Category: Life in general

Farewell to my strength – My Dad

Here is a farewell to my wonderful dad, our strength

P. Srinivasan

P-Srinivasan

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6 1941 to April 15th 2015

YOU HAVE BEEN THE SHINING LIGHT FOR OUR FAMILY

I am sad to say that we lost our wonderful dad on  April 15th   . He leaves us to a better place after a month long fight with health at the hospital.

What he leaves behind is a great family that he can be proud of. Born in a small Village in TamillNadu, and brought up in Tamil Nadu, Daddy did his Civil engineering,  and his post graduate . He was a teacher at Sri Ramakrishna Mission for 10 + years. During this time he has educated hundreds of kids and led a simple life.

Married to Lakhsmi my mom for 45 years now. He told the story of how he met mom and what a great and loving couple I have seen in them.

After a lot of struggle he decided to take the risk and moved to Mumbai when he was 40 and joined Associated Cement company. He never looked back and retired at a very senior level at ACC.

He was highly regarded by his peers and very well respected . I grew up listening to sales stories of cement , RCC etc.

My brother and I have always been taught by him to face life with courage. He has been there for me and my brother at every turn we took. holding hands and showing use the way. I guess for him we never grew up. HE taught me the importance of taking risks and the best role model dad we could have asked for.

I have many memories of him from the first flight he took us on, to the time I got into trouble for taking a road trip to me getting business guidance when i started the company in India.

My wife, Arati and his grand kids have learnt what an ideal grandpa should be like. A trust worthy , caring person who always was there for us from the airport when we fly, to the exams we took.

We are so glad to have spent a lot of quality time with him, travelled around , spoke to him a lot over the last three years when we stayed in India for three and half years.

You are my star, you are my hero . We will surely live up to the high expectations you had of us to lead a credible life, educate the poor, help others and be the model dad to our kids the way you were to us.

I am so happy that you lived you life to its full till just a month and half ago, drove around the city.

May your SAIRAM take you in his golden chariot as you wished to a place where you are peaceful.

Will miss dearly dad. You are our hero.

Vibhu

 

Here is my brother Anand’s Farewell to my dad

Over the years I have come to know my dad as a person who deeply loved his family, was dedicated to his profession as a structural engineer, loved to  work for social causes and was a man of deep faith. He started his early career as a lecturer in civil engineering and continued to pursue his masters in  structural engineering. Since my grandfather passed away quite early, my dad is a self-made professional. He moved later in his career to ACC  where he reached senior management position in sales/marketing and then customer services. He won many awards at regional and pan-India level during his service in ACC. Post retirement, he was offered a special position in headquarters  due to his expertise in customer service management. One of notable accomplishments during this period,  was his involvement is  rehabilitation work post the Gujarat earthquake, where he lead the  CSR initiative for building cost effective houses for the villages which were impacted by the earthquake. I can remember the innumerable trips he made during this period to Gujarat in spite of having gone through two Bypass surgeries.

Post his service at ACC, he was actively involvement with Sri Sathya Sai College of Arts and Sciences at Whitefield and Sri Sathya Sai Residential School at Muddinahalli. He undertook projects on structural engineering in Whitefield campus, water purification  for hostel and college canteen at Whitefield/muddinahalli and sewage treatment at Muddinahalli. He has supported and guided many youth from economically challenged families for college education and coached then in personal capacity without seeking monitory gains.

He has been a role model for our family and we shall fondly remember him and try our best to carry forward the service activities in the field of education and general welfare of economically challanged families.

Inspirations for the day

This is  a post from me after a long time. Well a lot has actually happened in the year past . Work is busy. Home front things are great. Guess I could take more time with kids at home.

Happy to see my wife also get involved in the business. Lots of recent events near home that questions the whole purpose of life. How things can change over a wink of an eye.  Leaving only hope and inspirations and  brings a very strong meaning to what life actually is all about.

