The launch meetup for NetSquared’s Mumbai local group was held on April 3, 2011 at Nasscom Foundations Mumbai office.
The meetup group comprised of techies, social media enthusiasts and a few entrepreneurs.
We started of by introducing each other which was followed by a presentation by Amit Deshmukh about NetSquared and its local groups.
Sourabh presented the idea of a food bank over a crowd sourcing platform. This involved restaurants and caterers logging the amount of surplus food into the application via. Mail, SMS, tweets and the application automatically identifying NGO’s around it that need the food packets. Prashant Pandit from Nasscom Foundation gave a small brief about their software donation program that assists NGOs to procure software at subsidised rates.
Moving ahead the session was thrown open to the group to chalk out the action items for NetSquared Mumbai. The group discussed the need for non-profits and NGO’s to come ahead with their real world problems that the local group members would solve by leveraging technology. The discussion also involved the mention of various initiatives like FundACause, Ads4good and Akshaya Trust. At the end of 90 minutes of rich discussion I am sure each one of us had some food for thought to take home and agree with the fact that a lot of work can be/needs to be done in this intersection.
NetSquared Mumbai local group is open to all who are interested and excited about working in the intersection of Social Impact and Technology. Follow the links below to join us, share your ideas and get updates on upcoming meetups.
Hoping to meet more like minded people for the next meetup
I have been a big fan of DevBridge’s Autocomplete jQuery plugin and have used it on most of the sites that I have developed. But this plugin did not work for an Arabic site that I was developing. Just by monitoring the Ajax calls made by the plugin I noticed that the plugin wasn’t UTF encoding the arabic string before making the request. A minor tweak to the plugin and it started working fine.
All I did was that I edited the plugin to UTF-8 encode the string before it makes the Ajax call.
Once you have downloaded the plugin from DevBridge open the jquery.autocomplete.js file in your favorite editor and scroll down to the getSuggestions function. Now just replace the line
me.options.params.query = q;
me.options.params.query = unescape(encodeURIComponent(q));
In the server side script to which the ajax request is being made UTF-8 decode(in PHP use the utf8_decode( string $data ) function) the string before querying your DB for the string. Now your autosuggest will work smoothly for all the writing systems on the web.
Hope this post helps other developers.
Now with two years into professional life, things have been really awesome, thanks to my 1st company that I was working with till late last month. I have now moved on to see how a change would make a difference to my career and life. Change is difficult(and this change was indeed difficult), but it is said that if you look back at life, the most rewarding experiences were when you were open to change. So as I look forward to my future rewards, I thought of doing some retrospection and putting down the lessons I learnt till date in my professional life. These are the lessons I learnt from my colleagues, by making mistakes and by watching others make mistakes.
Small Company vs Big Company…
The above comparison shouldn’t bother you, what should bother you is the WORK you get at the company. It could happen that you get the best and most challenging job at an small-mid size company while a mere documentation or QC job at an big company.
Set targets not limits to the work that your doing. Be restless to learn what your colleague knows and you do not. Having and doing loads of work is good as it helps keep the fire burning within us.
Be on the right side of the rotten apple…
You may have that arrogant creative guy or lethargic technical lead in your team, but remember that they hold that position because they have some talent. Isolating yourself from them is a loss to your growth. Be on the right side of the rotten apple, learn what makes that other guy a good tech. lead or creative person and try to become a non-lethargic non-arrogant creative tech. lead.
Get into complexity before your pushed into it…
I have seen a lot of this happening, when a team is asked to pick up their own tasks there a major set of people that pick the simpler one’s first and leave the complex tasks to that small set of people who always do it and love to do it. If you belong to that major set, its high time that you move to the smaller set. Coz the day when you do not have that small set of people around you and your manager assigns the task to you, that complex task may seem to be an impossible task.
Don’t Expect Training…
I have seen a lot of freshers ask this question as they join their first company ’Do we get training here?’ referring to 3-6 months of training that most of the Indian IT companies provide to freshers. My question to them has always been, What have you done in the past 3-4 years? Isn’t 4 years enough of time to train yourself? If you couldn’t train yourself in 4years, are you expecting some kind of miracle in the 3 months of training. I am not against training but there is a different kind of a joy in molding yourself than being molded by others, coz in the former you get to choose what you like, which mostly is not possible in the later. I have always looked at my career as one big training class and that has helped me big time.
Remember it is your seniors who helped you when you were a junior and now its your responsibility to help your juniors. And this would help you too to revise your basics. I realized that I had forgot the basics and history of PHP when I was preparing slides for a PHP talk to be given at a college Techfest.
Measure of Success…
Before you party on your weekend, look back at the week gone by and see have learned enough? Was your week fruitful? Are you tired? If you have a positive answer to all these questions then go ahead party/relax else, get back to work. The best way to measure your success at the end of the year is not by checking the CTC you draw, but by counting the number of weekends you partied/relaxed and your achievements for the year. Your CTC will always be proportional to your professional achievements, so strive to achieve more.
One of the biggest mistake in the first 2 years of my career was to be an introvert and confining my network to just friends and office colleagues. If you go beyond this, you will find that there are a hell lot of amazing and like minded people out there to connect with and learn from. Facebook, LinkedIn and other forums were mainly built to facilitate this connect( not play silly games) and these channels have truly helped me meet and connect with some really good people in the past 6 months. Infact, some of the job offers that I got were via LinkedIn
These are some of the lessons that I have learnt from my professional life so far. Some people may differ from my thoughts and without doubt they have every right to do so.
What lessons have you learnt? Share it with me in the comments :)