Sunday, January 01, 2017
Thursday, September 01, 2016
This all started with this celebration:
Apparently to get to this 2-2 draw they practiced with Pak Army. There are some striking similarities between the Cricket team and the army. Army's terrorist catching record can compete with Akmal's wicket keeping record. Just like the Army then have been just beating starved Bangladeshis and no one else. They both are the best match fixers.
Add to that the frustration of a rained out game without any rain on couple of days in WI and we have the most undeserved test number one ever. Now the irony was full till the brim.
This was one of the few times I prayed to God. That too in Marathi. - "Irony"chyaa devaa tulaa thingi thingi waahu de - my fav song dedicated to the most powerful God of probability.
And lo and behold: my prayers were answered:
And I am like:
Hope you feel the same way too ....
Monday, November 16, 2015
And now, after two weeks in US of A, I can think of only that to justify my move here.
I, as many people know was never a big fan of moving to the fatherland. This was one subject I thought I have a principled opinion and a strong point of view. coincidently, the other things I had so much strong opinion about India's nuclear tests, atheism,Sachin's captaincy, advances of t-twenty and bunch of other things. And exactly like these points this particular opinion went the same way: it actually does not matter much.
I consider myself a person who likes to travel around and like visiting new places. Though missus thinks that I am the biggest couch potato ever. The thing is that discussion on this particular matter is already closed with me being shown the
As an aside, If you want to know the real nature of husband, the wife is the best source. And spouses are known to be the best critic. But all the wife-bashing aside, the fact still remains that I have not moved a lot unless really forced too.
And the movement (or lack of it) characteristics have not changed whatever the time scale or the distance scale. I do not move for hours together also for years together. On hour scale my movements are limited to TV remote searching and sofa to dining table/refrigerator reccee. On year scale it was limited to Hyd-Blr IT belt.
So all signs were pointing to continue to gentle walk into sunset basking in the sun of Indian IT industry, may be float in the middle management, earn fat paycheck till the time we retire and then do what ever retired IT folks do (what do they do? Browse net for hours together on your own machines rather than using the ones provided by the employers?).
So the question arises why take such a drastic (only relative to my scale of movement) decision to move to the fatherland the land of opportunities for medium term. Also a land where may be the time difference and location separation is not there to hide how less work I actually do!
And the answer in there in the first line.
So most probably this is more of just muddying the still waters and making a scene. This is the glorious habit of taking movement for progress. It does not change much the path the life in general is taking. Maybe it will be more comfortable, a little bit different, a little less routine till a new routine is found. The major difference right now is the two generations we are tying together. The grand parents and the grand children are affected far more than us.
Current status is that we have survived our two weeks in the cold here. Both end of the generation gap have taken it pretty well. Especially the less-study-more-play approach to schooling here has gone down exceptionally well with the younger ones here.
Will keep posting our progress here when ever I feel like: For folks who care or just for my records. To be looked at in the above mentioned retirement. I will also try and make it more of an events-and-happenings post rather than a thinking-and-opinioning one :D
Saturday, May 30, 2015
The game has evolved where the batsmen are analyzed very thoroughly. Even a few degrees of change in the arc of the bat coming down can be exploited as a opening for the ballers. It is known to end careers. But not for Shiv, he took his front on batting stance and faced and most of the times won successfully against the best in business again and again.
The temerity of the man was in being what he is and taking it in front of the best and surviving. The picture that I have of him in mind can not accommodate a farewell series. He is more likely to use it as an opportunity to come back in the reckoning. He does not ask favors, does not give any quarters. When the selectors take him in the team, they do not declare that he is the best that they have. But they need to say he is not good enough when they do not select him. I imagine his definition of fun would be grinding out hundreds under guyanese sun or delaying the sure shot defeat by grinding out partnership with tail enders. Delaying the inevitable opposing the best in the business may be yet another of his pastimes.
In this Shiv is Dravid minus the statesmanship. He is also Steve Waugh who was always riled up and backed into a corner. He is the most distilled doggedness that can be found on a cricket field.
