My Bangalore Trip

Disclaimer:
This is a personal post. It is all about me and what I did in the last 3 days. If you don’t know me at all, I strongly advise you to stop reading here and I apologize for taking your time. If you are geek like me and prefer to read a technical post, rather than this boring post, you checkout my post on chess interview questions.

I had a great weekend at bangalore and felt like blogging about it. I’ve also planned to write here at least once a week. So that too adds as a strong factor to write this post here. This post is much longer than I expected it to be. So please proceed when you are totally jobless.

The reason why I planned this trip is totally arbitrary. I just wanted to take a small break from work and meet my friends in Bangalore.

1. Latika (my IBM friend) always keeps us inviting to her place for meetup and we have loads of fun everytime we go there. Mortal Kombal, Raiden vs Bo Rai Cho, Dhani vs (Hari, Nandini, Latika, Shilpa), T20 match, “shopping” at lifestyle and lots more makes us go there again and again. Even if latika doesn’t invite us, we somehow make her do that :P (at the loss of some maaanam)

2. Lavanya bought a new scooty and she was too excited about it. Exctied about skidding in front of forum, caught by a policeman for wrong u turn and loads and loads of stories. This time she promised for a long ride when I come there (thank god she is one of the people who is ok with others riding her bike)

3. Been a long time since I’ve met manu, alagu, suren, sahil, anshu, ankit, preeti, balli, pk, donatello and others. These guys are the people I ping/bug for any technical/non-technical related queries. In fact, most of the important decisions we decide at interviewstreet, I brainstrom with these people and the outside perspective adds lots of value and even refines the way we think. These guys aren’t MBA marketing wiz but they are smart people and any decision or idea they suggest usually has a good logical reasoning behing it.

I got a mail saying there is bigthinkers talk series at leela palace. The bigthinkers talks are usually very good and the food they provide after the talk is YUMMY. :) So, I decided this is the only chance to go to Bangalore and I grabbed it :). And it so happens, the OCC meet is also on sunday.

Was a little skeptical about going to bangalore with no well planned schedule ahead. Usually when I go there, I will have a tight packed schedule with at least 3 meetings per day and squeeze in visiting friends in between these meetings. So, this time I thought I’ll have a peaceful time at bangalore with spending most of my time in my bed. Alas, it doesn’t happen that way when you have too many many good friends to meet and too little time.

Friday morning, I went to Vemana Institute of Technology to propose for a one day talk about interviewstreet and how to tackle interview and stuff. We had given the same talk at Karpaga Vinayagam College near Chennai the previous day and were thrilled about the response we got. But things didn’t move that fast here. Everyone from HOD to the lecturers seemed to be busy with their own work. Guess this will need another trip to get things moving faster. Keeping my fingers crossed on what they are going to respond today. I’ll be very glad if this doesn’t need one more trip.

I was out of Vemana by 2 and the bigthinkers at leela is from 3 to 5 PM. Unfortunately, some 5 to 6 people who promised they will come with me to Leela ditched me at the last moment. So, I was thinking whether to go all alone or bunk the event. Reaching leela 10 mins before the event, I was saw Nithya from Muziboo.com there. It was really a sweet surprise. Nitya and Prateek from Muziboo are really really sweet people who spent more than 2-3 hours with us last time discussing about interviewstreet, what we can do, why we should focus more on online marketing and many other things. I can never forget her jumping from her chair saying “we also did the same mistake.. You are exactly at the same position where we were 2 years back. Don’t do this“. It was almost like a mom trying to convice her kid that dogs are dangerous and they will bite you if you go near them. :) I was a little surprised to see her remember me and next 3 hours was discussion on muziboo, SEO, college visits and every single doubt I had in my mind at that time.

The talk by Rayleigh on the marketing reasearch was amazing. The number of factors he has considered so that external factors doesn’t affect his experiment is too good and made me think if I can do something on a smaller scale at interviewstreet.

