Growing up with InOut

A personal account of how InOut helped shape a volunteer's career and how he made some great connections.

Growing up with InOut

I was just another typical sophomore at my college when I first got in touch with the founders of InOut, my seniors from the ASHD department, SVNIT.

Yes. I had no freaking clue 4 years back that I would be lucky enough to be a small part of the BIG picture my amazing seniors dreamt InOut will turn out to be!
I joined InOut 2.0 as an enthusiastic, non- technical background boy who had a taste for in-house designing. InOut had the most refreshing “headquarters” in the whole campus, an old server/storeroom in the old classroom complex (Old CRC). It felt awesome to keep going in and out of it while people stared at us as if we were some vigilantes! That office witnessed the birth of some of the most excellent ideas and plans that got forever embedded in the very foundations of InOut and Devfolio.

We used to wait for classes to get over to rush to our headquarters (Yeah, by that time, it was clear for us that life happens outside classrooms). What made it a brilliant first experience for me was the fact that the team was heterogeneous. We were all coming from various corners of the country, with various dreams and skillsets but still managed to connect with each other precisely, and we worked towards making the event a success. The first steps to understanding what teamwork was for me were laid there.

I can still recall the cravings for snacks after a long day of work and hot grilled vada pavs from Golden Point, Surat would appear before us as divine intervention. A medium-sized office, messy indeed but still beautiful, had become home away from home for us.

The headquarter was lucky to be our home for one last time while building our biggest edition in college, InOut 3.0 before InOut took the giant leap to move to Bengaluru in 2017. By that time, my relationship with the core team grew so strong that some of the best memories I have at college were with them. I was a strict early bird, while they were professional night owls! When their days at college were coming to an end, I decided to completely shift my sleeping hours, so that mine matched theirs, just to spend more time with them learning and of course for that amazing 5:00 AM chai with thepla.

What made InOut so important for me was the free flow of ideas. Be it a newly joined volunteer or a senior, IDEAS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME. Every opinion was respected, sufficiently reviewed and incorporated if functional. I can firmly claim that we have experimented more ideas for InOut than I have done experiments in labs. Clearly, the former turned out to be more fruitful in the long run.

When InOut decided to shift to Bangalore, I was worried that the third edition would be my last. I never ever expected I would be called up to be part of the team again. But they had me and the rest of my teammates from college by surprise. “You are team InOut. We need you more than anybody else.” These words were more than enough for us to get right back at work! We were given additional roles over designing too, and we started to get a sense of real professionalism. The trust InOut showed to us, being about 1200 km’s away was incredible. I had one of the best train journeys in my life: the whole “mini” InOut team travelling to the dream city Bangalore with big boxes of in-house design and posters.

One of the InOut 5.0 desk arts

InOut, an eye-opener

For the past 5 editions, I have always told people "I am not a developer or a designer. I have been volunteering for InOut since its second edition, and I love to be part of this grand tech festival. I love the team, and I will give my all to make InOut a success."

By academics and past projects, I am a physics post-graduate who knows a thing or two about particle physics. I have done some decent amount of coding while analysing massive particle physics data. But for the past few months, I was stuck in a dilemma about what really fascinated me and what I should pursue as my career. Was it theoretical physics? Was it playing with big chunks of data? I had no answer!
It took me no time to decide who I should talk to about it. My mentors at Devfolio and team InOut took a right amount of their time from their busy schedule, spoke to me, cheered me up, planted the seeds of confidence to pursue what I really wanted to do and gave me the first basic lessons to kickstart my future.

If you ask me why I am still a part of InOut now, I won’t repeat my usual old dialogue. I will now say, ''I am a data science enthusiast, who loves to work at the intersection of physics, math, statistics and programming to solve complex real-world problems through beautiful algorithms and lines of code. And I am Team InOuT !! ''

I will be forever grateful to my mentors from InOut and Devfolio for their unconditional support, faith and for keeping my spirits high. To all the youngsters struggling with their career, I have only one thing to tell them. Work harder, good things take time to happen! Meet people, talk to them, learn from them what you don’t know, and teach them what they don’t!
InOut has created a community over the past 4.5 years that has produced some of the best hackers in the world. It has, at the same time, helped hundreds of newbies kickstart their career and help realise their real strengths.

It took me a while to realise InOut was shaping my career too after all these years being a part of it! Looking back at the initial college days when I joined InOut, I am reassured now that all those class bunks, all those sleepless nights and all those baby steps finally led me to be who I am now.

I really grew up with InOut!

Hope this isn't you right now 😜

P.S. InOut 6.0 is around the corner. Join me to be a part of India’s biggest community hackathon at MLR Convention centre, JP Nagar, Bengaluru on 19th October! Ciao 🚀