We're back with another Developer Spotlight!
Image courtesy of Dribble
Today, we sat down with Samarth, our summer intern, who's flying all the way from INDIA to work with us in San Francisco, California. We have a lot of really active community members, but Samarth has contributed almost more than anyone. From galleries to tutorials, Samarth is one of our most prolific users. We've got to say, we're pretty thankful for it.
@katyadee: How long have you known about Repl.it? How’d you find us?
I actually first tried it out because of the tutorials challenge, and have been here ever since!
@katyadee: I love our challenges for that reason—I feel like they always attract new folks, who may not have used the service otherwise. We got a lot of neat new folks from the Game Jam, too.
How long have you been coding?
@katyadee: Wow, this is really cool! I come from a fine arts background, and a lot of this advice is applicable there, too—keep creating, keep reading, and just get out there and do it. Also really digging your story about reaching out to Jeff Bezos. Looks like you have a track record with getting companies’ attention!
This all has me wondering—what’s the coding landscape for students like in India?
@jajoosam: Computer science in schools is not really taken seriously—but I've seen that those who really want to make something figure out how to code on the way. Sometimes people learn how to code just because it's a 'smart' skill to develop—but don't really end up making original things and sharing them.
I've tried to make a small impact on a few people in my school by starting a Hack Club in my school and they really like Repl.it because we don't spend time setting things up, and jump right into learning and making!
@katyadee: It kinds of surprises me to hear that it’s not really taken seriously—I guess it’s kind of the same here, especially since we have a shortage of comp sci teachers… but a lot of interest. It’s a little confusing, isn’t it?
What do you think causes the disparity?
@jajoosam: I think the learning part of comuter science is emphasized a lot, and people would really start understanding its value once they actually make something, and take it seriously.
@katyadee: To circle back for a second… Do you teach people to code at Hack Club? What's that like? What kinds of things do you do?
@jajoosam: Yes, I teach them to code, and it's awesome! The best part is seeing their own twist on the projects we make. Each workshop starts with everyone making the same project, but by the end we have 10 different things. Until now, we've made Chrome extensions, web apps (web scraping), chat bots (Whatsapp!) - and games on pico8.
@katyadee: One of my favorite things about you is how prolific—and creative—you are. I know a lot about the kind of work you’re doing on Repl.it, but now seems like as good a time as any to shine a spotlight on it! What are some of your favorite projects?
Editor’s note: please find the top two below, but be sure to check out the full line up here.
- Mathe Carlo is an explorable explanation, where the player gets to use a bruteforce methord to discover Pi. It was a very interesting project to make, got me to use stuff I learned in geometry from a couple of years ago!
- 4ty2 Hunt was a submission to the AI challenge on repl.it - and one of the most fun things I've ever made. You gotta actually move your laptop all around the house to complete a scavenger hunt!
@katyadee: When did you start talking to Amjad? How did notice you?
@jajoosam: Wow, I had to dig up Twitter history for this! I first discovered Amjad talking about repl.run on Twitter, and shared something I'd made with him there. From there, I started using Repl.it more, and when I saw Repl.it/jobs, I emailed him! We scheduled a call, and I started making tutorials for repl.it!
Editor’s Note: Check out some of @jajoosam’s tutorials here
@katyadee: So, it’s no surprise you got this internship! What’s the story behind it?
@jajoosam: I realized Repl.it took interns when I saw this tweet and DMd Amjad too apply. He said yes!!
I'm super excited to have my work actually used by so many awesome Repl.it users, meeting the Repl.it team and flying down to Silicon Valley! During the internship, I'm working on creating a simple, secure storage solution for repls (starting with HTML!), along with making the Repl.it community a more core feature of the product!
@katyadee: Heck yeah, I can get behind that! Especially the community stuff! Haha. Is this your first internship?
@katyadee: Hey, it’s still a pretty cool program. I gotta ask… How did your parents feel when they found out we were flying you out to CA?
@jajoosam: They're super excited for me and feel proud! A little bit worried too, but that's just them being parents 😉
@katyadee: It is one these crazy stories. But that seems to be Amjad’s style. I love it. What are you most looking forward to doing in my favorite American city, San Francisco?
@jajoosam: Making stuff at Repl.it of course, along with (hopefully!) getting to meet some awesome people I've only seen on Twitter! This is so crazy - can't believe I'll be there in 5 days!
If y'all have any suggestions hit me up.
I can confirm that this is more than true. Also the reason I've found out for computer science not being taken seriously is how most parents in India don't value computers. Most of them treat technology like drugs, and moreover, computer science in India is taught only in the last two years, and in those years everyone aspiring to be an engineer here just starts focusing on getting into the IIT(Indian institute of technology) and with it comes the intense competition due to India's large population which makes almost every student put aside their hobbies and focus only on the three subjects that are there in the entrance exams for IIT, that is maths, physics and chemistry. Most of them even forget about the importance of language. And then there's the teachers and the education system which emphasize that technology cannot be put to good use by students and they should stay away from computers and mobile phones. And that's why it's not taken seriously in India.