Ajay Mungara's shared items

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Google Press Center: News Announcement

Google Press Center: News Announcement

I tried some of the new features of google groups announced today. I really liked the page customized look and feel with graphics along with file sharing. I think the drag and drop customization capabilities is really nice .. I am hoping that "blogger" takes some of the concepts to make the blog pages more customizable. Although, I should admit the new capabilities of blogger are right on target, but the drag and drop features for the google groups are really nice. Way to go google!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

How boring!

How boring!-Bangalore Times-City Supplements-NEWS-The Times of India

There was a time where staying in a job for many years meant seniority and in turn career growth, but it has completely changed today. People have become very restless and want to see unprecedented and extraordinary career growth very quickly. There is a strong urge among young techies to learn enough about a technology to update the resume and move on to the next new thing. Based on my experience, I suggest that staying in a job or a project (not recommending for ever) for enough time goes a long way in shaping a strong & sustainable career. Both the extremes are bad … Staying in a job for ever or switching jobs/projects very frequently.

When you walk into a book store you notice all the tech shelves filled with books like learn something in 10days or idiots guide to something or tech dummies book, MBA in a week, etc. Well I really don’t think you can master any technology or topic in such a short time. You need to really go deep in a subject and eventually the learning process gets easily carried over when learning a different technology. As we have seen in the last decade or so …. Technology becomes easier and easier to learn and come to think of it … if you can master a technology in less than 10 days, don’t you think everybody can do it. So, what is your real career differentiator?

It is very important to learn the human and business dynamics in any project beyond the technology in order to successfully define your career. Trust me that the experience you gain by seeing a full life cycle of a project goes a long way in building the right momentum in your career. So, don’t get bored when you think you have learnt the technology associated with a project, look around and you will see opportunities to learn. (like the business process, the management dynamics, issues with support, etc. are all the other things you can learn beyond just the technology that will keep you from getting bored).

Monday, January 15, 2007

Do you have any Principles that guide your career decisions?

What Next Syndrome

Changing a job is often viewed by many people as a ticket or short cut to career growth. I seriously believe in sticking with a given job till you attain a certain level of experience and become really good with what you are doing. You need to really spend some time in your job to overcome the initial hurdles in order to get really productive and then success & growth will automatically come to you.

I have mostly designed my career based on some principles partly imparted to me by my first real manager Jyotirmoy Chakravarty (also known as JC) @wipro Infotech. I can never forget some of the things he told me early in my career and I am really grateful to JC for his career guidance:

· If you are very comfortable with what you are doing then it is time to move on. He always suggested that you should not get very stagnant with what you are doing. He did not suggest that you change your job all the time, but he recommended that you take on more responsibilities and move outside your comfort zone.

· When it comes to your career buck stops at YOU. Never depend on your manager to design your career. He always told me that an employee owns his own career & employability and he is the one totally responsible for it, so do not look for your manager to define your career. Take suggestions/guidance from your manager or anybody, but ultimately your career decisions has to be owned by you and you alone.

· It is always YOU who can define the scope of your job. In any job he recommended not to wait for opportunities to come knocking at your door and he said do not always wait for your manager to tell you what to do. He was a big risk taker and he always fished for opportunities and ideas that went beyond the scope of his job. He said look around you closely and you will see opportunities which in turn translates to growth at your job.

· Know exactly when to move on. He always said that successful people know when the jump ship and do not wait for the ship to sink or wait for you to be evacuated. He always said that your career is much more than one manager, one goal, one location and one company. Oh well .. this is very hard to implement and I should admit that I have not been successful at this at all. You get easily comfortable with your location and with people around you ..and this clearly influences the choices you make.

Anyway .. JC shared this career philosophy with me almost 9 years ago and I am sharing it in this blog post today. I really have no idea where JC is right now .. but I would really like to thank him for being such a great manager.

So, do you have any principles that guide your career decisions?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My first impression of iPhone was great, but ...

I was simply impressed with the innovation that went into iPhone and I was carried away by the coolness wave. But, I asked myself "is this product that great that I am willing to spend $500" ... and my conclusion is "not really or not yet" because of the following reasons.
30GB memory on my iPod is no match with the 4 or 8 GB on iPhone. Support for office tools like word, xls, ppt, etc. was not obvious .. if all I wanted to do was view photos & videos and listen to music then iPhone seemed great, but that is not enough. Since it support OS X I am sure it does support some office type funcionility, but 4GB memory is not enough to the job done. I am not sure about the battery life either. So, after succefully riding the coolness wave for a day or so .. the reality bullet hit me hard and I am not ready to shell out 500$ on this phone as yet.