After the talk, met friends of nitya and others who had come for that event. I realised that as an entrepreneur, you are never alone in any meetup. All you need is to say I’m X working for Y, exchange cards and talk to that person as if you know that person for months. It’s so simple.

Done with the networking at leela, met ankit, preeti and lavanya at pizza hut. Lavanya took the spotlight of the meetup with all the “extraordinary” things she has done. We can even call this as her “experiments”. To make a long story short, when you have lavi, it’s fun fun and fun. :)

Done with the dinner, planned for the next day. Me and lavi decided to got to nandi hills (thought this turned out to be a “well tried” attempt). With so many meetups and travel, I was dead tired when I reached home and was shocked to know that the SEO talk by Steve Wiideman is at 2.30AM. Played cricket with my friends for an hour, slept at 11.30 and got up by 2.25 to attend the SEO call (remember, this was supposed to be a break from work. sigghhh).

Done with the call and got interviewstreet reveiwed by him. Slept again at 3.30 and was woken up by lavi at 4 for the nandi hills trip. Thankfully, she suggested we cancel the trip, since none of knew the way to nandi hills and to make things worse, she didn’t even know how to come to my place. :D. Went back to sleep again and got up at 12 for lunch. This is one thing I love at bangalore. Getting up at 12 or 1 or 2 and skipping lunch after that. :D.

Reached latika’s place by 2 and we ordered pizza’s and started our mortal kombat game series. This time, we weren’t able to kick dani’s ass like how we did last time. But I was able to kill shilpa every single time:). Had lunch, played games again, met ankur, played games again and when I left from their place, it was 9.30 :O. Should thank latika for putting up with us all the time. Her place has become the standard place for our IBM gang to hang out whenever I come to bangalore. :).

Done with meeting and chatting with my IBM friends, met lavanya again since she lives in the same apartment. Went to corner house, but this time no DBC. :) Can’t afford to do the same mistake again. Was literally shocked when she told me she knew that I don’t booz. I’m still clueless what went wrong in my whole plan. Again, back to home by 11, this time watched IPL highlights with friends (thanks to youtube) and slept at around 12. Had OCC and few other meetups planned for the next day and had to sleep early for that (yes, 1 is early)

Got up at around 8 on sunday, and was ready to OCC by 9. Lavanya also wanted to come for this. So went with her to OCC and talk Sharad gave was excellent. Especially, the way he puts things forward is simply awesome. With 25 years experience, he is full of success and failure stories and each one of them was well put there. Done with the event, had lunch and met donatello, pk, balli and suren to discuss if we can use their codechecker at interviewstreet. The way they are developing the product right now is very exciting and I’m 99% sure interviewstreet will use their codechecker and am actually waiting for their first stable release, so that we can use it in our production servers. :) Have to test their current beta version.

Done with the long feature discussion and demo of his codechecker, interviewstreet’s admin interface, architecture design and everything, got a 15 mins to nap and again, had to meet the LRSL (Last row of Sun Lab) guys. Unfortunately, appaji, sahil and taggy couldn’t make for this event. I have no clue how the next 4 hours flew. We discussed linux, web, hacking, cracking, google, yahoo, fedora, ubuntu and what not. (everything you can expect from a lrsl guy).

With a full dinner done, I was in no mood to pack and leave bangalore. Came back home with anshu and had long and fruitful discussion with him on how we can make facebook, orkut and blog widgets for interviewstreet which can be fun and useful. This is one main reason why I discuss stuff with techies. They have a logic behind their decisions. Got many many useful ideas from anshu and reached home like at midnight 12.

Almost did everything I wanted to do in bangalore. Now blogging on my way to chennai. Back to interviewstreet, interviews, analytics, customer call, college visit, ROI, analytics analysis, project graph curve path, figure out the reason why numbers came down, check where to do speed/SEO optimizations, how to increase pageviews/vists, increase articles and prep-kits, remove bugs. Phew!!!. That’s the long list of tasks I do almost everyday :O… Can’t believe I was the carefree software engineer, WFH almost 3 days week in IBM.

Guess that’s about it. See ya next week. Bfn. :) Regards

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