Ever ago, having no knowledge about any electronic

Ever since I was a little kid, I knew I had an inkling for
Electronics. Looking at my elder cousins curiously delve into their electronic
projects from school, only made me more interested towards wanting to know more
about the forces acting upon the creation of a new electronic gadget. In this
age of continuous technological revolution, having to see a new gadget emerge
every other day and being puzzled by its technological marvel, I decided to be
an Engineer and an Electronics and Communications Engineer to that matter. So,
I’ve secured myself a spot at “Marri Laxman Reddy Institute of Technology” in
“Electronics department” in 2011, not a big name when it comes to engineering
colleges in India, but I knew that with the right motivation and thirst for
knowledge, one would definitely feel home at this place. And hence, my
engineering program began with budding expectations of building robots and
different kinds of projects.My college didn’t have much to offer in terms of research
prospects, apart from the academic schedule that every student is expected to
take. I, on the other hand, was more interested in building something that’s
fun, useful, bring me some kind of recognition that separated me from the rest
of my class. So, I started my search for the perfect project to start my work
on, neither too simple nor too advanced, my eyes landed on this web article on
my 21″ desktop screen which had the heading “Build your own line tracer”. More
than 5 years ago, having no knowledge about any electronic component or even
how to use a soldering iron, I was determined to build a line tracer. With that
motivation, I took a note of the list of components I needed and started on the
first of my many electronic component shopping sprees. After all the planning,
soldering and debugging, I’ve built my own line tracer with my own design. But,
little did I know when I started that the Atmega328 controller that goes on the
bot, needed programming for functioning but with my little experience with
coding in C and help from my friends with computer science background, I wrote
my first Arduino code and after many attempts, I was successful in programming
the bot to follow a black line on a white background. That was really fun, but
I learned that for being a successful engineer, one must not differentiate
between software and hardware aspects of a project and I also knew I had to
improve my software programming skills so that I can undertake much more
complex projects in the future. I started concentrating more on concepts of programming
languages C, C++, and Java, learning something new each day, practicing all
that I’ve learned and allocating time for my academic schedule, I slowly
improved my skills from both software as well as electronics’ end. With my hard
work and dedication towards teaching myself new concepts, I started to work on
projects that challenged me mentally and with my higher analytical ability and
problem-solving skills, it became easier for me to conform to the increasing
difficulty level of my projects. I’ve decided to test myself for my final
university dissertation, by working on an idea that I always wanted to work on,
but I wasn’t so sure if I would be able to complete it. I approached my mentor
with this idea and he was more than happy to help me in whatever way possible.
Nobody that I know of has ever seen a robot imitate a person let alone build
one in real life. So, I knew it was going to be a challenging task with the
support and the time frame I had. This project needed high analytical skills,
imagination and most importantly programming skills on Java, which I had
acquired from my previous experience.Nevertheless, with the help of my mentor, along with two
fellow students, as a team we worked on my idea and in 4 months’ time we built
a robot (my friends called it a motorized skeleton) that took inputs from a
Microsoft Kinect depth sensor. The aim of the project was to generate angles at
each of the body parts that we selected i.e. shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee, on
both left and right side of the body using the Kinect depth sensor and map them
on to servo motors, acting as joints for body parts. Then, when the person in
front of the camera moved his hands or legs, the Kinect sensor would pick up
these movements and the angle made by the said body parts will be calculated by
the program and sent to the robot in real time, which would rotate its
corresponding servo motor to that angle and give a feel that it is imitating
the movement of that person’s body, kind of like skinnier and more power
hungrier version of the “Atom” from the movie “Real Steel”. My job in the team
was to write the code to construct a digital skeleton, calculate the angles at
the joints made by the intersecting lines of the skeleton using Processing tool
and Kinect depth sensor, which were the key variables required to drive the
servo motors. It was during this time that I learned that teamwork and
coordination are the keys to success. I took part in many Robo competitions
held at different colleges and while winning most of them, I lost in some
colleges too, because of the fact that my robot could only move in
2-dimensional space and not in 3 dimensions, it is as they say “You win some,
you lose some”. Moreover, my project has been nominated as the best project
among other projects in our class by the HOD of Electronics department and I’ve
received the highest possible marks for that semester’s major project practical
work. Apart from my academic work, my keen interest and participation in
extracurricular activities like athletics, basketball, and cycling have aided
me in the overall development of my personality. My habit of reading books has
helped me expand my English language proficiency which is quite evident in my
TOEFL scores.At the end of my undergraduate program, I was at the
crossroads of making a decision, one that would change my life forever. By now,
I’ve decided to pursue my higher studies in computer sciences, the taste of
which I’ve tasted while working on my project. But, the dilemma was whether to
pursue higher studies or to get a job at an MNC. I’ve decided to take up a job
first, see what it has to offer, get professional experience and then plan on
pursuing higher studies. And so, I’ve secured myself a job as Software Engineer
Trainee at Cyient Ltd. in 2015, a services and solutions provider to the global
market in the fields of data analytics, manufacturing, engineering, and
networks & operations. I was just an out of college kid, surrounded by
people, who are domain experts, always thinking out of the box and knew exactly
what they were doing. The time that I’ve spent at Cyient, is the most
intriguing that I’ve ever been. I was assigned a mentor, who taught me the
concepts like SDLC model, entry criteria, exit criteria, tools that I’ve never
heard of and being the quick learner that I am, I soaked in all the information
that I could on a daily basis. Post the six months of training, I started being
productive to the team which made the management recognize my efforts and
promoted me to Software Engineer. I’ve always put everything into what I did
and tried to be the best among my colleagues. This determination has led me to
exceed everyone’s expectations in the short time that I’ve started working and
earn praise from the management and my colleagues. At a later stage, after about two years, as I was working on
a project alone on a Sunday evening, I’ve realised that no matter how much
practical and domain knowledge one has gained, it all renders to nothing
without the in-depth knowledge and actual conceptual skills, that can only be
attained in an academic setting and I knew my job wasn’t going to help me in
achieving that goal. So, it was in this regard, I’ve decided it was the right
time to pursue a graduate degree, where I can attain the all-around skills
needed to become a full-fledged software engineer and choosing to pursue that
degree in the USA, only aids me in experiencing the best of the faculty and
infrastructure that anybody could offer and gives me the international exposure
that I vitally need to reach my future goals.

I honestly believe that studying computer sciences at the
Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx University that possesses the ideal academic environment, the
most experienced faculty and the best infrastructure, can prepare me for my
future professional life, contribute to my personal and social development and
help me in setting a new direction to my professional career going forward.

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