Monthly Archives: November 2008

CSI Lecture: Data Management for Business Intelligence

Computer Society of India – Pune Chapter presents the second lecture in a series on Data warehousing. The first lecture gave an overview of BI and DW. The second lecture was about how these techniques are used by businesses. This is the third in the series:

What: Data Management for Business Intelligence by Ashwin Deokar of SAS R&D India.

When: Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Dewang Mehta Auditorium, Persistent Systems, Senapati Bapat Road
Entry: Free for CSI Members, Rs. 100 for others. Register here.

Details – Data Management for Business Intelligence

This lecture will cover the various issues in Data Management of Business Intelligence solutions: Why is Data management and data quality important, What is Data management, Components of Data management, Factors affecting Data management, Key Challenges in Data management, Data Quality, Data Quality process

It is not necessary to have attended the previous lecture.

For more information about other lectures in this series, and in general other tech events in Pune, see the PuneTech events calendar.

About the speaker – Ashwin Deokar

Ashwin is working as a business unit head with SAS R&D Pune. Heading the OnDemand Solution group. Ashwin has over 10 year of experience in ERP, DW, BI & Analytics across multiple domains like manufacturing, CPG, Retail, Banking & Insurance. He has been with SAS for 6 years under various roles like Project Manager, Senior Consultant, Business Unit head.

MahaBio – A 2-day bio-technology conference at UoP – 14/15 Nov

Event Name: MahaBio 2008 – 2-day conference on bio-technology
When: Nov 14, 15 all day.
Venue: Chandrashekhar Auditorium, IUCAA
Registraion and Fees: Details are sketchy, but I think this will be free for anyone to attend. Those interested should see the MahaBio 2008 website, and make contact at the email address provided


The event titled ‘Mahabio 2008’ will take place in Pune on November 14 and 15. Various political figures will be in attendance:  Inauguration by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. Presentations by Ashok Kolaskar, former vice-chancellor of UoP, A S Ninawe, vice-chancellor of Maharashtra Animal and Fisheries University, Nagpur and Dilip Deobagkar, vice-chancellor of Goa University among others.

But, Dr R A Mashelkar, chairman, Maharashtra Biotechnology Commission will address the inaugural ceremony, and also there will be actual academic papers being presented. Also, an exhibition of biotechnology will be held at Jaykar library in UoP where, about 20 industries, related to biotechnology, shall put their stalls.

So, I think, if you are interested in biotechnology, and are willing to put in a little effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, I think it will be worth visiting, at least the exhibition, if nothing else. A little more information is provided by an Indian Express article on this topic. I have sent an email to the organizers, and will update this article later today if I get a response.

Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering, Nov 27/28

What: A 3-hour, free event for World Usability Day, and a 2-day, paid conference on usability engineering, both featuring the who’s who of Usability in Pune, and some experts from outside too.

When: World Usability Day event is from 3pm to 6pm on Nov 27th; The Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering is on Nov 27th and 28th, full day.

Where: Sumant Mulgaonkar Auditorium, ICC towers, 403-A, Senapati Bapat Road. Map.

Registration and fees: The World Usability Day event is free for all to attend, and no registration is required. The full conference fees are Rs. 3500 for professionals, Rs. 2000 for academics, and Rs. 500 for students. Details here.

Details – World Usability Day Event

A gathering of usability practitioners is organized with many participatory community events to encourage informal discussion, knowledge sharing and networking. Usability professionals, user experience designers, design teachers, IT professionals, managers, software developers, students etc. are welcome to attend.

This event will consist of the following:

Photo Essay Competition on ‘Usability in Transportation’

The participants of this competition are expected to highlight usability problems and difficulties faced by people using a series of photographs and apt description of possible solutions. The photographs have to be focusing on any of the usability problems pertaining to transportation in terms of design of vehicles, transportation systems, traffic signals, road signage systems and communication, journey booking systems, etc. It should also touch upon design, engineering, social, cultural and ergonomic issues related to transportation.

