Friday, November 29, 2013

Some Popular Songs of Y2K

Came across some very popular songs during Y2K. Decided to make a public playlist with the songs those were very frequently requested to the MTV request show presented by Nikhil Chinappa then. Feel free to remind me some more.

Friday, November 22, 2013

My response to a job applicant

Lately I have been looking for some mid/senior level Java programmers for my team in Hyderabad studio. I got resumes from a lot of sources and decided to respond to some of them with feedback before forwarding them to the talent acquisition department. I took some time two write a lot of details in the feedback because I have been observing a trend in resume writing which do not seem to be correct to me. Here is one of the personal feedback I write to a applicant of my acquaintance  .

Thanks for sending the resume. Sorry for the delay in reply . I was too busy with office work. At this moment I am not able to forward your resume as it looked to me that the openings I have in my company did not match your profile. However I will keep your resume and  let you know if I find any junior level opening in future. Meanwhile you can consider following points to increase your chances of resume being shortlisted.

These are my general and personal opinion.

  1. Communication, when you email someone for career or office work be careful about following general English mistakes.

    1. Initial/Address should be in Caps e.g. "Hello" or "Hi" (not "hello" or "hi")

    2. Try to address by name e.g. "Hello Neil" . Tech companies do not encourage "Sir", it may sound funny/sarcastic sometimes.

    3. Name should start with upper case. e.g. "Neil" not "neil", "poonam" etc

    4. I would not know what "ASE" is, its your company designation . Either write in full or just write generic titles like "Developer" or "Engineer".

    5. Always check the grammer.

    6. Be careful about the company name you are applying for. I guess you wanted to write "EA" and wrote 'xx' instead. Try to do research about company from internet before you apply.

    7. Avoid short form/SMS language like "pls".

    8. Do not put bullet points when not required like 1, 2... etc in your email. The body started with bullets.

  2. Things to avoid in resume

    1. "potential of implementing java development application software programs" does not mean anything. It could be just "Java programming or development".

    2. What is "oracle coding standards" ? Its not a coding language . It could be PL/SQL. Do not write something which you are not sure of. You will be asked questions and if not answered , it will disappoint the interviewer.

    3. Again, "thorough approach to the work" does not mean anything.

    4. "Currently working" and "till date" in the same sentence does not mean anything.

    5. Nobody works on MS-DOS now and if you put specific ones like Windows8, that may mean you cant work with Windows7 and Linux. OS is not required to be mentioned at all in these kind of jobs.

    6. JavaScript is a single word, if you put space, reviewer will think you are faking it. Same with HTML (all upper case).

    7. In project summery , no one would be interested to know functional details like "MultiVu only officially supports SFU and MDU accounts with PRIN ". Just write technical challenges you solved without going too much company specific. Also remember no one like developers who leak proprietary information.

    8. A resume reviewer will definitely not have any idea about "xxxxx event name at XXXX college". If you want to write about it, you can write specific competitions you won.

    9. "Runners in cricket tournament" means you were just substitute runner for a batsmen. :)

    10. Statements like "Capable of adopting myself to different environment." is too generic. Never write them.

    11. Most important - Read the resume few times if that sounds good.

These are only my observations in the email and resume. There are many more small things to be careful about. However there would be some mistakes without your knowledge, those are fine as long as you know what is correct.

Again, these are my personal opinion, I may sound very picky but just wanted to give you heads up before you send the resume somewhere else. Please take these feedback positively and work on it. Employers like people who are ready to change for good.

Feel free to email me anytime.

All the best


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Monopoly Bingo

Electronic Arts recently launched a new mobile game called Monopoly Bingo in Android and iOS. Fortunately I got a chance to work on it. In my own opinion it has excellent graphics and game play experience is a lot of fun. The game can be downloaded from Google Play and Apple Appstore. Try it out and feel free to give feedback/rating . Also you can like the Facebook page and follow the twitter  (@MonopolyBingo)account to get updates about new stuff related to the game.

Disclaimer - Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.

Moved my blog to VPS

Few months back I had moved my blog to Heroku, now I wanted to try out VPS. Heroku was all good but updating every thing via Git commands was kind of a pain when there is a image upload or wordpress version upgrade. VPS is like renting virtual hardware and OS and getting full access to the same. I choose DigitalOcean as they were very cheap and some of my friends gave good feedback about it. I choose the lowest plan that was 5 USD per month for a 512 MB ram. I got root access to the virtual machine and installed LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) to host my PHP blog.

Blog ran all fine initially but soon I started getting the errors as MySQL kept shutting down automatically. So i had to login and start it manually. From error log and customer support I came to know that for tech stack I am running 512Mb may not be sufficient, so I decided to give it some swap space. Anyway DigitalOcean claims all its storage is SSD and those are supposed to be faster than HDD. Following are the commands for setting up swap.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1M count=1024

mkswap /swapfile

swapon /swapfile

# vi /etc/fstab

(add line /swapfile swap swap defaults 0 0)

swapon -s

free -k

This reminded me late 90s linux installation when we had to allocate some space to swap partition in the hard disk apart from boot and root (most of the times in addition a partition containing Windows 98 :) ) . of course those days RAM used to be expensive.

The blog has been running fine after that, I will continue to monitor for few for days.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Cultural shocks ? Not really !

At one of the work parties, someone asked me "What were the cultural shocks did you get after you came to USA ?" Its really a valid question and while I was trying to think of an answer I concluded that there were so many things different but not all of them are really "shock".America

Most of them were not actually shock because we do follow a lot of American movies and sitcoms. But few things I really discovered after landing here which was not very common in India, neither they show it in movies. (May be because it is very trivial here.)

  • American roads gives priority to the pedestrians. So if you are in the side of the road the card generally do not cross until you cross the road. DO NOT TRY in India. No vehicle stops for pedestrian to cross.
  • Be it hotel or office, if you run into someone whom you don't even know and make eye contact , you gave to smile and at least say "hello" or "Good Morning". Sometimes even known people are ignored when in such situations happen in India. Moreover in India people can continue to stare at you without any business as if very interested  in your activities. Staring would be definitely rude in America.
  • Most of the places I saw the queue starts after a bit of space from the counter and no one tries to jump the queue. However jumping queue considered to be "smart" in india and people feel proud about it. I have seen many of my acquaintances  feeling proud and showing off that they managed to get something done before someone else who deserved the same. Ideally they should feel ashamed about it and I find it as a form of corruption.

Overall I found America as I expected.Not that everything they do is perfect (i.e. keeping shop light turned on all night and wasting a lot of food in restaurants ), there is definitely so many things we need to learn to incorporate in out system.