The Times They Are A-Changin

I don’t remember where and when I heard this song for the first time but the tune and the words got stuck in my mind. At that time, I didn’t knew it was Bob Dylan’s. Later on in college, I discovered it and since then I became a fan of him.

No, this post is not about that song. It is just the title. And the title needs to be clear. The song is used as a metaphor to depict the changes which are going on around me, which I am going to tell you in the coming paragraphs.

It’s been a while and by while I mean about last 3 months. Things were tough. Lots of things were happening at the office and I was at my wit’s end to comprehend what was happening and in that moment, lots of things were taking place simultaneously and it was just impossible for me to keep a tab on all of it. But those times hopefully have ended and I resigned from Cognizant few weeks back. There were two options in front of me then. I was in final stages of my company change and simultaneously was in the process of getting admitted in a post graduate program. It isn’t a two year or one year program but a 6 month program and it is a joint venture between a popular game engine company and a renowned MBA college. I applied there and after 2-3 rounds of interviews and tests, I was waiting for the results. And the results came back positive. And now there is 80% chance that I am going to join the program as I wanted a substantial background to enter a game/ design studio and the folks at home wanted me to go for further study. So this is a good option for me and my folks. Everyone will be happy. And who knows, after this, I may actually go for a full time program. But who knows, what lies on the other end of the road. This abrupt decision has one big implication : I was planning to get myself a normal and decent second hand 150cc bike this year and next year, a Triumph Street Triple. I am in love with this bike and this is the only bike which I hadn’t crashed till now. That’s a nice thing because I am very good at crashing things especially bikes.


Triumph Street Triple


I don’t have much to write this time. Because nothing exciting happened which can be put down to words. There were lots of running here and there, office work load was at it’s peak and at the same time I was interviewing at startups and product companies. I planned to change the direction of my career this January only and I realized apart from good bonuses and good times, I wasn’t going anywhere in my career. When you have are over 35, you may want to settle down a bit and take things lightly but when you have just started working and if you have some support, then you can take some risks and you must take it. Because if the chicken will not cross the road, the chicken will never know what lies on that side of the road. And the other side of the road for me is a startup or a product company. I wished to join a fast pace work environment where I believe I would be trusted to try out my ideas on User Experience. By the way, I suck at Visual Design because I just don’t get (understand) colors like my peers. And that thing could only happen at startups and product companies. For that thing to happen in a service company, you really need a lot of good lucks on your side. And on the other hand, it is very difficult to teach people that Visual Design is just a small part of UX Design. Okay, last line was little bit out of the context.


Visual Design is a part of User Experience Design.

UI is not same as UX.


The last two lines are also out of the context.


So, I spent 2.8 years at Cognizant and this being my first company wasn’t what I expected my first job to be but still first time is always invaluable in one’s life. Generally it happens that you are hired for one particular role and you end up doing that only but with me, things got crazy than usual and I ended up working on different technologies in different domains and with every new assignment there was a complete unknown terrain for me to learn, fail and succeed. Sometimes, it got very frustrating but sometimes those experiences came in handy to tackle various situations.


There were good times and bad times. There were lots of good people and horrible people. But the thing that worked out in my favor was whoever person I met and worked taught me a lots of lessons. So you can say that a lot of people mentored me on life. Some in a good way and some in a bad way.

Now a new journey is about to start and let’s see where life will take me. The details be on the Facebook and Twitter at the right time from the right place.


So, at last I will share few of my favorite Bob Dylan songs. 


https://youtu.be/PYF8Y47qZQY

Advertisements

Programming : Solution or a part of the Solution.

Coding Academies Are Nonsense

I encountered this article and it has some very nice points about the rise of the Coding Bootcamps and what is the current reality of them. If you haven’t read it yet, go through it before continuing here on this post (link is right above).

How I decided that I am going to write about it ?
I have friends and they all believe only programming is going to get them to highs in their life and when I ask them what made them think so , they start showing me articles, news clips and examples. But are those examples provides a complete informative picture ? No,they don’t. And when you try to discuss something with delusional people, beware you are going to be taught a lots of things which are miles away from the reality. But you don’t destroy relationships on the basis of ideologies , so you write about it and let people decide for themselves : what is right and what is wrong ?Then I found the above article and decided to increase my number of tweets by 1 and after that ,thought let’s give this post a shot. And now we are here, me writing and you reading.

image

Programmers might disagree with this article as the today’s StartUp scene has glorified the Programmers thanks to the movies like “The Social Network” and sitcoms like “Silicon Valley”.

