Q4 Update- The usual

Nearly a month into Q4, I realized how quickly the time went by. It feels like it was only yesterday that I finished my exams and went to my much-awaited Amsterdam trip. But that is how quickly time goes, thanks to the quarterly system.

This quarter has been exceptionally busy. Four courses at hand. And thanks to lab assignments every week, it has been three weeks since I have been at home on a weekend! But nevertheless, it is fun to do it.

When the library is your home for the weekend

The days have been really warm and it is a privilege. But nevertheless, its always great to have a sunny day after the rains. Everybody is in the summer mood, laying on the grass enjoying the sun, soaking up some Vit D, having a barbeque outdoors, etc. The sun sets only between 21.00-22.00 hrs. I never thought I would say this, but it does get really warm here.

Rains after really warm days. Some relief!

The month of May marked the birthdays of three of my friends within a span of two weeks here in Delft. So, the excitement seemed to last for quite a while. Planning their birthdays brought some fun into the monotonous life. Having done this, a realization struck me. Being so far away from home in a different country alone has its own downsides that go unnoticed. It is important to have friends, a support system, a social life to help you get through the madness. Yes, the grad life is insanely hectic, but its always good to surround yourself with people.

Keep calm and drink coffee. The night is dark and full of terrors.

Other than this, eating and sleeping is still a luxury. Classes starting at 8.45am are still a race against the clock. The deadlines are never-ending. No better way to describe the situation than the following GIF:

The calm after the storm – Post Q3

The blog couldn’t have a title any better than this. The best part of Q3 exams coming to an end were seven days of sun (20+ degrees). Believe me when I say that it is a privilege. 19th April 2018, marked the end of a strenuous quarter in all the three quarters I have seen at TU Delft. The shortest one with the most courses, I couldn’t be any more grateful that it was over. Me along with  my friends marked the date 21st April 2018. We were so sure we were going to utilize the weekend to the maximum and we did. A trip to Amsterdam- this was our silver lining. Something to look forward to during the exam week. Eight months in this country and this was my first visit to De Dam.

Iamsterdam, Museumplein

Wandering the streets of De Dam

The time came to plan the visit. After an endless discussion of “Let’s go, but I don’t know what to do in Amsterdam” we finally made it there. Spotted tulip fields on the way. It is a breath-taking sight. They’re definitely on my bucket list now. We finally reached Amsterdam, many of the things didn’t go as planned, but it didn’t matter. We were all together and we were having the best time wandering the streets(8-9 hours), enjoying the sun, feeling all touristy, cracking lame jokes and clicking a LOT of pictures!

Normally I am the kind of person who would rest for a week after a one-day outing. This time I decided to be more adventurous and planned a visit to the Delft center on King’s day. The crowd – different shades of orange. An endless sea of people partying, celebrating the King’s Birthday with music, drinks, and food. However, the celebrations are much bigger in Amsterdam, but I will make a trip next year. If you happen to be in Delft, I would highly recommend a walk to the Church Square in the city. Probably going to the top of the church would also be a great idea to see the city celebrating (unless you feel dizzy climbing the narrow spiral staircase for at least 10-15 mins; if you do, then you do need some recovery time when you get back on the flat ground).

Koningsdag Festival, Delft

The amazing View, Nieuwe Kerk

All in all, the two weekends out satisfied my appetite for a long time now. I won’t be heading out again soon.As usual, it has hardly been sunny this week. The weather can be best explained by the meme that follows.


Adios, until next time!

Know thy Courses (Telecom, Architecture and Business Models) (Part-2)

(Continued from previous post…)

Know thy courses ( Telecom, Architecture and Business Models) (Part-1)

Well, I am writing this blog halfway through this course, so the information is first-hand. The speakers that I am going to mention next have provided very updated information related to the latest technological innovations in the field of Telecommunications but they did not have assignments.

Mr. Eric Smeitink who is also from KPN and is associated with the University talked about Strategy, Spectrum and 5G. This lecture started with an introduction to competitive strategy and how this can be applied to look at the challenges faced by the telecom operators. He also covered the basics about the usage of the radio spectrum and then moved on to a hot topic – 5G and the vision of having self-driving cars in the near future.

Mr. Ton van der Knaap is a Senior Process Architect at KPN. He explained what a process architecture is, why you need it, how an effective process architecture can be created for an organisation, the challenges faced while implementing a process architecture and the guidelines to cope with these challenges.

