Getting Hired in a Hackathon, unexpectedly.
Just into my first-semester break, I along with my pals at FOSS@Amrita took on an opportunity to attend a Hackathon, Hackference India 2018 at Bengaluru. This was my first hackathon, perhaps the first time I have
The Hackathon Surprize
During midnight, half-way through the Hackathon, while we were busy trying building our project, a sturdy man in his 40’s appeared in front of us. We had no idea who the man was, but the man seemed pretty interested to know what we were doing. Perhaps, we thought it might be a judge doing evaluation… We pitched in our project (I would say, we nailed it), explaining right from the problem that we were solving to the core backend of the project. Whether or not he might like the project, I was sure that he would have developed an impression about us as people who know what they are doing. To our surprise, he was Sahil Ahuja, the co-founder of GMetri Studio Pvt. Ltd, one of the sponsors at the event. His team was conducting a hiring fest at the hackathon participants, and we definitely had no interest in that (I mean, we had no hope).
Surprisingly, the first question he asked after listening to our pitch was – “Nice! Have you applied for the interviews yet?” and we were like what are you talking about… He asked us to give an interview for getting an internship at his company. We were super excited! It was like 3 AM in the night when we gave the interview. I was interviewed by Amit, an amazingly talented developer who knew A to Z about things he did, and he asked me questions like –
- What have you been doing? – I told my projects with
django, FOSS@Amrita and that I was just into college now.
- Do you have good grasp of database concepts? – I frankly didn’t have much depth idea of core database concepts (if at all he asks a
follow upquestion), so I said something like “I have learntsome basics in my schooling. However, I have been working with Django, and in django, one uses models to structure data and manage relations, and I believe those concepts have made me understand about databases quite well”. The way that I explained about Django (something I really knew very well then), might have made him think that I have quitegood technical base and after that, he didn’t have muchtechnical questions up for me.
- What do you think is the scope of VR? – This was the question, I could bring all my storytelling abilities in. I told we, students, doing lab activities could be greatly benefitted if the experiments could be done in VR, and then went ahead bluffing the huge potential of VR in education 😛
After the interview, he asked for my contact details, but I went ahead and presented my LinkedIn profile (I used to maintain it amazingly well), and I believe it must have definitely made my position stronger. I knew I did my interview very convincingly. Sometime later, I was called by Sahil to meet Utsav, the other founder of the company, who seeking clarification whether I would be interested to work in winter or summer, and for how much duration. I certainly had great hope, but I was a very good pessimist back then and didn’t really show more excitement on the face.
We went ahead working hard on the hackathon project, and I badly wanted it to win as we had put a lot of work on it since past few days. I really didn’t care much about the internship, until the next day, finally, I was called upon the stage (ofc, with the 20 odd others) and my recruitment as a Full Stack Developer Intern for a month was finalized.
Life Changing Challenge
I had come to Bengaluru, with just one bag, a train ticket booked for the next day, and now, I had to join a company the day after, in a city which I had no clue of yet. I was super excited cracking a job, and appreciations came from all corners. I was standing with a huge opportunity in front of me, and at the same time, having no idea how I was going to take it up.
I was challenged to live a completely solo life, in a completely new city, with absolutely no preparations. This had just changed my life, I saw my evolution from a kid to a man 😛
All these would not have been possible without the FOSS@Amrita (amFOSS) club in my college, its founder Vipin Pavithran, and all the amazing seniors there. I heartfully thank Hackference India for conducting an amazing hackathon, and GMetri Studio for believing in me 🙂