My Experiences on Anything and Everything in Life


I’m Sethupathi. I am an Engineer and I have worked on Qualcomm GPU designs.(Physical Design). I graduated from VIT University. Although, I am into Semiconductors, I have explored many other fields that are completely unrelated to hardware design.

I would like to give a glimpse of those explored territories in this article. Most of the people whom I know want to get rich soon and want to have a luxurious life at a very young age. However, they get disappointed (Including me) when they do not get the things that they aspire for. Most of them are willing to work hard but they somehow lack that direction/mentorship.

Here, I would be giving a roadmap for anybody who is ambitious and want to accomplish great things in life.

I will be touching upon the following topics.

  1. GRE + CAT preparation.
  2. Competitive Programming.
  3. Consulting + Finance.
  4. Design.
  5. Semiconductors.
  6. Productivity & General advice (That worked for me).

So, let’s get started.

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I was really interested in pursuing my Master’s in Computer Engineering from the US of A. So, a good GRE score is mandatory for getting into a top school. Things like SoP & LoR, your undergrad school also play a very significant role in your application process. If I were to prepare for GRE now, I would do the following things to obtain a stellar score.

  1. GRE → I would purchase Magoosh’s GRE material right away and start preparing. I have got feedback from a lot of guys who have got a 325+ in GRE. Majority of them have been recommending this material. It has a 1 month and a 6 month subscription. Depending on your speed and capacity you can opt in for either of the packages. I however found that 6 month study plan would be a better choice (If you want to reappear for the exam). It costs $149. This was however a little on the expensive side for me. So, there’s another site where you can get it for a subsidised price at It is a site by I strongly recommend anyone who is preparing for GRE to do self preparation and not sign up for coaching classes. I would at least give 7–8 mock exams before giving the final GRE.
  2. CAT → There are many vendors that give good quality CAT education. (TIME, Career Launcher, IMS etc). If you are a person who likes to prepare from home then this site is for you. ( This is from IIT/IIM alumnus. Their quality of problems is phenomenal. I would recommend you to go through their free demo lectures on youtube before signing up. You could also check out free CAT lectures by Rodha (

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I am from the Semiconductor Industry. I often work with complex tools from Cadence/Synopsys. I was always interested in how these function. After a lot of reading and research I found out that these algorithms use Advanced Mathematics. Hence, I was interested in Competitive Programming. In CP, you are thrown really hard programming problems and you have to solve them using C++ or any other language of your choice.

If I were to learn CP, I would have to get a good understanding of basic programming concepts. If I were to learn programming today and I am a complete newbie I would follow the following roadmap written by Aman Goel (IITB-CSE).

Roadmap to get started with Programming →

Before getting started with CP, I would make sure I am good with implementing the basic data structures and algorithms. I learnt them from here. (A youtube channel called “mycodeschool”) and from Abdul Bari and Jenny’s DSA lectures

Jenny’s Lectures on Data Structures & Algorithms
Data Structures Tutorial by mycodeschool

Once I am done with this, I would deep dive into the next level. i.e Competitive Programming in my case. There is a roadmap for that as well written by Aman Goel. You can find that here →

I am a person who learns faster by going through video tutorials rather than reading editorials. I found two vendors that offer me the exact thing that I was looking for. They are

  1. Coding Blocks (
  2. Coding Ninjas (

I purchased the course on Competitive Programming from Coding Blocks and let me tell you that it was the best decision I took in my life till date. People have become Orange/Red on Codeforces by following the tutorials provided by Coding Blocks.

There are a lot of Competitive Programmers/Computer Science Enthusiasts who have started their Youtube Channel and they explain advanced CS concepts and solutions to problems on CodeForces/CodeChef/LeetCode etc.

They are (in no particular order) →

This guy is the best

0*. Pashka →

0. Errichto →

  1. Rachit Jain → (
  2. Gaurav Sen → (
  3. CodeChef’s Channel → ( & (
  4. GeeksforGeeks → (
  5. Scaler Academy → (
  6. Coding Blocks → (
  7. Coding Ninjas → (
  8. Nick White → (
  9. Jenny’s Lectures → (
  10. SecondThread→ (
  11. William Lin→ (
  12. Take U Forward — (
  13. Programiz → (
  14. Pep Coding →

15. Algorithms Live →

16. Colin Galen →

17. Apni Kaksha/College →

I am learning these algorithms and I am having so much fun implementing them. I am aspiring to become a Orange/Red coder sometime. It will take some time (Maybe about 3–4 years).

