Since I m long overdue for this blogpost, here are a few pictures to say it all……
2012 really was an year full of amazing conversations, really interesting ideas and interestingly interesting events for me….. since i might or might not ever talk about them again……. let me simply jot them down briefly:
a) Why the current state of Mobile Advertising is done horribly wrong… – a conversation that probably became one of the major reasons i quit my previous job:
b) How do we build an ideal music recommendation service: simply(and magically) suggest all the songs a user likes – then how would the user even know if he likes/dislikes a song? Adding a sense of progress/exploration? A sense of flow? – a conversation that only lead to more questions…
c) Talked about even more interesting things I never thought I would even think about, with even more amazing people – which finally helped me choose the path i currently am on…
But as we all know, all talk, no work makes jack a dull boy. So
And its that time for a bit of looking back at things…
And Then a week of tooooooootal slacking off….. i cant even find how/where the time leaked away …………. So i guess its time i start looking for a job … so let me know if you know of any interesting opportunities for me
At first glance, one might think https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4092480 is what this blog post is about.
So let me dig into the issue a little bit. At work, we were given a ”Research problem”,”Open for anyone who wants to solve”, which was directly based on http://www.quora.com/Eric-M-Jackson/answers/Elon-Musk . I tried to solve the problem for about 10 days, during my personal time and work hours. During this time, I have come up with 2 wrong solutions and after staying up at work for *2 consecutive nights*, I have finally come up with another solution I found interesting and announced it, but at that point of time, no one even bothered to check it (it already took me 10 days to solve it and they have moved on). As I have worked on the problem for about 30-40 hours, especially during my personal time, and nobody at work even bothered to check it out (i still haven’t received any reply to the email I sent – but i don’t blame them), I wrote a little blog post about my interesting solution (in retrospect, it really isn’t a biggie – a high school student could have cracked it). A friend of mine found the solution interesting and submitted it to hackernews (The title in hackernews is misleading It was never about Ad click fraud, it was what my friend thought we did at work). The next day, I was made to take down the blog post. (Even though the post is not related to any of my company’s work, As I spent my office work hours to solve this, at this point of time, I do understand that they probably have the right to do this).
So after that incident, its aftermath and *a lot* of introspection, I realized that it is no longer practical for me to continue. Here are my reasons:
1) No personal growth: I know this sounds like it is straight off some std::ResignersHandbook. But bear with me:
“On an average day of 8 hours you don’t even work 2 hours………. The remaining 6 hours you keep working on whatever you want to…. but since you did that while you are on our payroll, we could even claim ownership of the foss code you wrote(for VSXu)… but we aren’t doing that as we are lenient”
Yes. It is a fact. For the past 6 months, The amount of work that is assigned/available to me was *worth* less than 2 hours a day. The most technically challenging problem I have solved in the past 6 months, as part of my job, was a 14line recursive function. Technically, I haven’t learned much the last 6 months, And the fact that I didn’t realize this until someone yelled at me is seriously disturbing. And the thought that someone else could claim my personal work just because I worked on it when I was at office is even more disturbing. (I know not everyone would consider this a valid point. But for someone working for a company that said “flexible work hours” – finish off your work whenever and wherever you want to, before the deadline, when hiring me, this is a really scary thing!). And NO! I seriously don’t consider tasks like “You MUST Rewrite half the server in Go lang by 6PM tomorrow. And then Erlang”, just for the sake of keeping me busy or keeping me interested in the job with some new tech as a bait, a good use of my time.
2) Lack of interest: Probably, You might already be thinking: If Your company didn’t give you enough work, You should have taken an initiative and come up with a proper technical roadmap. Yes, It is a small company: I could have done something about this myself. But, The fact that I haven’t done much about it (except for a few suggestions and trashed ideas) itself says it all. I am no longer motivated to work on the problem (of shoving random ads in some random user’s face) – no matter how much there is to learn in this field. At this point, I can honestly say that the product I am working on isn’t useful to me or most of the people who are using the product. I am sick of the fact that I personally have to disable my ad block extension while testing my code. I am sick of the fact that I work on a product that mostly feels like spam to me and generates its revenue from accidental user clicks. (Yes, I honestly believe Mobile advertising is done horribly wrong – more on that and a possible solution/open question on some other blog post later on – if possible). So I really want to work on a product that I can brag about how useful and beautiful it is. And yes I think I enjoy more challenging tasks (I really can’t define what they are) than tasks like “Rename this parameter to that and test it for an hour”. I don’t care if a project I am working on is open source or closed source, as long as it is good and useful. I do want to work on/explore cool tech. But at the same time It is important for me to work on meaningful/useful problems. (Once again, I really don’t have any definitions out here)
3) I am tired and I feel burnt out: Yes I need a break. I feel stupid for burning myself out on such stupid and silly tasks, while coding for less less than 3 hours a day. May be I am expecting too much from myself, or maybe this was bound to happen to anyone in my position and schedule. So I might as well take a break. But at this point of time, I really can’t afford one. And even after the time off, I really don’t want to get back to the same mundane tasks again.
So yes, The first thing you might notice is a 5$ price tag for an Open Source software, freely downloadable from github. And probably the proprietary License too. Before you get alarmed, let me assure you, everything about VSXu still remains the same.
Firstly, We are only experimenting to see if people would actually pay for such a fine piece of software like VSXu. As this is just an experiment, and since we want to appreciate and thank the users who have actually paid for VSXu, we have enclosed a couple of extra visuals in this release, which are not part of the existing VSXu releases. Apart from that, i assure you everything else is the same as what you get in github.
P.P.S Also a Youtube channel with some beginner demos and documentation is on it’s way.
Sooo…….. when i joined Chitika…. i had no experience in writing production code in an interpreted language…. And so whenever I had to make a commit, it was a nightmare to deploy it without testing it properly…
So we immediately had to switch to test driven development model…
And the one thing i really missed after the switch was a nice “compilation step” ….. SO , here is my attempt to fix that.