My struggle with Autism

I was born in a christian family, bible studies and prayer were my food. My parents were doing God’s ministries in remote village. The finance in the family was enough for the food and shelter let alone medical attentions. But we had lot of help from people from different walks of life including Medical, education etc.

From early days of my child hood I had a feeling of something missing. I was afraid to tell my parents or relatives owing to financials. I reached my twelfth grade and it was time to choose my career path. It was most difficult time for me, I don’t have anyone to cry to or talk about. My parents wanted me to be a minister of God, I also wanted to. The speech impairment was so severe and I don’t want to embarrass God. so I decided to pursue engineering. No one knows this actual reason, but only me (now you know).

I was not ready to accept my handicap yet. I pushed through my engineering studies but never took any stage appearances or speaking competitions. I kept my circle small, even if my secret was out it can be contained.

Completed my education and got a job in Software firm. My analytical capability helped me to climb the ladder but something was holding me back. while i was chatting with one of my close friend, she sensed that i am struggling to speak. She asked me to take a test on autism, I panicked and was afraid. I prayed about it and consulted a doctor who told me you may have autism.

I did not accept his findings and i was in denial. Few years later I came to USA for Job opportunities. Things were going fine, but i was having difficulty communicating or speaking.   So i decided to get it checked again, I got confirmation about autism. Now i am afraid how will my family react ? and will they accept me?

Struggle that i went through was enormous, I cannot speak what i think. It was like partially dumb. Close friends mock for being this way. One of my close relative told me this “You could have born as dumb”.

Still I relieve few incidents over and over again,

Incident 1: In Lufthansa flight from Germany to USA. The air hostess came to ask me about the lunch order, I spoke some sentence which she did not understand. She called her counterpart and spoke in german, laughed. Few minutes she came again asked me same question again. I spoke a sentence but she did not understand. She told me, if you cannot speak why did you use this flight.

Incident 2: My sister in US threw a Christmas party for which she invited her friends. She called me to attend, I wanted to attend but I decided not to. I cannot communicate with large group of people, I would just stand in the corner like a jerk. She was angry and never talked to again. I understand from her standpoint, but i could not explain to her about my handicap.

Immigration officer mocked me for not answering the question, but my brain think i have answered.  I formulate a sentence in mind but while communicating i miss out some part  it, but mind thinks i have already conveyed. The sentence i speak most of the time could not be understood, I shut up my mouth any were i go. This made me being alone all the time, I am afraid of being with group of people, I cannot make small talk or general talk, I can talk about only technical terms, cannot draw conclusions or thought about a person or any incident.

But when my mind is quiet i can talk fluently. Some time ibuprofen helps me. I won’t blame God or parents. This is the way i was designed, so I will prolong as long as possible.

My Experience with Online Marriage Proposals

No, marriages are not made in heaven. Or hell. They’re made on earth. You and your partner can decide whether to MAKE a marriage a heaven or a hell

I was fresh out of college and joined a prestigious company in Mysore as a trainee. Life went on smooth and I was so into career development forgot about other life aspects. Sooner most of my friends had girl friends, their first kiss and carnal pleasures.

Some of my close friends started to get hitched knowingly or unknowingly :). I had two sisters, so i did not feel the pressure from my family. Years passed by then i realized some thing was missing, may be girl friend or lover to chat ? Nah. My dad and mom started to bring in the topic of marriage now and then. So I decided to take plunge into online matrimonial sites.

I registered in several matrimonial sites, diligently I wrote a intro about myself. Sites started to give me potential/preferred matches based on my settings.  And I started clicking on sending invitation to all matches. It was like speed dating or blind date just to look at the categories and match. Next day I received several message on my inbox, 90% of them where rejections. I could not understand the reason, because website wont give any.

Months passed by without any luck, probability of rejection increased to 100%. One fine day like a dream i got a invitation from a prospect through online site. We chatted for a while and Family liked the profile they wanted have a face-time with me. I prepped myself for the interview online. The interviewers started questioning, about bible, Jesus, David’s Sins. I answered all of their question as I had completed by Biblical courses. The Next day morning I got rejection mail from the Interviewers. I was puzzled, so I just wanted to get their feed back. They told me I quote “We did not like your answers on David’s Sin”.

