[Super Student] Sayan Chowdhury: Python and Open Source developer



Getting a state level college never happens to be in the dreams of a Science student but sometimes you have to face tough situations. As the saying goes when life throws lemons at you, you can either make a sour face or try making lemonade out of them.

Well our Super Student, Sayan Chowdhury, did most with what was thrown at his face. In his four-year stay at college, he taught himself many interesting technologies, promoted many open source events and also encouraged his juniors along the way.

For the love of computers

Just like every techie, Sayan too developed a liking for computers at a preliminary phase of his life. Born and raised out of a small town of Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), he was inclined towards computers since class two. Though this interaction was limited to the schools only, he started experimenting with different programming languages from class 4. Sayan shares “ I used to see my uncle who had computers, back then, working. That fascinated my interest in them .” He mainly used BASIC and LOGO which were taught in his school. Sayan used simple if-else statements to create a game of KBC, which used to be used to quite popular among Indians. Later at the age of 12 he got his first computer which only encouraged him to carry his passion forward.

There was an interesting trend observed among the students of senior years in his school. Around 90% of them used to perform measurably in the computer science exam. He chirps in “ Our teachers used to be very strict with the markings in Computer Science exam. In my last years of school life I happily resided in the later 10% of the batch. ” Although he was good with computers, he flunked in the Science subjects, but that never really bothered him.

College and experience with open source technologies

Although Sayan used his first open source technology in school he was not aware of the same. “ In class 11 and 12, my class used turbo c++, the blue screen but i used djcpp. It's gnu c/c++ compiler but I did not know anything about the GNU stuffs. I merely used it because it gave me the leverage to create beautiful interfaces ”

He had the habit of purchasing Digit magazine and in one of those editions he noticed the logo of Fedora. He goes on to share that he later saw one of his seniors wearing a t-shirt of fedora logo. “ My mentor Kushal used to conduct workshops every year in our college, so he was wearing a t-shirt with fedora logo on it and i was like wow! we have a geek among us. ”

Although he was dragged into his workshops by seniors, it was one was of those incidents for which he never regretted. The workshop on Python and open source provoked him to search for more on the same. For the next two years he dug more into the open source technologies and also started contributing for them. He was actively involved in the ask.fedoraproject while it was being created. Sayan worked on implementing the RSS, in 2011 the project was completed and Sayan contribution was duly recognised by the concerned authorities.

Gsoc, HackerEarth and fledgling with technology

Ever since 2011, Sayan started visiting many technical seminars, meeting new and interesting people on the way. He adds “ the reason why I go to conferences is to become frustrated and to remind myself that i know nothing, there's still more work to do. There are so many things out there and some people really do crazy stuffs. I want to be one of them some day. ”

He also played a key role in organising many open source workshops in his college. In 2013 he interned at HackerEarth which later hired him as a permanent employee. He was selected in Gsoc at the start of this year.

Sayan graduated from college a few months back and now works at HackerEarth. He wishes to start his own venture someday and we wish him all the very best for the future.

Say hi to him on Facebook or Twitter.

If you think you deserve to featured in this column or know anyone who does, you can drop a mail at anurag3rdsep@gmail.com


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