Engineering vs Development

When I was offered a job around a year back in Engineering, I was told that the work, life would be totally different given that I came from a product development team..I acknowledged the difference, the keyword being acknowledge, but at that time, I really didn't see a "BIG" difference....after all, no matter what you do in a software company, ultimately you are going to deal with bytes. So, I took up that job (in Domain Engineering, more into developing Enterprise resuable software, guiding teams etc) and was very happy with what I did. My days seemed relaxed, productive and had a rhythm to them. I was working hard, but wasn't getting worked up...then came this call for help ~~~~

A Enterprise Infrastructure team undergoing a tough rigmarole, bleeding people profusely sought somebody with my expertise...I thought, thought and thought as I was working for a great team (good upper mgmt always helps!!) and also liked what I was working on. Finally, I gave in to the Einsteinian principle "In adversity, lies opportunity" and took the plunge...Life has been so different eversince.

So many differences!! Focus on delivery rather than technology, focus on practices than technology, focus on people than technology, focus on relationship management than technology, focus on standards than technology, focus on team building than technology and not to miss, the PAGER :P...all this all the bit more because I am in a Enterprise Infrastructure team and have to deal with a lot of other teams and we are in the midst of a mammoth migration effort, migration but more like re-development as there is almost nothing common between the past and present platforms! Life has been so different, very challenging...rhythm gone and sleep has divorced me...have enjoyed a few blissful moments that seem to compensate for the pensive ones and I hope there will be many more post-app migration. I am still hanging in there with all my might and I thank life for all the things it's teaching me :)

So, when you are offered a job in Engineering and people tell you it is different, think about it seriously. I am not choosing one over the other, just saying that they are vastly DIFFERENT!!


One click calling~

Grand Idea! Atleast for small businesses! Enroll into Google's grand central from blogger.com/home and have the liberty of people calling you from a web page without exposing your number! You can have all calls forwarded to a voicemail if you would like, block callers, listen to voicemail as it is being recorded and more! A real boon for businesses on the web and a lot of flexibility for people on the run (you can have a fixed number that can forward calls to home, cell, work or any other number ;P)...and all this from the Google stable!! that's why they say "paisa talks"...(Google acquired GrandCentral for a decent sum :P)



Had to say my 2 cents on the most beaten down topic on the internet, atleast by now! Every blog has it, so should mine be different? Well, since I am writing this, you know my decision!

So, is this hostile Yahoo! takeover move by Microsoft Good, Bad or Ugly? Not Ugly for sure given that Yahoo with all the eyeballs cannot make money and Microsoft with all the money cannot get eyeballs! No matter what they do, no matter how much they try in their own respective ways! So, Microsoft comes up with this ingenious idea of acquiring Yahoo...if you can't create, conquer and that's what they are doing and have always did although this one time it all makes sense to me :)...a creative Yahoo with all the money and management power from Microsoft might actually really challenge Google (given that a Microsoftish Yahoo still has it's own heart and legs)...Creativity doesn't bloom under pressure which Yahoo has been under lately. Yahoo and Microsoft might just bring in the best of their worlds and become a formidable competitor to Google! Weird, Google is considered a monster these days. Microsoft must really be happy and jealous about it ...

If things don't work out great, it will just be another game of PacMan/GobMan (so many versions available) where PacMan gobbles one of those special pills on the board and reverses direction, chasing the chasers, but just for a little while till the chasers regain composure..Yahoo can be that special pill that only works for a little while for Microsoft...Time will telll !!!


Predict the future?

Can anybody predict anything else apart from recession that is bound to hit us sooner than later? I think we are heading very very soon given that Mr.Bernanke sees no option but to reduce interest rates spiraling more inflation, driving more bankruptcies, more cuts, more inflation and less growth!! What else is this?

Anyways, I had not started this to talk about the recession that we are going to see or the recession we already see....I am trying to see what the next most popular thing would be? Google built an empire on AdSense and AdWords and a very successful one and it has changed lives to a great extent! It has also burgeoned a lot of startups one way or the other, by search, apis or atleast in spirit...if Google can make it this big, than I can do too spirit! But what will the next thing for Search be? More Search? But Where? How about a GPS? GPS's have been available for a long long time but haven't been within reach for a number of people, including moi...but this Thanksgiving all that changed...GPS's were the hottest thing on the market...prices were slashed and these devices were embraced with open hands!! Touch screen tour/city guides for just a little over $100 bucks to start with was a big temptation that many couldn't stay away from....

Given that these devices are not simple to construct, a $100+ tag doesn't do them much justice...there are other ways to make money....you can imitate the Game Console business and sell units for cheap while selling games/maps at a high price (will become a cash cow as people update devices with new maps, routes etc) OR
How about making money on Search? I know there are POI (Points of Interest) in a GPS, but how many can you have in a car? Put Wireless Internet, Search on a GPS device and POI's are boundless and avenues for earning money equally endless and I think that's what will happen...Voice Activated search/voice commands for a GPS device tied with search and wireless internet.....I can see Google doing it or the next google doing it :)...But well who cares for what I think :D...

