3 Months Experience at Bangalore

Friendly People

I personally feel that Indian people are very friendly. I can easily get help for direction every where as long as they know what I’m talking about and I know what they talking about. We meet some Indian friends at my training there as well. I can said all of them are very friendly and helpful, I really enjoy the time with them. India celebrate a festival call Holi where people throw colored powder or colored water on each others and have fun together without the barrier of different races among each others. This prove that India is a friendly place.

Veg Every Corner

Can you imagine KFC offer veg burger? Yes, this exist in India! Vegetarian food is everywhere. One of my friend who is vegetarian was so excited because vegetarian food is kind of rare at Malaysia. I become a 80% vegetarian at India because my company don’t always offer non-veg food and even they does on that day, it only have one single choice while all other are veg food. I think I eat very healthy at there.

Coffee Time

There are no StarBuck or Coffee Bean at India, but there have Coffee Day. The coffee at Coffee Day are consider good enough for me and it is cheap! One coffee at StarBuck in Malaysia, I can bought 2+ coffee at Coffee Day. A cold coffee at there is really a good fresh up after a hot day or stressful day. We do visit Barista coffee shop too, but that one is way too expansive for us (More expansive than StarBuck if you count the quantity). I don’t think I can visit coffee shop that often back into Malaysia any more.

Real Fast Food Drive Through

I guess most peoples have an experience of buying fast food through drive through like Mcd, but have you ever see a service that you order your food and they serve your meal all at your lovely car without need to move a step? I found this in Bangalore where they serve your food while you are still in your car. Not just food, they provide you the “table” as well, a long wooden wood that go through both side windows. Amazing huh? I don’t have a car there, so I can’t really experience that myself.

Traffic Universal Language – Honk

At Malaysia, honk is a way to scold others on the road. At India, honk is apply in every situations. Honk replace left right signal light. Driver honk whenever they reach a junction or they want to turn left or right, they are trying to remind other cars around to becareful. Even when I walk on the roadside, if I’m too near the road, the car will start reminding me not to cross the road with honk. No one will get boring on the road with all the honk. Surprisingly with all the crazy traffic and super driving technique of driver, I did not see accident there. Driver at India really train well.

Earth Hour Everyday

Blackout is something so common in my daily life at India. At least 2 times per day and it last for an hour. Lucky our guest house have a powerful power generator that can power up most of the electrical devices except those high power consumption devices, thus the one hour blackout is not much a problem for me. Handphone LED light always come into handy when blackout at night time while waiting for the power generator to boot up.

Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) Terrible Experience

Every foreigner who want to stay more than 14 days at India must register themselves at FRO, this go the same for me. Me and my friends went to FRO at afternoon for the first time, register ourselves at the security check point and found out the FRO only open at morning and close registration at afternoon. So, we went there for the second time the next day and queue up for more than 2 hours early in the morning. There are less than 50 peoples register there yet take so long time. When we almost reach the gate, one of the officer approach us and told us our form is outdated, please use the latest version. After we fill everything in the new form, the officer told us the registration is close, please come back next time. Great, what we can do except come back again next time?

We make full preparation and went to FRO for the third time. After queuing up for more than an hour, we successfully enter into the office for the first time (Yes, for the first two time, we are standing outside of the office only). When the officer at the counter half way go through all the documents we submitted, he voice out and ask us what is “IAMRL” written in our VISA. Well, they never told us what will written on our VISA when we apply right? So we have a guess and said it is Internship at Microsoft Research Lab. The officer don’t want to believe (maybe he choose not to listen) and call us came back with the letter that prove what is the 5 characters all about. That drive us crazy, after calling this and that, running here and that, queuing again and another 1 hour more, they finally believe it.