Along the journey today I stopped for a few moments to hear speakers like Deepa Malik who is paralyzed  waist down or a bit more than that is what she said

More on Deepa here

http://www.dnis.org/print_interview.php?interview_id=131

She spoke about her initiative called Ability beyond Disability to a large audience. This speech was surely once in a  lifetime. A simple army officers wife who got paralyzed at 39 decides to get financial independence. This leads to her learning computers, starting a restaurant, going back to her passion of biking. drove the Himalayan rally, swam over Yamuna, winner of common wealth game and recent winner of arjuna award, world record holder in Para olympics and winner of 4 limca records.

The point that struck me was when she spoke about how Yuvraj singh for one tumor was so famous , but she has been living with a tumor for all her life. She has infact said this to Yuvi.

She spoke mainly of

1) Doing what you really want

2) Working hard towards that goal

3) Persistence to get to the next best level.

4) Having a team of successful people who love you around you

5) Belief in team work etc

This surely was a energizer for me and I will surely remember her speech leaving me with no reason to complain about life. Don’t give up.

So long

VS

12.5 and Going

Today was another bit of a milestone for me personally. From having run less than a few kilometers, today I got to feel the joy of finishing at the Bangalore Ultra in which I did a 12.5 KM. The longest segment was 100 K, which I hope to achieve NEVER:). After a rather disappointing week, I would say this made it up for all and got to spend quality time with kids after a very long time today.

I have always been a runner, but only basic distances. This year a cousin of my wife pushed me into a group called Runner High which is a dedicated runners group and an initiative of Santhosh Padmanabhan, who has returned back to India to help with his dream of service. He helps with Team Asha and can run 100 Miles in a hearbeat. A coach who aims to bring the best in all of us at Runners High. It is one thing if the coach just says – Here is how you run” and one thing if the coach can run150 Km races. Some things I have learnt from him in my coaching career (Agile consulting )

1) Walk the talk.

2 ) Practice what you preach

3) Set a high bar for team, but do not push them

4) Do a structured long term inititiave. There are no shortcuts.

5) The only way to believe in yourself, is when I cross the race finish on my own.

In six months span, now I run weekly three to four times, running is now fun and enjoyable.

Some basic achievements ( baby steps )

1) Freedom Run 10 K

2) 10 K practice runs – 3 of them

3) Kaveri trail Marathon – Srirangpathan for 10K

4) 12.5 K Practice runs – 2 of them

5) Bangalore Ultra – Today for 12.5 – The timing today was rather bad.

Not to mention is the wild support I get from everyone at home and at Team Runners High.

What keeps the hopes high for me is the fact that I meet some really great people along the way. Santosh as an example. At the run today at the Ultra, one of the runners was a very old person ( more than 70 ), who has just recovered from many months of being bedridden. a traditional Indian couple who ran faster that i did, a bunch of kids who from Asha foudation, Kiran from my family who runs at a great pace.

Some day I plan to make it to the full marathon. I guess i have no rush there. I have been in US for 15 years, but thanks to Kiran, I seem to have found a nice passion which I have always enjoyed. In two years of our return to India, we as a family have had various days where we contemplate where do we belong. But days like this only make my resolve to get better everyday. Not to mention I had the energy to spend time with family at the pool.

What matter I think is these simple joys of life. Lets see what future holds.

Go Runners High:)

 

A changing India

I am in Bangalore since last week on a vacation. I am baffled by the changes all for good,some for bad. It now takes two hours to criss 12 miles on a working day. THis used to take me 20 minutes just a decade ago.

I have seen my share of rich India, the expensive restaurants, every possible company from the world has a set up here. from Intel, to HP , IBM you name it. Its there. With that comes high pay packets and skyrocketing real estate. If you think India is a cost saving measure forget about being here. Its a great place for R&D, Brain power , design etc.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a school in a village called Muddinahalli . This is a school started by some very dedicated people who had a vision to educate rural India back in the 1980’s. They at that time had left the city live to start this rural school that educates kids from villages around and now from all over India.

This school now produces top rankers in country ( Called CBSE board). The school today has many facilities that were not heard in rural india many years ago.Its now run by Satya sai education trust known for world class education centers in India. This is just one of the many hundreds of organizations trying to improve the roots of India.

This school has no government grants, no expensive fees ( education is free , just some basic ameneties have to be paid). I was curious to see thier computer lab. they had decent pentium class computers around 30 much less compared to other private schools here. The kids are just hard working. These kids many come from a very poor background shine today just because they can. All they need is an opportunity.