Jury members for Photo Essay Competition

Dr. Sanjay Tripathi, Senior Consultant (Usability), TechMahindra Ltd, Pune -Chairman
Bhakti Khandekar, Principal Designer-User Interface , Infosys Technologies, Pune -Member
Taral Kulkarni, Senior Usability Engineer, Persistent Systems Ltd., Pune -Member
Kedar Kadam, Usability Engineer , Persistent Systems Ltd., Pune -Member

Usability Quiz

It is going to be a fun quiz contest to test our know-how of usability. The quiz will cover questions related to web-usability, user centered design process, human factors, user experience design etc. The best answer for each question will be awarded! So come prepared for the Usability Quiz!

Quiz Coordinators

Ganesh Gaikwad, Principal Human Factors Engineer, Symantec, Pune
Atul Manohar, Lead User Experience Management Practice , Satyam Computer Services , Ltd. Pune
Nagesh Susarla, Manager / Principal UI Designer, Symantec Pune
Shashank Deshpande, Director , Clarice Technologies , Pune.

Panel Discussion on ‘Multi-disciplinary Perspectives of Usability’

Whose property is it anyway? Engineering, Design, Management, Psychology, Ergonomics ?
It is an interactive deliberation between panelists and participants to understand the difficulties faced by those who aspire to practice usability. Following panelists will represent different domain perspectives of usability.

Panel Moderator :
Dr. Dinesh Katre, Group Head- Human Centred Design and Computing, C-DAC, Pune

Panelists :
Dr. Pradeep Yammiyavar, DoD, IIT, Guwahati – Psychology
Dr. Neela Rajhans, Professor, College of Engineering, Pune -Ergonomics
Prof. Pradeep Pendse, Dean IT/Business Design , Welingkar Institute, Mumbai. -Management
Prof. Aniruddha Joshi , Associate Professor , IDC , IIT , Mumbai. -Design
Mr. Sameer Chabukswar, Head, Usability Engineering, Persistent Systems Ltd. Pune -Engineering

Details – Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering

Normally, we at PuneTech do not feature information about paid workshops, trainings, or conferences. But every once in a while, an event comes along which appear to have exceptional technical content, which in our subjective opinion makes it worth the money. The Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering, 2008, hosted by Vishwakarma Institute of Information Technology, is one such event, where the impressive list of speakers, and the detailed schedule makes us feel that this could be a good event to attend. (Please note: PuneTech is a purely non-commercial website and does not take any considerations (monetary or otherwise) for any of the content on the site. Decision to feature content on the site is made by the editors purely on the basis of interestingness and technical content.)

Broad themes of the conference:

Offshore Usability
Cross-cultural aspects, remote usability methods and tools, challenges in user requirements research, etc.

Usability to Bridge the Digital Divide
Designing ICT products and applications for rural users, such as e-governance, e-learning, localization of user interface.

Usability Engineering
Institutionalisation, processes & practices, multidisciplinary dimensions, best usability practice, impact of adaptation of user centred design approach in SDLC process and project management, agile process, interaction design and client architecture, internationalisation of user interface, etc.

User Experience Design for New Media
Web, Mobile, PDA, Touch-screen, new interaction models, interaction design for development, etc.

User Experience Research
Tying user experience to strategic business innovation objectives, UX methods and research approaches for emerging markets with unique technology adoption curves, user experience innovations for Indian consumer and enterprise products, next generation user-driven technologies, etc.

Multidisciplinary Challenges of HCI in Education
Fusion of diverse disciplines in the syllabus of Human-Computer Interaction, user experience design thinking into the design / engineering / management curriculum, etc.

If you are not familiar with Usability, or not convinced as to why it is such a vitally important field of study, check out past PuneTech articles on usability.

What is barcamp, and why you should attend barcamp Pune (Nov 29)

What: Barcamp Pune 5

When: 29th November, all day

WhereSICSR, Model Colony. Here is the map.

Registration and fees: Are you kidding? (Actually, register at the barcamp homepage.)

What is barcamp?