My Next Interview was a few days later, I told my colleagues to pray for the interview. I was nervous after my first encounter. This time they asked me to play song on guitar and sing along. The very next day i got a mail about their rejection. I did not get any feed back from them, I think they did not like my chord progression.

Meanwhile, I had few accepted candidates but they got married before I could get a shot at the interview. Few weeks back I received a message from a girl through online matrimony. She texts me only when she is drunk. After a few rounds of chatting over whats-app, she called and said i quote “My parents wants a guys close to my home and earns more money than you”.

Most of the candidates on online proposals have high expectation about their partners on categories like  Money, Citizenship, Green card, Height, Caste, Color. Being a single male for these years without any girl friend and relationship, I find this search ridiculous and unholy. I strongly feel it should be based on the personnel connection and interests not on monetary benefits.

My Interview experience with Amazon

After making sure that my resumes are updated and well according to the standards. I scanned through the job portal for amazon jobs, after carefully reading the job description; i decided to apply during mid last year. I almost forgot about the application, out of the blue i got call from the recruiter asking whether you’re still available in market. I replied positively to the recruiter. They sent my profile to the hiring manager and asked me time slots for the interview. Got the response for the interview slots.

I prepared myself for the interview for about a week, brushed programming skills on data structures/algorithms, I took courses with MIT open course ware. Finally i am at peace before the interview, all the topics i covered was running in my mind like a dream. ok enough of story, let’s go through the interview questions.

The interviewer was very kind enough to explain about his role in the company and its business values. He asked me about my roles and responsibility in the team, following are the questions in order.

a. Tell me about your responsibilities and teams

b. Tell me about the challenging situation with the team and how do you handle it.

c. What proactive ideas you gave to the client and what is the response from them. And to follow-up this he asked me questions about the solutions.

d. Tell me about the situation where you took hard decision and its impacts. Specifically he was asking about breaching the dead line.

e. How did you handle changes in requirement and how did it impact the team.

f. How did you manage the conflicts in the team.

I answered the questions with utmost diligence. I complimented the team all along, it was the truth. Hey No cribbing about the management. After that he asked to open  http://collabedit.com for programming. He started to write the problem statement. Following is the problem statement. Create alogrithm for the dependency list of the package installer.

Amazon_interview_q

I looked at the diagram and got a bright idea to use undirected graph. He asked me why undirected graph, I though for a while and decided to use directed. Since there is no reverse dependency i.e core is not dependent on Apache so it is always one direction. He asked me to write the program and i started to create a graph class. Following is the solution i provided, i will just write in sudo code.

a. Created a class called “graph” which has a list of int, strings, and variable to store the max number of the vertices. Integer list has the index for the string in the string list, example string “Root Package” has index “0”.

b. A function to iterate through the graph and update if it is visited in boolean list. I chose Depth First algorithm for iteration.

c. In Public specifier; I added constructor, Add edge function, Get list function.

I was not silent in the call but kept on telling him what i was thinking, just to engage him in conversation. You may think why list of vertices, I will give you a pictorial representation of the list.

Amazon_interview_list

This list has the path to trace back to the parent, because he asked me to check for cycle. Anyways the coding went well and he said it is good. May be you have a better idea for this problem, but this is what I can come up during the interview session.

Code is available in my git hub page

 

Progress bar in Cell – Excel

I have been searching for while to add  a progress indicator in excel. It is so elegant and easier for convening the percentage completion to the reader. I will walk you through the steps and settings. I used office 2010 professional.

We need to create a new rule for the cell. So select the cell for which you want progress indicator. Then click on “New Rules” from Home->Conditional formatting.

new_rule

A popup window will appear, select the following options

selections

After selecting the options mentioned above, click on “OK” to apply the rule for the cell selected.

Format.png

Then go back to your excel sheet, click on the cell and update the number you wish for the progress bar in the formula bar.

percentage_10.png

You can copy this formatting to other cell and update the number in formula bar for each cell separately.

sample.png