Match Point

Written on 4:04 PM by Tushar Thole

These days I drive to work which takes half an hour in each direction.Here's an interesting thought which originated during the commute.

Life is unfair. Opportunities you get are analogous to waiting times at a traffic signal. Everything depends on the timing! Sometimes you might have to wait for a long time till the queue built up in front of you clears up and there will be times when you are the first one to pass through. Relating this to the professional life, I see people with 6 years of experience who don't even have a US degree, managing a team working on cutting edge technologies. At the same time there are people with 10+ years of experience with a graduate degree from Stanford working under them. (I am not suggesting that becoming a manager is the nirvana of a software engineer. Replace the label "manager" with whatever you want to become or achieve in professional life.) You'll argue that a person's promotion (as an engineering manager in this discussion) does not solely depend on his/her technical skills or background. It is also a function of his people management skills (soft skills) and his desire to manage a team (there are people who want do a technical job forever). True. Agreed. Given all that I am trying to figure out what are the reasons behind a meteoric rise of an individual. Exclude "startup superstars" for now.Just as an exercise compare your manager with your director. Both of them might have almost similar profile/background/professional experiences . Both of them possess people management skills.In a place like silicon valley where every other person is technically sound (lets not argue about that. It's just a hypothesis) I think becoming successful very heavily depends on being at the right place at the right time!

I'd seen an excellent movie based on this idea called Match point directed by Woody Allen.Highly recommended.

Freebase

Written on 5:12 PM by Tushar Thole

Attended a lecture by John Giannandrea, CTO of Metaweb Technologies on "Freebase: An Open Database of the World's Information" at PARC which happens to be just across the street from VMware office.

ABSTRACT

Freebase -- an open database of the world's information -- is built by a global community and is free for anyone to query, contribute to, and build applications on. Drawing from large open data sets like Wikipedia, MusicBrainz, and the SEC, Freebase is curated by a passionate global community of users and contains structured information on millions of topics such as music, food ingredients, rocket engines, stock indices, historical events, and more.

This was arranged as a part of 'Going Beyond Web 2.0' lecture series.Online archive of previous lectures can be found here.

Notes to self

  • Revisit - DB normalization, Transaction processing.
  • Know more! - URI,onotologies, semantic web, RDF,Powersets,Schema "last" or schema "later"
  • Look at - Google maps API, Freebase API

Windfall

Written on 2:03 PM by Tushar Thole

I vaguely remembered reading about Once, an Academy/Grammy award winning Irish musical, so thought of giving it a try. We*’re not especially fans of musicals and when we read the movie description on Netflix DVD cover we were really disappointed. Being a strong believer in Collection Fusion (yet another Info retrieval buzzword), I usually dissect the movie before watching it by reading IMDB reviews…as there is nothing more painful in life than watching a crappy movie on a lovely weekend! Also we are past the stage where we would like to watch the first day first show of any movie so it’s better to play it safe by knowing in advance whether it is worth the time. Though usually I am very meticulous I somehow forgot to do this ritual for Once and it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. It made our weekend musical and magical! I can still hear those words lingering in my head…Falling slowly, Say it to me now, When your mind is made up …Superb music, awesome lyrics…I cannot (and don’t want to either) get those beautiful songs out of my head. More about the movie here.

Go grab a DVD now! Believe me you’ll love it!

*Usage "we" is a side effect of marriage and refers to me and my better half Minu:)

Free counter and web stats