Monthly Archives: September 2008

Pune SharePoint Day – 2nd October

Rizmos Solutions in conjunction with the Pune User Group (which really, really needs to rename itself as the Pune Microsoft Technologies User Group) is hosting a half-day seminar about Microsoft Sharepoint. Both speakers are from Rizmos (technically, eTek which is Rizmos’ parent company), which provides consulting and services in this space. Hopefully, they will talk more about SharePoint and less about their services. 

If you don’t know what SharePoint is, now is a good time to find out:
In computing, the Microsoft SharePoint product sold by Microsoft includes browser-based collaboration and document-management platform. It can be used to host web sites that access shared workspaces and documents, as well as specialized applications like wikis and blogs from a browser. 
It is an important “enterprise 2.0” technology that you should know about.
Thursday October 2, 2008 from 9:30am – 2:00pm
MCCIA Hall in ICC Convention Center  

ICC Convention Center, Senapati Bapat Marg
Category: Education
09:30 am Reporting
10:00 am Welcome
10.15 am Key note (Mr. Robert Bye)
10.45 am Tea Break
11.00 am Opportunities in sharepoint (Mr.Ameet Phadnis)
01.00 pm Lunch  

For more info about the speakers, see here.

This event is free for all. Register here.

As usual, see the PuneTech calendar for the latest and greatest tech events in Pune. And if you like PuneTech, please email your friends about it.

Help plan a JoomlaCamp or OpenSocialCamp in Pune

After the amazing success of PHPCamp in Pune last week, and also noticing the amount of attention received by OpenSocial on the one hand, and PHP based CMSs (like Drupal, Joomla) on the other, some of the organizers of PHPCamp, and others, are thinking of having more specific barcamps in Pune on those two topics. The kickoff meeting to plan and organize those events is happening this Saturday, at the Level 9 Cafe, at ICC towers on S.B. Road. 

If you want motivation on why you should get involved in organizing events like this, check out Amit’s post on the 10 things he got out of organizing PHPCamp. Even if you miss the meeting, you can join late and follow the discussion over at the PHPCamp mailing list the OpenSocial Developer Garage mailing list.

Rohan Dighe, one of the primary organizers of this meeting, left the following comment, which gives much more detail on what this meeting is about. I am reproducing the comment here:


After PHPCamp, a few of us have been planning on an event specifically focused on Content Management Systems (CMS Camp) and also an event focused on Opensocial (building apps for orkut/myspace/hi5, etc).

Below are the details of ODG:-

The Opensocial Event is named “Opensocial Developer Garage”

We at Social Web Factory have been planning long to host an event like this specifically focused on social web apps and current web2.0 trends and looks like our dreams are coming true.

So, Opensocial Developer Garage’08 – Pune has a tentative date of (20th December’08, it’s a saturday!)

Now, the idea of the event is to unite all the social web apps developers from all over the country and just share/code/have fun and maybe inspire a few wannabee..

The idea is not to duplicate PHPCamp (get 750+ people) but to focus on the genuine/interested crowd, opensocial enthusiasts or app developers. I really have no estimate now of how many people would come or how everything would fall in place but i just have a feeling that this can be done.

The event is a free event but is an invitation only event, we will call for speakers as well as delegates as soon as our website is up.

My plan is to invite people from Google/MySpace/BigAdda/20 other social networking website owners and their developers. We really need people to have the “WoW!!” feeling when they are at the event.

Venue/Sponsors are yet to be decided. I am preparing an email which we will send to multiple groups including expert opensocial developers across the country and big SNS groups.

I guess that all i have for now:
The kickoff meeting to plan and organize those events is happening this
Saturday (tomorow) , at the Level 9 Cafe, at ICC towers on S.B. Road.

Agenda for the meet would be
1) To finalize goals for both the camps
2) un-conference/ conference
3) Budgets
4) Organizers/ Volunteers
5) Strategy/Game Plan
6) Resource Allocations
7) Venue.

I am setting up the website and should be up soon.

Google Groups have been setup.

All the discussions regarding Opensocial Developer Garage will happen here.

Join Up.