A barcamp is a conference that is the opposite of conference. Conferences are arranged by people in suits who have expert committees to decide agendas, and scheduled printed on glossy paper 3 months in advance. By contrast, a barcamp is organized (or unorganized, actually) by the T-shirt and jeans types. There is no agenda, no schedule. You just show up, and anybody can announce a talk, and preferably it shouldn’t be pre-prepared. For a more formal introduction to barcamp, check out the wikipedia entry for barcamp. (Encyclopedia Britannica doesn’t have an entry for barcamp!)

So anyway, a barcamp sounds like chaos, right? Surprisingly, it works very well. A barcamp is one of the best places to go to get a feel for the pulse of the tech community. You’ll meet interesting people and get introduced to interesting new technologies. Tarun Chandel, the grand old man of barcamps in Pune, said this after Barcamp Pune 4:

Let me go back around 20 years and take a look at the life of a developer. It was simpler than your life isn’t it? He just had to learn one or two languages and the career was rolling (you don’t believe me ask any of your bosses). Let me come back to you. I am sure you all know at-least 3 languages in which you can produce code for living. But how many of you are confident that you will be able to make a career like the guys did 20 years back?? The reality is that the innovation is happening at an unbelievable rate today, oh sorry I cant fool you guys you are insiders and as insiders we know that the splurge of various technologies, languages, platforms is because of the work that people have been doing for a long time. For an outsider there are too many things happening suddenly but for an insider this is not a surprise but a time when all the things are peeking and coming together perfectly. To be successful at this time we have to make sure that we are riding on the top of the tide. It is easier said than done. It takes a lot of time and effort to be just aware of all that is happening in the technology space. A developer needs to be aware of so many things at once and not only that he should be ready to work with newer things as early as they happen. It is not easy to keep pace with the speed of innovation and ever changing world of technology, how much time do you guys get out of your project work? The pressure is enormous to deliver, where is the time for other things?

Barcamp Pune or similar events are the place that gives you a present snapshot of the world around you (or let me put it this way gives you a heavy dose of all the technology related things that you missed or are still missing). There is a learning curve in all the places so is there a leaning curve in Barcamp Pune as well. You come here and get excited about new things technologies, you go back and whenever you get time, say the code repository server is down or your manger has fallen ill you can read in details about what you learned here. You come back for the next time and you attend a workshop on the same got to learn how to code or use the technology. You go back home and run some code get your hands dirty learn few new things. You again come here and this time you share with other campers what you have learned and they will share what they learned and you will improve yourself. Isn’t that great!!! I read somewhere that you retain 95% of what you share with others.

We have a very experienced Barcamp crowd in Pune but just for those who were there for the first time, let me repeat what I said at the starting session of the event that, the onus of getting best out of camp lies with you. There is a famous rule of Barcamp “Law of 2 feet” that is, you will have to use your 2 feet to walk to a place where you can learn, if you are not learning walk out of that place (no one will mind) and go to a place where you can learn or share. Meet as many people as you can and network and use this gathering of intelligent people wisely.

So mark your calendars, and head to SICSR for a Saturday of unorganized tech fun.

And check the PuneTech calendar for other exciting tech events that have been planned for you in the next few months (for example, I bet you did not know about the Conference on Advances in Usability Engineering?)

Interesting blog posts by Pune’s techies

This is a round-up of some recent intersting blog posts written by Pune’s techies. These blogs don’t necessarily fall within the narrow charter of PuneTech, but introducing PuneTech readers to these blogs and bloggers does.

At the top of everyone’s mind is of course the financial meltdown. Arun Prabhudesai (who is CEO of details the serious effects it is beginning to have on Indian industry, and on the jobs of regular people:

L&T Infotech is trimming its work force by 5%. That would mean a job loss for 10000 people. Goldman Sachs has fired 100 employees in Mumbai and 30 in Bangalore.  Satyam has fired 30 employees over fudged bills. Corus steel (part of Tata Steel now) has cut 400 jobs in UK because of poor business conditions. Tata Steel has ruled out any jobs cuts in India. Airlines are fearing that they have to lay off 8000 ground staff. Kingfisher has announced a 90% cut in the salaries of trainee pilots. Jet Airways has sacked 25+ expat pilots.

