i, Intern: S Narayan
Say hello to Narayan, our AI Intern from the Summer of ’17 batch. He would always sit in the AI room alone, scrunching his face behind his Mac, thinking, analyzing and at the end he built a sound classifier!
I first came to know about Skcript through a friend who’d mentioned that there is this startup in Chennai working on AI (which is pretty rare actually). So, I applied for an internship right away, and was called in for an interview. Our CTO, Swaathi interviewed me - it was the most pleasant interview experience I had! There were no irrelevant puzzles, nothing of the conventional “interview questions” sort that most students prepare for. It was straight to the point, and she ensured that I was super comfortable during the interview. After receiving my offer mail, it was one month of eagerly waiting for the internship to begin 🤖
Fast forward one month, it was May 2nd and I came in for my first day. I was pretty excited about starting my first internship, the team here were so friendly. I met our Product Manager Pankaj, who showed me my desk and ensured that I felt right at home. Swaathi introduced me to Naveen, our AI Lead who turned out to be an amazing mentor. We had some awesome discussions on various interesting Deep Learning papers (both related and unrelated to my project). If you follow the blog series, in the previous blog my co-intern Nikhil would have mentioned how Skcript gives complete freedom to their interns to work on interesting problems in their domain. After some discussion with Swaathi and Naveen, we finalised on building a sound classifier, after being inspired by Google to build a Quick-Draw for sound. It was on my first day that the entire office erupted in celebration, as our Chief Technical Architect Varun got his US Visa approved to take part in Google I/O (I was clueless for the first few minutes 😅).
Oh, and did I mention our CEO, Karthik? He completely redefined the idea of CEOs that I had in my mind! He encouraged people to do what they love, was always positive and energetic - never made any harsh comments on anyone. I personally think that his jokes are funny although Swaathi & Sankriti may disagree 😝 He gave me a lot of confidence to pursue this unconventional project.
For a month I was the only intern, but the team at Skcript are super-cool and always checked in on me. Our Sr. App Developer Dikson was the one I talked to the most, outside of the AI team. We were both hard-core football fans (Hala GGMU 😜), and had a lot of extensive talks on soccer. I even used to disturb our Lead Designer Hareessh to talk about whatever was on my mind then! We have an Apple TV, and during lunch we have our Sr. Developer and TV Remote Head Praveen Juge change channels at super human frequency, but we did end up watching some funny videos and sharing a laugh or two. And there is our Marketing Head Sankriti (I’m going to skip describing her , as I am told there is a word limit), she is a super jolly person though. 😉
Meanwhile, my project was progressing bit by bit - mostly spent time reading research papers and trying to code it up using Tensorflow. Swaathi and Karthik were really patient and appreciated my every tiny step. I was given the opportunity to talk at the Google Developers Group Meet’s ‘Google I/O Extended’ in Chennai, a tech community to which Skcript contributes to regularly. Again this shows how Skcript treats every intern equal to full-time developers, and this is one thing that I love about the company.
About a month into my internship, we had 3 more people joining us. Ramkishore and Caroline in the domain of Android Development and Design respectively. The third one Nikhil, was the other AI Intern. The two of us shared a lot of good talks, and I sure learned a lot from him. At last joined Srihari, the Marketing Intern and the most energetic of the bunch. It was a lot of fun, and going into work was not one bit tiring 😺
Finally my project came to a completion, with Ram building the app and Nikhil setting up the server. There was so much I learnt at this place! When I joined, I had very limited knowledge in deep learning, but the freedom given and confidence the team had in it’s interns let me gain so much from this internship. I would definitely miss working at Skcript, with such a fun team. As our CEO, Karthik promised in the orientation, I did have the best experience possible. Thank you for having me @TeamSkcript ☺️
There is a lot more to tell about this awesome company. Hopefully, one of my co-interns would cover the rift that splits Skcript … Apple vs Android! 😅