Group email:

OpenSocial Developer Garage now has a profile on the PuneTech wiki.

Liveblogging CSI Pune’s Entrepreneurship Seminar

I’m at CSI Pune‘s Entrepreneurship Seminar. Please forgive the haphazardness and lack of flow/organization. I’m liveblogging. Hopefully, better structured articles will emerge after a few days.

Arrived late and missed Anand Deshpande’s Keynote address.

What do VCs look for

Manik Arora, Founder and Managing Director of IDG Ventures India is talking about how to approach a VC. How they decide who to fund.

How to contact a VC.
Don’t call or send email without any introduction. VCs like to hear about you from someone they trust. A customer, ideally. Or a known successful entrepreneur, seed investor, etc. Otherwise they have no idea how seriously to take you.

Also, ideally, a VC who is going to invest a huge amount of money in you, likes to feel that he knows you. So, he would be much more comfortable investing if he’s known you for an year or two. Which means that you should meet and interact with VCs even if you are not looking for funding. You don’t want funding right now, but an year from now, when you are looking, and if you’ve been “hanging out” with that VC for a while, he will feel much more comfortable.

The Business Plan
Is important. It’s main purpose is to ensure that VC wants to meet you. Should contain the:

  • Elevator pitch
  • Vision and Mission statement
  • Market and Industry Environment – Size, Segment, Growth, Issues/Trends
  • Value Proposition, Key Products/Services and Sustainable Differentiation
  • Competition strengths and weaknesses and Entry Barriers
    • Most Indian Business Plans don’t have this.
    • If this section is done really well, VC gets quickly interested.
    • Shows that you are a sophisticated business person, as opposed to a techie.
  • Business Model and Sales/Marketing Strategy
    • What is the revenue driver, and what is the cost drivers
  • Market Traction Achieved so far
    • This is hard for early stage investors
    • So you probably don’t have much, but important to show speed with which you got there
  • Management Team Bios/Details
  • Organization Structure
  • Financials – Historical Actuals, Forecasts; Cash Flow + P&L
  • Exit Options – Names, Comparables, Price Paid, Multiples
  • Capital Required – How much, for what, over what timeframe
  • Risks and Gaps – What could go wrong, what don’t you have

Details available at

Do you need experience? Yes.
Start in a large company, so you know what business is about, what process is about, and also what are weaknesses of a big business, that you can exploit.

The Pitch/First Meeting: “Credibility”

Preparation before the meeting

  • Show up a little early. (You’ll be surprised at how many people come late.)
  • Dress appropriately. 
  • Have practiced your pitch a couple of times. 
  • Have a presentation ready / bring a couple of print-outs

During the meeting

  • Don’t try to only make your points – listen to them too
  • Answer questions directly
  • Ask the VC questions – gauge the VCs knowledge and style. It is fine to decide that you don’t like the VC and would not want to work with him
  • Discuss the deal briefly, don’t worry about valuation/dilution just yet
  • Towards the end, ask the VC the process going forward 
  • Towards the end, ask the VC how he can add value
  • Leave with next-steps clear and follow-up if you think this is a VC you want to take money from

Panel Discussion

Moderator is Madhukar Bhatia of nFactorial Software. Panelists are Manik Arora of IDG Ventures (whose talk forms the top half of this article), Yoshima Somvanshi of NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network), Sandeep Kumar, MD of Product Dossier, Vishwas Mahajan, CEO of CompuLink, Ajay Phatak, MD of Jopasana, Rajeevlochan Phadke (CEO of Image Point Technologies, a very interesting company that I hope to write about in a separate post). 

What environment is needed for successful startups?

Manik: A risk-taking society is a must. A person must be willing to take a risk. His in-laws must be OK with this decision. People must be willing to fund him – angel, seed, VC. Another problem with startups in India is that biggest market, US is too far away. Having a large domestic market is key – and that is slowly growing. CIOs in India are now willing to buy locally. Must have large feeder companies, where people can be part of growth and experience it, and learn from it, and find co-founders at. 

Ajay: In the “risk taking society” an important ingredient is also risk taking customers.

