thoughts, ideas, code and other things...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cool Programmers

I love this one from Jonathan Edwards' blog -
What I found shocking was that there are now “cool programmers”, who are cool not because of awesome code, but by virtue of showmanship and relentless self-promotion. It’s like the cool kids in High School. Blogging and twittering has become a way to strike a pose and market yourself. Group events have become parties for working your popularity, and some of them have become semi-exclusive. To take a positive view, this just shows that programming has become a normal human activity, and programmers are reverting to the mean of human behavior. Still 98% male though.
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Huh! what happened in between?!

I haven't been blogging much since August 08, you can notice a trend from post counts in the archive list :)
June 08 - 25
July 08 - 14

Nov 08 - 15
Dec 08 - 02 !
Jan 09 - just 3, and this is the 4th one...

So, what happened to blogging in between ?! Well, I can explain it, the peaks you see in June and November is an indicator of my holidays :), well, then you may ask what happened to December 08 ?
There's another explanation to that - I started working on MadeToKill Design Studios, the web design company I started with Shaabi. So December was dedicated to full time web design and filling up my PayPal account... you really don't feel like writing a blog post when you see you balance increase weekly, do you ?

What happened during December ?
  • Came up with

  • Finished - a discount electronics store that specializes in overstock and open box DLP, LCD, and Plasma HDTV's

  • Re-Designed into a much cooler dead birdie looks.

  • Shaabi wrote a script to manage competitive affiliate program for -
  • We learnt a lot more about XHTML, CSS, jQuery, web standards, PHP, Smarty, oh wow! and we got payed for that :)
  • Had a nice time writing sweet emails to our clients and learning how to win their trust, how to make them say 'yes' on the offers we make and how to negotiate on pricing.
  • Finished RainBot, its all about PHP+VB6+WebBrowser Control... and endless possibilities to play around with bandwidth and zombies ;)
  • And finally we started working on some of our own yet not released projects - steal**** and snaps** ... things are still under construction and a short pause as many other things have come up which we gotta take care of... have a look... can't show you a detailed preview unless we're done with them

So, that's what kept me busy in December. Things have become quite challenging now as my college has started and I have to manage some of these
  • Web Design work at
  • The two projects steal**** and snaps** !
  • A workshop on Visual Basic for friends at college
  • A presentation on Spam : Challenges and Solutions
  • Project Space Lock for the Student2Business program
  • Plus I gotta work up on my GPA this semester... which was very disappointing last sem. :(
I hope this is gonna be a good lesson in managing things around me. I need to buy some sticky notes, the last set got over a month ago. The windows sidebar can never replace the real sticky notes :)

This sem ends by the beginning April, It's Jan 26 today, so what remains is two months of Feb and March. Approx 60 days, there's gotta be T1 and T2, two major tests that would eats two weeks, and 4 CTs for 6 subjects would eat another 16-18 days, i.e. I would be focusing on those subjects for those many days. So what remains is a set of 30 days unevenly distributed over a time span of 60 day.
Sounds exciting :) Involves a lot of collaboration with people, for web design we gotta collaborate over different timezones, while project SpaceLock is a team of 4, VB workshop is a team of 2 and the presentation over spam is a crowd of 7!
I guess one can't deal with things one by one in my case, will have to find time here n there between the days...

But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day. ~Benjamin Disraeli

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~Carl Sandburg

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SpaceLock : our upcoming project

Well off lately my geek friends and I are working on project Space Lock to put into Microsoft's Student2Business contest. We're focusing more on planning it right, so that development goes really smooth and we can divide our work properly. I realize that when you've people who are experts in their domain and when your project needs to combine different technologies, then teamwork really comes to life. You can easily assign electronics part to one, web interface to another and application programming part to another person and so on...
And you don't get into messy situation where two people are doing programming over the same C# project remotely or both are into writing PHP scripts... time does get wasted in such a scenario. How ? -
  • you end up wasting time in resolving conflicts
  • the broad picture about the project in minds of two people can differ a lot
  • you really have to communicate and keep one another updated
  • you sometimes need to compromise on amazing ideas you get, while it might be seen as impractical by your partner
  • E.g. you might be thinking about a really cool interactive UI using silverlight or flash while your partner might be more worried about availability and accessibility
While when in a web design/development the things are really well divided, you have a designer and you have a programmer :) XHTML/CSS/AJAX on one side, PHP/MySQL/Smarty on another. Anyways, here's the logo for our project, while the planning and development goes on, you can spend some time figuring out what this project is all about :) have a look -

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