on 26 June, 2013

Can't Get Over My New Life

Today is a glorious, historic day. Well, it's 4 am actually, and I don't even know what I am doing being up at this hour, but anyway, that's not the point. The point is, today is a glorious, historic day. Because I FINALLY finished reading Aravind Adiga's Last Man in Tower - a book I took up reading SIX MONTHS ago. Yes, now that I work, I can make time for things like reading.

Alright, before you start thinking, 'Is she really going to talk about reading? Yeesh!', I'd like to say, no, this post isn't about that, my slightly bored amigo.

I've completed three weeks and two days at work. And in this time, I can say with complete confidence that I've learnt stuff that took almost two years to learn in college. Yes. I code in Linux - the merits of which I never understood in the least when I was in college, and usually found it more than mildly annoying to work with. And all my C++ (the basics of which I had conveniently forgotten and replaced with Java), has surprisingly, come back. So yeah, if you're a first year student thinking, "Why the hell are we even doing C++? Nobody uses it anymore!"-my exact thoughts back then- well, think again. And more importantly, learn your basics well.

And, oh, how could I forget about data structures? I DON'T like data structures. I'll admit it here. I mean, I can live with a nice little array or even a linked list. But of course, in the real world, your 'nice little array' isn't of size ten. It's more like ten thousand. So you have to think of time and space complexity- all the silly things you'll find in the first chapter of your Analysis of Algorithm Design. (If you have no idea what I am talking about, seriously, go open your textbook, man!) And of course, it doesn't end there. We have trees to work with too. Stupid* trees. With stupid* thousand nodes. And stupid* operations like insertion and deletion somewhere in the bloody middle.

(*For better effect, replace with a certain four-letter word you use all too often.)

We also work with databases. The database for one of the company's products, in fact, has close to a 100 tables, each with around a 1000 rows. Yeah. Also, complex, disgustingly-nested SQL queries are a part of my life now. Give me a convoluted query, and I'll look at it with nothing but nonchalance. And maybe I'll look at you with a little condescension too.

Three weeks and two days, with two-hour training sessions every alternate day. And by training, I don't mean teaching. No, sirree. It's all application, and thinking differently, and the complete opposite of textbook-learning. Think out of the box, think aloud, but think. Come up with a solution that you did not read in a textbook somewhere.

It's tiring too, by the way. Our working hours are from 9:30 am to 7 pm. So it's hellishly tiring. I don't understand it at all. All we do is sit in a chair in front of a computer, but still get tired towards the end of the day. What is this mystery? Somebody please explain. Oh, and needless to say, my diet has gone to hell. If you ask me if I exercise daily, I might chase after you with a stick.

So, yeah. I guess I can say that college was fun, and there's absolutely nothing like it. Don't waste your four years on the first bench of a class, alright? Have fun, too. Because work is tiring, frustrating, and honestly, there are days when I think, 'What the hell am I doing here?'. But it is all worth it when I think calmly about how much I am learning daily, and I guess it'll be even better when I actually start contributing to the company.

Ooh, by the way, paycheck coming up in 4 days... anyone up for a celebration

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