If he is going to go out, this is the only way he would. But I hope he still has in him to fight his way back in to the reckoning again. That is the Shiv I came to know over the years.
Here is hoping for his return to international cricket ....
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
This is interesting in a lot of senses. It is a sign that in the new world the Microsoft windows is ready to move with the time and change. Also it makes the docker eco system more universal.
Of course we all have heard about demos that were run inside Microsoft and outside which showed these capabilities with windows pretty early in docker’s life time. So I won’t be surprised if this gets done sooner than expected !!
but I think it will be pretty difficult to get Linux based docker images working on Windows. So even when the technology is supported it may not be universal.
That is where the interesting part comes in. One of the major requirement of a docker image is the existence of Linux/POSIX kernel. As a few of us are aware, till recent releases, windows used to be released with a POSIX subsystem and tools on top of it.
I think implementing docker on top of Services for UNIX might be a better option or may even be a more compatible option.
This particular opportunity is tremendously exciting. Please watch this space for more discussions about the possibilities and approaches. :D
Friday, October 10, 2014
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The point there is that it is important that you have felt to urge to try out some thing. This wish for action is more important than the nobility of the reason for which you started.
Here are some of the noble and not so noble reasons folks start their hobby programming projects - these contain a list of reasons why I have started my side projects as well.
Exploring alternate employment opportunity: There can be hardly any developer worth his salt who has not dreamt about starting a google or a facebook in his spare time. This can also be a fact that you have an organization as your next target and you are getting your feet wet with whatever they are doing so that you can hit the ground running. You may also think it makes your resume more attractive if you have some code written especially in the public domain in the same area you want your next employment in.
Your bid to change the world view: Some of us have thought at least some point in time that folks are not thinking right. The soberer version of it is that you think you have another point of view for the current one which is also right. What better way of doing it than just doing a side project.
Learning:There is some technology, language you want to pick up and what better way than doing a quick project. I tried to learn Ruby on Rails the same way. (Before forgetting it even more quickly :))
Proving your point: There is some assignment at work. You think it can be solved in a more generic way. Your folks do not think so. You build your generic solution and open it to folks. People flock to it and you thumb your nose at the aforementioned nay-sayers. (Have not seen it happen too often - but no danger in trying)
Jealousy: You have the core piece of the work you are doing. You do not get it because it is assigned to somebody else because of experience, credentials or age. A healthy outlet to the envy is to implement the same thing for yourselves.
Of course I have not covered every thing. Do share if you think there are other reasons. It is highly likely they may make more sense than the ones that forced me to start my projects.
Sunday, October 05, 2014
But the interesting thing is that both these things do work and do solve their motives. But the straight forward approach really brings a lot of cost with it - from image to impact on business. As well as because it is known and in the face, the folks who actually need to overcome the challenge would have developed better techniques. If not already done, they will do so definitely in near future.
But NSA surveillance would have continued unnoticed but for inside leaks. Even with these, I will be surprised if they did not plan for this contingency and have already controlled most of the damage.
Looking at it just from strategic and execution point of view, US strategy really is magnitudes superior to the Chinese one.
The reason being that at least in this field, camouflage is the best strategy. Knowledge and awareness is the thing that makes all the difference. If you are subtle and hidden, you can actually monitor things and then take right decisions at the right time.
You will know your enemy, but he will not know you. You will decide the place,time and manner of attack. And in the game of one-upmanship this is what matters the most.
As usual, depend on Hollywood to put it succinctly. Here you go:
Friday, October 03, 2014
This led to us ending up in Vizag late night without any reservation or even in idea where we will go next. Some kind soul on the train told us to try at Dasapalla Vizag. The thing is that we faintly remember searching and coming across this hotel but the review were nothing extra-ordinary so we overlooked it. We were really skeptical when we called the reservations desk from the train.
But the booking was really quick and efficient. The surprise was that they did not overcharge us, as most of the other hoteliers would do when they find a customer in tight spot.
And the surprises did not end up then. The food in the restaurant down was very good (especially for the kids and the better half - as they were without any food for long time). The staff every where were very friendly and helpful.
The terrace pool was very nice and kids and myself really enjoyed the surprise.