Sandeep: Customers are not willing to trust Indian startups. Can’t be sure the company will be around after 10 years. And this isn’t just the customer’s problem, because success stories are not there.

Vishwas: Early advice he got: He had an idea, and went to someone for funding. Was told: don’t come to me until you have 5 customers. That will teach you a whole bunch of things. And you will be taken more seriously. You don’t know all the real requirements and complexities until you have real customers.

What are the trends?

Manik: I don’t look at trends anymore. Look at the team. For example, everybody thinks web is hot in India now. But the last time the web was hot, about 25 to 30 companies got funded, and only 4 or 5 are still around. And now if you see, most of the top 15 websites in the world are actually platform companies. What can you do that would really be new and interesting?

Students in Startups (How to attract people to startups, and retain them)

Yoshima: NEN just had a startup jobs program. In some college in Delhi they had a placement day just for startups. 25 jobs where offered and 18 were accepted. One of the things that worked well is the fact that students did internships with startups, and got an idea that the work is interesting.

(Very cool, I think we should try something like this in Pune -navin)

Manik: I see lots of people in Wipro who work 14-15 hour days. And salary is less than what the market pays. So why do they all stick around? Apparently, the answer lies in Premji’s philosophy – whenever a guy is 60 to 70% ready for the next level in the job, he is pushed into that responsibility. They are too busy with their responsibilities to worry about leaving.

Pune’s too expensive, outsource to Nashik – Interview of Sushrut Bidwai (StartupForStartups)

Nashik based StartupForStartups (SFS) is marketing itself as a “facility to help early stage companies with limited resources to build first cut of the product (V0.5/V1.0)”. Founder Sushrut Bidwai is a regular fixture at Pune startup events, and is trying to convince Pune-based startups to outsource work to his programmers in Nashik, promising that it will be cheaper than doing it themselves. PuneTech interviewed Sushrut to get a first-hand take on SFS’ value proposition.

Can you give an overview of StartupForStartups?
Many times people have good ideas, but dont have guts OR are shouldering family responsibilities, which does not allow them to pursue these ideas further. In some cases none of the founding team members are from tech background, so even getting a good CTO is difficult for them (salary wise as well skill wise) . StartupForStartups (SFS for short) is meant for such teams. Its better to have something ready before taking the risk of quitting (high paying) jobs. It gives you more insight into product you are building as well domain you are targeting.
What SFS does is, it provides you resources required to build that beta version which you will show to investors (if its a big product) or will launch to limited audience and see how market reacts to it. After having this beta ready and some reactions from market or investors it becomes easier to take the risk and pursue it further full time.

Why are you doing this in Nashik? I would have thought that being in Pune or Bangalore (near all the startups, who are your customers) would make more sense for you?
Problems with Pune and Banglore are operational costs and resource costs. Also Nasik will have lower attrition rates and keeping people happy is easier. With technologies pushing the boundaries, we have so many tools available which makes working in distributed teams far easier. We even can do pair programming with two people sitting 5000 miles away from each other using WebEx/dimdim/Skype. Also it provides lot of cost advantages to startups we are working with.

As a customer, one of the worries I would have with StartupForStartups, is the availability of quality talent in Nashik. How are you tackling this?
We have developed a unique training program called “Implementing Concepts” which all our engineers go through before joining any startup team. So even if a particular engineer has gone through it once for a particular project, he/she will go through it again using the technologies which are going to be used in new project. This kind of a very elaborate HelloWorld for a project. Also, my experience in working on tech products is 80% of work is trivial and 20% is core work which is complex. So even if a startup is working on a product which is complex, they can take help of our resource in rest of 80% work. Though this does not mean we do not have expertise to take up complex work, it just means we are flexible and are okay with working as part of larger team. Also this is not outsourcing model, it is collaboration model. So you know who is working on your product and what that persons skills are and you can choose from the pool available. Also, to keep high availability of quality talent we are in process of collaborating with colleges here in Nasik. In this we will take the training program to colleges and have students go through them while working on final year projects. Please note that we do not assign interns on the projects.

