Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Call me Keshav

I was recently advised to use my actual name to Blog by someone whom i believe to be the first visitors to my blog. So I don't have any choice but to accept their advice.

Why did I try to use an alias?
One of the reasons is my first post. Its pretty embarrassing.
Also I value my privacy on the web.

Why am I using my actual name?
Been bored in Office. Wanted to do something daring or stupid!

Update:
I've stopped blogging here and moved to here and later here

Monday, May 28, 2007

A complaint can get you a job!



Failed to get through the interview? Was it because the interviewer was a complete nut job? Don't worry. You can still get the job. Just send an e-mail.

An Email complaining about the interview process actually got me a job offer in an IT company in Bangalore. (BTW this could apply only to IT offshore services companies)

Don't believe me. Read on.... (I will also attach the actual email sent, with the names changed, of course).

To cut a long story short. The series of events

Background:
I was called for an Interview to one of the many offshore software services company in Bangalore. The position was for a "Lead" .

So this was going to be a breeze. Wrong!
  • Introduced to the interviewer, lets call him NJ.
  • Interview starts, slowly I realise everything is going wrong. I'm asked not to shake my legs, all my answers are contradicted and some of them are laughed at.
  • At the end, he makes me look like a joker. I'm astonished that my temper was in check. Hell I'm not a guy who sits quietly. I say a polite good-bye and leave.
  • My roommate advices me not to waste time sending an email to the consultant. He says "Nothing would come out of it. This is an Indian company.....".
  • But I send the email anyway, a very powerful and a professional email expressing my strong displeasure at the interviewer and azzz.
  • But just before I send this big email where I spent an hour to compose, the power goes off in my house. Damn! Bangalore , Damn the politicians, Damn me for not saving a draft.
  • Very soon the power comes back, and I log into my Gmail account. Thank God for Gmail!! There is an auto save feature, I love these guys man. So I finally sent that email on a weekday to my consultant.

Post Email. Everything changes...

  • My consultant calls me within 1/2 hour of receiving the email. Gets all the details and promises to do something about it. Hmmm...i'm actually skeptical.
  • He calls me back and says all hell has broken out in Azzz. My mail was the cause for that and it was forwarded to all the senior mangers in azzz. WOW! Just a mail?
  • I go back to azz to start my interviews fresh. The recruiter from azzz meets me to apologize and thanks me for coming back. He loved the mail and tells the issue has been escalated all around.
  • This is great. The company has actually taken my side. Was the mail that good?.
  • So I go though another three rounds of Interview and they are still not sure if they need me. But they want me, from what they read in my email.
  • Now they have offered me some decent things. But I cannot join a company like this and work with people where everything is about ego. Also I have an offer from ThoughtWorks!

I just wanted to prove something - Don't sit quietly, you can make things happen. All it may require is one single email.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

click away

I've resigned 2 weeks back and during this 2 months notice period (Its like I'm almost on Bench) lot of activities were planned. One of that was to understand more about photography.

So who better to contact than my friend renith, an excellent photographer. He's all about capturing the beauty of the moment. This was at cauvery fishing camp.

A perfect moment



Business?


I like to capture moments when people are not actually posing for a photograph. A photo album is not about the perfect smiling faces, its about the beautiful moments, funny moments and amazing times.

Here are couple of his good works

















In case you are wondering about the weird stand by the group above, it's a battle tank we were tyring to imitate. And that was my idea. The other teams tried - Car, Computer Network!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Download YouTube videos

An interesting fact about downloading any YouTube video, insert the word "kiss" before the url and just after www. and then you would be directed to a location where you can download the video
so the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr9t9J5_kaI
becomes http://www.kissyoutube.com/watch?v=Xr9t9J5_kaI

However the video is saved as .flv extension and you will need a flv player to watch it.

The above video is of the Bangalore office of ThoughtWorks. And as mentioned earlier "No cubicles" its very different

Good Title. Paris Hilton?

This blog or posts generated interest very recently, and I believe brought my first readers here. How did this happen? Has it have to do anything with the title of the post or by the labels defined by you?

I created a title with the name of a company (ThoughtWorks) and inserted the same word as one of the labels of the post. What do you get? Immediate attention.

Makes me wonder if popular keywords have to be used to get readers to find this blog. So whats next? words like "Microsoft", "Google", "Nasdaq", "Money"?

or why not use really popular names like maybe "paris hilton" or "paris hilton married".

I need to add a counter for this blog to understand the traffic numbers. www.google.com

Surprise! We found you.

Well Hello World!!

Until yesterday I was assuming that I was always talking to myself in this blog. Who would believe that out of the millions of blogs, there would be some traffic here (even if it was one or two people).

All I had to do was create a post with the word "ThoughtWorks" and add it into the tags and I was found out. This is not my real name, it was an alias when i started this experiment (blogging) in Feb.

I called my contact at ThoughtWorks 2 days after creating the new post to chat about other matters and I was asked about this blog, my blog ID etc. I was completely surprised (shocked) that it was found and traced to me. Apparently they read the posts and put 2 and 2 together.

All I could say was "WOW! That was fast and very impressive".

Even though it was flattering that someone has finally read these posts, it was actually very embarrassing, the earlier posts were plain stupid!. This would be the most embarrassing moment for me at ThoughtWorks (But technically I have not yet joined them).

I was even advised to use my actual name when I blog. I'm not sure. What say?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Offer@ ThoughtWorks. Finally!

Finally! I recently proved to myself (again) that i do have at least a dormant Brain. After nearly 3 months of uncertainty, confusion and whatever, my job search has finally yielded something. I now have a very decent offer from ThoughtWorks.

But its very frustrating trying to convince people its a great place to work, maybe next to even Google. How many companies put their employee profiles on their Corporate website?

Here are couple of good links about the company

Roy's social experiment
http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/RoysSocialExperiment.html
First Month at ThoughtWorks
http://ca.rroll.net/2007/03/19/first-month-at-thoughtworks/
Rotation
http://www.martinfowler.com/bliki/Rotation.html
Thought blogs
http://blogs.thoughtworks.com/

The place has a very unique work culture and the interview process was very interesting and actually fun. I had to go though 6 hours of discussions (6 rounds) and 2 written tests. The most surprising element was there were absolutely no cubicles, just long tables and flat monitors on these tables. People have been working like this in Thoughtworks.

This is what i felt and i told these guys in the interview when i was asked - Why do you want to change to Thoughtworks?

When I started my job search 2 months back, I was searching for something and I
didn't really know what.. (maybe old passions?). But then I came to Thoughtworks and started my
interviews, it slowly dawned on me that this was exactly the kind of place
where I fit!.


The whole IT industry is going in one way and Thoughtworks tries to do something exactly opposite. I like that!!