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Siddhant Kumar Patel – From CMS and SmartCampus to Postman

How did it start?

Siddhant had a distinct set of criteria during the college counseling process. He had a strong preference for campuses that were at least 200 acres in size, as he enjoyed taking walks. In addition, having an indoor badminton court and cricket nets were the only specific requirements he had, regardless of the college itself. Unfortunately, Siddhant's parents were skeptical of him joining Goa campus, so he settled with Hyderabad campus. Also at that time, he was unaware of the potential opportunities in the field of MSc Economics, so he pursued his interest in M.Sc. Chemistry instead.

His journey of coding

Inspired by his father's programming background and his elder brother's pursuit of Computer Science, Siddhant developed an interest in programming. Despite not having Computer Science as a subject in his 12th-grade curriculum, Siddhant's brother guided him to begin learning C++ during the two-month gap between his board exams and the start of college. In his first year of college, Siddhant received guidance in Python from some senior students. He began pursuing the MIT open course upon the recommendation of his brother. He and a friend started participating in online coding tests, which further fueled his passion for coding. Encountering merchandise associated with Crux and later with the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program provided him with added motivation to pursue programming. He received consistent guidance from 3-4 senior individuals who hailed from his home state, Odisha.However, with his growing interest in programming and also being an enjoyer of anime, it did have an impact on his studies.

Getting into Crux

Through his dedication and hard work, Siddhant successfully got inducted into Crux during his 2nd year. Among the induction participants, he was the only one who utilized Python. He applied for the role of a Linux system administrator during the induction process. Siddhant's diverse skills and talents left a positive impression on the interviewers. He acquired his programming knowledge primarily from Crux, as well as through the guidance of seniors from his home state and his peers within his wing.

Motivation Behind Building Tools and Applications

In his second year of college, Siddhant delved into the field of Data Science by following a course offered by Harvard University. This newfound knowledge motivated him to embark on a creative endeavor. During that time, there existed a CMS Moodle website, but Siddhant found the user interface unsatisfactory. Moreover, the official application lacked notifications, causing him to miss out on 1-2 assignments. The inconvenience of having to log in to the website daily for academic updates frustrated him. At that point, Crux primarily focused on competitive coding, with little emphasis on web development. While project ideas were proposed, they were not being executed effectively. Determined to change this perception of the club, Siddhant proposed the idea of developing an Android application with live notifications, leveraging his newfound knowledge of GTK and data scraping. He credits Harshit Agarwal for undertaking most of the work, and also acknowledges his juniors for maintaining the application. After two years, an iOS application was also launched. Additionally, Siddhant was also involved in the development of SmartCampus.

Advice to juniors

During Siddhant's stay in Bengaluru, one of his juniors and, flat mate, shared a valuable piece of advice with him. The advice was to refrain from clinging onto hope, as unexpected events can occur at any moment. He has encountered numerous situations in his life where he had certain expectations or plans in mind, but circumstances unfolded differently.

He is also afraid of the overspending by students due to SmartCampus. He would advise his juniors to not misuse this application.