The complimentary breakfast spread was really nice. Special mention to the staff who would recommend different dishes and ensured that kids are comfortable and enjoyed the food (which we did).
I was surprised why the reviews were not more glowing on the internet. This is attempt at doing just that.
(P.S. In the spirit of full disclosure : they also had a surprise parting gift for me, but that did not affect my opinion :))
Monday, September 29, 2014
Even if you are not as bad as myself,a self declared blue-moon start-and-stop brogrammer, it will definitely happen that you will shelve what ever you are doing and come back later to it again.
This is where a version control system really comes in handy. But the issue is that most of the times you will leave when even your ideas have not completely blossomed into code.
So more than version control, a project tracker which can track status of action items and hold action items under a group representing a single idea is very important.
For example, the project which brought me back from the dead is nearly two years old. I did have a skeleton proof of concept ready in last December and showed it to a few folks. I again started on it in April for nearly two weeks.
In this scenario only way to keep track of what is happening is to religiously document your ideas. The generic idea is that you should be able to pick up the threads within a day or two and get started with whatever you were doing.
This means just like any big organization, you should also treat your self as a cog in a machine. You should always leave things at a place where it can be hydrated with minimum efforts and restarted again.
I have been trying options like Asana, and Trello and I will definitely recommend giving these a whirl. both are pretty good and I remember that their being mobile based can also be deciding point for a few who happen to read this.
But for me, tying things to code and iterations was the most essential part I was looking at. And it leads me (again) to Visual Studio Online. You can really manage your work withing sprints and have a meaningful product backlog. May be it is me but I have always enjoyed the scrum meetings of one where I report progress to myself and then raise questions and answer them myself.
In this particular case, I just started with the pending and planned items in the product backlog and slowly things started making sense. I was almost able to hit the ground running. I am not at a place where I can add more items to the overall product backlog and hopefully when I get back to this the next time, I would start from a newer baseline :D
Let's talk about the dev and deployment environments in next few days !!! I was not doing much for balancing their mutability but that is the next piece of puzzle that needs to fall in place if you really need to follow the doctrine of cold-start.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
You need to show your real self, what you are with out any inhibitions. While I agree in principle to this, the thing that I want is control over when I "open my kimono" (sheesh!!)
And I need a public repository which gives me a chance to do it. And of course I want it without having to pay for it.
Github is definitely the first choice as every one who is some one is contributing there. And if I get there, I will definitely release the final version of the things that I am trying out there.
But it does not at this point have a free private repository, and I desperately need it
I am known to crash the machines and disks irrespective of the code that I am planning to write. So I also need a repository where I just keep my temporary changes and use it to sync code on different machines and even at different location.
Because of this, Visual Studio is definitely the choice of Version Control for me.
(Disclosure: My previous job with Microsoft I had a chance of working with Visual Studio team. And I am intimately aware of how things are designed and they work. So there is going to be some subconscious bias towards it).
But it solves most of my issues and also has some benefits rarely found in other solutions. So Visual Studio Online it is.
In further posts I will try and get to other issues I want to fix on my hobby coding project (also known as my secret plan to take over the world) and how I got around to solving those.
If while surfing the dark bowels of the webs, you hit this spot and have some opinion - expert or otherwise - feel free to share it.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Usual week end scenario: I turn on machine and boot to UBUNTU. It boots urgently, almost expectant and eager after a week of booting to windows. After kicking face the face-book habit- (semi permanently as of now - more on it later - same place, some date) -I have the weekend stretching in front of me and some old ideas jumping around my head. And of course they are world-changing, at least changing the face of computing as it is known today- whose ideas are not :).
And there it is, my nemesis, pops up. As if it is suffering from the same OCD which drives me towards it. This is the Software Updater. Which has week long stash of updates for me. Takes its own sweet 2 to 3 hours to get things in shape. The only significant thing I can do till it is done is open a browser and see what the world is up to. And whether facebook or not, that is still a rabbit hole. and a rabbit hole I have not yet found the other side of.