Really kool phone service

JAJAH - web-activated telephony
I tried this phone service yesterday and it is simply an amazing service. Jajah is an innovative phone service that integrates with your regular phone device(phone to phone) thus you can talk without the need for any headphones, speakers or having to install any software. It stands true to its tag line "free your voice".

You simply register your phone number on the website and then you ask your family/friends to register (they can be anywhere in the world). All calls to & from Jajah users is free. You place the call using their website and both the phones ring and you talk for absolutely free. Depending on the type of phone (mobile or landline) and the country you are calling to or from Jajah charges a very reasonable fee.

I was naturally concerned about privacy of my calls as all calls are routed through Jajah, but the website claims that the service is absolutely secure. This is my mind is the future of telephony. Try it out and let me know your experience with this service.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apple - iPhone - WOW it is amazing

Apple - iPhone

WOW .. it is simply an amazing innovation. Everything about this phone is really cool. I simply love the touch screen, key pad less integrated phone and iPod. They have even put some sensors to control the brightness of the screen and they seem to have eliminated the problem of accidentally operating the touch screen display with your ear. It supports Bluetooth, WiFi, Web Surfing, email, video, music, etc. and happens to be ergonomic from the looks of it. Hmmm .. I will probably wait for a couple of months for the prices to come down before buying it. iPhone is on my list of things to buy in 2007.

Time also has a good article that talks about the innovation behind the iPhone.

I am starting to love Google Reader

Google Reader (100+)

I am begining to like Google feed reader. I have tried various readers over many years and most of them were desktop versions with a major limitation being they are tied to your computer. Couple of months ago my laptop crashed (I did have a good data backup, but it did not include the feeds) and in the process I lost all my favourite feeds. This time around I was really keen on an online feed reader and I am really glad I choose google reader. It works very well with the Firefox browser, but it is not working at all on IE or Maxthon (my other two browsers).

Monday, January 08, 2007

All I wanted to do was book a train ticket online

India is well regarded all over the world as a hot destination for software technology. Last time I was in Bangalore I was simply amazed with all the technological advancement where a pan shop owner, a vegetable vendor, a bus conductor were carrying cell phones and all the internet café were filled with enthusiastic students. I have no doubts about the advanced software skills India has to offer, but I am really not impressed with the basic utility type of websites to get your job done online.

I heard that The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation has introduced online booking for train tickets and I wanted to try out this service. All I wanted to do was book a train ticket online from Pune to Bangalore and I was thinking in my mind that this should be easy.

Alas!! not really .. website The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation is not only confusing, but it is very very poorly designed. Too many ads on this page, it forces me to login for finding any useful information , the registration is too cumbersome and even after all that it does not really show the availability, etc. And after trying for about 30 Mins I gave up. I thought calling an agent to get this done would be much easier. If a tech savvy person like me is turned off by the design .. I can only imagine the plight of an ordinary user.

I wonder why can't the web designers for Indian Railways learn from so many examples all over the internet to come up with an intuitive design. I think users like me have to wait another couple of years before attempting to conduct business online in India.

New York and recycling

I was in New York city for the holidays and stayed with one of friends in Hoboken. I was really surprised to see the pervasive use of plastic without any concern to the environment.

Being from Oregon I learnt to really care for nature, our environment, global warming, etc. I really take time to sort things for recycling for example use proper recycle bins for plastic, aluminum cans, nickel cadmium batteries, card board, paper, etc.

First thing I noticed in New York city is that there is absolutely no recycling system is in place -- everything goes into the same garbage. I was also told that recycling as a concept does not exist in the east coast (even if it does it is minimum)… I could not stop thinking about it all the time I was in the New York city.Maybe the city takes care of sorting the garbage for recyling and does not throw that responsibility to the consumer, but asking the consumers to do this basic sorting of garbage goes a long way in building awareness. .. I sure hope the concept of recycling comes to play very soon in the east coast especially in the New York city before it is too late. This is my rant for the day!!!