Swarna – the golden one!


Yes, thats her name and she literally personifies it with her skin tone, but thats not all there is to her – she is 30+ a kathak Bharatnatyam dancer and – hold your breath – a geek by profession. Though (un?)fortunately not much into FOSS and I am not going to push my luck in trying to convert her.

She is one of those rare type of women who knows herself and not afraid to reach out to get what she wants, neither is she afraid of letting the world know what she is. Amid all this she still manages to be non-aggressive and almost merging with the crowd.

Yeah, yeah! I know the question and I have to admit that I am lucky – I saw her in a shopping mall and mentioned her to Swati, next thing I see is that Swati is talking to her – the rest, to lamely borrow a phrase, is history.

She is not from Nagpur but will be around for a year… and has agreed to be my muse for that period of time.

More?! Search and you shall find….

Creating a second line of command!

A few (well only 2) people asked as to how I managed to create a second line of command in such a short span. Umm… I have not really documented the process and there is no magic formula which will work… besides I am an awful manager. I am sure a lot of management gurus out there must have got this honed down to a fine art but none the less here is what we did.

Some background first – None of my current project managers knew PHP when they came to SANIsoft which was a good thing because I got to teach them PHP exactly the way I wrote it – complete with all my finesse, flaws and work flow quirks. So in many ways, in the end, they were my coder clones – that made my job easier – I knew how they worked.

One fine day I just switched the daily reporting method. The top three (based on experience) now got daily reports from three newbie/trainee/junior programmers each. These reports were summarized and then sent to me. Over the next few days they learnt that what was written had to be verified and not taken on face value, I nudged them into realising that if they kept tabs on what was happening throughout the day instead of trying to gather things at the end of the day it would be simpler for them.

What took me by surprise was they had to told to be more forgiving towards mistakes of the juniors and the difference between what was good enough and perfect and when to opt for either (roughly views, controllers – good enough. models – perfect). Then came judging – who could be trusted with what level of code… this last part is still on going and perhaps will go on forever – I need to evolve this into a kind of employee gradation process.

Since all of the above was happening on live projects – I had to, for some time, work bit more with minding the minded and the minders ensuring that the clients did not suffer in anyway. In the end it has been a hugely successful exercises for everyone involved.

Well thats about it.

Rendered redundant

Redundant – adj 1: more than needed, desired, or required;

Am once again looking at ways to make myself redundant at SANIsoft.

About 18 months ago we realised a need to have a second line of command in the programming team, the work was just too much for me to keep up with first hand – I needed some filtering and summarizing of the day’s events. about 12 months ago we achieved that and I am very happy to say that my project managers are doing a great job, there are occasional fires which I have to overlook so that they are handled correctly smoothly but more importantly the work flow has been smoothened to a point where such incidences are greatly reduced.

So what will I do? The image adjacent is a rendered view of our new home cum office – the construction was started sometime last week after Swati literally shook the entire bank machinery from the country head to the lowest level executive here to get the loan amount sanctioned. The ETA for completion has been put to about 12 months. As far as SANIsoft goes the new facility will allow us to double our capacity. As myself and Swati sat on a stone at the new plot and reminisced how we had started nearly 8 years back with one computer and myself as the lone coder targeting an annual income of Rs60,000/- (we did much better) to present 12 coders and …. we felt a sense of pride similar to what a parent feel on seeing their children grow, however we have been warned that we should now view the complete business in a more detached manner.

As a new home the place offers larger living space and there is a huge pond on the South-West – the result – a lot of birds and our bedroom is going to be over looking the pond. In fact this guy was the latest visitor.

The new location is at N 21.15180 and E 79.01074

This is 5.3kms as the crow flies and 7.1kms by road from our current home, placing it just outside the city limit – in fact the road which runs in front of the new plot divides the city from the outskirts!

In more recent happenings – yesterday myself and Raju did a tour of all the nearby lakes looking for any signs of illness / death in the birds, thankfully everything seems to be fine for now.

