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Thursday, February 04, 2021

What I realized in 2020

 Last year (2020) was extremely chaotic for everyone. Lots of ups and downs. Financial and work troubles. Challenges on home fronts.

In a way I am somewhat fortunate. Covid impacted me lot less than others. I face relatively less personal hardships during this period. And I was able to help others. Partly because of my consulting work was continuing even though the billing was reduced a lot.

Importance of Friends and Brothers/Sisters

My extended family are the people who I can always rely on. My cousins (Vivek dada, Vikas dada, Veena tai, Sugandha tai, Sulabhatai, Vandana tai, Shrishi dada, Satish dada) and my sister Kirti and her family, my wife's brothers and their families are always there for me. Even though I rarely call them on phone. But there is a sense of comfort that in my mind that they are there for me and my family. This sense of comfort was especially important considering Covid situation.

Covid gave me realization of how many friends I have made in my life. From that point of view, I am probably richer than Mukesh Ambani. School friends from Sangli, Belagali Katta group from Miraj, Friends from COEP (especially B-Annexe group), friends from Geometric days, friends from Smart India Hackathons and friends from Startups and many others. And now I got few new friends from Police and Special Police Officers.


How many things Police Do and are responsible for ??

One of my COEP friends Satish Khandare is an IPS officer. From him, I got to know little more than average about the challenges of Police. However, the life and challenges of a on-the-road Police person are different. Very rarely an average citizen like me, gets to interact with Police and know about their life. My image of police was of hard life but also of stories of corruption and high handedness. DCP Pournima asked me to work with Pune Police (Zone 3). From April 2020, I started working with Special Police Officer/Technical consultant. I got to know police officers like  Sr. PI Gheware, Sr. PI Shelke, Sr. PI Pratibha Joshi as well constables. I worked with them for everything from Covid surveys, migrant registration, covid isolation center for police. I heard stories and had first hand experience of how difficult the work of a Police is. I have seen Police deliver groceries and medicines to elderly, help migrants with food packets, track covid patient connections, stand in heat ensure lockdown. Many times with inadequate safety equipment. 

Large number of Good People are still there

I also asked for help from my friends in my work with Pune Police. The response was amazing. Yogesh Varma, Chandrabhushan Kulkarni, Yateen and Anirudha all responded. My sister Kirti and My daughter Devyani joined these Covid Warrirors. Large number of people including many students responded to call of police and joined as SPOs. People like Milind and Kirti Datar worked on delivering food. People who could not work on ground helped with donations. There are so many inspiring stories of Covid warriors that gives me hope. Hope that India has a bright future.



Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Experience of Contributing to Smart India Hackathon




Talking about my experience of 4 years of Contributing to Smart India Hackathon and trying to summerize it in 4 mins. 


Smart India Hackathon is largest hackathon in the world. In this year's hackathon 60,000+ students participated


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Where are the 'average engineer students' ?


I am pondering on this question for last 2 months. I will really like to hear from more people.

I work with Smart India Hackathon and was mentor to teams in Smart India Hackathon and Singapore India Hackathon. Here I work students who are enthusiastic and ready to learn. They are ready to experiment, they are confident, they are not afraid to fail initially to succeed later. Its a joy to work with them.

Obviously they are high in demand in job market and command premium for salaries. Recently I was recruiting for my startup and salaries of many of these students do not fit in our budget. Also lot of our work do not require high end talent. We are looking for students good in attitude and programming aptitude but may not be the best. We are also looking for interns.

For internship, we ask students for solve some small programming problems. I got 40+ responses from 2-3 colleges. 35+ students have copy/pasted the code from internet. Come on guys, I am using google since before your birth. I can find from where you copy/pasted your code in 5 mins. I still talked with 3-4 students and realized that they have not taken any efforts to understand the code. They don't want to take any efforts. I have similar experiences of interacting students with few colleges from Pune (not naming the colleges). These students are essentially at the bottom and practically unemployable.

Where did the average students disappear ??? Expected "normal" distribution will mean small set of students at both extremes and large number of average students in middle. However, now we have 'skewed' distribution with really large number of unemployable students at one end and small number of top notch students at another end and nothing in between. How did we land up in such a bad situation ??