Posts Categorized: Experience

The New World

Work from home

The lockdown seems to be coming to an end. There are still many restrictions for nothing that’s not manageable. Someday the markets will open for business and theoretically, we will be in a position to live our life “normally”. All of us, to some extent, know that the new normal will not be the same normal that existed before the pandemic. The uncertainty of how different it is going to be is immensely scary. But then this is not the first time humanity has seen such a calamity. We have braved many such severe times and have always come on the top. This has all been possible because of our ability to adapt and transform at a rapid pace. This is how we are beating COVID this time and this is how we will prepare for the future.

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It's OK to be not very productive

Work from home

All of us are coping with the COVID related lockdowns in our own ways. While some are able to utilize this time for good and use it to improve themselves, some of us are just coping one day at a time. I have read so many accounts from people who feel that they are not able to use this downtime in the way they would have wanted to. Most people know that they should be using this time in improving themselves yet they find it hard to even start the process. I personally am going through a very mixed phase. On the one hand, my work efficiency has greatly improved ever since the work from home started, my reading habits have suffered greatly during the same period. I have read only 1 book during the entire lockdown. To put this in context, I average at approximately 1 book a week “normally”.

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I am sorry you were laid off

This is a comment I made on Reddit as a response to a post by someone who just got laid off amid the whole COVID-19 lockdown and accompanying recession. I think this can be helpful to a lot more people, unfortunately, so sharing it here as well.

I am sorry you were laid off. It sucks. No amount of encouraging words or reassurances can change that or how you are feeling. So just allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling so that you can get past this once and for all. Let your emotions run their path so that you can start the process to get back on track.

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Career in the time of Coronavirus

Career in the times of Coronavirus

The coming times are going to be hard. Not just on the personal front for all of us with the spread of the disease and disruption of social life but also greatly on the professional front. The virus and following lockdowns across the world have brought the economies of all the countries of the world at the brink of collapse. A recession is imminent, as a matter of fact already here. People are losing jobs across industries. The unemployment rate has already crossed 23% in India and looking at the uncertainty of the coming times, it is expected to grow. Some people have been fortunate and they only had to go through pay cuts and furloughs which in such times is still a much better option compared to layoffs. But no one knows how long their employers will retain them even at reduced salaries. If the market and the demand for goods and services does not come back up in time, they will also be forced to cut jobs to reduce costs even further. All in all, we are not in a good place and the way ahead is also foggy at best if not dark.

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The worst book I have ever read

The worst book I have ever read

In front of me right now is the worst book I have ever read in my life. I could say ‘in my life so far’ but I really doubt I am ever going to read anything this bad. It is a 60-page fiction which is effectively a 30-page book because every dialog is first written verbatim first in Hindi (in English script) followed by its translation in English. There is hardly any sentence in the book that does not have a glaring grammatical error and there are a few spelling mistakes here and there as well. I could not go beyond the 5th page (10 if we are being pedantic) because at that point in the story a minor gets raped, very casually. It was more than what I could endure and that when I stopped.

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5 Lockdown / WFH tips for working professionals

Work from home

Let’s be honest about this. We all know that this COVID-19 issue is not going away anytime soon and there is a significant amount of time before our lives come back to normal. If they do ever come back to what we are used to calling normal. For the foreseeable future, I can see us working from hour homes for some time and it’s important that we set some rules and avoid mistakes. Now the tips that I am sharing are not business rules and tips on how to work from home efficiently or how to manage teams remotely. They are all personal tips and rules that I follow myself and want to share with you so that you can benefit individually. If you are looking for ways to effectively work remotely, this is not the blog post for you.

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The Hustle Culture - Dark side of Entrepreneurship

Even though I am no longer technically an entrepreneur I love everything about entrepreneurship. Mainly because it’s not really possible to stop being a startup guy once you have tasted the taste and have danced the dance. And one does not have to really run their own startup necessarily to be entrepreneurial. The spirit of a startup is still what drives my day to day approach to things. Any project that I start begins with the MVP approach with as little bells and whistles as possible. I keep wiggle room for pivoting as an when needed which has usually helped me if facing failure much less than normal. The summary - I love entrepreneurship and everything about it. Except for one thing.

The over-glorification of the “hustle”.

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Who will you hire - Smart or Nice?

For the past 10+ years I have managed engineering teams of various sizes, tech stacks and capabilities. No matter which team I am working with, building it out and expanding has always been a function that has excited and scared me at the same time. From the face of it hiring for tech positions seems fairly straight forward. You filter out candidates by years of experience in relevant technologies, throw a few tech questions and them and choose the ones who answer most of them. Easy! Nope. I started my stint as an engineering manager doing exactly this only and oh how I have been burned. It is very easy to fall into the trap that is this process’s simplicity if one is not careful. The biggest mistake I, as a lot of managers also do, made was judging the candidates in isolation. Judge them only on the basis of their skills and knowledge and speed at which they solved a problem without giving much thought to how they go about doing it. This, I tell you, is a mistake and the worst thing is that it takes a lot of time before you realize where it went wrong.

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'Freelancer' - The Magical Word

“Freelancer” is a truly magical world. The moment you add it to any profession that whole world becomes immediately profitable to everyone involved. I have seen startups looking for kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancers with at least 5+ years of experience at the super attractive compensation of 20k per month and exposure (how can you forget that!!). The moment someone adds “freelancer” to their profession it seems all their bills start paying themselves on their own which is why it would make sense for them to charge not based on their experience and calibre but the standard “freelancer” rates. The best thing is that people want to build their entire startups, and the eventual business empires, with the help of these cost-effective freelancers and hard-working dedicated go-getter interns. I implore you to just open any local startup community or group page on Facebook and you will find all these awesome promoters eagerly looking for these magical freelancers to come and build their product at..lets calculate. Lets take the highest number I have ever seen offered to a freelance developer 20k. Taking 20 working days a month with 8 hours a day it comes to (20000/20x8) = Rs 125 per hour. I am pretty sure the momo vendor on the road makes a lot more than that. I do not mean to imply anything but I am just putting this statistic out there. I wonder how many successful startups are built by the efforts of these kickass rockstar coding ninja freelancer. Also growth hackers.

Note: If you are a “freelancer” providing your services at the rates mentioned above, do consider the momo stall idea. I know for a fact that the ROI is there and is easily scalable.

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Why my phone no longer has a lock

I apologise in advance for this morbid thought. Imagine you get in an accident. It could be anything. A hit and run, a mugging gone wrong or just plain bad luck. There you are lying on the road, covered in your own blood, unconscious, helpless. Maybe your luck has not totally run out and some one spots you. They want to help you. They have called the police and/or the ambulance for you. They want to inform your family and friends. Maybe you still have your phone with you. They take it out and try to find the contacts. But its locked. It is asking for a pin code. Now your loved ones will only be informed once the authorities come and do a reverse check on your identification documents or licence plate.

What purpose did lock solve? Do you really have data on your phone more valuable than your own life. I don’t think so.

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