Employee Spotlight

Kaushik Kumar

Read how Kaushik's passion for science, mathematics, and competitive programming led him to pursue a career in software engineering.

Hi Kaushik, kindly tell us more about your role at Flagright.

I work as a software engineering intern at Flagright. I contribute to our project's front-end and back-end architecture. Since I also created our website, I also work on managing and modifying it, like adding features and fixing it if any issue comes up.

Did you always want to be a software engineer? What's the story behind that?

Yes! The thing is, I've always been good at math and science. And after I started college, I got into competitive programming. Competitive programming is about solving real-world problems in a short amount of time, such as completing six problems in two hours using whichever language you want, and I absolutely loved it. That sparked my interest in programming. Since then, I've been using programming to solve real-world problems.

How has balancing work and school been going?

My schedule is generally hectic, such as going to lectures in the morning and doing my weekly tasks as well as managing my extracurriculars, because I'm a member of my college's badminton and cricket teams, and I honestly enjoy the pressure. I try to concentrate during my lectures so that I don't have to study that piece again and don't have to devote additional time to it, which saves me a lot of time. And, after classes, I usually focus on my work and complete my tasks.

We heard about your recent first-place finish in the MIT coding competition. Give us the full gist behind that.

MIT held a hackathon called the Bitcoin Coding Expo, and we won in one of the expo's tracks. It has to do with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Three of my friends and I participated, and in less than 30 hours, we developed a cross-chain payment protocol from scratch. I was primarily in charge of the backend connections between smart contracts, as well as the project's website deployment and frontend.

Was the competition to ensure that the project worked when it was launched, or was it just to develop it?

It had to function when deployed live since the majority of them utilized the concept and many founders were attempting to get you to join their startups.

What prompted you to work for Flagright when there are so many opportunities for engineering internships?

When I started looking for internships, I focused primarily on startups because I wanted to maximize the value of my internship. I simply wanted to understand the development process. And I know that working in a startup will help me learn a lot. Moreover, the task assigned to me during my interview process was quite challenging, as I had to build a website, something I had never done before because I was mostly engaged in competitive programming. I loved how challenging it was because I had to push myself to learn new languages, frameworks, and everything. And because I knew I'd be learning a lot during my internship, I wanted to start with Flagright as soon as possible.

Speaking of Flagright, what’s the one thing you have learned while working here that has helped you with your growth?

This is a tough question because I've learned so much. The most important thing I believe I've learned is time management, because I've always had trouble managing my time. I learned how to manage my weekly tasks, estimate the amount of time needed to finish each task, and prioritize my tasks according to their significance. I enjoy learning a lot of new things. Time management has therefore greatly benefited me in both my personal and professional life.

What does a regular day's work and activity look like for you?

Depending on whether I have a lecture or not, I often wake up between 9 and 10 a.m. I then go to lectures, attend our daily meetings, and work until about six or seven o'clock in the evening, get three to four hours of sleep, get up at midnight, and work through the night. And just before I go to bed, I spend some time learning something new.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not working on a frontend or backend architecture task?

When I'm not working, I usually participate in competitive programming challenges because I enjoy solving problems. I also make an effort to learn new tech stacks. And some weekends, I go out with my friends.

How would you describe what you do to a five-year-old?

Haha, this has to be the trickiest question. I suppose I'll say that I'm making something that prevents people from stealing other people's money or doing bad things.

What do you enjoy most about your job at Flagright?

I'd say our team. Every week, they push me to take on challenging tasks, support me, and motivate me to learn and do new things. I am super motivated since I feel like I can learn something new from everyone on our team.

What do you think of the compliance industry and Flagright's solution to the challenge?

I chatted with Baran about it a while back since I wanted to learn more about the AML industry and how to prevent financial crimes and money laundering. And I discovered that startups don't have many solutions to this challenge. Because larger organizations that provide these AML solutions do not bother about startups and instead focus on the industry's larger whales. Therefore, at Flagright, we make every effort to help startups establish a complete compliance infrastructure, and set it up quickly for them.

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