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.

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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.”

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Startups… Famine or Fad?

Sounds exciting, isn’t it?

Hearing this, you start feeling like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and blood flow gets strong and hot and you, suddenly, gets motivated. Up to this it is right, but after that procrastination begins. You start imagining big houses, fat paychecks (investor’s money asusual), foreign vacations, and what not ;we people are surely very creative in imagination and procrastination.

Now, I may be wrong, but I feel being a part of startup is now a fad among the present generation. I am not saying that I am good and more intelligent than others, but I do have a keen sense of what will work and what will not work and when I say it, you have to believe me as I can 95% correctly predict what will work and what will not.

Why I feel it is a Fad?
Because nothing is getting solved. What is the point of starting a company if you are not solving a problem and if you are not solving a problem, atleast you should address the current market creatively.

Flipkart was the first mover in the E-retail segment in India. Then it was followed by Snapdeal, Shopclues and Amazon. Mind you, Indiatimes was the pioneer but they lacked the marketing. Flipkart’s founders used to work at Amazon, so the concept was not new, it was copied but it was copied beautifully in a way Snapdeal doesn’t understood what that was till now. But as now Flipkart is planning to go app only, Snapdeal will have a chance. I was talking to my uncle,  he is a tech savvy man but still he doesn’t want to rely completely on app to do online shopping. His points are valid, he doesn’t trust the images shown in the mobile devices. Imagine seeing the products on the 4,4.5,5,5.5 inch screens, do you see them as clearly as they are seen on the large screens of desktop, laptop and tablets (not phablets).  Certainly not.

I know a lot of my friends who hadn’t done any online transaction on any e-commerce site on the desktop even because they are afraid to do so ( PayU, Paytm, Mobikwik are you listening, you are losing your audience here) .  Let alone they are going to do that on app.

Snapdeal will have an opportunity to address those customers and quickly capture their mind. Hiring top techies, improving UI and advertising is not going to help unless you aren’t on your customers mind. And for that you have to be very reliable in your service. And that is the issue. Considering Flipkart’s ownership of WSRETAIL and Amazon’s strong international funds of both money and technology, you have to step up your game.

I was writing about startup – fad but I somehow started sharing my thoughts about the e-commerce in India. (it has a completely different back story which is of no value to you).

If observed carefully, it can be seen in other industries also.

Let’s take an example of the state of the cab services industry.
Uber started, Ola copied creatively and managed to buy Taxi for Sure and beat Meru in the market but failed to crack the puzzle of how to make money. You just can’t keep on burning the Investor’s money. Uber is the only cab services company which is earning something. Lyft was touted as the Uber killer but where it is now? It seems like an exclusive cab service provider.

Same is there in the food ordering industry with Zomato, Foodpanda and Tinyowl. Zomato is actually doing something and rest are just burning money.

And now let’s talk about the fabled entrepreneurs. Very few are humble and rest like to keep their heads so high that they feel they are God. I have my fair share of experiences in dealing with them. They have the money in the bank accounts but not a single viable product in the market and yet they are hell bent of self advertising themselves on the social media. Dude, get a life, nobody cares. You are just a fad and you will be gone one day and without a viable useful product no one will remember you. Silly you. Not all are like that, some are very good in nature and inspite of their very busy schedule and without knowing me personally, they helped me sort out my life and for that I will be obliged to them forever. They are just an email away.

Enough, rest you think. I had given you food for thought.

Summary : Be humble. Don’t rub people the wrong way. And start a company only when you can solve a problem.