Category: B. How to name this?

This post is about the wonderful experience I had with the Cognizant family in the first edition of “XPERIENCE COGNIZANT”. I wish each one of you experience the same!

So, how to make your way to be part of the 3-day festival? Open up your mind buddy, let me drop in some knowledge 😉

Around the beginning of August 2011, I got the news about the first edition of “Experience Cognizant”. Initially I thought it was an usual mundane meeting wherein people at Cognizant say Cognizant is this and that and show some steeply raising graphs and charts of their profits. (Trust me, it was not so. The experience was OUT OF THE WORLD! )Students who were interested were asked to fill a terse nomination form which had questions like “Name” “Department” etc. and the second half of the page was left blank to fill in any specific achievements we would like to brag about 😛 After a couple of weeks, we got information through our placement cell that two students were selected as the Cognizant Brand Ambassadors from my college (SSN College of Engineering). Well! It was me and my college senior Nandhitha. Yayy! What next? The only thing we knew was that we should assemble at Cognizant Campus in MEPZ Chennai by 9.00 am on August 26, 2011 and we are gonna stay there for the next three days. Thats it. So I packed up stuff for the next three days and set off for XPC’11

The Cognizant Campus Ambassadors from the select 60 colleges from all over India were invited to participate in the 3-day conclave ‘Xperience Cognizant’. We were around 92 students in total. The purpose of this conclave was to create awareness among the student body about the work ethics of Cognizant and the future of technology as envisioned by Cognizant Technology Solutions. Lets call it a platform provided for the ambassadors to meet and interact with the senior level management at Cognizant and get to know how things work there. It was fantastic to meet the best minds from far corners of India pooled into a single place. We were excited to know what Cognizant had for us for the next three days. Here is a brief note on the 3-day festival.

Day 1:
Satish Jeyaraman who heads Talent Acquisition Team of Human Resource Department gave a presentation on Volatility in the technological world. He was a silent and humble person with versatile knowledge on the corporate world. He explained how Cognizant survived the legendary “Recession” disease. This was followed by a group activity where the ambassadors had to do role-play and collage art work on the topic related to placements. The creativity and acting skills of the students baffled me! There was another session at SIPCOT in Chennai by Ramachandran ,the Head of India for Campus Training Operations, about the training process that takes place at Cognizant. I must say that Cognizant is a mini-college. State-of-the-art technology with brilliant faculty. What else do you need for learning? Btw, it was the end of day. We went back to our rooms in the exquisite FORTUNE hotel standing elegant on the OMR road, Chennai. Owing to the continuous traveling that day, I slept like a baby as soon as I entered the room.

Day 2:
The ex-CEO of Cognizant Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan gave a short presentation and answered all the questions posed to him. I wanted to take a video of his talk. But sticking out my phone amidst such a refined set of audience would make me look dumb #PatheticMe :-P. Then, Raj Bala, Chief Technology Officer of Cognizant took a session on upcoming trends in IT. He also explained about all the research initiatives that Cognizant was pioneering. I was really interested on Cognizant’s work on Cloud Computing and Mobile technologies. Until then I was thinking Cognizant was all about C#, .NET and Java. But I was completely wrong. Their scope is far far beyond what I had initially surmised. Then suddenly we had a quiz competition rolling in! They called it ‘AWE’ General Quiz. Each college forms a team. Nandhitha and I cracked the prelims and won Second Prize in the finals. Then there was a premilinary round on Technical quiz wherein we had questions on C and C++. Being a Computer Science student, I found it really simple and finished it off soon. This was followed with an evening of cultural activities where the employees of Cognizant performed. I even saw few of my college seniors there.

The Day-2 night is unforgettable. Each and every incident which happened then is still so vivid in my head. Now before you jump into conclusions, let me say that your guess is wrong (Bad bad mind, no doughnuts for you! :P) That night, all the Tamil speaking people stayed up in a single room and we were chatting till 3 or 4 in the night (I don’t remember the time. But it was late). We had this “Truth or Dare” game and then some beautiful love stories getting revealed. It was nice meeting new people.

Day 3:
The day began with the Prize distribution ceremony. You have no idea how many prizes Nandhitha and I grabbed then! 😀 Let me list them.
1. General Quiz: 2nd Place – Won 12.1 MP Sony Cybershot Digicams
2. Technical Quiz: 2nd Place – Won iPods
SSN College emerged as the overall winners and we Campus Ambassadors won Acer Laptops and the title “Grand Brand Ambassadors”. And after that there was no talks, no quizzes or no Cognizantism. It was a special screening of the movie ‘Final Destination 5’ arranged at Mayajaal! It was awesome.

tl;dr : In a nutshell this program was mainly aimed at promoting the brand value of Cognizant so that more students will be interested in being a part of the Cognizant family. It was a wonderful learning-cum-fun experience meeting and sharing ideas with the best brains from across the country. Experience of a lifetime. (And I must say that Cognizant is one of the best workplaces I have seen. If you are a tech news follower, then you’d have noticed that Cognizant CEO D’Souza is one of the titans who’d define India in 2012)

Xperience Cognizant - 2011

And here is the interesting part! Cognizant is collecting nominations for the next version of “Xperience Cognizant”. Contact your college placement cell for more information. All the best guys! Don’t miss it..
Cheers! 🙂

Though I have loads of things to blog about, am settling down with the life lessons I have learnt through my varied experiences as a son, brother, friend, student, painter, gamer, social servant, hacker, team leader and an insane thinker. The final result I got after brainstorming myself is something that is better felt than being listened to. Here is the depiction of what I figured out from my little 20-year experience.

