DuckDuckHack Interview: Salil Kapur
We're finding out more about contributors to DuckDuckGo with a series of developer profiles. Here's an interview with first-time contributor Salil Kapur who created a cheat sheet for default port numbers.
Tell us a bit about where you live and what you do to relax.
I am a computer science undergraduate from India. At the moment I am living in Hyderabad, India. When not working I spend most of my time on Quora reading about a variety of topics like startups, travel, space exploration among others. I also love watching movies and TV shows for example House M.D., House of Cards, and Suits.
How did you get into coding?
My first experience with writing code was during my school days. After completing elementary courses in programming, I started building applications like Calculator, Music Player and a basic web browser. The entire experience of building applications and the curiosity to better understand how everything actually works, got me interested in computer science.
Why did you decide to make an Instant Answer? What are you planning next?
Since my college days I have contributed to different open source projects like SimpleCV, Krita and BinPy. I am always looking for interesting open source projects to contribute to. I found DuckDuckGo as an opportunity to work on something that I had never worked on, which is a large scale service for people. I started with creating a cheatsheet to familiarize myself with the codebase and the development environment. Going forward I would want to work on more complex Instant Answers and make the user experience richer.
Any advice for new contributors starting out?
From my experience of working with different open source projects — at first, it takes time to familiarize yourself with the codebase, development environment and coding conventions. Do not let them stop you from pursuing your interest in the project. The best thing about the open source community is that the seasoned developers are always ready to help out new developers.
Many of us have side projects and code for fun, as well as studying or working full-time. Do you have any tips for managing your time?
Though I am working as a Software Developer, I try to find an hour or two every day to read about the latest technologies, open source projects or work on my own ideas. I always believe that work is only a part of your life. Dividing your day in a way that you have enough time to pursue your interests and passion ensures freshness of mind.
Finally, if you could code anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I want to write code sitting on a snow mountain. Snow all around. Peace and serenity. Anywhere in the Silicon Valley would also do :P