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In with the new (job)

July has been a month of great changes.. I started my first job in July in Chennai –  new city, staying on my own, earning my own money.. but that was about 9 years back.

This year again, July is a month of change. After 5 years(and few days) at CGI(erstwhile Logica), I will be moving away and onto the new unknown. Reasons for moving are many – completed my project, didn’t like the new project’s commute/timings, tech stagnation and personal growth are some of the major ones. Where to next, you might ask?

Well after all these years of corporate life, time for something new – will be joining Styletag.com as the DevOps guy. From Oracle to Rails, on-premise to AWS, this is something that will be a challenge I am sure, and I look forward to it.

Wish me best wishes 😉

Capping off a roller coaster year

2011 was a roller coaster year. Here’s the year in review, in bullet points

  • Sold off my iPhone 3G and purchased a Nexus S
  • Supposed long term US stay gets cut short.
  • 3+ years of work on project gone down the drain. On the upside, learnt quite a lot.
  • Met Manaa in person, after being a very close friend for 6+ years
  • Was elected as Community Moderator for one of the Stack Exchange sites, Super User
  • Wrote my first Chrome Extension to get around WebNonsense crap
  • Bad security practice from the past comes to haunt me.
  • Quit 3i and joined Logica at the middle of the year – after almost having joined TCS, rejected in final round of interview at Oracle & a bungled interview at Société Générale.
  • Did a short term stint in Bangalore for training at Logica
  • My beloved Nexus S got stolen, purchased a iPhone 3GS from Shivaranjan as it’s replacement
  • Went on a road trip to Goa with Appy, AshwinSid and SwaroopH during the middle of the rainy season.
  • Test drove the Swift & Figo. Waited for the new Swift to arrive in market and then went and booked the Ford Figo. Swift’s price put it out of my budget & couldn’t wait 6+ months for the Swift
  • Met Harshad Sharma & Malcolm after having known them for *years* on twitter.
  • Gatecrashed Ravi’s wedding.
  • Ran all over Chennai in trying to get the paperwork & formalities done for the car loan
  • Car loan got disbursed, did the payment, only to be told, couple days before taking delivery that I will be relocated to Bangalore
  • Cancelled car booking, return loan since re-registration of TN car in KA === heavy losses. Total damages: 2.3k(loan processing fees) + 4k (first month interest)
  • Got a permanent transfer to Bangalore! (woohoo!) Ashwinsid & 9_6 welcome me in style.
  • Moved to a 1BHK house on rent. Much thanks to Dkris for allowing me to stay at his house and give expert tips on house hunting.
  • Watched Poets of the Fall perform with front row, centre stage view at The Great Indian Octoberfest
  • Got clicked for #TAD365, thanks Roycin!
  • Met GeekGod & Waste-u Photographer, Waste-u Photographer’s bitch and Frequent Flyer Manish
  • Finally, welcomed the New Year at a far-away coffee estate in Chikmagalur.

Gadgets bought/acquired/reviewed

Overall, a fab year. Happy New Year – and best wishes for the year ahead.

Goodbye, 3i

I had tweeted these 2 simple sentences, the former about 3 months ago, the latter yesterday. Yep, after nearly 4 years, I’m moving away from 3i. It’s been an interesting experience – I’ve ranted and raved about my journeys on twitter, and often blogged about my experiences and misadventures in 3i ( if you have same free time, go read through the archives – good stories there). In these past (almost-)4 years, I started out as a trainee, creating patches & shipments, moved onto to GUI development using Oracle forms, switched over to backend stored procedures development using PL/SQL. Then came the big challenges – client interaction & data migration. Moving data from a 30-year old legacy system is no easy task, and with the constraints & adherence to business logic to be followed – was no doubt, the most challenging task that I had undertaken. Big props to all my colleagues, team mates, peers who helped me along and encouraged and motivated me. Also, a special Thank You to the Ruby gang.

So what’s next? I will be moving over to Logica, starting Monday. I’ll still be in Chennai, though.  Here’s for the new challenge ahead.

Of Thanksgiving Trip, Gadget Overloads, Cancelled Christmas Trip & Back To India

I’ve been absent in posting here – more because there’s hardly anything interesting going on. Well, there’s laziness as well. So here’s a recap.

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For the past couple of months, my colleague had returned back to India, which meant me having no company. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I decided to pay a trip to my cousin sis’ place in Allen, TX. With no car with me & bus service from Austin to Allen non-existent – I decided to rent a car from Enterprise.

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Two months on, I’m soldiering on…

Hard to believe, but it’s been two months since I’ve been in Austin.  Let’s rewind back to my flight details.

