When you use the Realize app and magically, your floors and walls are the right color, your doors and windows appear in the right locations, and the geometry of your room is perfect, you’re seeing the fruits of Varun’s labor.
Varun wasn’t born a machine learning wizard. Although his mom taught him programming at a young age, he eschewed software engineering during his undergrad for a more traditional education in mechanical engineering. Thankfully, his mom didn’t give up on him and eventually convinced him to return to programming post-grad. After eight years in Germany studying Robotics, Varun returned to India with a newfound love of beer and cheese and a hunger for a project that would satiate his intellectual curiosity. And yes, he also returned home so that his mother could tell him “I told you so” in person.
What piques Varun’s interest enough to keep him up deep into the night (or as we in the states like to call 10am EST) are feedback loops. He sees it as this game of ping pong between him and our users – where one side out thinks the other and sends the ball back over the net, back and forth as the product takes shape. As he explains the technical challenges of optimizing speed using a camera that can only process a limited number of frames per second, one thing is abundantly clear—he loves this game that he’s playing.
Varun takes Realize’s mission of making design accessible to everyone very seriously. He not only echoes the company’s sentiment that his grandma should be able to use the app (he actually lives with his grandma, so she tests the app for him on a regular basis – thanks grandma!), but he also believes strongly in accessibility. No matter what device you own, Varun wants anyone to be able to Realize their home.
Most days (and many nights) Varun spends his time on some of our most complex problems. It’s a process of steadily chipping away at a problem only to uncover 90% of the iceberg lies hidden beneath the surface. We often marvel at his ability to tackle these mammoth problems, while maintaining his sanity and also being more up-to-date on pop culture than anyone else at the company. He claims that his secret is a flow state of mind. He describes it like this: “When you’re working, sometimes you look at a clock and 10 hours passed and you don’t know what happened. That's a state of flow.” Varun credits Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi for this notion, we like to cite Jason Fried’s notion of “getting into the time machine,” but one thing is for certain: we all love cultivating this state of mind at Realize.
To keep his flow going, Varun takes breaks to shred the guitar. We’re all waiting for the day when he and Rik, our co-founder and Head of Engineering, link up and form a band. It must feel a bit like destiny to mention your favorite band, Snarky Puppy, and have someone in your team at your new job say “No way! I like them, too!”
One of Varun’s favorite maxims to live by is:
“You reap what you sow. Give as much as you can, and don’t expect anything in return. Eventually good things will happen.”
We feel incredibly lucky to have someone who doesn’t just talk about those powerful words, but also lives them out.
Interested in joining Varun’s team? Check out careers at https://www.realize.design/about-us#careers