I am currently in my final semester as a student of Computer Science Engineering (B. Tech) at the Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta Institute of Technology and Management (formerly known as NIEC), a tier 3 college in Delhi. In this blog, I talk about my experience of having worked as an intern at Blue Sky Analytics.
Looking for internships
After completing my last internship, I was looking for an opportunity where I could learn a lot and develop something innovative. I started scanning the internet for opportunities and one company caught my eye - Blue Sky Analytics (BSA), a tech startup leveraging satellite data to produce useful environmental insights. They were developing some really interesting products like BreeZo, a pan-India air quality monitoring system.
The people at BSA
As of now, we are a small family and everyone here is always ready to help. This reminds me of the Indian saying “Chota Parivar, Sukhi Parivar” (translated as 'Small Family, Happy Family'). Each member of the company is very talented and works off of one another, very much like a family does. For instance, Kaustubh is an all-rounder who designs, strategizes, organises, manages and also advises our co-founders.
Our CEO, Abhilasha, is an IITian and a Fulbright scholar who studied at Yale. She is the most hardworking person I have seen. For 3 months, when there was no one in her strategy team, she completed all the work by herself. Her journey is very inspiring.
Our CTO, Kshitij, is a college dropout and an extremely talented self-taught developer. Together with Jashan (First Developer) and Saheel (Data scientist), they started looking at BSA's technology framework and provided a strong foundation for future work. Kshitij is the one who initiates most of the parties at BSA, so a big credit goes out to our CTO for the fun we have.
Our chef is the go-to-guy for delicious food - his culinary skills are wanted by all within the BSA team. For me, his signature dish is his salad💓️
We have anime and football fans here too, and an in-house musician who occasionally brings his guitar at the office and plays soft music.
The culture at BSA
What surprised me the most, was the work culture at the company. Any intern like me is free to communicate with anyone in my team, including the CEO. Being an intern does not make any difference - and neither does it reduce your responsibilities! Like any time-oriented deadline, I am expected to take full responsibility for my tasks and deliver them prior to the deadline. One good ting is that the timings are flexible here. Anyone can take work from home if required, and leave early, as long as you complete your tasks.
We have frequent team outings here. One of the best outings was on our CTO’s birthday when we went to a place called SMAASH - an entertainment center in Gurgaon.
The celebrations started with go-karting. It was my first time but I had champion level skills in Need For Speed, so I was pretty confident. I got into the go-kart, and slipped on the helmet, readying myself for the ultimate race. From the beginning, I was on full fire and had high hopes of winning. But as it turned out, I was not the only Need For Speed champ there. I came third😔, ️and was beaten out of second place by just a few milliseconds - 0.298 seconds to be exact. It was a really good experience though.
My experiences with bowling were much better. Even here, it was a new experience form. Coming out of the go-kart races, I had no hope of playing well. Surprisingly, I played quite well! I actually made a perfect score on the first round! It was completely unexpected, and unfortunately it was not recorded. I had a lot of fun with a few trick shots - a back throw, and one where I tried to bowl with my eyes closed.
Moving from the party to now some work talk! We do have a lot of fun, but carry out important work as well. Right after I joined, I was given the task of revamping our product BreeZo. I started working on it within the first week of joining. I had prior experience of working with a large codebase, but I had never worked with a large Reactjs codebase. Jashan(my mentor) had prepared the basic structure for the codebase, and I started working on top of that. In addition, here are my short experiences with a few other assignments:
After completing development, my CTO reviewed the UI/UX component. He pointed out many mistakes, but the silver lining was that through this experience I was able to learn a lot more about UI design.
Looking back, my old code was quite unpleasant. Having someone like Jashan review it regularly has drastically improved the quality of my code. A well structured and beautiful code certainly makes it more readable and easy to debug in the future. Through these code reviews, I have learnt a lot about writing elegant code without making many mistakes.
React State Management
State structure in React matters a lot and writing the right state structure will definitely improve the performance of the application. As always 😅️Jashan helped me in writing the state structure for BreeZo when I was developing the compare station feature for it. It also makes the application easy to debug and understand the data flow.
After working for many weeks, we were finally able to launch the revamped version of BreeZo.
After attending many presentations and meetings, I have gained a lot of knowledge about satellite data and its use cases. I am astonished by the number of things we can accomplish using remote sensing technology. It’s not just limited pollution measurement - we can even measure soil quality, moisture, and even tree cover in a given area. Using satellite data we can solve many existing climate change problems- for which I have the Blue Sky Analytics team by my side.
At Blue Sky Analytics, we are solving climate change problems and protecting our planet from climate risk. My work makes me happy and proud. It’s like I am saving the planet, just by sitting on my chair. No need to fly around and beat up bad guys - plus it pays well (Real-life heroes need money🙂️).