After that, the next counter question why we went there with VISA type X. Man, High Commission of India at Malaysia give us this, how I suppose to know then! After some great long explanation and confirmation, that counter only approve our application and went for process. While waiting for the validation process, I saw others whom went there with an agent and with the outdated form application process without any problems at all. I guess something going under table huh? After all those trouble, I really don’t wish to visit FRO any more…

There are just too many stories I want to share but this are the one I can think of now. I enjoy the weather, the people and the food (some time) but not really for the government service.

by Ooi Keng Siang

Internship Experience at Microsoft Research Lab India

3 months past quickly and yesterday was my last day internship at Microsoft Research Lab India (MSRI). I wound said I gain a lot of experience at here from other researchers and having a lot of fun with people at MSRI.

Everything begin at Imagine Cup 2009, where my team and I won the ticket in Design for Development Award and have the chances go to MSRI at Bangalore for internship. Aren’t it sound so cool to have the chances to intern at other country? I still remember the first day at MSRI where everyone whom visit the MSRI for the first week need to answer a question. The question is “If you have an hour or two to spend with someone, no matter living or dead. Who will be the one.” This is really something I never think of before. Well, I answered “I guess that will be my lover because I think no other people can listen to me boring talk for an hour or two.” and it work, some one came and told me that he like my answer. Shocking huh!

While working at MSRI, I always start my day with some toasted bread with nutella ¬†and a cup of milk. Having my breakfast on top of the roof with a nice view of the sky really is a great kick start of my day. I can’t believe that I have been using a machine with 2.0 GHz single core with 2GB RAM running Windows 7, Outlook 2010, Visual Studio Team Suit 2008, 2 Messengers, 3 Web Browsers, etc for the past 3 months. I sure give the machine a hard time, but I kind of get used to the speed later on. Well, it also give me a great reason to Facebook-ing when I compiling my code. The unlimited sugar and caffeine at pantry really keep me awake while working. I try to control myself for not taking it too much, else my weight sure will increase a lot.

I really enjoy my internship at MSRI. The working environment are so nice, and the people there are friendly too. My happy boss Ed, who always has his happy smiling face. It seen like even the sky fall down, he can still smiling and get the problem solve. Saurabh, who is very friendly and always give us a lot of direction when to visit at Bangalore. Some how he is keep on promoting IIT on us during our farewell dinner. Aishwarya, the researcher I’m working with. She surprise me as a non-IT background researcher yet know how to appreciate the work from programmer. I’m so glad to do the project with her. “How are you doing?”, this is always the question ask by David when he bump into me. He like to joke and make us laugh non-stop. He told me that study Phd is like eating a cake, full of fat in the end. I guess I will only understand it when I study Phd. My first impression on Bill, a very serious guy who don’t talk a lot. But in the end, I found out that he like to joke and tell some funny thing too. I think I know him a bit too late. I also learn some serious programming practice and .NET CE programming from Pushkar. Glad to working together with him too. Too bad that I doesn’t have much chances to know more about Indrani and Mimmi as they are too busy traveling around for their work.

I also have a lot of fun with other intern there too. Aakar, Anand, Anuj, Diwakar, Gaurav, Kanika, Navkar, Olga, Praveen, Rebecca, Shashank, Vaishnavi, Varun, and Vishal. I guess I didn’t left anyone behind. The lab is so much fun with you guys and girls. We work hard and play hard there. I still remember the first time we play Frisbee together, where I hit my head on the tree truck when chasing the Frisbee. Ouch! Exploring Microsoft Surface together. Having lunch together and sharing our own story, about research, about future, about food, about place, about dog and etc. Lunch with Shaishav and Chinmay never get bored, because both of them sure make me laugh non-stop. Man, I going to miss you all.

What I really learn in this internship? Good C# programming practice, Windows CE programming, .NET CE programming, using Visual Studio Team Suit, learned basic UI design for rural people, micro-finance, mobile banking and etc. In this internship, I also found that I’m still really weak in communicating, English speaking, reading research paper. I should really polish up my communication skill with others rather than just with computer only.

I love MSRI!!!

by Ooi Keng Siang