Understanding Careers in IT and Technology: In conversation with Sai Praneeth (IIT,...

Understanding Careers in IT and Technology: In conversation with Sai Praneeth (IIT, Delhi) about his technical internship at Xerox Research Center.

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‘Information Technology (IT) is a term that encompasses all forms of technology used to create, store, exchange, and use information in its various forms such as business data, voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations, and other forms, including those not yet conceived.’

Too complicated? We thought so too.

Here’s a simpler definition – IT is anything that has to do with the electronic flow and storage of information. Since everything around us works on information, IT is everywhere. IT can be applied wherever there is information which can be used by people – from reading this article online, to booking a movie ticket online, shopping for your favorite book on Flipkart or even using Whatsapp to chat with your friends. The quicker and more secure the flow of information, the better is the implementation of IT.

The IT industry is ever growing and evolving, and the primary reason for this is the new ways in which information is used to derive intelligence. There are two ways of going about this – first, we can use large amounts of data to derive intelligence for statistical analysis. The second is to feed data into another system, which will make intelligent decisions based on it. Consider this example – you are a project manager and you want to study patterns of sick leave for your team to ensure it doesn’t affect the output of your project. You take data on when people take the maximum number of sick leaves and feed it into a system, which shows you that October has the maximum number of leaves because of change in weather. You can now use this intelligence provided to you by a system to insulate your project against these fluctuations. Whereas earlier the IT industry focused on the flow of information, today it is growing because of the innovation of systems that can draw intelligence from data and make intelligent decisions.

If you’re a fresher and you’re trying to figure if this industry is the right match for you, these are some of the signs you should consider

  • Technology and data excite you to no end.
  • You love learning new things constantly. IT is an ever-evolving field and to stay ahead, you need to stay updated. This could mean taking regular classes, workshops or constantly reading to upgrade your skills.
  • You can patiently hack away at a problem for hours, without getting distracted or bored.
  • You’re a workaholic. There are no 9 to 5 working hours or weekends in the IT industry. You could be required on-call or for work at any time of the day or night on any day.
  • You thrive on multitasking.

(To explore opportunities available for interns and freshers in the industry on Letsintern, go here.)

Sai Praneeth, third year computer science student at IIT Delhi scored a technology internship after his second year at Xerox Research Center, India (XRCI) for duration of 70 days. He shares his internship experience in the interview below:

Q) How did you get the internship?
A) I applied after receiving a mail on the college mailer list. After being short listed on the basis of my CV, there was a short informal Q&A session over e-mail.

Q) What background is essential to go for a technology intern?
A) For my particular internship, an understanding of algorithms, abstract algebra, ability to learn new tools/languages on the fly very quickly is extremely essential.

Q) What was the nature of your work there?
A) My work was very diverse. We just started on a particular topic and went wherever it took us. I worked in writing two patents on crowd-sourcing and distributed computing (which have currently been submitted to the US patent office for filing); converting these patents into an actual Android App – this consisted of designing, documenting and developing (coding the app from scratch); developing new algorithms and lower-bounds for communication in radio networks (2 papers to be submitted for publishing); we even dabbled in cryptography to construct an efficient fully homomorphic encryption scheme (work still in progress). I, of course, had professional help all the way.

You can read his complete interview on coolage.in  here.

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