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15 May 2023

I officially no longer qualify as “a jack of all trades, but master of none”, because now I have a Master of Science in Computer science! Long long ago, in a galaxy far away… Well, not exactly; it started in 2020 from the comfort of my home. The last three and a half years have been a wonderful journey and quite an eventful one. Undertaking a rigorous degree while having a full-time job is no easy feat. I’m in awe of my classmates, some of whom had small kids! This program is a reminder of how welcoming the technology industry is - with people joining in from different backgrounds, work experiences, and life experiences (ranging from fresh out of college to recently retired). It truly is a melting pot of knowledge, skills, and cultures.

These years have been stressful, to say the least. And I did not fight this battle alone. While the faculty and peers were instrumental in deriving the knowledge and skill, my support system deserves a special mention. I couldn’t have done it without the endless support of my wife (Soumi Bandopadhyay), parents, and parents-in-law, who helped me keep things running during the day-to-day grind. A shout out to my manager (Tilak Kumar De), who helped me plan my time effectively, and my colleagues and friends, who were sympathetic to my occasionally reduced availability. Another big thank you to my friends whom I had to decline for trips, dinners, or other events but still kept in touch and cheered for my success. These last few years, I had to ruthlessly carve out time for assignments and deliverables from everyone near and dear to me.

I wasn’t always a stellar student during my school and college years. I was great at subjects I loved, but just okay at the others. The best part I loved about the Master’s program is that I was in charge of curating the courses I took. The fact that I was consciously choosing the courses (and paying for them - a very strong motivator!), there was no excuse to not give it my best. A lot of stress was caused because I was driving for an A all the time, and now I can proudly declare - I got them. And there’s no way I am not flexing my 4.0 GPA now!

A key takeaway from the program would be the broadening of the horizon. I gained a plethora of knowledge, but now I am aware of an even larger, bigger picture. It is this reduction in certainty, that drives important questions and pushes us to aspire for bigger (or smaller in the case of computer hardware), better. And now, with my degree in hand, I am excited to take on new challenges, continue my growth, and make a difference in this world!

Curiosity might not be good for a cat, but you only have one life, so stay curious my friend, keep learning, and keep the knowledge flowing!