The afternoon saw an awesome shoot where for the first time I tried bright yellow as the theme colour, yellow backdrop and floor, matching yellow drape for the model and lots of gold jewellery… Skepticism prevailed all around till the preview of first few shots but I ultimately got more displayable pictures than in any shoot before.

And yes – Happy birthday to an *Old man* ;)

You think that there is nothing but PHP on the web – questions M$

Found this and had to blog it. If you do not understand the french (no pun intended) take a look at the notes on this Flickr entry http://www.flickr.com/photos/12538148@N00/100864754/

Now am waiting for the spoofs to pop-up!!

Do me and I’ll do you

Would like to see if this really works http://kevan.org/johari?name=tariquesani

Leave a link in the comments if you want me to do the same for you, of course you can be totally anonimouse and screw the results but be a sport and let the system work 😉

V – day!?

Guess we are married for too long, I remembered only when the bank called Swati and told that the client’s payment has come in… been playing around with the Yahoo! UI Library it is pretty cool but I do not think that we are going to drop what we already use, the Y! library is about 8 months too late. Besides, it does not have anything drastically new in terms of widgets or for that matter ease of programming.

But if you happen to have lived beneath some rock till now and have not tried your hand at the so called *web2.0* (I hate that phrase) you can start with this one – lots of documentation available.

I would really like to see this expanded into a complete widget toolkit, right now it looks like the widgets were put in as a second thought to differentiate it from the current world favourite Javascript framework – http://script.aculo.us

BTW, if you happen love AJAX (damn! another buzzword) but hate to do all DOM rewriting manually and further hate writing JS in your PHP or vice versa – try out http://taconite.sf.net

A conversation and some more

Swati: Who are giving Valentine gifts to?
Aasim: No one!
Swati: Why?
Aasim: S******i has gone mad…. she was always mad now she has gone worse
Swati: So why not An****a?
Aasim: sigh…
Me: She is just too good… better than him :P
Swati: Is that true?
Aasim nods in assent
Swati: Then it is great, you always must pick girlfriends (partners/wives/spouses implied) who are better than you!

Me and Aasim – Speechless

Sometimes I really wonder what kind of mess we are making with that kid’s mind.

And now for the weekly summary – Aasim was not well for most of the week due to a viral infection but is now better, once again we did not have to resort to any antibiotics (read his immune system resisted secondary bacterial infections well) and am happy about it.

Yesterday I went birding with some friends to Wena Lake. Swati stayed back with Aasim, got my first pictures of Kentish Plover and Small Pratincole and we counted an approximate of 15000 ducks mostly Red-crested Pochards. There is also news of Bar-headed Geese at a nearby lake will have to go and get some pictures. An idea for publishing “Out of distribution” paper was brought up – I already have records of at least 8 such birds with pictures but the question is who will write… these days I can’t seem to write anything more than half a page on any subject.


The week went by in trying to get things done and the Sunday went by trying not to do anything! For a moment I could almost understand the rapture or rather psychology of pleasure-pain nexus…. the week however was a fruitful one and Swati did manage to get things done (doesn’t she always :x ), so hopefully this week we will be embarking on a project (project not as in coding) which is larger than we ever believe we would / could ever manage, more on that in a day or two.

Last week I discovered that a photographer of nudes is generally considered as not being very smart if not outright dumb – I had to set that right on two PHP application forums where I am active under an alias. Now don’t jump to conclusions the alias is just popularise my alternate photoblog.

Yesterday we had planned on going birding but it fizzled out, somehow since bird photography has now essentially become dependent on need for a longer lens and more time, both of which I cannot afford to spare, I don’t see myself doing that often. Yesterday I also tried something which I hadn’t done ever since Aasim was born – picked up Swati and walked across the aisle, not that she need any help. I leave the question – Has Swati lost weight or have I gained that much strength – open to speculation….