Considering that most of your customers are early-stage startups who are strapped for cash, how do you plan on charging them for your services?
Charging is transparent. We send details about salaries we are paying to engineers assgined assigned to work on a particular startup and plus typically 20% operational costs. Now if you consider Nasik and typical salaries engineers expect and are more than happy with are much lesser than in Pune/Banglore. We already have the infrastructure and are building team. We are planning to build a team of 12-15 people by Dec end.

Could you give us an idea of what kind of savings I can expect compared to outsourcing to a company in Pune? (Where are the savings coming from: lower salaries, or other factors too?)
Lower costs for resources.
Lower operational costs. Just to give you indicator of savings, an Entry level GWT/J2EE programmer will draw salaries in the range of 17-22K in Pune/Banglore same programmer if he/she is from Nasik will be more than content to work on a good startup team if given around 9-10K salary. Plus you have to keep him/her happy so there is no attrition. Spend money on infrastructure like office space/ furniture/ hardware/ software / electricity / lunch facilities and many non-tangible costs like FBTs/Mediclaim facilities etc etc. you save these costs by almost 70%.

What do you see as your key competencies?

  • Experience of working in large scale product companies as well as early stage startups.
  • Top management has excellent problems solving and product designing skills.
  • Understand working on an Idea and processes involved in the same.
  • We are young, enthu, full of energy and love working on good ideas. (This is probably the most important quality.)

In the context of StartupForStartups, I’ve heard you talk about having a startup ecosystem. Can you elaborate on that?
This eco system is for people who are still in jobs and want pursue ideas. Though part of it can be used by full time entrepreneurs.

  • We are signing an MoU with a financial and legal service provider company having experienced in handling these services for startups.
  • We are creating pool of consultants (Architects, Performance engineering, Marketing/Advertising, HR, Viral Video creators etc).
  • We are collaborating with engineering colleges here in Nasik. We have designed an unique training program “Implementing Concepts” which is focused on training engineering students with latest technology and early stage product engineering.
  • We are talking to people who have the expertise of providing mentoring to early stage companies even before product is built OR evolved. Though we are in early stages of discussions with these people, but hopefully it will happen.
  • We are building a tool (looking to raise funds for this tool) which is designed around a process called Super-Agile, which I will be publishing shortly. This tool and process are targeted for early stage product development. The tool will make writing code almost a trivial thing and even non-tech background people after a little training can build the products first cut on their own.
  • Network. Not all startup founders are well connected. It takes lot of time to connect with people who can provide you help in building the startup. We can help there by connecting you with people we know, so its some starting point.
  • Knowledge-base. Startup entrepreneurs does not have time to go through lengthy tax stuff etc. Or does not have time to design their documents like Offer letters, seperation letters, NDAs. Over a period of time we will collect such documents and put them in an inventory. This inventory can be very valuable to startups.

Note that all the services mentioned above does not necessarily come with a price tag. Some are out of goodwill some are for money 🙂 . Our main problem is we are young, have the skillsets necessary to pursue an idea and make it to successful business. But we do not have the idea. So we want to work with people who do have it.

For those interested in meeting, Sushrut is in Pune today (25th September 2008) and is likely to attend the CSI Pune Seminar on Entrepreneurship. I know that there are a bunch of PuneTech readers who have an idea for a startup but haven’t made much progress yet because they haven’t been able to quit their job and take the plunge. If you are one of those, would you be willing to outsource some of this development to StartupForStartups or a similar company? Do you think this model will work? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related Links

Startups: Enter contests, make friends, win prizes

There is a spate of competitions for startups and wannabe startups that are all running currently. You should consider submitting an entry (or nominating yourself) since that doesn’t take up too much time, and can in some cases, get you some good publicity / visibility. And if you actually win, then that’s even better.

SIBM’s Endeavor 2008 Business Plan Competition

SIBM is proud to present Pitch Perfect 480 contest. This event seeks to provide an opportunity for the working professionals/start ups to gather momentum through Seed Funding.