See the full article for even more scary figures. His blog ( is focused on Indian Business. Amit Paranjape also has a series of posts about the financial crisis (one, two, three) that you might find interesting. He also writes about Pune’s history, restaurant reviews, and cricket. (While on the subject of the financial crisis, you should also check out Sequoia Capital’s 56-slide presentation of doom. That is really scary.)

So what is to be done in these bad times? Manas Garg points out that before any success, whether it is in good times or bad, there is a dip.  And you need to persist and make it through the dip before you succeed. (see also Seth Godin’s thoughts on this.) Another thing that can be done, technologically, is to cut costs by shifting from real servers to virtual servers in the cloud. Mukul Kumar of Pubmatic often writes detailed posts about this on his blog, but in his most recent post, he cautions you to take into account the cost of data transfers in your calculations, as that is likely to be more expensive in some cases, than the cost of compution time on the servers.

Switching gears to security, the ClubHack blog warns us about “Free Public WiFi” – why it is bad, and how it works:

If an unsuspecting healthy laptop is searching for wireless networks in vicinity, it will see the advertised viral SSID in its list. If the laptop is configured to “Connect to any wireless network” as it comes in range, it will attach itself to the respective network. The connection can also be made when an unsuspecting user manually connects to an advertised viral SSID. As soon as this connection is made, the viral SSID appears in the PNL of the healthy laptop and thus gets infected.

Read the full article. And if you’ve been following the PuneTech calendar, you’ll know that ClubHack is organizing a security awareness conference in Pune in early December.

Just because of scary financials and scary security warnings, doesn’t mean that we need to go around feeling depressed. In fact, this is probably the best time to start something new, get involved in the community. PuneTech gave you an idea of upcoming tech community activities that you can get involved in. (By the way, the Pune Mirror agrees with us, and reprinted that article on Saturday.) Anthony Hsiao of got together with other tech entrepreneurs in Pune to start Startup Cinema. Read about it on his blog. Also, don’t forget to check out his older post on why he prefers the chaos of Pune to the perfection of Singapore/Germany.

Pune is different, of course, and being away really helped appreciate the warmth of the people, the beauty of apparent chaos and disorder (having lived in Singapore and Zurich, I can honestly say that happiness is not derived from perfection…), the very decent lifestyle I can afford as an expat here (despite being constantly broke!), and just the interesting stuff that goes on all the time (it has to, there are so many people here, something has to be going on all the time).
In many ways, I think Pune (or many parts of India in general) are quite the opposite to places like Singapore – which is clean, orderly, safe, modern, connected, etc.

Know of any interesting techies in Pune who should be featured here? Let us know.

In the downturn, get involved with the tech community

The next few months are going to be a thrilling time to be a techie in Pune. On the one hand, the financial meltdown is suddenly making its presense felt uncomfortably close to home – multiple companies are firing 5% of their employees, and ASSOCHAM promises more (retracted under pressure); bonuses are being cancelled; salaries are being reduced (yup! negative increments). The word “thrilling” goes both ways.

On the other hand, there are some really great tech events that are coming up and what better to do during a downturn than network with a bunch of people who are passionate about technology that you are interested in! (I know that a lot of you techies really dislike networking – I was like that once. One of these days, I am going to write an article for engineers on how to do networking without feeling like a cheap salesman.)

This is your chance to get involved with the tech community. It means increased exposure to interesting work that is going on elsewhere in Pune. It means improving your tech skills by becoming aware of latest trends and techniques. It means making friends with some really passionate people who share your interests. It means greatly increasing your chances of getting lucky.

With that in mind, I am listing the major tech events that are coming up soon. Many of them (but not all of them) are volunteer driven, so they need your help. Please get involved. Help the community, help Pune, and help yourself all in one shot.

