The Google Summer of Code is drawing to a close. This year SwiftRiver was a mentoring organization and we wanted to give our GSoCers some ‘face’ time on the blog by interviewing them. Nishith is a developer who worked on our natural language processing api, SiLCC.
Interview with Nishith
Q: What is your educational (or professional) background?
I am currently pursing Msc. (Hons) Economics and B.E (Hons) Electronics and Electrical engineering from BITS-Pilani, Goa Campus, India.
Q: What was the project you worked on at Swift? Why did you select that as your GSoC project and what did you learn from working on it?
I was working on improving the existing features and addition more functionality to the SiLCC component of the SwiftRiver project. I selected the same because I wanted to work in the area of Natural Language Processing and hone my skills in this domain. I learnt a lot in the field of NLP and also wet my feet in databases and WebFrame works. Neville helped me a lot during my entire summer.
Q: What challenges did you run into during and how did you overcome them?
I am primarily a back-end engine guy and deal mostly with command-line applications, also till date I have programmed mostly individually. So dealing with WebFrame works and collaborative coding and code conventions were completely new to me. It was brilliant to learn these essential skills, official documentations of the respective technologies, Google and my mentor provided the necessary and critical guidance.
Q: GSoCers get to choose the organizations they work with, why did you choose to work with SwiftRiver?
I was very specific in my want to work only in the area of Natural Language Processing, and SwiftRiver was one of the extremely few organizations offering me an opportunity to do so. Along with that the social impact and applications of Ushahidi/SwiftRiver excited me.
Q: Any closing remarks?
Machine Learning and Textual Analysis have come a long way since the point where a plain text search was the epitome of Data Mining. I would strongly recommend and encourage everyone to work on or try tools like Ushahidi/SwiftRiver. You will have an opportunity to create and end to end impact, interact with a brilliant team and learn a lot. I would sincerely like to appreciate and thank the Ushahidi/SwiftRiver team for providing me with this opportunity.