The structure of the event is:

Registration opens and Invite Business Pitch Presentations: 10th September 2008 to 5nd October 2008

Short listing of best 12 Business Pitch Presentations: 05th November 2008

8 minute (that’s 480 seconds, hence the name of the contest) presentations by the selected teams at SIBM Campus:  15th November 2008

The top 2 teams would get an opportunity to compete for funding of Rs. 50 million.

We are pleased to inform you that Venture Capitalists like SEEDFund,  NEA-IndoUS Ventures, IndiaCo Ventures Ltd. have confirmed their participation in the event.

For registration: or 
Contact organizing team:

IIT-Bombay’s EUREKA! Business Plan Contest

The Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT-Bombay is organizing EUREKA! The
Biggest International Business Plan Competition in Asia.

Prizes worth USD 50,000 are to be won with finalists getting a chance
to pitch in front of Mumbai Angels.

Teams will get a chance to represent India at the Intel-UC Berkeley
Innovation Challenge. Special Category this year is cleantech. Its simple to participate,
just log on to

The Tata NEN startup popularity contest

Tata and NEN announce the first ever people’s choice Awards for great young companies, the TATA NEN Hottest Startups Awards launched on Aug 27!

Be part of this action!

Who’s involved?
TATA has joined with NEN to bring you the Awards, with support from Major Partners Helion, Seedfund, Mint and Wadhwani Foundation and from the entire entrepreneurial community to make this a great success. 
>> Check out the great list of partners and their participation.

A better world for Startups

We’re hoping to get more than 500 Nominations, and reach over 5,00,000 people. With this, Hottest Startups will be the largest, most comprehensive Awards recognizing and supporting high-growth startups in India. Let’s help make the world a better place for startups!

Know a great startup? Nominate.
This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the startups in our community.
The startups should be 5 years or younger, headquartered in India, and poised 
to shape their industries. Do you know any? Did we just describe your startup? >>Please go online and nominate.

Hot or not? You decide.
In this competition, you are one of the decision makers. As soon as a Nominee goes online, the voting opens for that company. You can vote once for every single Nominee. You can vote either online or by sms.

>>Please go online, and vote: Help your favorite nominees win!

Hottest Stuff: Voter Lucky Draw

Everyone gets a chance to win at TATA NEN Hottest Startups! 
As soon as you vote, you are automatically entered into the TATA NEN Hottest Startups Voter Contests. Every week, 100 voters are randomly selected to get their fun prizes.

Contest: deadlines
Nominations and Voting open August 27. Winners are chosen through combination of Expert Reviews and voting. Voting for Phase 1 closes Nov 5, and the shortlist of 30 companies is announced Nov 6. Phase 2 begins Nov 6. The 5 Winners will be announced Dec 23.  
>> Details on contest rules.
What do the TATA NEN Hottest Startup Winners get?

Winners receive a powerful combination of tailored business development support, access to funding and incubation, and lots of great publicity, including profiles in a special supplement of Mint. Business support will be provided by Knowledge Partners, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and the Startup Accelerator at Microsoft.

Innovations 2009

The IIT-Bombay Alumni Association of Pune has an annual event to celebrate innovation in India. This is usually quite good, although it is not restricted purely to infotech or even tech, so the focus is rather broad – which is a good thing or a bad thing depending upon your point of view. But in any case, it is an event that you should try to get into. For details see PuneTech’s previous post about Innovations 2009.

Do these help?

Question for you: do events like these help? If you have been a startup that went through an event like this, did you find it worth it? I’d like to hear from both, winners as well as those who did not. Please leave a comment  below so the rest of the community can get an idea of how much time to spend on such activities.

NASSCOM Product Forum, Pune (Thu, Sept 25)

What: NASSCOM Product Forum

When: Thursday, 25th September, 10am to 1pm

Where: MCCIA (Hall No.4), A Wing, MCCIA Trade Tower,5th Floor, ICC Complex, Senapati Bapat Road

Fees and Registration: This event is free for all. Please RSVP Paresh Degaonkar at  or call at 91 9850049251


The NASSCOM Event at Pune slated on Sept 25, 2008 will unveil “NASSCOM Software Product Study” and the announcement of “NASSCOM INTEL  Product Connect Initiative”.