18. Stanford CP Notes —

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I was really interested in consulting and finance because of a TV show named “SUITS”. I wanted to get that feeling of staying in 5* accommodation,corner offices, meeting with fortune 500 CEOs and provide solutions to their business problems. However, I found that in order to become a consultant in MBB you need to have an MBA from a top B School (Old IIMs,ISB,FMS,XLRI etc). I understood this pretty late in my life. But that’s okay. Life is like that. You win some, you loose some but you got to keeping learning and moving forward. If you’re interested in either finance or consulting, you can visit this site to get the hang of it.

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Consulting Specific Material

These youtube links give you a flavour of what Management Consulting is.

  1. Case Interviews Cracked (Channel by folks from IIT Bombay)

2. Youtube Channel by Victor Cheng (Stanford MBA & Ex-McK)

3. Youtube Channel by MConsulting Prep

4. Youtube Channel by Crafting Cases

5. Youtube Channel by “firmsconsulting”

6. For further material you could refer this site ( and search for “case interviews”

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Quant Finance →

  1. I found the youtube channel by Dimitri Bianco extremely informative.

2. There’s a course run by World-Quant University. You can check that out here.

3. You can take up a course offered by QuantInsti. Link given below.

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I was very much into design from a very young age (9th Grade onwards). I take design inspirations from Behance. I developed a taste for good design by following a lot of design articles.This is my portfolio.

  1. My design journey started with learning AutoCAD when I was in 9th Grade.

If you’d like to get started with AutoCAD, here’s the youtube tutorial link →

AutoCAD Tutorial

2. When I entered college, I took up a course on “Adobe After Effects”. I was fascinated how these teasers and trailers were made. If I had to learn Adobe After Effects, I would refer these tutorials from Youtube.

3. I followed and reconstructed projects done by “The Minimalist”. I did even get an internship there. I couldn’t pursue because my institute didn’t allow it.

4. I made a pitch video for a startup launched by VIT-Chennai Folks named (Cambuzz) using Adobe After Effects.

5. My major inspiration were the designs by IIT-B folks from their TechFest and Mood Indigo Festival. They were very minimal and very impactful.

← — I had taken a long break from design. →

6. Later, after I entered the Industry work-force, I started designing again. I wanted to learn Adobe Illustrator. I like minimal designs. I followed tutorials from youtube. (These are however a little complex ones.)

I found this simple and minimal (A celtic knot)

And this →

And this →

I pursued design to satisfy the inner craze in me. However, I didn't continue with it because I got occupied with Semiconductors. Some of the guys you could follow for design inspirations are

  1. Shekh Al Raihan (
  2. Prasad Bhat (
  3. Somesh Yadav (
  4. Prastut Kumar (
  5. Prasang Sharma (

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I am from the Semiconductor Industry. For anyone who is interested in making a career in this industry can follow the roadmap written by me. You can find that here.

Static Timing Analysis & VLSI CAD →

and these contains links for entering specific sub domains like Analog VLSI Design etc.

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Most of the college grads (including me) only realise that they’ve wasted away their time only after they graduate. It is too late by then. A technical degree is for 4 long years. If planned and executed properly one can reach great places.

When de-motivated/lost in life I follow these YouTube channels to get back on track.

  1. Swetabh Gangwar’s Channel → He is brutally honest and is very close to reality. (
  2. Anurag Singhal’s Channel (Ex IIM-A & CA) → (
  3. Kalpit Veerwal’s Channel (IITB CSE)→ (

So, I am almost done with my post. Some general advice from my side would be

  1. Read a lot. Consume a lot of Good Quality Content. And then start producing. There’s a famous saying “You produce what you absorb”.
  2. Network a lot. (I did this by sending out random connection request’s to people who have accomplished great things in life or those whom I look upto. You never know who will help you). There’s also a saying that “You are only 6 connections away from any stranger”
  3. Nothing worth having comes easy”. Hence, if you need something you ought to put up a fight, spend time with it and finally remember “The world owes you nothing”.

Sethupathi Balakrishnan

You can follow me on Quora →

Design, Technology and Everything in Between!