People opposed the movie “The Social Network” by arguing that it is not the correct interpretation of the founding of the Facebook but if you ignore the accuracy of the founding of Facebook and take it as fiction , you will discover that Mark Zuckerberg inspite of not being only a good programmer was also a man who took the complete oversight of the development of Facebook by hiring some great people to handle the basic intricacies which made the Facebook one of the coolest websites to hangout and a disruptive company which is now changing the Internet feature by feature.

See the list of some of the best(first) hires at the Facebook.
https://www.smartrecruiters.com/blog/the-10-hires-that-made-facebook-facebook/

Sitcom “Silicon Valley” handled it very carefully. Episode by episode , it shows how the Pied Piper hired some guys to provide a clear roadmap about how to go from a Garage company to a company which will change the world by solving a problem(data compression) and in the same time handle the juggernaut(Hooli) which is very good at plagiarism.

Now back to the real life.
I like photography and Instagram , Snapseed , Boomerang (by Instagram) and Sketch are my favourite apps. So whenever I get time I go through their Engineering blogs to read about their work. So I came across this article and it provided few things which solidified my opinion. (Go see my Instagram feed and follow me: https://instagram.com/abhinav_grv/).

Go through this nice article, also.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/11568119/Instagrams-Kevin-Systrom-Im-dangerous-enough-to-code-and-sociable-enough-to-sell-our-company.html
See the headline , “I am dangerous enough to code and sociable enough to sell our company”.
Not all programmers are sociable. They are hard coded nerds with a belief that programming is what running the world.

It is true upto an extent but
1.) What are you going to program in vacuum?
2.) Is your code solving any problem?
3.) Is your code optimized enough to not disturb the other resources and the solve the issue at hand?

So, if these questions were answered with utmost truth , you will also know(learn) what I know(learned).

Programming is a cool thing and I am a Programmer myself and I have been doing it from 2004 , but now I am in a transition mode to become a Product Curator as I love to see, handle and get involved in the both extrinsic and intrinsic aspects of the Product Development. I respect Programmers as they build cool systems but what is the use of a system which is of “no value”.

But more focus should on the end to end development of the solutions.
Below are some of the links, go through them to understand the profile(s) of the real problem solvers.
1.) https://medium.com/swlh/the-role-of-a-product-manager-e0354b4b6845#.txhfoyiax
2.) http://a16z.com/2012/06/15/good-product-managerbad-product-manager/
3.) https://medium.com/@matbalez/product-manager-you-are-664d83ee702e#.k9r1gxezi
4.) https://medium.com/swlh/the-role-of-a-product-manager-e0354b4b6845#.tez6lksx9

If for sometime, we let go ourselves from our ego , then only we will be able to see the real problem and what steps should be taken to solve it.

On the ending note :
“Focus on the steps required to solve a problem but don’t get stuck on the step itself.”

Sense of direction…

The idea of this post was originally conceived as an Instagram post which I made few days back. It was a normal quotation (by me).  It was like this.

image

So, what was the background story for this type of post?
Recently after a long battle / struggle, I finally got a project and it felt boring which can be understood by my this tweet ( also few days back).

image

Joining this team started a battle inside me and with others who are in my team. It is not a physical battle ; it is more of a mental type or it will be better to call it “the battle of ideologies”.  What they are saying might be true, but I feel they are disillusioned as they still haven’t figured out, ” What they actually want from their life?” and without this question to guide you, it is very easy to get lost in the world, thanks to the modern day society which breeds on Reality TV shows, dual face meetings and empathy is a long lost word in their dictionary upon which the world was really built upon.

I made some assumptions and sat down with them for tea to verify my assumptions and all of it came out TRUE.

Their first mistake is that they don’t know what they want to do in life?  Be it on personal side or professional side, they are still clueless.

Second in their job search process, they are not using smart improvisation. Job profiles are same in every company of the same tier level but what is different is that the name they use to describe it. And in that scenario, to avoid confusion among job seekers, there is a specific industry term for that and they don’t know what is that and they aren’t searching according to it, they are doing with the company specific names. If you have to go to America, first you need to learn about America and then figure it out : how and why? But saying, I want to go to London of America, will never yield any result.

Then came their next mistake : the lack of optimism. Yes, optimism. You need to be optimistic about your work that if you work smartly and beautifully, you will never fail and in the worst case, you will figure out a way out of it. Optimism comes from the self belief that you are strong enough to leave a legacy for the next generation. Many people lack this, these days. All they care about is their impressions on others, money and security but they don’t matter. What matters is the legacy.

Sense of direction is important. It makes you wake up in the morning to work towards a dream and gives me enough fire to go through the darkest hours of the life as everything new has to go through the darkest possible hours which one can imagine.

I may be wrong, but I have my assumptions and without checking it out with the world, I am not going to mark it as FALSE.

My recent attitude, many people have started calling it my Arrogance, recently got +1ed by this wonderful book I came across.

image