As mentioned in my previous post my flight was due to depart at 04:45, and I would have to reach at the Airport by atleast 2AM. Since I didn’t have a vehicle, I called up a call-taxi and arranged for it to come at 01:30. The airport was about 45 minutes from where I stay, and wasn’t sure about the traffic (if any – plus it was kinda stormy that night/early morning) so revised the taxi timings and asked him to come over at 01:15.

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Heading back to Austin

Well, I’m heading back to Austin for a second stint. Had an amazing time the last time I was there – was there for almost a year. Learnt a lot – technically & otherwise. Unlike last time when I had a flight from Chennai to Mumbai and then a direct Mumbai to New Jersey flight ( with a Mumbai International Airport to boot) – this time, the flight will be from Chennai.

The route would be Chennai – Doha – Washington – Austin. Worst part about this journey is that flight takes off at 04:45, and I would have to reach there by atleast 2AM – which means – Goodbye sleep. Will be reaching Doha by 06:45 for a 2 hour stopover. The connecting flight leaves Doha at 09:00 and would reach Washington at 16:00. The final flight to Austin is set to depart at 18:50. I’m a little worried about this difference – I’m not sure if this difference is enough for me to finish off the formalities – especially the immigration part. Lets see how it goes. Hope it will not be anything like the last trip!

Of comatose blogs & vacations

Its been a very busy, hectic past few months. Besides my day night job( I work at US timings, PITA), I’ve also started contributing to techie-buzz, though my day night job takes a whole lot of my time, and I’ve not been able to contribute much. My Linux blog and as well as this blog has been lying almost in a coma state. I plan to start posting some articles now and then, got it in shipshape with a new theme, so watch out!  I’m still pretty active on twitter ( again, not as active as I used to be – even with my “low” activity I keep getting requests not to spam the timeline :p). I’ve been fairly active on posterous though.

I started using tumblr as my tumblelog, but switched over to posterous. The primary reason for switching over was at that time, tumblr was incapable of handling multiple attachments – it’d post the first attachment and discard the rest. Started looking for alternatives, and posterous caught my eye. Its unbelievably amazing how simple posterous is. Just send an email to post@posterous.com, and you’re done. That’s it. That floored me over.

I’ve been actively involved in Web communities for quite some time,  and now time constraints mean that current my involvement is at Chip forums where I’m the Super Moderator and at SuperUser( with rep of 7.1k ) – The StackOverflow for Power Users. I also lurk around in Meta – there are some good discussions over there. When I get some time, just drop by Reddit, Hacker News and TED.

Coming back to real life, as mentioned I’ve been pretty deeply involved in work, and come this Wednesday, I’ll be taking a break for about 10 days ( after a span of about 5 months, I believe). Initially, the break was meant just for the weekend – the plan was to head to Thrissur, Kerala and then hop back to Chennai. I decided to extend the plan,  and head over to Mangalore to take a break. Deepti, Ankit & the rest proposed that we meet up at Cochin for the weekend,and so it was settled. So, currently the plan looks like:

Jun 23rd: Chennai to Thrissur

Jun 24/25: Thrissur to Cochin

Jun 25 – Jun 27: Cochin

Jun 27 – Cochin to Mangalore

Jun 28 -  July 4th: Mangalore

Will be good to take a nice break. Hope I don’t calls regarding work, my experience says I will get it :/

Got nothing planned in Mangalore, lets see how it works 🙂

The case of the Neverending SMS Series

Most of the Ruby gang are very well aware of the “Stupid SMS series”. For the uninitiated, it was Nitin’s way of…. umm… timepass ? by sending SMS to all of the Ruby gang which made absolutely no sense whatsoever ( I hate to admit it, but it’s true, Nitin is a version of “The Amit“).

Anyways back to the post,  couple of days ago, as I was spending time in morning, my iPhone started to buzz away. It wasn’t very surprising, since getting a message in morning isn’t something out of the ordinary. Opened the message only to see it was a blank SMS from an unknown number. Ignored it at first, but then the buzzing went on continuously. In a matter of few minutes my inbox looked like this:

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Celebrating 2 years

Couple of days ago, I tweeted this little message. July 9, 2007 is a red letter day for me – for that was the day I started my career as a working professional. As I tweeted that, I was greeted over IM by few of my friends and colleagues. It didn’t strike me much as soon as I tweeted, but few hours later I was just amazed as to how fast time has gone by – and how far I’ve come. To think, I applied for this position as an afterthought (“should I really ? Well..”). That got me into nostalgia mode.

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