I wanted to be a truck driver
Yeah, life takes funny turns. doesn’t it? My mother tells me that when I was little, I mentioned to her that I wanted to be a truck driver. That’s NOT something that many parents in India were looking to hear from their kids back in 80s. Around the time, I grew up, every kid had basically three options; and all of those options were highly unlikely for many of the kids (and those were being a doctor, an engineer the third one was being a cricketer).
But, I was a bit different. I apparently wanted to be a truck driver. I still don’t remember why. Maybe, it had something to do with big vehicles. Anyway, as I grew, I realized that being a doctor was not for me when I saw my elder sister dissect a rat for her biology class. So, that wasn’t happening for me. Being a cricketer wasn’t also an option either cos I was in love with football instead (yes, what we call soccer in the US)
I guess, the only option left was being an engineer.
I guess, Engineering it is then
My dad was a mechanical engineer and growing up, I often went to various sites with him. I got to see these HUGE water pumping stations being built, HUGE motors and pipes and all that stuff. Some of the bolts I saw were bigger than my face. The scale at which that work was being done was pretty big. Engineering seemed to be more and more interesting for me. I was really good at math and physics and actually pretty good at what we called “engineering drawing”
However, I didn’t get the best pick of the colleges but I did get accepted into IT-BHU (now called IIT-Varanasi) and the majors that I had a chance getting into were: A) Chemical Engineering and B) Metallurgical Engineering. I hated chemsitry. So, that wasn’t happening. I tool metallurgy instead. Little did I know, how much chemistry I would have to study to understand metals. I just thought I would study machines
Anyhow, I studied Metallurgical Engineering, and when it came time for summer internship at a steel plant, I didn’t know what else to do but find a job that didn’t require for me to work at steel plants . I just couldn’t take that much heat. So, I wanted to run away from being the field that I got this prestigious degree in.
Running away from steel plants
Around the time that I graduated was the same time, that IT was picking up big time in India. Companies like Infosys and WIPRO would come into the top universities like ours and basically offer jobs to half the college in 1 day
Imagine that!!! You are just starting your 4th year in college and on Day 2, you have a job with one of these big companies who are willing to invest the time in you to train you with software skills needed to be successful
I felt that I didn’t want to work in the steel industry (which is where majority of the jobs existed for Metallurgy) so took this dive with IT. Got hired by CITIL (which was basically an IT company doing projects for CITIBANK).
My first taste of DATA
Little did I know that I would be so immersed in data 20 years on. When I joined CITIL, I was involved in projects on a software technology called Siebel system. What I did back then was to load data for this software called Siebel systems. As I learnt about data and data structures and how to change the shape of the data, I was blessed in two specific ways. First, I got to travel a lot for work, which provided me a global and broader perspective. Second, I got to work with data, day in and day out for about 20 years in all sorts of ways
I ♥ DATA
In a lot of ways, I was quick to find many things that I didn’t want to do early in my life rather than knowing exactly what I wanted to be (well, I guess, truck driver was my option #1). So, I guess, where I ended up was a matter of chance more than my desire to be here. But, as I spent the last 2 decades doing various things with DATA, I really can’t complain. I have been incredibly fortunate to be in a field that is top priority for many organizations now (small and big). For me to end up here, I feel pretty fortunate and happy.
I LOVE DATA. I love playing with it, I love learning about it, I love teaching it. Yes, even to my kids.
here are my other interests
Cooking brings me joy and relaxation. I am happy to see that my daughters enjoy helping out as well
Another one of those fortunate things that I got to do. Now, we all look for opportunities to travel to far away lands
Something, I never thought I would want to do. But, I am actively looking for speaking opportunities