The conclusion is that this is yet another plant where I am forced to test my actual interest in the thing that I am trying to do. This is yet another gauntlet thrown in a long running tussle and I need to find a way around it.
And though at the end I burn a couple of hours, I am still happy as this is proof that I am at level 2 in the super hit game "me against me", and I have a winning card up my sleeve - disable the popup :D
P.S. Nemesis :)
Friday, June 28, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
But I am here and I am loving every moment of it. right now I am sitting in a cubicle and this is a change from my earlier job. The buzz is really heartening. Occasional snippet of Kannada tell me how much I liked hearing it in my earlier stint in BLR. The Bangalore variey of the language is really endearing. This time I want to really learn so that I can understand and enjoy it even more .
"A very bad photograph of the gorgeous facade of the building"
(and as importantly hidden as the keymaker from matrix - behind the reception in the basement)
"I am still preparing your ID card"
After a lot of concentration I get all the pre-reqs to collect the card just to be confidently questioned on my existence in the company. Finally this got solved as the gentleman found his mistake and retrieved my crumpled form quickly from debris.
This cool, confident and kind smile has been the major companion of my interaction with the non tech staff till now.
So with some interesting twists, my rendezvous with EMC is well and truely on its way :)
Sunday, April 07, 2013
It more or less looks like the lady has issues with every thing. Nothing that exists is right. Things have been going wrong for centuries together,Then there comes a time when the activists' win their point and the opinion is with them. Now is the time for the next generation where the solutions and alternate structures are proposed. Most of the times it is done by the next generations or is done by the activist in the next phase.
and they are still degrading. Generally this is not some thing you would want to pursue. Even when it is not optimum, human beings have been surviving and majority of it is flourishing.
Especially it is post-reform India. She some how comes across as trying to make a point that green revolution was not a success. This in itself is a point of debate. I know that it definitely did have its own disadvantages and side effects. But that has to be a separate piece of activism with good time spent in elaborating the stand and nuances. By not focusing only on seed freedom, she is deteriorating her other wise rather strong position.
This is some thing atheists also fail at. Actually in my opinion, their point should actually just stop at questioning an omnipotent deity/afterlife. They are the m,most successful when they raise doubts and prove religion wrong. Giving an alternative belief system/lack of it and the framework for it is really the next steps.
By just concentrating on the attack on theism, the individual is freed and then starts thinking on his own, which is a great win. But by just trying to focus on even bigger wins, in my opinion even this advantage is lost.
So from my pulpit, the sermon for the day is: "you should fight your limited battles with full strength, rather than cover the whole spectrum and give complete alternate solution".
Saturday, April 06, 2013
Actually short cuts and corruption seems like a human tendency. This is basically an agency problem.
This basically means that when ever you delegate some thing to another person or the group of people, they would always have their interests first.
If this involves subverting the original goal, then they would do that as quickly as possible. Running a democracy for the people is one such thing.
Here is one such try to alleviate the agency problem:
This is really interesting to compare this situation with my country, India.
Here things are at the same time better or worse from different angles. One thing is that more and more the separation between the funder and fundee is going away.
This means that the politicians themselves are wealthy enough that they need not think about life after their time in the legislator. In fact politics is a life time and most of the times a family business.
The impact of big businesses and corporations is not as much as it is present in US. Here the politician is inherently strong and in most of the states, both opposition and the ruling party keep switching places. This means that it is a fight between the equals and people get a say at least a few times or just by chance.
But a true republic is still an utopia. It is not achievable so the problem that is mentioned in the above talk is not solvable.
We can only go as near to the ideal state as possible. As this is a continuous process and just a state of mind, only way it can be achieved is by appealing to the emotions.
I completely agree with the goal though.
Country is the best way to get people together and work for their benefit, democracy is the best way they can be governed, a true democracy is always a republic.
And following transparent and small funding is a very important (though a very small) step towards this state !!
Friday, April 05, 2013
From this point on, this gets horribly cheesy and sentimental. I do not have any advices to give as well as any confessions to make or even axes to grind.
So the sane would stop here and make and keep peace ;).
Ok, so you were warned:)
So long and thanks for all the fish!!