Barcamp Pune 5 aka BCP5. The big daddy of volunteer-driven tech events in Pune. This will be the fifth installment. A must visit, if you want to see energy and enthusiasm. And it is in a bit of trouble as the date keeps getting postponed due to lack of a venue. Get involved, make it happen and become famous, and earn the gratitude of the community who are keenly looking forward to the barcamp. Date not yet fixed – tentatively November 15th (but almost certain to be postponed now).

The IndicThreads conference on Java Technologies. Not a volunteer driven event, but a big event for all Java lovers. If you work in Java, it would be difficult to justify why you are not attending, and Java people from all over India will be attending. Dates: 25 to 27 November.

ClubHack, a group of volunteers interested in educating the public on security issues, is organizing the ClubHack 2008 conference which will feature presentations and workshops on security issues that you must worry about in this big bad world of viruses, trojans, phishing, and all sorts of dangerous threats that are lurking around the corner waiting to pounce upon your computer and your bank account as soon as you let down your guard. Better to be prepared than to be sorry. Dates: 6 & 7 December.

The OpenSocial Developer Garage. A volunteer-driven get-together of OpenSocial developers from all over India. They are looking for a venue, for sponsors, for speakers, and for volunteers. Check out the OSD mailing list. Date: 20 December.

The TCS Excellence in Computer Science Week will feature lectures by experts from all over the world on the topic of de-centralized and co-operative computing. The last day to apply is today, so hurry. A world-class event is happening in your backyard, and is free – why wouldn’t you go? Date: 5 to 9 January.

Other, smaller, but more regular events:

The Pune GNU/Linux Users Group meets on the first Saturday of every month, but this time they postponed it by a day due to Diwali vacations. They are meeting tomorrow (Saturday, 8th November) at 4pm. Getting involved with the open source community is a great way to sharpen your skills, improve your resume and get to know some of the most passionate techies. They also have a Code Camp coming up on November 21st.

The Pune OpenCoffee Club, a group of Pune-based entrepreneurs and expectant entrepreneurs meets regularly and informally. Just yesterday they got together for a movie courtesy The POCC monthly meeting, normally on the third Saturday of every month, might happen on the 4th Saturday (22 November) this month so as to not clash with the barcamp. Keep checking the PuneTech calendar – the event will be announced there soon.

The Pune Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI-Pune), is a very active organization, and their regular monthly meetings happen on the second Saturday every month. That luckily happens to be tomorrow, and this time will feature three talks, one on “Six Sigma for organizational excellence”, another talk giving information on the “Right to Information” (and you have a right to have that information), and finally one on “Trends in Project Management”.

So get out there, and start networking, start volunteering. Please.

Animation, multimedia shifting to Pune from Mumbai/Bangalore

On the occassion of World Animation day yesterday, the Times of India reports that Pune is becoming the premier destination for animation and multimedia companies and educational institutes in the country.


The city has always been known for its creative talent, and its famous twin Mumbai for the media and entertainment industry. However,
NASSCOM’s Lavanya Jayaram feels the multimedia business is now shifting base from Mumbai to Pune, thanks to improved connectivity.

“It is now possible to provide better work environment to multimedia application
developers in Pune and reduce the overheads as against the situation in Mumbai,” she said speaking exclusively with the TOI.

“Pune is fast progressing as a multimedia hub. The talent here is backed by necessary social infrastructure and the right training facilities. The city has already taken the lead in developing and promoting itself as an animation and gaming hub,” Lavanya added.

And the facts confirm the trend. In last two years, 4-5 animation giants have shifted base from Mumbai and Bangalore to Pune. Chetan Deshmukh, committee member of the Marhatta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture’s (MCCIA) animation company said, “Big Animation, Anibrain, Krayon pictures, Jump Games are just a few of the many biggies that have shifted to Pune. Besides, experts from international animation giants like Dreamworks regularly visit the city to conduct workshops and seminars. The township of Nanded city on the outskirts of Pune is coming up with a gaming park too. The acceptance that animation industry has received in the city has laid the platform to make Pune an animation hub in the country over the next few years,” Deshmukh said.

