Thu, 28 May, 2020

“Your Passion Defines You, Not Your Marks,” Says Computer Science Prodigy at DWIT

By Amun Kharel

Photo Courtesy: Subigya Nepal Subigya Nepal is a Computer Science student at Deerwalk Institute of Technology as well as an Intern working at Deerwalk Services. On January 6, 2015, he was promoted to the position of  a Senior Intern at Deerwalk Services. He has a knack for researching and updating himself with the latest in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) field. Often considered as a prodigy of Computer Science, he is now leading with example. It is said you don’t need to go far searching for inspiration and DWIT News found that inspiration in a student at DWIT. Here is what he has to say. 1. How do you describe yourself? I am an average student and an avid learner. I am a total geek. I have always been socially awkward and too much into computers (and that's the reason why I am socially awkward in the first place). I am not sure but I think I am an ambivert. And, yes! If I were any thinner, I would not exist (for those that have been living under a rock, it's The Machinist reference. Great film, totally recommended!) 2. What/Who inspired you to learn about SEO? No one, actually. About 5 years ago when I was a script kiddie, I was interested in having my own website. I made some from tech blogs to movie download sites to discussion forums. I was into some of these sites to make money online, but I was taking shortcuts, you know. Trying to cheat the system and making quick buck. But, I never succeeded. At some point, I realized that I needed to do things professionally if I were to make any money out of it. So, that's what I did. I started a tech blog about 4 years back, with an aim of going professional. Earlier, I used to copy most of the articles, and it not-so-professional. This time though, I decided to do all things the white-hat way and eventually I started making money. Blogging requires SEO knowledge (you can make do without it as well). I didn't learn it because I wanted to, I learned it because I needed to. If you are blogging, you need to understand the ins and outs of the business. Without learning how search engines rank you, you cannot stay in the business because then, you won't be getting any readers. 3. What is SEO? How does it work? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and I think that's pretty much self-explanatory. What you do in SEO is try to get your articles and websites ranked better in Google than your competitors. Going into the details, roughly 80% of people who search on Google, do not go through the search results of second page or beyond. So, by optimizing our articles or website for Google, we increase our chance of getting ranked better, and perhaps land in the first page. SEO mainly focuses on ranking the site better on Google only, because approximately 70% of searches are made through Google. Here's an example of SEO: Let's suppose you and your friend both came up with an article on your own websites, which is on a similar topic. Now, if you search for that same topic on Google, whose article would come on top? How would Google determine whose article is better? That's where SEO comes in. Google has multiple criteria that help determine which one should come on top. Some of these include whether the keyword ('keyword' meaning the main word that you want to rank in Google for. This is the word that people are most likely to type in Google when searching for your article.) has been mentioned on the title of the post, the meta-description and the URL, the number of backlinks to the website (how many sites are linking to your article?), the number of competitors involved, the site's reputation, and more recently, whether or not the site is mobile-friendly. So, in order to rank better, we optimize our websites for Google by improving on these sorts of areas. That is basically what SEO is. 4. How it is working at Deerwalk Services? It is fun. I have a cool boss, which is obviously a plus point. I get to have glimpses of what working in an office is like. I get to know people in the company, from interns like myself to people like Kanchan Pandey, Design Manager at Deerwalk, and Pramod Kumar Rai, Vice President-Asian Operations at Deerwalk Inc. Although I have not gotten acquainted with people out of the Design team and the admin team, I hope I will eventually be able to get to know others as well. 5. What do you particularly do at Deerwalk Services? My daily routine is like this: I get to the conference room once the class is over. I used to sit in with other staff, but then it started to get crowded because the designer's room is occupied to its max. So, I started sitting with other interns, Abhishek Gupta and Sumit Shrestha, in the conference room. I plug-in to the network and punch-in to Deertime (it keeps track of how long we have worked.) We talk sometimes, other times we are busy doing our own work. My work involves improving the sites owned by Deerwalk. I go through our websites looking for what could be improved in terms of SEO. I research and update myself with new trends in SEO, and see if any changes have been made by Google in how the things used to work. However, sometimes it's Rudra Pandey, the Executive Chairman of Deerwalk Inc., who finds out what is lacking and then he sends an email posing a specific question, like “Why this particular article is not ranking better?” or “Why is DWIT News slow?”. My mentor, Kanchan Sir, forwards the mail to me. I then look for reasons as to why it could have happened and then work on improving it. Most of the times, however, my task is to search for what needs to be improved, and then if possible make the improvement myself, otherwise, let my mentors know by mentioning it in the report. 6. Where do you see yourself after the completion of Bachelors? I see myself happy. My interests fluctuate. I had been passionate about programming in my early years of getting-serious-about-computers. Then, after I got into blogging, I thought I would work as a full time blogger for the rest of my life. It was a great feeling. You could work on your own time, no bosses and superiors to answer to. Who would not like working on their own time instead of working their butt off 9-5 and still making more money? I despised 9-5 office jobs (and I still do.) But then, something happened, and I lost my interest in blogging (as a career). This was about one and a half years ago. Then, I picked up on another passion: Linux. More specifically, on System Administration.  And so, I started learning RHCE on my own (whenever time permitted). I am halfway through the course. Networking and System Administration is on my mind right now, and I guess by the time I graduate, I'd like to see myself happy for the effort that I put in no matter where I land. 7. What is the kind of change you want to see in the world by your knowledge? I am not sure if I am a realist, but I'd like to think of myself as one.  I am an average guy. I am not here to change the world and I don't think I'll be able to, either. My knowledge is conventional and my goals are simple. I want to be able to achieve something in the field that I am passionate about, and if possible, do something for the people around me. If while achieving something for myself, I get to change the world, then we will see. But, for now, let's not write cheques that my thumbs can't cash. 8. What are your hobbies? Do you have any favorite gadgets as a tech nerd? My work is my hobby. I like working on computers. I like getting down-and-dirty with the things people have built, and then taking it and making my own thing out of it. As I said earlier, I am a total geek. I am also fond of TV shows and movies, but then again, who is not? Lost, The Wire, Freaks and Geeks, Twin Peaks, That 70s show – you name it. I am a self-proclaimed movie aficionado, but I have not been able to give time to movies these days. (Hence, I am considering dropping my claim to be an aficionado.) I love films of Kurosawa. Dances with Wolves is my favorite film and Ran is a close second. I also like watching stand-ups and comic routines of George Carlin, Louis C.K., Stephen Fry and improvs of Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie. As it is with any sane human being, listening to music is also a hobby of mine. I listen to classic rock and country, mostly. Dire Straits, Lobo, Queen, Simon and Garfunkel, Johnny Cash, Air Supply, Eagles, a little bit of jazz from Tuck and Patti, and a little bit of metal from Iron Maiden. I like to blog at my site, TheLacunaBlog.com (that is, if I get some free time.). I do not follow tech gadgets, however and so, I do not have any favorites. 9. Anything you want to say or add that will send a message to people? All that I have achieved so far is because of the fact that I had a passion and I pursued it. I learned things on my own. So, indulge yourself in projects of your own. Do something that is not in your course. Create something and share it with the world; you will love the feeling. Do not let your marks define who you are. If you have a passion, do something about it. And while doing all this, make sure to be open-minded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI.