2016: Year (and a half) in Review

I wanted to write an EoY Review post last year like I did two years ago but I didn’t as I was too busy making sure 2016 was beginning with my most important goal for that year—overcoming my fear of coding and becoming a better programmer. 2016 has been a great year of personal learning and I want to celebrate its passing by documenting some of that learning and experiences.

Things I wish I knew in College

Meta About a month ago, I asked the following question to the NIT Calicut CSE student body: If you could ask only one question to an NITC CSE alumnus with diverse experience in industry, higher studies, and research, what would you? The most raised concerns were: How to decide between higher studies and industry as your next career move? What are the limitations of an NITC CSE education and how to succeed in the field despite them?

Reflections on the Facebook Sannyasa

As some of you reading this might be aware I have been away for a while. I deactivated my Facebook account sometime in the first week of Feb; it has been over 75 days. I did try activating it once after 30 days were over and realized within a couple of hours, how ugly and consumeristic this part of the Internet is and since then had not tried logging in again until last night.


I don’t really recall why I avoided Java all this while. Few weeks after arriving here at Brown, I learnt Brown is, what they call, a Java school. That’s probably not completely true, but for a vast majority of students that take Andy’s intro class, CS15, it is. I have come to realize it is not such a bad thing (quite the opposite). I remember my first few weeks at college when I was trying to teach myself Java in the CC (whoa, they have a website now!

The Gap

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer.

Relearning Computer Science

Awakening I was awaken from a long sleep of ignorance with some events that occurred in the last couple of weeks. A sudden surge of conscientiousness about taking my education in my hands was one of the immediate results. The inflection point was getting to hear Bryan Cantrill in person and interviewing with him the next day. I didn’t do my best, but was humbled by Cantrill into realizing how much I had to learn.

Reading A Tour of C++

I have been reading Bjarne Stroustrup’s A Tour of C++ and the language feels like a totally new language since my last project in C++ which was years ago. Since, (re-)learning a language requires both reading and writing code, I decided to work through some exercises on Exercism. For C++, Exercism encourages a test-driven approach to solving problems and requires some tooling support (CMake) to focus on solving the problem instead of wasting time on setting up a build system for each exercise.

Controlling iTunes using Android Wear

I happen to be surrounded by a lot of gadgets lately. One of them is a pretty Moto 360, one of the early Android Wear watches: In all its glory. #androidwear #moto360 Thanks a zillion @todoist A photo posted by Kartik Singhal (@k4rtik) on Mar 8, 2015 at 4:05am PDT and another a MacBook Air (PlatiniumAir) which is about to celebrate its first anniversary: Let there be light!

Exploring Medium

I am considering writing more often, more personal posts on Medium at https://medium.com/@k4rtik. Here’s first one among them: On Blogging

On Blogging

Something interesting happened this morning which leads to existence of this post. I had gone to visit a long time friend and mentor Amarjit at his home. It was unusual of him to not welcome me at the door himself. I soon learnt why — Deepak Malani was there! I know Deepak for about 4–5 years now, mostly from stories told by seniors (of IEEE Glory Days) and from Amarjit himself.