The time I spent with MS has been one of the most productive part of my career and life thus far. I have worked with incredibly smart people, picked up large number of technical and soft skills..
Spread myself across different teams with small hacks of their own in the culture. Saw release cycles shrink and methodologies change. For example, my first release was SFU in Vista which was an OS release maybe after a 6 years or more gap and now we are talking about quarterly release of features. Did stay back for nights together, pulled all nighters with "this is the end"(doors) playing in the back ground as well as as well as spent time mindlessly watching youtube videos of best stand up comics to while away time.
It was not all at my desk either, I reached my peaks as a volley ball player :), changed teams, had regular fights disguised as design discussions and always made a point to ensure that every one knows my mental age - all of five years.
Talking about work life balance and astounding feats of efficiency: I also added ten plus KGs, bought an apartment,my two kids were born during this time.
But through all this, I always knew that this will end at some point in time.but I knew that my stint was MS was always supposed to end. The days flew by and the time to make a decision has come. The reason more or less being this: :)
Some lines from one of my most fav Hindi film also explains:
But I never thought it will be this sudden and will get over so soon. It looks just yesterday when i got down at Hyderabad airport and the heat burnt me n the face (BTW this is some thing that I won't be missing. Do enjoy your time in the sun ppl ...). But the call of the wild beckons, my clock has run its time and it is time to force reboot my machine again as it is running slower and slower. The building and furniture being younger than you is a definite sign and I am responding to it :)
Though this looks relatively simple thing to do, this is dicey and destabilizing enough move for me to hear the ringing in the ears on and off, and I need all the good wishes as I can get.
So fair maidens and stout hearted codermen of MS, fare thee well ;) See you again in the after life. It will be an honor to cross paths with you worthy folks again. It has indeed been a privilege.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Traditionally the agile story says that the pigs make all the decision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chicken_and_the_Pig). But this step is really hard, especially for the organizations where hierarchy exists.
Apart from this fallacy, one more thing that is left unsaid is the thing where we decide when to stop or when to make decisions. It is really an art to close on some thing or let some thing remain open. I think the addition to the eight fold path(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path) has to be right timing.
The real deal is when the decisions are made by committee and by hierarchy. but the worst of it are decisions made by hierarchy and enforced by committee.
This is the place where sunshine never reaches and middle management thrives. The places where decisions needs to be made are pushed to the top. Which gives the top execs some sense of ownership and control. Also such decisions are easy to force on to the teams which are actually executing it. where as the control remains with the middle management. Who are most of the times just chicken (all the puns intended )
I think the problem is systemic and all middle to large orgs can not run a truly agile project. This is because the definition of agile and large are almost opposite to each other.
Are there any stories which prove me wrong? The caveat is that being agile is not equivalent to being successful, neither is true the opposite way. So is the case with being quick. you can be quick and still not be actually agile - follow all the points mentioned here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_Manifesto#Agile_Manifesto
Friday, November 23, 2012
Freedom for the tyranny of schemas!!!
But still it makes sense to actually understand the things as well as the two parties before taking sides .
When the noSQL proponents mention SQL, it is actually a strict RDBMS they are referring to. One of the things that these systems follow is ACID properties http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACID. NOSQL thinks it is not necessary to make the data store follow all these properties. in fact adherence to these properties actually makes their solutions difficult to implement and maintain and scale. So they selectively choose some of the features of the data, depending on the properties that are important semantically for the data.
Having data completely separate from the implementation looks like a great idea from a high altitude. But this has just ended up in making database development as a completely different and an independent branch of software engineering. with the DB having its own tiers and the development team being split in two far early in the development cycle. This compartmentalization is definitely not acceptable where agility and cost are major considerations i.e. with the startups. in my not-so-educated opinion that is the reason for emergence of NOSQL.
It is definitely attractive if all the code looks almost similar for every thing instead of having a different partition and technology for maintaining the database. The ACID properties at least are used as and when they are actually necessary.
There are definite technical differences and advantages but in my opinion that is not the major reason for the emergence of nosql. The reason also has cultural and economy related shades.
