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A bootcamp mentor's footprint

Humaid Imran's brush with computers began with an old system running Windows 98. Inspired by his father, he took to computers like a duck to the water. Slowly, he began experimenting with computers and later mobile phones. During a summer vacation, he made his first Android custom ROM and there has been no looking back. Tweaking softwares, customizing Windows UI, coding, decoding, Leetcode, GeeksforGeeks, CodeZen, InterviewBit, Humaid literally played with technology. Decades later, he has been selected as Winter Bootcamp Mentor by GirlScript Manipal to help students improve their profile and ace their Interviews.

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Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by computers. A Pentium II processor, running Windows 98, accepting only floppy disks was my first brush against a desktop when I was only in second grade. My father bought it as he was a FORTRAN programmer himself and taught me how to use it for a few trivial tasks. He inspired me by his blazingly fast typing speed so whenever he was not at home, I tried to mimic him so I could be as good at typing as he was.

However, the first time I developed something was when I was in 8th grade and got my first Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Y) Since the phone was a budget segment product and had limited features, I would always be browsing the Internet to search for tricks on how to run heavy games like Modern Combat or Nova on it. It was at that time when I stumbled upon xda-developers website and it moved me with all the crazy stuff developers had been doing on the Galaxy Y forum. Soon enough I rooted my phone and signed up on xda-developers. For quite a while I just used to read the forums and follow what the OPs guided to tweak my budget Android device.The final exams had ended and I had nothing to do, so I decided why not build an Android ROM myself.

And so I did.

With generous support from fellow developers and watching tutorials on Youtube, I set up my first Android custom ROM that I called Locus L1.0 that had tweaked audio settings, Ice Cream Sandwich UI and certain other enhancements.Before anyone gets overwhelmed, I would like to clarify that I did not build it from the scratch but used a base ROM and added mods on top of it because c'mon I was just in 8th grade. With this stint, I soon knew I wanted to pursue Computer Science Engineering and asked my school teachers more about it. They told me to begin with C and also learn about HTML. Though I did not do what my teacher asked me to but rather started reading blogs on hacking techniques and eventually hacked my sister's Facebook account by phishing technique. I kept fiddling around here and there, tweaking softwares, customizing Windows UI and more of such silly stuff. Programming came to me in 11th grade when I was being taught C++ as part of the school curriculum. I was very keen on programming and diagnosing the silly bugs in my amateur codes. As a result, I scored the second highest marks in my school in Computer Science which further strengthened my pursuit to learn more about Computers.

My journey after school has been quite a bumpy one, vividly in contrast with what I've described hitherto. Once I joined NIT Jalandhar for BTech in CSE, the infamous imposter syndrome hit me, and it hit me really hard. Being surrounded with bright minds throughout the campus I felt like I was just another average student trying to conquer the world. This soon reflected on my academic performance and I barely managed to pass in all subjects of my first semester. However, I did not let that influence my passion for Software and developed a website for my hostel in the second semester itself that almost went live but due to administrative lenience, it did not take off. In second year, I realized my passion is not going to take me anywhere unless I have a bare minimum CGPA so I look credible enough for my claims. And so the year passed by in improving grades, making good friends and enjoying the much coveted college life. It was the third year now and it was time for grabbing internships.

Microsoft was the first company to visit my institute and as you could expect, I didn't even make it through the first round. I knew I was miles behind my batchmates and I had to cover a longer run in lesser time. Unfortunately, the place I study has that typical Indian race culture where everyone pulls the other person to get ahead and the peer pressure got the better off me soon. Third year passed by in building my foundations for Interview Prep and further improving my grades. I even participated in a hackathon and started with open source contributions.Luckily, I got offers from two companies to work as a Summer Intern and that gave me (and my ego) a little boost I really longed for. In the summer of 2019, I gave all I had into prepping for the much yearned NIT's placement season. I used to prepare for an average of six hours a day doing all sorts of programming problems from Leetcode, GeeksforGeeks,CodeZen,InterviewBit, whatever I could lay my hands on..

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I solved around 300+ problems, brushed up my concepts of OS,DBMS,CN and OOP and just prayed that I get whatever I deserve.

It was 8 August, 2019. The first company visited my campus was Samsung. The package was good and the job location was what every Software Engineer would probably desire as a fresher -- Bangalore. Call it luck or a fruit for my hard-work, I cracked the interviews and impressed my interviewers so much that the HR almost asked me to come over with him back to Bangalore. It was a day of joy (or call it a night because the results came out late at around 1 am the next day). Soon I got bored and realized I must start with something else.

One fine evening, while scrolling my LinkedIn feed, I came across this post inviting scholarship applications for the Linux and Open Source Summit held in France. I initially ignored it but then decided why not give it a shot (Remember the trivial open source contributions I made in third year? ). Guess what? A few weeks later I got a mail confirming my scholarship for the summit.

However, I could not apply for the travel allowance in time and thus missed participating in the conference. Nevertheless it taught me to never underestimate yourself no matter what. While writing this, I got an offer to be a Winter Bootcamp Mentor by GirlScript Manipal to help students improve their profile and ace their Interviews.

My journey till now has not been extravagant, but rather a life-changing one. I've learned to fight back, to not judge anyone, to not get persuaded by people easily and most importantly, to never give up no matter the depth of trough you are at in your life.

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