The NASSCOM Software Product Business Study presents the findings of our latest research effort focused on the Indian software product business environment. It provides a comprehensive review of the Product Business History, market landscape; highlights the key opportunity areas; identifies enablers for growth and suggests some targeted actions that key stakeholders should undertake to enable the next phase of growth for Indian software product businesses.

The “NASSCOM – INTEL Product Connect Initiative” is a collaboration to contribute to the overall software ecosystem by empowering NASSCOM’s member companies (software vendors) to innovate and develop a commercially viable application for businesses or Consumers. Beginning with strategic planning and insights into Intel’s technology roadmaps, the support continues through product development and application enablement, and the cycle is completed by augmenting your marketing campaigns with downloadable marketing resources and access to the Intel® Business Exchange portal – to enable you to reach new customers worldwide, and gain access, on a selective basis, to the investment wing of Intel.

Who should attend:

  • CXOs of Product Companies
  • Incubation Centers
  • Product Managers
  • Product Architects
  • Investing Community
  • Entrepreneurs

To keep in touch with all interesting tech events happening in Pune, check out the PuneTech calendar.

PHPCamp Pune – the biggest (un)conference in India

PHPCamp in Pune this Saturday, with a reported 700+ campers, was easily the biggest barcamp-style event in India. There were people coming in from all over the country, including groups of students from various colleges (not necessarily from Pune). Unfortunately, I missed it, and I’m trying to make up for it by rounding-up all the blog posts about PHPCamp that have appeared over the weekend. I’ll update this post as more pop up. The PHPCamp website has a comprehensive list of all blog posts before and after the event.

Some of the presentations are online. Check them out.

Varun Arora gives the history of PHPCamp and a blow-by-blow account of how the day progressed. Priyank has another view of the history of PHPCamp. Rahul Bansal of the Devil’s workshop points out that Drupal and Joomla got a lot of airtime but was very surprised at the absence of the two most popular PHP platforms, WordPress and Facebook. A talk on OpenSocial by Pravin Nirmal appears to be one of the most talked about talks.

Amit Kumar at AmiWorks, one of the organizers, has put up photos of the volunteers from SICSR and Pune IT Labs who did a lot of the behind-the-scenes work. Amit has also written about the 10 things he gained from unorganizing PHPCamp. This should encourage all of you to organize some community event. 

Tarun Chandel one of the godfathers of all barcamp style get-togethers in Pune was also on hand and has uploaded a bunch of photographs of PHPCamp on his photoblog. You can see how crowded the rooms were, with probably more people standing than sitting.

Also check out these other blog posts about PHPCamp by Sebastiaan Deckers, Priyanka Parekh, Rishi Agarwal,  Jaguarnac, and MyPHPDuniya.

CSI Pune Seminar on Entrepreneurship (Thu, 25th Sept)

What: CSI-Pune‘s seminar on entrepreneurship

Date and Time: 2 pm to 6 pm on 25-Sep-2008  

Where: Hall No. 4, A Wing, MCCIA Trade Tower, 5th Floor, ICC  Complex, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune 411 016

Registration: This event is free for all, but please register at


Today many professionals are aspiring to be entrepreneurs – mainly to get more job satisfaction, a sense of great accomplishment and personal financial gain. Entrepreneurship is often a difficult undertaking – especially so in IT business because there are rapid technological advances and significant competition. This seminar is aimed at featuring some “high-profile” entrepreneurs to share their experiences and provide valuable advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, provide inputs regarding raising of venture capital and discuss on how to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem.





