People often commit a very common mistake, underestimating the person’s ability, especially of teenagers. Gen Z right?! The same was the case with me. People used to underestimate me a lot, and I was just waiting for the right time to unveil my potential. Until then, improving my skills was my favorite pastime.
My name is Chirag and I am from Jaipur, Rajasthan. As of right now, I am studying in the 11th Grade, but my story started 3 years back; in Grade 8, when the coding bug bit me 🐛. That time unaware of where to start, I began studying all about Android from Udacity courses. Little did I know those courses in Android would be the stepping stone for my entire coding journey.
Google Code-In — Completing Childhood dreams!
In the 9th grade, I finally got the chance to prove myself to the world when I got introduced to a contest named Google Code-in (GCI) Ⓖ, which is a contest for high school students where they have to do given tasks for open-source organization and the winners of the contest get a full-paid trip to Google Headquarters in California. This was a big opportunity and it pushed me to make myself work day and night.
There are plenty of organizations in GCI but you have to choose one to work upon (to win) so I chose The Mifos Initiative which is positioning financial institutions to become modern and digitally connected providers of financial services to the poor. I was highly motivated by this, by my mere code contributions I would be able to help economically backward people. “Could this be possible in reality?”, was the question I asked myself as I began the work. 💼
I was able to complete 66 tasks during the 50 days of the contest and my work wasn’t limited to those tasks only but I contributed beyond that. My work involved completing a pending project on Swagger API documentation, sending Android bug fixes, doing research, preparing reports and so much more!
The result is there for everyone to see! Boom! 💥 It’s funny how one thing can completely change people’s opinions. No one underestimates me now! Rather, they come to me for advice and suggestions as a proper professional who knows what he is talking about. This looked like an overnight success to many (in fact, a few even called it fake before I went there!) but only I and my mother knew how many sleepless nights and hard work were involved to get there.
An Unforgettable Journey — Trip to California!
The entire trip to San Francisco was 4 days long and it helped me explore and experience so much more!
- First Day was just an opening reception, meeting with new people, enjoying the atmosphere and celebrating with dinner.
- Day Two was where one of my childhood dreams came true! We went to Google headquarters in Mountain View. The day started with a prize ceremony followed by a few talks by the employees at Google. Then we were assigned specific people working who were from our home country for lunch where we discussed various topics ranging from Jaipur City to how Google Maps work. The day followed with a bunch of talks again and finally, we wrapped up the day by visiting the Google Store and then to some amazing dinner! 🍱
- The third day was fun where we kicked off with a Segway ride giving us a beautiful view of the whole San Francisco city. Later, we went to the very famous Golden Gate Bridge, followed by a yacht where dinner was served.
- The last day was very emotional. Tons of photos were taken. Talks and discussions about the trip and GCI with the Googlers were the main highlights of the event. 🎫
Now you might think, reading about all the exciting things I did with the prize I won that I got lucky. No! I learnt and moved on! Before GCI, I participated in another contest named Google Code To Learn where I made an app where you put the ingredients you have in your home and it tells you the dishes you can make out of them. I was quite sure of winning this but I didn’t.
I failed! It was a big let down, but I didn’t let it stop me! I learnt that day that not everything goes according to your plan. And that ignited a fire 🔥 inside me, and rest is now history. If you work hard, with complete dedication, there is no reason you should fail. And even if you do, it is a lesson learnt and you move on!
“Put in the work, and the dream is possible!”
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