Meet Animesh Chhotaray, another Engineer with whom TL got a wonderful opportunity to interact with. A B.Tech graduate from NIT Rourkela with two years of job experience, Mr. Chhotaray is right now a reputed faculty member of the CS Dept. at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar. Here is a part of the interesting conversation:
How do you feel about your life?
[Giggles] … It’s interesting but now it has become kind of very hectic because of the lots of work that I’ve taken up personally, academically and also officially. In other words, I am unable to manage time properly now … [Thinks deeply]
How would you define Engineering in your own words?
[Thinks for a while] … Personally speaking, Engineering is a time when a person can transform himself into a man. Let’s say, one finds different avenues to explore himself/herself and hence, learns to pursue a desired goal. It’s not predefined that those who pursue Engineering, they become engineers. Lots of people after graduating B. Tech, also choose to pursue MBA while some prepare for IAS exams and so on. So, basically in those four years of life they realize and discover what they were supposed to do in their future.
[A rare pause] …To sum up, engineering is all about learning life skills, gaining knowledge both academically as well as practically and hence, finally implementing it across various fields.
How is your history in Samsung Research Labs @Noida like?
[Puffs]…People feel that being in IT sector is very hectic and they get very little time to explore other things. But fortunately or unfortunately [confused] …it was completely opposite for me. I could explore to know how a mobile phone works; know about different kinds of model and their functionality. I and my senior keenly went through different docs that were thrown away generally, because they were never touched. No one was interested to know how things worked actually. But we took genuine interest in those kinds of stuff. It was kind of fun initially… [Smiles]
What changed your mind to leave Samsung and hence get back to academics?
Like I said, maybe it was kind of fun initially but later on, it was like functionally sleeping… [Chuckles]. I was there in my company for eight hours but I was not working as, I was not getting lot of assignments and in India you can’t demand work… [Annoyed]. You’ll generally get a boring sort of job which will keep you occupied. I became fed up with everything and wanted to do something interesting. That’s the reason I left Samsung. So, I chose to get back to academics instead. Because by doing so, I got an opportunity to learn many things with my students.
Sir, according to you which one would be the best programming language right now?
It completely depends upon what you want to do. If you want to design a device driver, I would recommend you to learn ‘C++’ very proficiently. Because, first of all it allows you to look into memory and next it also provides you the knowledge of Object-Oriented Programming. If you learn C++, you are gaining both which is not in the case of ‘C’. Hence, the first language that you should completely master is ‘C++’ …. [Raises his voice]
Then it completely depends upon you what field you choose. For scientific research, I would say ‘MATLAB’ would be the best one. If you have an interest in web-development, then you should opt for HTML5.
What would be your fav phone manufacturing company?
[Confident] … Samsung for the time being. If I opt to buy a 50k phone, I would expect it to be big, so that I can view my videos properly. It should offer lag-free performance while running multiple applications simultaneously. And I think, Samsung was the first company to offer me such type of phone. In addition to that a huge number of people are involved to remove the bugs in the good phones of Samsung.
School life vs Engineering life vs Working life: Which one was the best for you?
[Smiles]… I would vote for my Engineering life. There I was a free bird because my parents were not present over there nagging me, “Do this! Do that!”… [Grins] I could do anything. I explored a lot of things. I learned table-tennis in a very good manner. I was the technical secretary of our college in my final year. I organized many workshops for my department. We [with his friends] used to play a lot from cards to cricket. I used to have a lot of fun with my friends.
In other words, engineering gave me a prospective, as to what I should do in my life and also it provided me, my first job with good money. People say that I have lost four years of my life. Yes, I may have lost four years of learning but I have gained a lot in terms of life experience … [Satisfied look]
Do you really think CSE is the best branch of Engineering right now in India at present?
[A rare pause] … I would say, in terms of employability, you can consider CSE as the best at present. But you must first understand your own capability in terms of programming and Comp. Sc. oriented skills, irrespective of the college where you are studying. If you are good in that, you may get some good opportunities which you may not in other branches because there are a very few openings. So, as a Comp. Sc. student, you will get a lot of advantages.
Considering the present scenario, India is not able to produce quality Engineers. What do you think might be the reason?
[Puzzled] …The problem of plenty and the lack of alternates is the main reason. Most of the people in India, after the completion of 12th grade, think either Engineering or Medical as a career option, which is actually not if you think about it properly. There are a wide range of opportunities which are not being explored. Getting into a medical college is difficult, so people opt for an engineering college. But then again, enrolling oneself in a good quality engineering college is difficult, so the only option left is, going for private colleges. Further, the chances of getting admitted to a high standard private college is difficult and the option is limited.
Alas, a lesser known private college remains as the ultimate way possible. So, this branching is very huge and these branches go away from the main root. Hence, if there is a degradation of quality, the output would be accordingly low. That’s the reason we are not able to get quality engineers.
What are the attributes of a good engineer?
[Thinks deeply] … Hard-working, smart, punctual, sincere and he/she must be devoted to the job but not for the sake of just doing it.
Android vs. Windows vs. iOS: which one would you vote for?
[Puzzled] … I would choose Android considering the present trend. I like iOS but the devices are very costly. I would definitely opt for Windows, if it makes good progress in the future as Microsoft is experimenting with many interesting things at present.
Some of your hobbies…
[Exclaims happily] … I love playing table tennis, cricket and lawn-tennis. I like to keenly observe and analyze people a lot. I love singing and listening to music. I also love writing poems and articles online. You can check my blog- aniinsight.wordpress.com. I love cooking and am also a great foodie… [Chuckles]
What are the qualities of a good programmer?
[Puffs] … A good programmer should be fast. His/her program should be logically correct. He/she should appreciate the learnt concepts and implement them in a program effectively. The programmer should have the idea of creating version-one of any program and then developing as well as optimizing it to create future versions of the same. One should challenge his/her guide or co-programmer. If there is no challenge between the programmers then they will stop evolving.
Who is your role model?
[Chuckles] … I don’t have any specific role model. Like I said earlier, I love to observe and analyze people a lot. I consider some of my students as my role model. I like their smartness and way of talking. Apart from that, I like to learn the traits and the good qualities of a person. My father is an epitome of patience who’s handling a joint family. I appreciate my mother’s caring nature. My brother, who was academically poor, is now a Project Manager at Accenture in London, all thanks to his hard-work and sincerity. He motivates me the most … [Becomes a bit emotional]
There is also Sharukh Khan. I wish I could learn how to do romance from him… [Laughs]
What are the goals that you have set for your future?
[With a confident tone]… Right now, my main priority is to complete my Ph.D. first. As, it requires a lot of time, I am completely dedicated to it.