Read the full article.

Calling all open-source product development companies

Browne and Mohan, a global consulting firm is attempting a maiden research study on Open Source Product Development companies from India. So if you are aware of a company that develops some open source product (or offering open-source based productized offerings like SaaS) please get in touch with Browne and Mohan ( or Please note, the report will be free to share and remix for all future studies and references. Also, this study is not supported by any vendors and all the costs are completely borne by Browne & Mohan only.

Sounds like a useful study, and the fact that the results will be made freely available (as in beer and as in speech) makes it a good effort to support. Also, a strong participation from Pune-based companies will benefit Pune’s visibility. So please participate, encourage others to participate, and forward this to your friends.

Additionally, we at PuneTech would love to feature such interesting companies and technologies on PuneTech – so get in touch with us too.

Here are more details of the Browne and Mohan study from TR Madan Mohan:

Open source products are a reflection of maturity of entrepreneurship and innovation in an economy. Understanding the status of open source product companies, their offerings, the challenges they are facing and how they are responding to the larger economic turmoil is important. Moreover, it is unfortunate the attention of media, researchers and analysts covering India is predominantly focussed on software services only. Little is known or published about the Open source products from India. Towards filling up this gap, Browne & Mohan, a global consulting firm is attempting a maiden research study on Open Source Product Development companies from India. The objective of the study is to highlight their product, the strategies adopted, growth options for these companies in international markets etc. Based on the extensive study, a report shall be released through a Creative Commons License. Hence, the report shall be free to share and remix for all future studies and references. Pl. note this study is not supported by any vendors and all the costs are completely borne by Browne & Mohan only. We expect the report and subsequent coverage benefit the Open Source Product Companies directly and the larger cause of innovation from India indirectly. A copy of the report shall also be sent to Punetech members.

We request Punetech members support and encouragement for this endeavor. ny company that has an open source product (those offering productised services such as SaaS) are the targeted audiences. Pl. forward the details of the companies you are aware of, including the email id’s of key contacts and help us speard the reach. Thank you for your support. Pl. forward the information to or mail to

Thanking you in advance:

TR Madan Mohan

About Browne & Mohan

Browne & Mohan is a management consulting firm that employs integrated approaches to solve client issues. Browne existed as an independent consulting company till February 2008 registered in Toronto and keeping in with the growth of new partners it was rechristened as Browne & Mohan in March 2008. With offices in India, Dubai, USA, Canada and Singapore, we bring together multi-cultural expertise and best practices across countries, industries and verticals. With backgrounds in management, finance, KPO, legal, medicine, our consultants work in an environment which nurtures creative analysis and integrated approach to issues. Browne & Mohan team consists of thought leaders, industry experts and experiences professionals drawn from different industries. We pride in attracting entrepreneurial professionals who not only can “think out of a box”, but “walk the talk” driving the implementation. Indian arm of Browne & Mohan consists of former academic who had taught at prestigious Indian Institute of Management, consulting professionals, investment banking professionals, and heads of analytical research of large multinational companies. for more details see,

Pune GNU/Linux Users Group meeting – Nov 8

What: Pune Linux Users Group (PLUG) monthly meeting

When: Saturday, 8th November. 4pm to 6pm.

Where: Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR), 7th floor, Atur Center, Model Colony, Pune, India (Map)

Registration and Fees: The event is free for all. No registration required.


The PLUG meeting is open to all, there are no charges or pre-requisites to attend the meeting. If you are intrested in FOSS (Free/Open Source Software) you are welcome to the meeting. If you want to give a talk or a demo, you are welcome.

This meeting happens on the first Saturday of every month, at the same place and time (but was delayed by a week this month because of Diwali). Usually, a PuneJava talk organized by IndicThreads also happens immediately after the PLUG meeting, but is not happening probably because of the big upcoming Java conference around the end of November organized by the same people.

As usual, keep checking the PuneTech calendar for interesting tech events in Pune.