Saturday, February 17, 2007

What have you learnt in the last 100 days ?

Last month a couple of us spent a good part of our working hours ( or waking hours in some cases ) trying to hire a few good software engineers who want to , and can work on a product. Incidentally this product is based a very famous industry standard for enterprise middleware, so much so , that there are walls in small towns in India plastered with advertisement for courses that claim to teach you that standard.

We could not hire all the engineers we wanted to hire.

I was speaking to a cousin of mine who works for one of "the-company-to-be-in" MNCs, and I started ranting about how difficult it is to hire. He simply cut me short with a "Tell me about it! , I know , we go through this process all the time" .

So what went wrong ? Nothing, we just did not find enough reasons to hire some of the people we interviewed, in fact , with most of the people we interviewed. Were we choosy ? Not, unless if you think expecting a person to answer questions based on what is in his/her resume , is being choosy.

A normal expectation is , that when you are scheduled for an interview, you would spend some time reading up on what you have been working on, what you have worked on and possibly something more. Most of the interviewers understand this and factor in some prepration time. I am not sure of all the people know this, but if you are well prepared , or at least appear well prepared the chances of you getting through are higher. Coming back to our experience , this was one major issues with most of the candidates that we interviewed. Most of them could not answer questions on areas which they had worked on more than a year ago, and some folks did not have the breadth that was expected of them in their area of work.

So that brings me to the title of this blog : What have you learnt in the last 100 days ? Did you get a chance to learn something beyond your area of work ? If you work on frameworks , did you attempt to learn the basis of the frameworks , like Java or C++.

I would have loved to ask these candidates that question. If the answer was a yes, I would have gone ahead ! Maybe that what I would do the next time over.Maybe, I should try and put this question to myself !

A lot of us spend so much money trying to buy mobiles, MP3 players and cameras, but how much of this money do we spend in buying books, that enhance our breadth or the depth in the area we work in ? We spend a lot of time on Orkut, Yahoo! and possibly other distractions on the internet, how much time do we spend to read up a book or write up a small program? Maybe we expect the IT boom to last forever, or expect the "Chinese are never going to be good in English" or we just do not care.

Would it help if Mr. Chidambaram gave a tax break on books and courses ?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Bangalore Express

No its not a new movie, but the name of the connecting flight offered by Lufthansa from SFO to Bangalore , as per this article in SJ Mercury News ! Nothing new, since SJ Mercury News always has a thing for glamorizing anything to with the Indian Tech community in the Valley !

Interesting stuff in this article , about finding jobs/clients on plane to Bangalore . The "cynical" me thinks , that its in line with the hype around the growth in Bangalore. The "hopeful" me thinks that I would offered a job someday on an airplane !

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Air India's new colours

Air India's new colours are on its latest Boeing 777-200/LR

I like it esp. with the cream and the Centaur pointing upwards. Now if only they follow it up with a new service "scheme" !

On a related note , some of the colour schemes of the private airlines is quite interesting . Here is my take on them

1. Indigo : Keeping in tune with the name , a Indigo base with blue wavy stripes. One of the best !
2. Air-India Express : Great combination of Red and orange/yellow with a Indian ethnic motif (typically a monument) on the tail ... very nice, at some time might get outdated
3. Spicejet : A mix of red and orange ... spice .. got that ! I like the bubbles on the tail .
4. Jet Airways : Blue tail, grey underbelly , ochre stripes looks very official. In some ways I like that since that conveys some seriousness about what they have to offer . I think they are probably one of the more serious players in the game !
5. Kingfisher : I like the red ! But there 's just too much of it in the interiors . There is the Kingfisher logo on the tail , nothing imaginative .
6. Air -Deccan : Minimalistic ! All white with the log on the tail, and a stripe over the windows . I do like the way the strip fades into a pattern. If there is any other colour on the plane , I guess that paid for by the advertisement sponsors.
7. Indian : Ok they came up with a wonderful log ( the Konark wheel ) , but they just went ahead and screwed it up with the colour scheme used ! A classic case of Shah Rukh Khan becoming a Govinda ( their respective sense of dressing being the metaphor)
8. Go-Air : They took a leaf out of TNSTC ( Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation) which paints each of its buses in a different colour. A simple "go" emblazoned in "PINK" , "GREEN","BLUE" and "ORANGE"
9. Paramount : All blue with a white underbelly , which is quite different from the rest of the lot. Gives you a kind of the old "US Airways livery " feel.
10. Air-Sahara : Well if you can't think of anything else ... there are the national colours ! Surely worst of the lot !

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Aero India 2007 : Update to the last Post !

So it looks like my wish #1 from the last post is coming true. Accoring to the The Hindu there is a bus service from MG Road to the AFB at Yelahanka run by CitySwaps . The CitySwaps site does not mention anything about this though ... My mind is changing !

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Aero India 2007 : Bangalore Traffic

I was planning to visit Aero India 2007 , but an article in The Hindu this morning made me think twice. Well , no prizes for guessing, the event being in Bangalore , the traffic is expected to be bad on the way to Yelahanka. The traffic police is expected to make some arrangements, but from my past experience that is like applying a pain-balm for fracture !

When is the traffic ever good in Bangalore one might ask, but that is another question for another day.

Right now I am re-evaluating my plan to visit Aero India ! Here is my wish-list for travel options to Aero-India

1. Run shuttles (BMTC trailer buses) from MG Road, Hebbal every half an hour
2. Run a small shuttle train twice a day from Bangalore City ! ( Naah ! too much read tape there ? )

Friday, February 2, 2007

The first words ...

I have been blogging for a while now. The challenge has not been in terms of what to blog, but more in terms of how-to-get-myself-to-blog . Sankar motivated me this morning by showing off his new blog and here I am ...