Self-taught techie Virendra Rajput develops socially useful apps,wins Google competition
Virendra Rajput is like any other third-year polytechnic student at Cusrow Wadia Institute of Technology except that he works at an IT start-up and is soon going to be featured on Googles developers page. Rajput says he is also a hacker,who recently hacked his own college website to highlight its loopholes to the administration.
Once I hacked into my colleges admin panel and made the system believe that I was the webmaster, says Rajput. When he told his brother,a software engineer,about the hacking he was warned that this was illegal. So I went to the principal and told him about it. He in turn called up those who had developed the page. They,of course,denied that the system was vulnerable,so I gave them a demo after which they took notice of the problem and fixed it, says Rajput.
The geeks love for C language in school made him explore web designing more when he entered college. I found a lot of online tutorials about hacking and I used to literally mug them up. These tutorials are free and give extensive knowledge on the subject, says Rajput,who is working at a start up called markitty.com and is the only student on board the team. He says that the venture gives personalised marketing suggestions to other businesses.
Being featured on Googles developers page is a milestone that Rajput is clearly thrilled about. He says it came as the second prize that his group won at a Google-sponsored hackathon,which is one of the biggest events the world over and is open to all. The group that won the competition was a professional group. Ours consisted of only students and we built an app called Socialtvapp.me. This app recommends TV shows based on your likes on Facebook. The prize was that Google would interview us and feature us on their page, he says.
Rajput has also made an app called Nearme. If a person wants to find a hospital,stadium,skincare clinic or anything of the sort nearest to him anywhere in India,he can just send an SMS using the app and the server will reply with the exact location and details about five options nearest to him, he explains.
Not surprisingly,Rajput wants to be an IT engineer and continue making socially useful apps. After completing my degree,I dont want to join a big company,because you do not learn much and the scope for creativity is less in big companies. I want to start my own start-up along with some friends who have similar interests, says Rajput.