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Disruptive Innovations

A new Nano entered this world...a nano that can move on it's own feet...well, can sing a song too but only if upgraded...for better or for worse, there is something very different out there and the aims are quite big ... Aims to change this world for a majority are always big!

If you lived in India, you would know this...Owning a 4-wheeler is one of life's biggest dreams, as big as owning a house for some...I know how excited I was when we owned our first car, a second-hand light blue colored Fiat...we were so proud of it! Tata has done the incredible, released a sweet looking car for around $2500 dollars...maybe we should get the price in rupees...dollar is just so flaky...Well, it is priced at Rs. 1,00,000, well within reach of half of India's population...if not easy, it is definitely affordable...I am sure other third-world countries are equally happy/cautious about it....

Called this a disruptive innovation, because it shrunk the dream cycle of millions of people...and it is not a cheap looking car! The cheapest car here in the US is somewhere in the $10,000s .... Although I love the look of the car, the very fact that it will be a very common sight on our roads in India is a scary thought...It's not been a long time since I visited India last and I still recall the soot I inhaled even when traveling in car...things have changed and they have changed a lot out there...lots of development, lots of cars and very little room....this new car will only make life impossible out there...maybe it is time to enforce some Chinese vehicular policies in India to cut the congestion....odd numbered number plates travel on a particular day of the week and even numbered on the other days...(fosters car pooling) and many more in the same direction.....
Tata has really made India proud and will make a lot of Indians proud very soon :)...The smile that I had 20 years back will soon be on so many faces....how very wonderful :)

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Baaaaaaaaaccccckkkkk Aggainn

Finally :)!! Can blame a lot of things, but that would be finding reasons for my faults and I don't want to do it :)

Isn't it easy to just pass the blame and let the next one worry about it? It is!, but it is also an addictive chain. It becomes a loop with cyclic dependencies or it ends up pointing to "Spiderman" being at fault because he didn't rescue us from this. Is this an uncommon sight to see? Not exactly ... think about Office Politics? Isn't it rampant there? Think about a problem and the reason why one couldn't do it.....It will always end up in one of the cases mentioned earlier...A workplace should be a self-correcting system..not a self-destructing system...Office politics can really act as a catalyst for self-destruction...

So, what's a catalyst for self-correction? Good team dynamics, excellent management, what else? Can you find any of these :)....Well, maybe it is easier to spot Spiderman!!!!


It's been a while

Can't believe it's been months since I blogged! I was in good rhythm during the early part of this year and things faded eventually...No matter how I chase time, I can never catch enough of it...any strategies on how I can do better? I guess better scheduling and gallons of Starbucks would be one answer !!

During my prolonged disappearance, I had some pleasant encounters with OpenSource...have been involved with extending it and contributing to the community (more specifically ServiceMix and JMeter) and have been active trying to manage my finances (after I tried that, I have a lot more work to do!! Agile, anybody?)...have been lauding TDD, Eclipse with its endless set of features and my wife in her endless endeavors on finding the right job.

This post is to "poke" myself (*facebook*) so that I can realize that there is life beyond the 4 imaginary walls or that these imaginary walls are just that, pure imagination!! Being imaginative is not that good always :P..Anyways, have to get back to my walls now!

My wife suddenly says it would be good to write a book...now I think, "Yeah, wouldn't it?"...how about one on Servicemix? Hope I can bring that beyond my imaginations! One day I shall, I must and I will write a book!

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Mother of all mashups

Welll...maybe not, but surely excellent! Google has done it again. Enabled the right thing at the right place!! Out in the world is "Google Mapplets", a mashup of map based mashups and enabled right alongside google maps, in an unobstrusive way (as always)....there but not there types, invisibly visible.

Google opened up Maps a couple of years back (maybe even less than that) and a lot of interesting and innovative mashups that use this come up every other day .. Eg:- HousingMaps.com, ChicagoCrime.org, GasBuddy.com..Many of these innovative creations haven't been exploited the way they should have been/could've been because of one very obvious reason...They are very useful, but just not popular! Some are quite popular, but a little/lot more popularity won't hurt them :)..Google Mapplets is an excellent way of getting this information to a user's fingertips...

So what are these Mapplets? In Google's words:

Mapplets are mini-webpages that are served inside an IFrame within the Google Maps site. You can put anything inside this mini-webpage that you can put into a normal webpage, including HTML, Javascript, and Flash. Google provides a Javascript API that gives the Mapplet access to services such as manipulating the map, fetching remote content, and storing user preferences.

Google has once again shown us the difference between a good product and a great product...good products are conceptually good, have a lot of potential, show a twist in thought...but great products are all that and add twist to life ... You don't have to think about the most innovative product in this world...to enable access at the right places to innovative creations is by itself quite innovative..

Check out Mapplets for more information..