The school still has severe water shortage, needs help in so many forms. My dad is trying to investigate how to solve the water shortage crisis. As things go its not very easy.

Muddenahalli

They have medical camps for villages and many leading doctors and industrialists and many others try to do what they can. Although there is lots more to be done.

Then i got to go with them to a nearby village called PuttatimmanaHalli in Kolar district of Karnataka after Chikka ballapur.

(more…)

Venice project – test run blew my mind

)Today i got to test run The Venice Project a peer to peer video /TV experience from the makers of Skype as a Beta tester. I have been following them for a long time. After nearly 6- 8 monts for development, they have some mind blowing user interface for TV, Video

The goal of this project is to provide tonnes to entertainment. They have quite a few things now in the test mode. There is a chat ( MSN and yahoo users are out of luck), a clock for some reason and channels like ur regular TV. For P2P technology with no upfront download, the quality of music was fantastic.

Looks like one of my long terms dreams for TV is coming true.

I dont watch TV that much, When i do its specific channles, Discovery , CNBC , 24 wherever is comes, and some kids channels ( not me for my two little ones). We watch movies but never is the movie we want to watch available on demand. So we end up running to the now infamous Blockbuster. Add on to this the tension of returning the DVD. To add the the pain the I need to record programs i want to watch and that involves a whole new level of planning and orchestration.

Should’nt watching TV be more easy? Log on , select immediately what you are in a mood to see be it a movie, a talk show or some soap in Hindi . I would love to pay extra to give me that freedom to allow what I want to watch when i want to watch.

Thats exactly where Venice project is going. No downloads , no returns , no waiting to see something and then trying to record it as i got stuck driving home.

Now that i can connect my TV in a breeze to the internet, what better way to deliver content. Gone are the days for Cable or satellite or even rented movies.

These technologies in 10 years from now will be like what the good old pay phone is now in the cell phone age. The TV delivery technology has had a turning point and this project may just be the impetus for that turning point.

Long live Skype and its creators for innovations that are truly changing the way we are thinking about approaching the problem

So long:)

Interview questions

Sometime ago i was in the job market to find my next job. Believe me, finding a new job is no easy experience. It is quite a stress.Esp if you are looking out of town. I was wanting to move from Milwaukee to Seattle.

It was tough trying to figure out what i was looking for. I was quite surprised by the amount of offers. If you dont know what you are looking for, there are enough folks outthere to confuse. Remember there are only a few good jobs. You get your shot in some firms only once.

So even though i was interviewing for more lead development positions. Folks on the other side of the phone esp some recruiters only want to hear what they want to hear. They sometimes push your resume around faster than you want. Do your homework well before looking

Here are many of the questions in no specific order .

1) Write a program which converts a string containing a roman numeral into an integer. One example of this would be if you took as input “IX” the program would output 9. You do not need to deal with roman numerals five thousand or above.

2) How does a doubly linked list work. Write code to show it?

3) Writer the String Index of method without using any strings? ie Foo.IndexOf(3)

4) What is the best way to ( performance ) to do a anagram

5) Write a Java program that takes a command line argument and prints all of its possible anagrams, without regard to lexical duplicates. For example, if the input is “aab”, six strings will be produced. Your primary goal is to do this using as little memory as possible, but see if you can find an algorithm that is both memory and computationally efficient. Along with your solution, briefly describe how much memory and time it uses for an input of size N. Try and limit your time on this problem to an hour or two, though if you end up spending more, just let me know.

6) What is SOA in your perspective? Why is it any different?

7) What are the pros and cons of binary serialization vs XML serialization in java

8) Describe the quickest way to reverse an 3 * 4 matrix of integers?

9) Why should we hire you?

10) Describe the quicksort algorithm?

11) What are generics?

12) Do you TDD? If so what are some benefits you see

13) What are challenges in interop between java and .NET technologies?

I will add more when i remember. What is odd is many of these have nothing do with work. How many times have i needed to write a doubly linked list?

