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I landed in Canada to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo. I originally enrolled in Software Engineering but transferred into Computer Science in my senior (fourth) year.
While in high school, I took part in a lot of activities and competitions—the most noticeable one being Google Code-in ’10 and ’11 which opened up new opportunities for me. One thing led to the other and I became a part of the organizing team of GSF India Accelerator, led a team for the F1 in Schools competition, and much more. More in my blogpost: Sixteen.
I was re-introduced to WordPress yet again. This time it was OrkutPlus for which I made Orkut bots and toolkits (not live anymore). The bots were written in Visual Basic and then PHP. OrkutPlus needed forums, so we settled with bbPress. I tried porting a social bookmarking plugin named SexyBookmarks to bbPress and released it as Social It in 2009.
My family moved to Gurgaon and I enrolled in Amity International School, Sector 46. I started taking part in cyber/tech-related olympiads that were held in my school.
I started a hacking community named Hacking D Worldd… (case, spell, and dot-sensitive) on Orkut. I remember doing every possible thing on the internet for that community.
I was re-introduced to WordPress when I was blogging for a friend. I saw the administration interface and remembered that I had seen something like that before. I saw that it was powered by WordPress. I didn’t know that you could actually have a site that is powered by WordPress and hosted on your own servers.
The first time I won a programming competition — the programming language being Logo. I teamed up with my friend Shobhan.
I started my first blog livetech.wordpress.com (on WordPress!). I didn’t know the plagiarism laws and I generally used to copy paste the content from other blogs. Soon enough I got bored and deleted the blog. Over the previous few years, I had been receiving various prizes in group singing, calligraphy, art, etc (things at which I’m not good at now). I also used to read various Roald Dahl books.
I got to know about email and asked my dad to set up an email account for me one night. My first email id was on Hotmail and my father narrated me the story of how the guy who started Hotmail got rich by Microsoft acquiring his service for around $40 per user (as he used to narrate it). When he was off to office the next morning, I opened up the computer, figured out what was sign in, sign up, compose mail (didn’t know the meaning of the word compose, found out when I actually clicked into it). I soon switched over to Yahoo! mail and used to hang out in Y! Messenger chat rooms. At that time we used to have a dialup connection.
2000 was probably the year when I had my first real encounter with computers when my dad brought it into our house. I have distinct memories of playing games off floppies and CDs like RoadRash, Duke Nukem, Claw, Mario, and Midtown Madness. I would spend hours designing pixel-perfect sceneries in MS Paint and trying out the software that came in the CD with the monthly magazine. I was very curious to find new things on the internet, have a presence online where people could reach out to me and had the urge to make the computer do what I wanted it to.
I was enrolled into Bal Bharati Public School, Pitam Pura. I’ve lots of good memories of the place that I’ll cherish for life!
My parents tell me that I got a prize in a drag and drop competition. I really don’t remember doing that though — I don’t even remember more than ten days of the two years I went to Mother’s Pride, a playschool for kids.