Lecture on “Artificial Intelligent Processes for People”

Mr. John Hoffmans who works at KPN talked about the Principles of the Telecommunication Transport Networks. It provided an insight into the different planes of a transport network, how a telecom company earns money by selling transport services and characteristics of these services like QoS and availability.

Lecture on “Impact of Emerging Technologies”

Another very interesting lecture was on the Impact of ‘Emerging technologies’ like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things on the business and society. Mr. Peeter Maarten Westerhout , from TimeLabz discussed how today’s Emerging technologies would determine tomorrow’s world with very captivating examples.

Have you heard of WANNACRY? I attended the session given by Mr. Hong Gie Ong from CapGemini. The session took us through a number of topics starting from the importance of network security, how the technologies in our daily lives expose us to cyber threats. A number of real-life examples made this lecture fascinating as well as a scary experience. It made me realise how vulnerable we are because of the internet.

KPN is accelerating innovation by conducting proof of concepts of new network technologies and service concepts in its Technology Labs. Mr. Frank Mertz who works at the Technology Labs talked about the how to choose the relevant ideas and take a decision on which topic to work on and an overview of the most interesting topics is given. He spoke about the aspects that together help in making a decision as to whether or not to introduce a new technology.

Managing the telecommunication technologies, infrastructure and services are an essential part of exploiting and monetizing telecom assets as a commercial service provider. Mr. Tim Daeleman, brought us to terms with the importance of ICT Management – what is managed, and how it is managed. It further gave an understanding about how the ICT Management functionality would add value to the customers.

Every speaker is very experienced in the field that he is talking about. The course is not just about studying theory. It brings you up-to-date with the latest innovations in the industry. Every year, the content is updated and hence, we, as students are more aware of what is happening around us. The assignments are a mix of easy and challenging, but they give you a platform to be creative. Especially the value case assignment gives you a chance to put forth your own ideas to find a solution to an existing problem. Now I know that was a LOT to be written down in a blog. But I personally have learned a lot of things from this course and it has instilled a lot of interest in me in the field of Telecommunications. So it would be a great idea to take it up when the opportunity is at hand.

Know thy courses ( Telecom, Architecture and Business Models) (Part-1)

Six assignments, one presentation and a grade- that does sound like an online game, right? Well, what I am about to write about is no different from that. Quarter 3 came with an overload of course work. However, one of these courses (ET4034 – Telecom, Architecture and Business Models) was a relief among the sea of endless work. I decided to write about the course primarily because it is interesting (and because it doesn’t have a written exam! *bliss*). Jokes aside, the course is very informative and involves a team of 16 lecturers, all coming from various parts of the industry.

The course was initiated by Dr. Prof. Ir. Nico Baken in 2001. He even took the time to take a session and shed light on the concepts of Holarchies and Transector Innovations. It touches upon the philosophical aspects of leading a good life and how there are challenges that are global and how they impact the society and the economy.

Mr. Edgar van Boven giving the first lecture for the course

Mr. Edgar van Boven and Mr. Walter Knoop are the responsible instructors. The first lecture was from Mr. Edgar. He spoke a great deal on The Past, Present and the Future of Communications. It shed light on the difference between business cases and value cases. He effectively pointed out that the world now needs more value cases than business cases. The lecture concluded with the first assignment on developing a value case across the borders of sectors based on the current needs. The value case will include a report and a five-minute pitch presentation to a live audience.

Mr. Ramin Hekmat, who is working at KPN talked about Graph theory. He emphasized on how the study of graphs can be used to design the telecommunication networks. After following the course in Networking and Performance Analysis in Q1 and Q2, this lecture was a wonderful treat to recollect the concepts learned previously.

Mr. Samuel Pronk talking about Real Options

I have worked at a company for three years and have always wondered what factors go into investing in a project. The side of the company making the “big” decisions was always a grey area. Mr. Samuel Pronk who is a coach at Krauthammer and takes great pride in providing client specific trainings talked about this aspect of investments. He spoke about Real Options. It explained the different topologies used in deciding about an investment. Having an overview about this makes you a more rounded engineer. It was a very interactive session and is a must-attend irrespective of having taken this course or not.

Lecture on “Content Delivery Networks”

Mr. Ruud van Bovenkamp from KPN gave a talk on a very interesting topic called the Content Delivery Networks. All of us have used the TV (IP-TV) or the internet to watch movies or shows that we like at some point or the other. This lecture gave a clear picture about the components, the architecture along with topics such as quality of experience, popularity distribution and bandwidth-storage trade-offs while streaming any video content over the internet or the tv.



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