Companies need to judge more than just abstract knowlege. A developer / Architect is not simply one that can crank out alogorithms. Not sure why interviewers are not more realistic. You are hiring a person to contrubute to your organization not some code monkey.

Go beyond algorithms, and text book questions?

Be realistic and ask questions that make real sense. in todays world of google, its not the how to solve a problem, its about providing customer value, being a professional that can solve bigger customer problems.

In the end of the day, you should add value to the firm, to the customer and be a excellent team member that can listen well. code with pleasure and make things happen. It does not matter if you are the pizza under the door guy anymore.

Wake up interviewers. Get real.

Back online after a long absence

After a strenuous last couple of months which involved moving from one city to another, change of jobs, new school for kids and so on, At last I am back on somewhat of a normal schedule. ( i.e I can work back late nights:)

So we moved to Seattle after years in Milwaukee. So far so good. Except when it snows in Seattle it sucks as people have no clue how to deal with even a few inches of snow.

I also got my officially slogged three year MBA degree in strategic management in the mail last week. Need to put all those skills to use someday, for now I continue to do what i love to do anyways. That is develop software.

After working in the Agile software industry for years, I decided to take a shot at Solutions IQ, where everything that is done is Agile.

I do agile , XP, TDD and Scrum to my hearts content . What an awesome way to get paid to do something that you love to do anyways.

Now i am new to this place and as always its a tough thing to start from. It takes a while to find anything in a new place including new friends and so on. But I look forward to this pleasant change.

Joined the Northwest entrepreneur network, check it out. Trey do have some very neat gatherings.

After three years of hectic MBA lfe, it is quite a change to have a life. Not sure how three years went by, except i know my car made the 100 K mark in three years.

Have been reading a lot lately, lots of agile stuff, software security based books and so on.

So if you are in the area and are interested in TDD, Agile practices, ruby, enterpise architectures, Software process issues, New business software ideas, I would love to hear from you over a famous seattle coffee.

 

What an interesting day

I got up today after a very busy weekend, hoping for a weekend where all I do is “Nothing”. After working at home, I decided to take a trip to the office to find
My colleague Oli, wanting to move some equipment at his place. So I ended up going to his place to move a washer. The cost of my labor was a free lunch. So we went to this
German store where we picked up some sandwiches.

Earlier in the day, the elevator in the building had stopped working. As we came to our office taking the steps, there was a lady standing by the elevator who happens
to work at the dentist office. She looked worried and was convinced she thought some one was stuck in the elevator. As we opened the office door, I smelt this strong
burning smell (Like smoke). Our office wall is right behind the elevator. After walking around for a while wondering what the smell was and hearing the lady outside say that someone may be in the elevator we ended up calling the fire department.

Our office is 4 minutes away from the fire department and yet it took them more than 15 minutes to get here. The first thing they found out was that no one was in the elevator.
Now even they were wondering where the burning smell was coming from. They opened a cool heat sensor and that can see though solid surfaces.

Guess what they found after five minutes

It was the paper shredder that had got burnt due to the power outage 🙂

It so happened that some elderly at the dentist’s office were taken down by the fire department folks

O2 Xda Exec

I Stumled upon this cool phone ( Not available anywhere yet ), O2 Xda Exec

O2 Exec

A mini laptop and phone with two cameras and so on.

The unfortunate thing is this may not be available in the US for a while. THanks to the cell phone operators.

Check more reviews at Gizmodo and a more detailed review at ZDNet

Life is back to normal again

After a year of driving like crazy from home to client to school both I and my car are taking it easy . It felt really odd getting off an exit 10 minutes after leaving home yesterday after an interesting assignment finished last week

It always felt like a rush to reach the next destination for the last year. I was a car crazy road freak driving 200 miles a day. I knew something was wrong when the sign “Drivers Wanted” sign on Semi trucks  started to look good. If i ever need a change of career I know what I should be doing:)

I wanted to thank all who tried to make my life easy by adjusting to schedules both at work and home for being patient with my timings.

Thanks to all those audio books,IPOD, NPR, Cell phones I made it through quite OK.

At last I can chat with the real world on IM and Skype and listen to shoutcast.

Send me an email in the day, and I might actually respond to you in the day instead of late in the day!