project your projects first to the interviewer.

Most of the technical questions will be of the type "what is what" and definitions. So when you read any topic, have the habit of jotting down the important points and definitions you read, preferably in flip charts. I recommend flip charts because you could any time have a skim at it. When you are done with all the above, I think you are ready for the technical interview.

Soft Skills:

Software professionals are expected to have a good communication skill in English. Some companies take people only for good communication skill. You can even trick the interviewers with your communication skills and get through. But this won’t workout always. Multi National Companies (MNC) prefer pakka techies who is also a good communicator. A strong communicator does not mean a person who uses hi-fi English. Communication really is the ability of making the other person to understand what you are trying to say. Even if you are from a Tamil medium school, don’t be afraid. You need to come out, that’s all. Try to speak out in English even with mistakes. Those who feel inferior, I have a best quote for you,

"Don’t worry what people think about you,
they are too busy wondering what you think about them"

Get that, it is a real truth. The expert way of breaking your inferiority complex is by speaking out and get experienced with that. There are so many places where you could improve your English speaking skills. You could conduct class club events, you could attend Rotaract club meetings or form a group of your own and keep improving your skills. Things might sound odd, it even sounded odd for me too. But you need to practice these if you want to improve your communication skills. I have heard from my seniors that the best way to improve communication skills is by *practice*. Few might think that they could directly go to the interview desk and speak out. It will never work out and have not worked out till, mind it. Start now and keep practicing till you get the confidence that you are able to communicate in English of what you think. Someone from every class must take the initiative, so that everything is done within your classroom and with your classmates and finally everyone gradually improves before they face the recruitment board. Keep conducting Group Discussions (GD) on varied topics within your class. GD is the best filtering method most companies prefer. Improving the soft skills is much easier when you do these things. Do it for your sake!!

Math skills:

I see many people (of third years) going around with the aptitude books now. I think that they are too early to start with the aptitude now. I know everyone possess the basic intrinsic aptitude skills. I suggest you to start working on these books a month or two before your campus recruitment begins. The materials preferred for aptitude are

(0) Quantitative Aptitude by R. S. Agarwal.
(1) Shakuntala Devi’s Puzzle books.
(2) Puzzles and Teasers by George Summers (a bit tougher one).
(3) Previous year question papers of different companies.

You try to get the previous year question papers of almost all the companies. Few of the questions are repeated often. For your information, one particular company is using the same question paper for the past five/six years. So it is advisable to solve the previous year question papers. Maintain good contacts with the other college students, so that you could get the red-hot question papers from them. Don’t spend much time on these now. It is better to spend your time getting on with good projects and improving your technical knowledge now, so that you could have an easy cross over in technical interviews.

How do you feel? Campus placements are a cakewalk? Yah, it will be a cakewalk *only* after you do all these things. Plan your days effectively and execute them. It is a matter of four/five months of hard work. Do some good work, do something great that satisfies you. It is easier to get placement in the campus than in the off-campus. If you feel that nothing above appears to be good for you and you are looking for the way of improvement, talk to some seniors, staff members, relatives or anyone who could really help you out. Share your views/problems with them and people are always there to help you. Do well and excel. Remember, after you get your placement it is going to be your time. So can’t you make the campus placement a cakewalk for you? Make it!!

January 9, 2005

GLUG/GLUGOT Session #11

Today on the GLUGOT meeting we had a session on "Basics on programming with gtk+ libraries". The session is by Nithya. She started from the very basics of what is gtk and so forth. There was a good explanation on widgets, signals and events. She explained with examples of creating windows and different widgets, packing them within the containers, setting signals to them, handling functions for these signals and compiling these gtk programs. There was exactly ten people to the meet. We discussed on few doubts, had some clarifications and I think everyone was clear at the last. As a whole it was an informative session for GNU GUI programmers.

January 2, 2005

Jeevana School reunion

We Jeevanities had a gettogether today in Cafe CoffeeDay in Anna Nagar. First I thought whether should I attend the meet, coz I know very few people there (hum.., I studied only one year there). I had a invitation for that gettogether and I called upon Krishna Priyan whose number was specified in that invitation. I talked to him after around seven years I think. His voice was gigantic, but I could get a tint of the voice of him which I have heared during my school days. We talked about us, abt the meet, the arrangements for that and a few. He asked me to compulsarly come to that meet and he promised me that there will be a lot of people and we could have a nice time.

I then talked with Parasuraman (IT guy) and Senthil Murugan (ENC guy).They told we could go there. But the next day when I called them, they both told that they will not be able to attend for some reason. I was then put in a dilemma, with lot of questions, should I go ? will that be interesting? .. Ok then I decided to go. I started to CoffeeDay and to my surprise I was the first one to be there. I have never been like that before, even a single day in my college life. Then people slowly started to turn-up. First few girls came (many were my college mates) and then Arun Thangarajar came. We had a small intro with those I was not been before. Few minutes later the crowd begun to rise up. I could recognise only few faces there and many were new to me. But hear me, it is a nice experience to meet people whom you have not met for a long time. I had a talk with all those guys and gals, few retrospects, blah.. blah.. We then ordered for a drink.

The drink was over. We thought there was no much interaction between people and we decided to have some games, so that people will be forced to mingle within their team atleast. Krishna then separated us into three teams in a random order. He then called upon two members from each team. I was one amoung the two to represent our team. The game was to lit up a many number of candles I can with using a single matchstick. Hey the team A (Arun Thangaraj and Brindha) lit around 15 odd candles. I was in team B, we (Myself and Mathangi) could lit up a much of *zero* candles. Then the team C (Aravind and Bansuri) lit up around 7 candles. Since our team had the extraordinary talent of litting up zero candles, we were given another chance. This time another two people (Mohammed and SriRanjani) went and they could lit up 9 candles. So we wentup to the second place. We had few snaps and few fun over there.

It was around 02:00 pm, and everyone started to say they need to return back to home. So to finish up, we ordered veg. sandwich for all. Meanwhile few people (Radha Krishnan, Vinoth, Vaibhaw) started to move out. Then everyone was asked to talk a few words on this gettogether and the plans for meeting in the future. Mostly I could hear, "It was nice being here", from everyone. We also have decided to create an e-group for our set, so that we could maintain contacts with all and there be no communication gap amoung us. The final talk was over and it was time to pack off. Everyone payed their part in the bill and started to bid adieu. I came back with the thoughts of what had happened there, in my Major. Back to home and back to normal life.

I had a good joy there and came to know lot of new people. May this happen in future too. A day to remember :-)

January 1, 2005

New Year 2005

A new year has dawned a minute ago.. Happy New Year to all bloggers.