Lesson 1 :
You can become whatever you wish to become with sheer dedication and hardwork. Be it a doctor, computer engineer, scientist, painter, musician, Anna Hazare, or Osama Bin Laden, you name it! But what matters is what you love to do.. What you are made for.. What every cell of yours is inclined to do.. What is it that you can do 24x7x365 tirelessly with complete passion. That is your destiny. Don’t waste your life trying to become someone else. Life is counted on how much you have enjoyed by being yourself.  Don’t hide your true potential just because you feel that its not upto the mark. You are already awesome 🙂

The obvious question is “How do we find what we are made for?”. Answer – No one else other than you could find it. Ask yourself and get confused a million times, you will find the right answer one day.

Lesson 2 :
My life in Chennai taught me a hell lot about relationships. Ofcourse, am learning some hard lessons even now. But one fundamental concept I noticed is that – Many people in Chennai are NOT what they seem to be. They pretend to be that “someone else” for the sake of getting accepted by the society. And thats hilarious. When you are true to yourself and to the community around you, whatever you get would be a genuine fit for you. Even if you have very few friends, you could be 100% sure that they are true to you.

In short – Don’t waste your life trying to become something. Do what you love to do, and automagically you will become the one you are destined to be. A fantastic life is guaranteed if you start living YOUR life right now and enjoy every moment.

You might think that these are the words which you find on some lame books like “You can Win” or some Share-Auto’s cover. But trust me.. This is the Ultimate Truth.

Still I have lot more to say, but for now its better if I halt with this 😛

Courtesy – The innumerable times I’ve spent time thinking about human life and to my role model who has been my inspiration since birth, my lovely lovely brother Vivek Thangarajan.

Cheers! 🙂

“A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you’re a great guy, but I don’t like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we’re not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we’re going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn’t work out, we’ll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired. “

— Urban Dictionary

Urban Dictionary is one of the most interesting sites which almost every teen on web is currently aware of – due to the definitions for words which hitherto none ever dared to define!! 😀

I got the above definition while I was browsing randomly and thought it was worth a share.. Happy Reading 🙂

This post was inspired by the document “How to become a Hacker” by Eric Steven Raymond.

The term “Hacker”, automatically brings an image of a nerd using complex tools to break into the US Department of Defence. I blame the media for that. Those kind of fellows are called “Crackers”. Then how else do you describe a “Hacker”?

Well, a hacker is anyone who finds himself, as a part of the shared culture of expert programmers and networking wizards, whose origin dates back to the first time-sharing mini computers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments. So where were these “Hackers” then.

  • Hackers built the Internet.
  • Hackers made the Unix Operating System.
  • Hackers run Usenet.
  • Hackers make the World Wide Web work.

If you are part of this culture and if you have contributed to it, then YOU are a HACKER. If not, here is the next section for you..


There are just four steps to be followed before you join the elite league of Hackers who revolutionize the Digital world from time to time.

Step 1 : Learn how to program : This is obviously the fundamental hacking skill. If you are already well versed with a wide array of programming languages, consider yourself well ahead of others. Else, it is recommended that you start with Python. It is easy to learn, well documented and much productive than its other counterparts like C,Java,etc.

Step 2 : Get one of the open-source OS : Am damn sure you must own a PC. The very first quality of a hacker is to use open source Unix. This gives you a chance to know the internals of an OS. To hack internet, you must know the OS of the internet i.e. Unix. First have a dual-boot of Windows+Linux for a few days. One fine day you’l understand proprietary OS’es are for kids.

Step 3 : Learn to use the WWW and write HTML : The Web is everything. So learning how the WWW works is mandatory to become a hacker. Here, learning doesn’t mean just knowing how to drive a browser. You should know to write HTML (or better XHTML). It is good to have a webpage with considerable content in it and keep updating yourself to the latest technologies.

Step 4 : Learn functional English : I know it sounds funny. But it is of primary importance. You must be able to communicate your idea however complex it might be. If Linus Torvalds did not posses the diction he actually possessed, undoubtedly Linux wouldn’t have grown up to such an extent now. So work on your English.

Thats it. And once you’ve become part of the “Hacker” family, start writing open-source software. Help and debug open-source software. Publish useful information. Help keep the whole infrastructure working. Continue serving the hacker culture itself.

Thus Hacking is not a profession, its a way of living.

Today I came to know about some of the best tools for blogging on WP. Two of the most prominent were ScribeFire and Windows Live Writer.  I have never been an ardent fan of Microsoft. But I must take back my words when it comes to Live Writer. Maybe because it is the only tool in the name of “Blogging Tool” or whatever, it holds it own place in this field. Hmm lets see how things roll..