Email Expectations

Too many emails is a problem we all face. A lot of emails make its way across the 3 emails accounts I have. Having a growing software application and trying to learn new things by joining online courses ensures that my inbox is never empty.

Then there are personal emails, emails you want to reply to, but they get lost in the pile. How do you set expectations on when you will reply to these? Do you reply to these right away? Defining right away is difficult, as the person sending the email might be expecting you to get to it a few minutes / hours after they sent it, while you might not get time to read it till the next day or a few days later.

I used to feel this way about email replies too. Expecting replies within minutes, but off late, I have started to be more liberal with when I get a reply. As a generation, we have never been busier. We all have more things to do in a day.

A follow up call, sms , twitter or IM after a day would go a long away in letting the other person know that you are expecting a reply soon.

Prototyping mobile interface

I like designing user interfaces. From designing for desktop, I am now making the jump to designing for the mobile screen. A bit late to the party, but I am here now.

I am currently working on prototyping the mobile interface for Brightpod. We have a really good interface for the desktop, but making the system work on the mobile screen is a different challenge. Feels like I am starting over again.

How would the login screen look like? How about the Project listing? The Tasks section layout?.. so many questions left to answer. I am sure the next few weeks are going to fun and challenge. Hoping to share the progress here.

Creating user interface for desktop and sharing it with the team is easy. You develop locally and push to a remote server which the team has access to, but sharing mobile layout is difficult. You can create a layout which adapts to the mobile screen, but interaction / animation take a long time to prototype. With that in mind, I started to look for a tool which I could use to make the process of sharing the mobile app interface easier.

Here are the list of tools I tried:

InvisionApp

Pixate

UXPin

Marvelapp

Proto.io

From all the tools I tried, the one I ended up choosing: Proto.io.

Proto.io helps you prototype the entire UI of your app without having to upload PNG’s of the layout. I don’t usually work with Photoshop, so not having this as requirement is a big win for me. All the other apps I tried wanted you to upload the design file first.

The user interface of Proto.io is also easy to navigate. Did not take me much time to create screens and start working with the drag and drop editor.

If you are looking for a tool to prototype your mobile application give Proto.io a try.

you have ruined javascript

I could not have said it better.

you have ruined javascript

What the fuck is wrong with you people? > We had a good thing, you ruined it. We had an escape route from that ridiculous enterprise hand-holding bullshit and instead of learning how to fucking code you’ve just brought your factory provider providers with you into what was once an okay place to get stuff done

Writing down your goals

I have read about this quite a lot. “Write down your goals” and “Write down what you want to get done today / this week / this month” is an advice a lot of people share in books.

I had a chat with a friend today, who said that he had never written down his goals. Everyone else in the group had never done this too, although they had read about it.

I have been writing down all my goals, things to do today / this week /month / year since about 3 years now, and I highly recommend other people do it too. Something about putting your thoughts to paper and having that paper in front of you, makes you want to work towards the goal. The process of thinking what you want is something we all should do more often.

Plus one

2014 went by really fast. I don’t remember 2013 being like this.

This year has been really good. From the list of things I wanted to do, the one’s which I am really happy to have accomplished is to see Brightpod improve and grow and to have travelled a lot with friends. From traveling alone to traveling with friends, I can see how the latter is more fun. I also wanted to release an iOS game this year and a mobile application focused around travel, but things did not quite align.

I am also really happy to my niece living with me this year. It’s been so much joy to have her at home. No day has been without a smile and I have to thank her for that.

Learning new languages / frameworks have always been high on my list and this year I managed to learn a few. Objective-C and Python now don’t seem as foreign as they did last year. I also managed to one up on my skills at CSS and creating responsive design. Also learn’t how to write apps in Symfony, Slim framework and Yii (Hi Vineet and Piyush). Although nothing beats the simplicity of CodeIgniter, I can see how these frameworks can be helpful while creating complex web applications.

Javascript being the language most widely used these days, I also dipped my toes and learn’t Ember.js and have started learning Angular.js. Traveling to Bangalore to attend JSChannel was an interesting experience.

Traveling to new places and trying out new cuisine has always been high on my list of things to do. This year, I travelled to Thailand, Prague(Czech Republic), Interlaken(Switzerland), Luzern(Switzerland), Munich(Germany), Zurich(Switzerland) and Amsterdam(Netherlands). Thanks Sneha, Rajnikanth, Mayur (ok.. Max) and Neil for traveling with me. You guys were awesome fun to travel with. Looking forward to traveling more with you soon.

I also travelled to quite a few places in India this year. Goa(twice), Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bangalore and to Patna recently. Had a great time with Sanat and Sneha in Goa. I was also told “Goa is enough company in Goa”.

So much more to write, but this already seems like a long post. Things I want to do in 2015:

1) Write more often here. 2) Improve Brightpod and spend more time making it better. 3) Spend more time learning and developing mobile applications. 4) Travel to at least 6 new countries. 5) Spend more time with family and friends.

The last one has always been high on the list.