This really means that there can not be a single solution that works for any context but there will be implementation dependent behavior of the data store. This really helps the edges and fringes where these things really matter because of multiple reasons. The usage where economy and speed matter most – the startups - is in my opinion one of the biggest validators of practicalities of this approach.
here are some of the reasons that I cam think of. (caveat: As I am still a novice, definitely I am either misinterpreting some of these or missing a lot more)
- Exceptionally large size of data where the concept of a normal relational data base break.
- Monochromatic behavior of data(remember I coined this word here ) : meaning the unique way data is generated, stored and its relevance calculated. These can be: data which comes only in append mode, data which comes from real-time streams,data where age changes the relevance etc
- Geographic location where data is stored as well as the speed and method the computing nodes use to reach it.
But the biggest take away for me from all this is really this:
NoSQL is a loosely coupled way of thinking about your data. There are techniques which you use along with the strictly relational ACID data. That’s why most of the high scale data startups use both the approaches, depending on need. Any further advocacy of one way over other is just fanboism
Saturday, November 17, 2012
This is an apt picture to depict the feelings (thanks bing !!). This is deeper than just pointing seven, as it also means that stop at two kids .
There is a joke/reality/anecdote which goes like this:
In the first year of marriage, the husband speaks and the wife listens.
In the second year of marriage, the wife speaks and the husband listens.
From the third year, both of the them speak and the neighbors listen.
We are celebrating successful completion of five such years of depriving our neighbors of this particular pleasure.
We are firmly in to the zone where things are completely natural. it seems the time without each other in lives is some distant forgotten dream sequence that happened to some one else.
As Kelly puts really well in “What technology Wants”, an all pervasive technology makes itself invisible. (e.g. how many electric motors are there in your house). We are almost there where we are so integral to each other that we are almost invisible to each other.
We can sit together for hours with out speaking, each one doing his/her own stuff and still feel this to be the best conversation in the day. Mere presence lending comfort, joy, support and criticism as and when required in the required dosages.
Like every thing interesting there is also a duality. The picture in that case some times looks like this( thankoo bing):
Only debate currently is who is Freeman ( we both have a claim there)
Even if the sum total of our time together is this, we would have exceeded our expectations:
But we definitely have much more than these to show for last seven years.
So, you are not the person who makes life worth while, you *are* life.
Why would I thank you? it will be like thanking the mirror .
But in this fit of PDA, I can definitely say one thing:
I love you .
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I have been trained only for being a software engineer. Though my branch in my graduation is called computer science and engineering, it was mainly geared towards the engineering part by design and also by practice. That really suited me well. I have always worked on different areas and have enjoyed solving problems in these areas. Though I have worked on very interesting problems and I am proud of a lot of them and I think solving day to day problems and working with great people and friends is the thing that drives me most. But it is also true that I have definitely skimmed the surface as far as theory of computer science goes. But it is one of things that I want to do and I think I will enjoy it.
Also mainly my work has always been related to the code and algorithms part. Frequently I have worked with bunch of protocols but definitely I have been away from the data part almost always. The interesting stuff in public domain till that time was always related to relational data model which being ACID never really appealed me much. Actually it was the case that I had active dislike for the area.
The cloud has changed things quiet a bit. We have actually used the concept to solve significant issues and provide definite value. This was done at very less cost. Even having incremental improvements inside the box would definitely have taken more skill and definitely more time. A separate blog post for this in the pipe line definitely .
I think the same thing is happening with data currently. Where once you have a good deal of data, it is really easy to work on it. The flexibility and scale that is afforded by the approaches definitely put me squarely in the NOSQL camp.
But I am truly a novice here.
This is the first post in the explorations of the field that I am going to start. I am planning to start a weekly post series where I am planning to dive deep in to the field and have a post for your perusal .
I am currently starting at a novice level so at some angle this can also be a fiasco to happen publicly. I have tried multiple approaches where I can maintain a sustained flow of studies and have failed. I want to try out public commitment and public shame this time. At the best it can be a measure of my internal drive as well as talent which prove how much time/energy I can afford here and how much of expertise I can show respectively. At its worst, it won’t damage much, hopefully.