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The month that was September

An year ago, I was looking for jobs on Hasjob and I came across this place called Geekskool which seemed like a good place to expand my programming skills. I went as far as to click the Apply Now button but something inside stopped me from taking that leap. So last month while looking through for the same thing, jobs, I came across the huge banner again and I finally decided to take the leap and applied in the middle of the night at 2:30AM.

The Interview

The same morning I received an email from Santosh Rajan to talk to Mukesh. And he set the time to 5PM after two days. As there were protests going on in Bangalore regarding the Cauvery river issue, Mukesh couldn't interview and we scheduled the interview a week later.

Come interview time, Mukesh requested to share my screen over Hangouts to check my code and started off with the following questions:

  • Tell a bit about myself.
  • What have I been doing for past sometime?
  • Why Geekskool?
  • What I expect from Geekskool?
  • How did I come to know about Geekskool?
  • If selected, when I could join Geekskool?

Then a few simple technical questions. Write a function:

  • which takes an argument and returns the same
  • to find the factorial of n numbers
  • to find the sum of n numbers
  • to find the sum of all digits in a number n (iterative and recursive approach)

There were also a few questions regarding the operating system I was using, the editor, the Desktop Environment, and we also discussed about CLI vs GUI and when to use what.

And a day later, I received an email from Santosh asking if I could join him on a Hangouts call that evening. And he asked a few questions regarding my gap and when I could join Geekskool. He emphasized a lot of times that being on time is important at Geekskool and I wouldn't be allowed after 9AM. And that was it, I was scheduled to join Geekskool on 3 October, tomorrow, and I am very excited.


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami

I have only read one other Murakami book and it was Kafka on the Shore and I loved it. I was looking forward to the same magical experience in this and I was not disappointed with the fantasy like ambiance he's created in this book.

The book runs in two parallel story lines. In Hard-Boiled Wonderland, the narrator, whose name is not known, has lost his memories due to a procedure done on him to make him a walking encryption device. This procedure required his core consciousness to be removed. When he takes on a task for a professor, he finds himself at a critical point to stop a process that could destroy his core consciousness forever.

In the concurrent story line, End of the World, the narrator is in a walled town where no one seems to have emotions. His eyes are pierced to make him averse to daylight and his Shadow cutoff, which now lives in the Shadow Grounds, has no memories of his past self and is tasked to read dreams. He knows that the answers he seeks are preserved by his Shadow which he has to rescue, and escape the town with. It later becomes clear that this town is actually the other narrator's core consciousness.

The way End of the World is written invokes a sense of a dream environment where you know you can't stay but also don't want to leave.

The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

I received this book from a Secret Santa book exchange which we ran on the Devs and Hackers Slack. To begin with, the book was amazing, and even though I had trouble remembering Russian names it was worth it to remember the various characters it has.

It starts with a series of mysterious deaths with no clue as to what's happening and why any of it's happening. The book progresses in two timelines, on in Moscow during the 1930's and the other in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The main characters are the Devil, disguised as Woland; the 'Master', a novelist; and Margarita, who though married, loves the Master. After the critics attack the Master, he burns his manuscript and goes into a psychiatric ward. To release the Master, Margarita decides to become a witch by selling her soul to the Devil.

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

This was a very fast read and maybe I should have read it as a kid because I could imagine the scenes as I read and maybe I would have loved it more.

The book begins with a kid whose parents are murdered by "The Man named Jack." The kid escapes and wanders into a graveyard which is full of ghosts. The ghosts who reside there decide to raise him and call him Nobody, because "he looks like nobody but himself". Nobody is trained the art of disappearing and reappearing by a ghost called Silas who serves as his guardian. The story revolves around how he explores the graveyard, how he interacts with other kids when he joins a school, and how he faces "The Man named Jack" who still after so many years wants to kill Bod.


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