Change

I woke up at 4 a.m this morning and this is the first time that I can recollect being awake this early. Before going to bed last night, there was a lot of work to catch up on and things still pending to be completed from my list of To do’s for the week. I was never the person to sleep being completing things from my list. But last night I did.

Human Psychology has always been a field that interested me a lot. I have spent a lot of hours reading and understanding why people behave the way they do and how I should react and behave in certain situations. But until the situation actually presents itself before you, you hardly know what your reaction is going to be like.

Being loved a lot by a person is a great feeling. It makes you happy and want to spend more time with the person who wants to be there with you. You make changes to your life to be more around that person and that change slowly starts becoming a habit. A new good habit is always a good thing. A new habit which makes you happy is even better.

But what happens when things are not the same anymore? When the person you started to love does not feel the same way about you anymore? When the other person decides that it’s best to go separate ways?

It’s hard to accept words sometimes. No part of your mind / heart wants to hear them. But once a person decides, it is difficult to make them want to go back and re consider. Decisions are made out of reasons. Reasons you think can be reconsidered but reasons which are too big for the other person to even think about reconsidering.

Dealing with change takes time. Trying to get out of habit takes time. It takes time to make things whole again, as it should. I’m in no rush. I spent so much time trying to organise the life that I thought I wanted. It wasn’t the same as living.

2 months and thank you, internet

The last 2 months have been interesting. After dealing with immense personal / work issues, it’s incredibly nice to get back to my life of being surrounded by intelligent people doing great things and challenging myself to become a better person.

In the last 2 months I have come across feelings and thoughts which I did not experience since a long time. Being away from something / someone can bring in a range of emotions. A few good thoughts and a few thoughts which make you feel not so good.

I have been thinking about my thoughts the last few days and no words seem to match how I feel. I have written and re written and deleted a few paragraphs in this post a few times now. Some paragraphs I thought did not deserve to be public and some which did not say much.

In the ‘real world’ outside of my family and a few friends I don’t fit in at all. I do a decent job of faking it when necessary, but I really don’t understand most people, and they really don’t understand me. I feel like I’m an outsider. An observer.

I’ve only ever found a handful of people through typical real-world situations who I can really associate with. I always thought I was the only one, and I was somehow incredibly weird (in a bad way) for that. But there are plenty of people like me out there. I follow around 400 of them on Twitter alone.

The internet shows me that my thoughts aren’t that strange after all. I’m not just some lone weirdo thinking these odd things about the world. I can’t look around and think “nobody gets it” because I know that some of you do.

Intellectually, it’s even better. I’m attacked, defied, outclassed, and proven wrong regularly — and every time, I become a better person.

If such a thing exists, I certainly have an internet addiction. And I don’t care. I have absolutely no desire to be a “normal” member of society, doing whatever normal people do with their time (go partying and then watch “the game” and shout at television). I’m very happy here, doing what I’m doing, and being a part of something so amazing, challenging, and stimulating.

Two Seven

Birthday’s are a good time to reflect back on how the year has been. Most people reflect back during the end of the year, but I like doing it on birthday. Turning a year older, makes me want to look back and reflect on all that I did the previous year.

So here it goes, from 26 to 27.

TLDR: Had a great time building @brightpodapp, made some new friends and had some awesome food experiences. Un happy about not having traveled much, spending less time with friends and spending no time reading books.

Yesterday my friend Sanat(Hi, Sanat!), asked me, how the year had been, and I summed it up as in the paragraph above. My major concern being, not traveling much this year. I always had ‘Travel’ on top of my list of things to do.

One thing I am really happy about building this year is @brightpodapp(www.brightpod.com) with Sahil and Komal. The app is getting better each day. If you are a digital marketing agency, you will love the current version and all the updates we have planned for it.

I like learning new tools / languages, but this year has not been good on that front. Focusing on one task leaves you with less time to do / learn other things. With web improving each day, I am looking forward to taking time out and learning a few new tools and languages. node.js, backbone.js, Objective-C, being on top of my list to learn / implement in a project.

Being a self proclaimed foodie, I like eating at new restaurants and trying out different cuisines. This year, I managed to visit a lot of hotels in the Churchgate / Colaba area of Mumbai. Indigo Deli, Woodside Inn, Cafe Royale, Pizza by the Bay, All Stir Fry, Le Pain Quotidien and Delhi Darbar are places worth eating at.

Learning how to drive a car had been on my list of things to do since a long time, and this year, I managed to get my driving license. I also bought my first car, and driving around the streets of Mumbai has been quite a challenge. Most people tell me, if I can drive in Mumbai, any where else in the world is quite easy.

I have worked from home, the last 3 years, and in the last three years, I got told quite a few times, that I need to go a office to work. This year, I also gave going to office to work a try. I rented office space with Regus in Andheri, Mumbai. The short version of the story being, I pulled out after 2 months. Reasons? Travel time + expensive rent. I also did not notice any change in my productive, by working from an office.

2013, looks like quite a busy year on my Calendar. I have plans to travel to a lot of place, learn some new tools, work on some interesting projects and experience bungee jumping and sky diving. Hope you all have a great day.