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How to finish a project with an unrealistic deadline?

It was the summer of 2019, and I was anxious about my career as always. My roommate recommended me a machine learning Bootcamp to make my summer productive. I joined the Bootcamp to avoid going home. Never knew that a Bootcamp could refine my perspective on technology which I have today.

My routine in the Bootcamp included 8 hours of coding and 5 hours of theory classes which went till one month. I was introduced to algorithms and creativity without any external pressure, which I had till then from professors and batch-mates. This helped me in getting used to obsessiveness with structural thinking. After the 28th day in the Bootcamp, we were asked to make a group of 3 and build something out-of-box. After a few brainstorming sessions, we came with the idea to make an Instagram hashtag recommender, just because one of my group-mates was an Instagram photographer, and he badly needed that.


The deadline was 48 hours. We had no experience in making an app like this. We searched through open-source platforms, and there was nothing like this at that time.

None of our group-mate, including me, had any idea about making an app from scratch to completeness. At first sight, we thought this is impossible to do. Then we didn't care about the results and started exploring how to extract information from Instagram. The app which I am addicted to till now.

After few cups of coffee, we figured out how to extract everything related to Instagram except the private data. Now, we needed an algorithm to conclude this up. I always loved explaining things while sketching them on the last page of my notepad. However, this time the Bootcamp provided us with a marker and a whiteboard.

While analysing and discussing how to achieve the result, I started sketching on the whiteboard, and after an hour, I realised I made a system architecture of Instagram hashtag recommender.

When starting work or a task beyond our knowledge or skills, it always seems like an impossible thing to do. But if we jump over the thought of confusion and start sketching our random ideas, it eventually becomes a meaningful piece of art.

I didn't know about any technology which I used in making the app. I just connected ideas to ideas to create a giant idea. I realised then that knowledge is of no use if there is no creativity involved while making books into action. If you don't know how to do any specific task, just sketch, you will eventually know what to do.


After a pleasant sleeping session, we had about 28 hours left. After that, we didn't care about any consequence and started to make our idea into action. But that required an immense amount of obsession to make a scribble into shape.

Obsession always helped people in achieving unrealistic results in a short time. Obsession in working with ideas to make it a real entity always made people more motivated than completing the task in time. But ultimately, obsession leads to finishing work before the destined time.

A long coffee session can have a serious impact on the eyes if combined with prolonged screen scanning. Regrettably, my red eyes didn't know when we completed the project, but I had time to prepare for the presentation and eat a nice morning breakfast with the other two.

Results were announced, and we didn't win the hackathon, but I learn how to deal with unrealistic problems and hectic deadlines.

In Picture: My group-mates Ajay and Sarah working around 3 am


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