Headhunters please brush up your spellings!

I got the above email about an opening as a kernal developer. Who in the right mind would want to join a company which advertises kernal ??

The sad state of Indian companies is that there are more openings than there are qualified people. And no - I do not mean qualification per se - we all know how little knowledge we get in college. But I am talking about people who know what they are supposed to be.

I take interviews for my project. And man, do I have a big problem. People dont even know the fundamentals of C++ and want to join! And this is I think happening because headhunters like the one above - are flooding the market with substandard resumes. No wonders that inspite of being the hottest outsourcing destination, India is still having very mediocre companies. And this is another reason why MNCs are setting up their own shop here. The indian obsession with head count is really shooting ourselves in our own foot.

If I had a company, this would not be the way I would go about to get good people in my company. I dont look at increasing the headcount . I don't want to be a GE or IBM with thousands of employees (and then layoff them later). I would rather have a few hundred of exceedingly good people ( like Google ) - and I believe that going through these headhunters is not the right way.

Joel has an excellent article on this: Finding great developers . IF you recruit, or interview or are thinking of starting your company, read it.

The roadblock to Windows

I am not a fan of Microsoft. I like Linux. And this example just shows why I am moving more and more away from MS and more and more to linux.

I just wanted to check out Media Player 11 Beta 2 for windows. Its a beta software.

So, you go and download it from their website. Then, 22.5MB of download later, you start the installer.

And what do you see ?

A screen which says, nay orders you, to validate your copy of windows before you can install a beta software.


Genuine advantage ?? Crap ! My copy of windows is an office copy. Running on my office machine. It has already been validated during the 'security update' phase. And still the folks at Microsoft are not trusting me enough to let me install a 'beta' version on a validated install of windows.

Clicked 'cancel'. Thank you very much - but no thanks. I will continue using winamp. I will continue to work on linux at all the opportunities I get. I dont like anyone - especially a company - policing what I do.

BN to Goa

BN is having a big get-together at Goa ! 20 nomadic riders are going to converge at Goa from various locations around India and have a blast in Goa... sun, sand, surf, bikes!

For those who dont know, I had started the group in 2002. We are very low key, don't advertise at all, and yet, we are growing. Awesome ! Kudos to the whole group.

911

Actually quite late in the day to write on this. But got interested after seeing a co-incidence on the TV.

911. What does it remind you of ?
  • Most people will be reminded of 9/11 when the planes crashed into the twin towers (sending the ratings of the News channels soaring)
  • 911 is the emergency dial no in the US (think of 100, 101, 102 all rolled into one )
  • in 1906, Gandhi started the satyagrah movement
  • in 1962 , the Beatles recorded their first single "Love me do".
  • in 1972, the Munich Summer Olympic ended.
  • in1954, the Miss America paegent was telecasted live for the first time.
  • Birthday of O. Henry
more stuff you can find out from where i found out :

For your desktop


I am not a very good photographer, but sometimes, I amaze myself ! Click on he pic to get the big view and set as your wallpaper :-D

Top 10 cameras on Flickr

Everyone knows about flickr right ? One of the most popular online image storage sites. Upload your images and share with your friends kind of thing, which is quite convenient to use. Yeah, even I use it.

Ever wondered the cameras that are the most popular with people ? What are the top 10 cameras being used by the people ? Now you can know ! Check out :
My camera is ofcourse not on the listing :( . Its actually now out of production after just 3 years or so, so I cannot even link it here !

Another interesting feature on flickr is that you can now geotag your photos ! What does it mean ? Well, basically if you have taken a pic in some location, you can add the info about the place to the pic and it will show up on the map for that location. Very cool to keep track of the pics from a particular place like say Delhi :-)

Hold on, Don't Fall

Warning : Philosophical Thought

We live in a competitive world. Everyone wants to succeed and not fail. Everyone operates under a constant pressure striving not to fail.

People get stressed out. They are told to be positive and think good etc. But its easy to give advice - even easier when someone does not know what it really means, and I think the 'be positive' is one advice which sounds good, but most people dont know what it means.

I too did not know. Its difficult to be positive when everything is going wrong. And then when someone comes and gives unsolicited advice on 'be positive man' ! you feel like strangulating that @#$@.

So, what the heck is it all about ? How does one succeed ? We see people succeeding and we think - " hey - I can also do that - but I dont succeed ! Why is that?".

It takes some different approach to think positive. And I first realized it when I read an anectodal story some while back. I dont remember where i read it or what was the title, but this is how it went.

A couple of kids were playing on a tree under the watchful eyes of their parents, when all of a sudden, it became windy. The kids were caught unawares and got disbalanced , but somehow managed to cling on to the branches. Both the parents shouted encouragments for them to bear out the gust of wind. However one of them fell down, and the other did not.

The difference was that the one who did not fall heard his parent say "Hold on!" while the other one had shouted "Don't fall". Though both are saying the same thing - the first is a positive statement, the 2nd a negative one. And our mind, to work on a negative statement works the other way round. So, the mind processes the info as 'Fall-dont'.

Ah ! you say ! (At least I did ! )

It makes more sense if you think in hindi. 'Don't fall' becomes 'Girna mat'. So, the mind first thinks of falling and by the time it is through with the translation its sometimes too late to realize that the meaning was just the opposite.

And that is all there is to being positive. It is not about thinking good thoughts. Its about thinking winning thoughts. A person who thinks "I should not fail" is more likely to fail than a person who thinks "I should pass". Its a subtle difference but it works.

On my bike rides, i have had a couple of falls and scores of near misses. Whenever I have fallen the thought process has been something like "Oh shit! I am going to fall" and the next thing I know I am on the ground. And there have been lots of places where the mind says "No" to a fall, and miraculously I dont fall - even though I was in much worse situations than where I had the fall.

Think about it. Remember it. Dont put negative words in postitive statements - you will be more likely to fail.

And that is all that it really is. Its just a mind game you have to master.

Here are a few things to show the comparison
  • I am not good enough vs I can be better
  • I may not succeed vs I may succeed
  • I am going to crash vs I am going to survive ( notice here its a reversal of the thoughts).

Amalgam of posts

Wow! I cant believe that I have not written an entry here for such a long time !

I still dont have anything original at this time to write, ;-) , so I am just going to post a few links from around the net. Stuff which is related to work and leisure.

Joel has some great articles on getting the correct people for the job. I dont think old age managers will agree to what he says, but a computer junkie it makes sense. Here are the posts :

Now that you are done with some heavy reading and how to interview/be interviewed, we move on to leisure. Right now I live an alternative life as a Night Elf in the World of Warcraft Game. As such I have started another blog on his life, and that also allows me to check out the new beta from blogger. Its neat - but still has a few problems like still not being able to place the images correctly. Anyways, the new link to the new blog is :

And if you think I am nuts about gaming - check this out :
On the biking front - not much happened. Hyderabad is one of the most un-happening cities i have lived in - which can be attributed to not having any interesting places around, bad roads , bad traffic sense and a very hot climate. On BN though, we recently created the Hall of Fame - which lists the achivements of some members there. :-D. And no - I dont lead the standings.