2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Registration  
2:30 pm – 2:40 pm Inauguration and release of CSINewsletter  
2:40 pm – 3:20 pm Keynote address Dr. Anand Deshpande (MD & CEO, Persistent Systems) / Dr. Srikanth Sundarrajan (COO, Persistent Systems)
3:20 pm – 4:00 pm Approaching VCs – How they decide who to fund Manik Arora (Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures)
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Tea Break  
4:15 pm – 4:55 pm “Scaling Company successfully -> from Automated Securities to SunGard India” Harsh Barve (Vice Chairman, SunGard India)
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Panel discussion – building an entrepreneurial ecosystem and helping bridge the perceived gaps as brought out by the VC ·                      Manik Arora (Founder and Managing Director, IDG Ventures)   

·                      Yoshima Somvanshi, Sr. Associate Consultant, National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN)


·                      Vishwas Mahajan (CEO – Compulink)

·                      Rajeevlochan Phadke (CEO – Image Point Technologies)

·                      Sandeep Kumar (MD, ProductDossier)

·                      Ajay Phatak (MD, Jopasana, a CoreObjects company)

·      Panel coordinatorMadhukar Bhatia (nFactorial Software, formerly VP at Symphony Services and Founder of In-Reality Software)


Related links:

Why Python is better than Java?

Dhananjay Nene recently switched over to Python and has discovered that he is much happier writing programs in Python. He has a detailed post over at this blog on the reasons:

I think the most dominant impression from the last few months is that python does make programming feel a lot more easier and often more enjoyable. The feeling is not very different between riding a bicycle without gears then riding one with gears. In the latter case one just feels one can cover a lot more distance much more easily though any physicist will tell you the actual effort is not particularly different. It just feels like one has a much bigger toolbox (ie a wider assortment of tools) to work with and therefore the task seems simpler. Why do I think that way ? I believe the following features of python do help (in no particular order) :

* Concise Coding style : The code typically is much more concise, with much lesser verbosity
* Dynamic typing : You really do not need to worry about declaring data types and making sure the inheritance hierarchies especially for all the interfaces and implementations well laid out. The various objects do not even need to be in the same inheritance hierarchy – so long as they can respond to the method, you can call it. This is a double edge sword, but that doesn’t take away the fact that programming under dynamic types environment does seem a lot easier.
* Easier runtime reflection : Java seems to have all the reflection capabilities but I think these are just way too painful to use as compared to python. In python the entire set of constructs (classes, sequences etc.) are available for easy reflection. In case you need to use metaprogramming constructs, python really rocks.
* More built in language capabilities : Items such a list comprehensions, ability to deal with functions as first class objects etc. give you a broader vocabulary to work with.
* Clean indentation requirement : It took me about 2-3 days to get over it but, it seems that python code is much easier to read since if you do not indent it correctly it will be rejected.

I am a Perl person myself, and think similar thoughts about Perl, and I don’t really care for the forced indentations of Python. But Perl is really for disciplined programmers who don’t get carried away and start doing all the weird things that the language allows. For the indisciplined folks, I guess the forced indentation of Python is probably a good way to keep them in check.

Anyway,  read the whole article. You should also read the post he wrote at the time he chose Python for this next project. In fact, subscribe to his blog. He writes detailed and insightful articles that, as a techie, you would do well to read. If you are interested in programming languages, I would recommend reading “Contrasting java and dynamic languages”, and “Performance Comparison – C++ / Java / Python / Ruby/ Jython / JRuby / Groovy”. And if you are a blogger, check out his tips for software/programming blogging.

Dhananjay is a Pune-based software Engineer with 17 years in the field. Passionate about software engineering, programming, design and architecture. For more info, check out his PuneTech wiki profile.

Company sends erring employees for Art of Living course

Mid-day reports on how a Pune company sent three of its employees for an Art of Living course, instead of firing and handing them over to the police:

Shiv Sai Infosys Pvt Ltd, a city-based BPO, caught three of its young employees in an act that jeopardised the interest of the organisation. But, instead of sacking them the company sent the boys for a week to undertake Art of Living course at Sri Sri Ravishankar’s ashram in Bangalore all this at the company’s expense.

Nikhil Baddap, Hussain Bhaldar and Nikhil, who received this unusual punishment were candid enough to tell this correspondent openly. “Yes, it is true that we fell into temptation and did something which we should not have,” Bhaddap said.

According to company’s vice president Vishakha Agarwal, sacking them was an easy way out.
“We could have easily handed them over to the police and sacked them. In fact, most senior officers in the company were of the view that they deserved to be punished.

But we thought of transforming them, rather than punishing them and ruining their careers,” said Vishakha Agarwal, vice president of the company.

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