BizConf and Agile2009

A quick post to let all of you know (ok, the 5 of you who read my blog know) , that I will be in US for a long trip. Ok, it’s only two weeks, but that’ll be the longest I’ll be away from home, in these last few years.

I will be in San Francisco from 12th to 19th August, meeting the cofounder of my new venture and generally meeting up clients and friends. I will post more details on the new venture when I am back.

From SF, I will go to Florida, to attend the BizConf. I am really looking forward to this promising conference. I will tweet and blog about my experience there and share my learning with all of you.

From Florida, I will be off to Chicago for a long conference – Agile2009. I look forward to learn a lot at this conference too. We use agile development methodologies at VinSol and I have so many questions related to all the aspects – be it “Planning Poker”, “Iteration Lengths”, “Development Contracts” , “Maintenance Contracts” etc – I am prepared to pick the brains of all the experts who are coming there.
I want to be able to apply all that learning to improve the experience of working with VinSol for our clients as well as all our team members. Again, I will tweet and blog about the learning there, too.

Anybody reading this post who is also attending these conferences or is in that area – and interested in meeting up – please let me know.

A political and spiritual leader is an oxymoron

I am subscribed to an email list run by Bob Proctor, which sends an “Insight of the day” email daily and this is what I received today:

Quote:

“Consciously or unconsciously, every one of us does render some service or other. If we cultivate the habit of doing this service deliberately, our desire for service will steadily grow stronger, and will make, not only our own happiness, but that of the world at large.”

Mahatma Gandhi
1869-1948, Indian Political and Spiritual Leader

What caught my attention was not the quote, but the honorific attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Political and Spiritual Leader . In the present times, this would be described as oxymoronic.
How can a political leader in India (maybe the world) be even remotely spiritual. Before you nudge me to get into politics to correct the situation, let me confess that I am trying to run a business and be spiritual.
Politics…. someday…. maybe… who knows. Ask Shiv Khera.

back in action

Our second daughter was born on 30th October. It was a Cesarean delivery and my wife took some time to recover, particularly from the anaesthesia’s side effects.
So I was kinda busy and hence no blog post for almost a month.

Here are the two lovely ladies. (Kuhu and Khushi)
kuhu_with_sis

BTW if you have been resisting the temptation to buy a Reliance AirCard, like I had been for almost an year, I would say “Go for it”. I bought one before my wife was admitted to the hospital. I could remain in business even while I was at the hospital with my wife. The connectivity and the speed were good enough for me to get some work done, and not just check emails.

kijiji: classified site with a clean interface


I am searching for a new office space…. and i landed up at kijiji.

Kijiji is a new venture within eBay, created by a small team ofentrepreneurial employees. We’re working hard to spread the word andrespond to your needs. We’d love to hear from you!

The site is clean, intutive and best of all offers a RSS feed for search. And has the option to skype the advertiser.

Good Care at Nokia Care

As with most other care providers around here, I wasn’t expecting a good experience when i went to Nokia Care center at East Patel Nagar to get my dad’s mobile phone repaired.

Surprizingly (to me atleast), a waiting ticket system was in place and working. The only other place in Delhi where I have seen the waiting ticket system working in Delhi is at the ABN Amro bank.

I picked up my ticket at the gate and waited for my turn with one of the front desk officers.
The front desk officer, listened to my complaint, did some prelminary checks, cracked some jokes with the other front desk staff around and told me that the phone would be repaired free of cost since it was still in warranty period and I could collect it the next evening.

She printed the job card and marked the IVRS phone number on the card, where i could check the status of the job by entering the job card number.

A couple of hours later, out of curiosity, I checked the status at the IVR number and it said that the job was finished and I could collect the phone.

I went to the Nokia Care center and collected the phone. And it seems to be working OK now.

It was one of the most hassle-free customer care experience I have had recently with a big company. So naturally had to blog about it. The job was done before the commited time and there was no unnecessary waiting for me at any step.

After my experience with some of the mobile service providers and banks, I am very skeptical of IVR systems, which make me listen to songs and music for minutes, with breaks in between to tell me “All our customer care executives are currently busy. Someone will be with you shortly, please hold the line”.

Maybe Nokia Care’s IVRS works because there is no dealing with a human.

Just one point though, If the front desk staff could stop giggling and fooling around with each other, while dealing with customers, it would make the customer feel a lot more important and “cared” for.

I was actually wondering if the companies have a code of conduct in place for their front desk employees.

Baba Ramdev controversy

My father is suffering from “End Stage Renal Disease”. His creatinine level was 11, whereas the healthy creatinine level is around 1.

He was undergoing peritoneal dialysis, four exchanges a day with baxter’s 2.5% CAPD fluid. But the creatinine level never came below 10. So much so that his nephrologist was considering putting him on haemodialysis.

Then my father saw Baba Ramdev’s yoga camp being telecasted live on Astha TV. There were some testimonials of people whose creatinine level had come down by doing pranayama regularly.

We were skeptical and thought those testimonials were doctored. But my father wanted to give it a try. So he started doing pranayama daily, infact twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

Within 2 months, his creatinine level is down to 5.8. His blood pressure and blood sugar levels are also under control now.

Baba Ramdev, does not recommend any of his medicines as the first line of defense. He says that 90% of the problems will be solved by Pranayama alone. And I have seen this happen in my father’s case.

I see not logic, why then, would he do anything that Brinda Karat alleges.

Infact to me, he seems like a modern day Chanakya, whom India needs very badly.

Also, it is one of my new year resolution to do pranyama every morning.

added geotags

I added geotags, specifying my location in Delhi, to this blog’s header.
Then pinged geourl.org and feedmap.net, they will use the information in geotags to find other sites nearby. Already feedmap shows 40 blogs in my neighborhood.

Also, I learnt a new word “meatspace” at geourl.org.

The physical world (as opposed virtual reality)
where you might spend facetime with the "carbon community"

Well, even “carbon community” is a new word for me.