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Hareesh Nagarajan
Works at Ad Words
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Go Ishani go! Can't wait to see what wicked puzzles you concoct.

PS: So cool that you are on our team! =)
 
It was the social aspect of coding competitions, developing friendships and reading other’s solutions to problems, that gave me the opportunity and confidence to see what I could do to possibly develop a better solution.
-+Ishani Parekh, Software Engineer

Several weeks ago, Research at Google featured an interview with two of the four founding members of Google’s Code Jam team, Software Engineers +Igor Naverniouk and +Bartholomew Furrow(http://goo.gl/GcyNPM).  With the Qualification Round beginning this Friday, April 11th, we wanted to share another perspective on coding competitions from a newer member to the Code Jam team.

+Ishani Parekh  is a Software Engineer with the Ads Review team sitting in our Mountain View, CA office, who joined Google in 2012 after obtaining her degree in Computer Science at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology in India. Code Jam 2014 marks the first time that Ishani has been involved with the Code Jam Team, so we invited Ishani to share her thoughts about Code Jam and about coding competitions in general. Read on to learn more!

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My first experiences with programming came during my first year at university, where some of the Teaching Assistants held programming sessions in support of my courses. It was there I was first introduced to the TopCoder (http://goo.gl/qOy00z) competitions, where I started reviewing the problems in order to practice my programming skills. I found that the problems were very interesting, a nice mix of mathematical and algorithmic puzzles. Honestly, at first the experience was somewhat daunting, as I was new to coding and needed help to get my programming environment set up properly. It was definitely a new environment that I felt uncomfortable jumping into! 

While practicing with TopCoder, I was also exposed to CodeChef (http://goo.gl/bzuHmj), a startup in India that was running monthly contests which consisted of both short problems, which took about ~15 minutes to solve, and longer more difficult problems which demanded much more time. It was through CodeChef that I formed a community of friends, and found that not only do competitions allow you to hone your skills as a computer scientist, but they are also a very fun way form new friendships. 

Although it was initially challenging, I found that participating in coding competitions was incredibly useful in allowing me to apply what I was learning in classes by practicing tough problems, but it was also very beneficial in an unexpected way; The social aspect of programming competitions, working as part of a team with fellow students or participants I met online, provided me with the support and encouragement I needed to later have more  confidence in my ability to tackle the very challenging problems. 

During my final year of university, I decided to participate in the 2012 Code Jam. I was impressed by the quality of the problems, but also the fact that the problem analyses are uploaded right after the contest, allowing me to see where I could have improved my understanding of both the practical, more algorithmically focused problems, as well as the theoretical and more mathematically based ones. Furthermore, through the Code Jam mailing list I was able to discuss with the wider competition community, in which many Googlers are actively involved. Again, I found that it was social aspect of coding competitions, developing friendships and reading other’s solutions to problems, that gave me the opportunity and confidence to see what I could do to possibly develop a better solution.

Once I joined Google, I decided that I wanted to be a part of the Code Jam team, just to get an inside look at how the top programmers in the world create, what I think, is a great contest.  So in 2014, I became involved in the rating of some of the submitted problems. My first impression was that I was surprised by the fact that inputs from everyone on the team are welcome. Anyone can submit problems ideas and rate others’ proposals, regardless of experience. 

It’s great to work with some of the best programmers in the world to develop puzzles, identify potentially confusing issues in the theory or phrasing of the problem. An area I was surprised by was just how much work the team puts into making sure the competition is accessible and understandable to everyone, regardless of language spoken. A very large part of CJ problem preparation process involves many iterations of the problem statement, and test cases, to make sure it is as clearly understandable as possible, in addition to properly assessing difficulty of the problem in order to assign it to an appropriate round.

It started solely as an avenue to practice my skills to supplement what I was learning at school, but now my involvement in coding competitions like Code Jam enable me to become part of a network of friends and colleagues whom I can learn from, and vice versa.  Additionally, I feel that participating in programming contests helped in preparing me for the interview process, as I gained valuable experience in knowing the basic strategy for solving a large variety of problems. 
 
Although I am now involved in the development of Code Jam rather than actively participating in competitions, I still appreciate the challenge of a coding problem, and the  nature of the creative process behind the solutions that the community actively discusses. I would encourage people who are hesitant to join Code Jam to sign up, regardless of what you feel your experience level is, and join a community that can help you improve your skills!

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Code Jam 2014 registration is currently open, with the Qualification round beginning this Friday, April 11th.  Register at http://goo.gl/dwizmh!
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App of the year!

Link Bubble

The "draw over other apps" API on Android is blowing up!

It all started with Facebook's incredibly innovative Chat Heads implementation in Facebook messenger last year.
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This got interesting!

A click-to-call button could potentially help Twitter break into the traditionally digital-averse local advertising market.

http://digiday.com/platforms/twitter-direct-response-advertisers/
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Hareesh Nagarajan

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A pint
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#IrishPint  
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Hareesh Nagarajan

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Sam Altman hits it out of the park. Again!
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Have him in circles
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Imagine all the black hats that exploited this and the ones who'll brute force attacks now that the information is out in the open. My mind is blown by the sheer magnitude of this bug. A true 6 sigma event. What else is out there?

http://heartbleed.com/
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Hareesh Nagarajan

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Freefall!

You know the sensation of weightlessness you get from the drop of a roller coaster.  Well, you don't get much of that jumping out of an airplane because the high airspeed causes you to feel pressure the moment you step out.  A helicopter, however, can go very slow so when you jump it's like falling through space.
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Attribution is still a challenge when you are using multiple ad networks.
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Bitcoin mining the hard way: the algorithms, protocols, and bytes
This article explains Bitcoin mining in details, right down to the hex data and network traffic.
If you've ever wondered what really happens in Bitcoin mining, you've come to the right place.
My previous article, Bitcoins the hard way described how I manual...
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MIND BLOWN! Earlier this year I jotted down a few predictions for 2014 on my blog.

http://d0j.blogspot.com/2014/01/predictions-for-2014.html

"""
There is plenty of action in the inter personal chatting application market with apps like WhatsApp, Line, Viber etc -- we can expect to see one of these players get acquired by the big guys. Also expect healthy innovation from these players as they move into sharing video (which they don't do today).
"""

And this week both Viber and WhatsApp got acquired for astonishingly large sums of money.

Rakuten Drops on $900 Million Deal to Buy Viber Message App

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-17/rakuten-falls-on-900-million-deal-to-acquire-viber-message-app.html

Facebook Buying WhatsApp For $16B In Cash And Stock Plus $3B In RSUs

http://techcrunch.com/2014/02/19/facebook-buying-whatsapp-for-16b-in-cash-and-stock-plus-3b-in-rsus/

We're in a secular bull market!
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People
Have him in circles
747 people
Work
Occupation
Product Manager
Skills
Eating
Employment
  • Ad Words
    Product Manager, 2013 - present
    MO: Build the best ads review product in the universe.
  • Google+
    Product Manager, 2012 - 2013
  • Gmail
    Senior Software Engineer, 2008 - 2012
  • Google Enterprise Search
    Software Engineer, 2006 - 2008
  • Google
    Engineering Intern, 2005 - 2005
Story
Introduction
Hi. I'm Hareesh. I grew up in Bangalore, India. I've programmed computers ever since I was 12. I love rapid prototyping and building products that users adore. Google is the only company I've ever worked in. My time is yet to come.
Bragging rights
The software I wrote shaved 100s of milliseconds of your gmail latency. #fact
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Male