Life as an IMGian

BY DHRUV KANTI BHANUSHALI
Jan 05, 2017

It’s been two whole semesters with IMG now but every day is still as exciting as the first day. Every day at IMG is filled with learning new things and having fun doing it. You could say that every time you leave the lab, you know a little more than what you knew when you entered.

Let’s start at the very beginning of my journey with IMG.

New at IIT Roorkee

Like everybody else, when I first came to IIT Roorkee, I was lost in the midst of new people who were yet to be friends in new place with a completely different culture. Thankfully, I found a friend in a senior who told me about SDS and IMG when I told him about my love for computing. That was my first encounter with IMG. The next thing I did was go to their website, get contact details and drop in at the computer center to meet an existing member of the group to know more.

From the outside IMG may seem like a secretive organization where a bunch of mysterious people make magic out of seemingly random chunks of code, but my encounter with the senior changed all that. He sat down with me and explained what I needed to learn to join them. Suddenly he was not a mysterious member of a secretive organization, he was a friend! This is the part I like most in IMG, we are all friends here.

By the way, if you’re wondering what he told me to study, it’s this: logical questions, basic HTML and basic CSS, with logic, problem solving and aptitude being the highest priority.

Recruitments

I always knew I wanted to join the computing clubs at IIT Roorkee, and like most of the freshmen I was always undecided regarding which to join. So I appeared for the recruitments of both IMG and SDS as a developer (and as a designer as well, for backup: yes, I was desperate to get in, as you should be). A test of logic, problem solving, aptitude and a little HTML/CSS followed and before I knew it I found myself at the interview of both groups for both positions. After four interviews, I knew clear as day what I wanted to do.

I became a developer at IMG. Best. Decision. Ever.

The IMG culture

IMG is in my opinion the most fun-loving group on campus. We work hard when it’s work time and play harder when it isn’t. We have the obligatory chapos for every occasion, gaming nights involving Mafia and CS and early morning walks along the Solani aqueduct, the annual trip of the entire group to an amazing picturesque destination and the most pompous farewell celebrations too.

The 24/7 lab facility with power backup and separate Internet connectivity, extremely powerful computers, our own data center and server (all of which come with obvious responsibilities) make for an otherworldly experience. In fact, to meet deadlines, most of the guys sleep in the lab itself, which over time becomes a second home to us. It is quite cozy in the winters, I must add because I spent my second winter vacation at the lab itself!

The farewell at IMG is also a big deal. It is a grand event, with weeks of preparation and celebration, culminating in a grand chapo with fancy costumes, games, music, dance and a post-party nostalgic heart-to-heart between the freshmen and the seniors. Most of us, especially their immediate juniors are in tears because bidding farewell is never easy, especially to best friends who are also great mentors.

The first semester with IMG

The first semester at IMG is perhaps the most fun one can have at IIT Roorkee and that is largely thanks to the annual trip after the recruitments. In my first trip with IMG, we went to Manali. We had tons of fun there, including a hike up a hill to a waterfall, a photography session on the Beas river, shopping and dining on mall-road and a horror-story narration over a bonfire and many rounds of intense Mafia. And who can forget the enormous fun we had in the Solang Valley (my first time with snow!), with the sliding, the tripping, the falling and the snow fights, followed by a trip to the Hidimba Devi temple, Van Vihar and the apple orchards? The trip has been my best one yet and I am eagerly looking forward to this year’s trip with my juniors. All those photos we took make me nostalgic all over again.

That’s the entire IMG posing for a group photo in Manali. I’m the third guy in the front row, BTW.

The lecture series for the freshmen is also an integral part of the initiation process. Every lecture is filled with concentrated unadulterated knowledge backed by experience that speaks for itself. One lecture plus the assignment is enough to instill a clear understanding of any topic, which is why everyone strives to never miss any lecture be it on HTML, CSS, Git, Information Security or even Adobe Illustrator. If not for these lectures, I would be lost in the ocean of tutorials, guides and books available.

In short, the first semester is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed at any cost. The first semester concluded with an extensive summer assignment that put every aspect of the training to a revision and a test, effectively preparing me for the work that is to begin in the second semester as an IMG member.

The second semester with IMG

The second semester is the one where we get down and dirty in work. We are supposed to start working on our own apps and that begins by reading the code of Channel-i. We get a copy of the code to tinker and experiment with! Imagine being able to make changes the code that is used by thousands of people on a daily basis. This feeling of power and responsibility is what most people don’t have access to in their entire lives. It is a humbling experience.

I made my first project in Android, but I played a vital role in many of my friends’ apps as well. IMG fosters collaboration like no other group on the campus. Over the course of my app, and those of my colleagues, I learned a lot of things that I would never have learned otherwise. Apart from technology, the project taught me the value of collaboration.

Message to the freshmen

Overall, I believe that IMG has had a large role in making me whoever I am today. If not for IMG, I would be just another face in the crowd, studying Engineering Physics for the sake of it and never leaving my mark on the institute. I consider it IMG’s gift to me when I see the code I wrote running in the hands of the thousands of students whose lives have been enriched by the efforts of IMG members and alumni over the years.

As a part of the newest batch added to the team, I believe that I’m in a unique position to advise my immediate juniors regarding the recruitments. And my sole advice to them is: participate. Attend the intro talk, visit us, get your doubts clarified. You only need dedication to be one of us (and some HTML/CSS knowledge which is hardly 2 days’ work). Come, join us in making IIT Roorkee a better-technologically-equipped place by turning your best ideas into reality powered by IMG.

See you in the recruitments this January!