Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bura na mano Holi hai......

You know what, I got to play holi in US. It was really a fun.
I got to know from one of my friend on 21st that Holi celebration will be held at Hindu Sunnyvale temple and I was like so happy.
Here is a snap after playing holi.

There were so many Indians around who had also come to play holi. There were many americans and chinese also. It was really fun to dance on Rang Barse sung by Amitabh Bacchan in movie Silsiley.

There was also bhang being served but I was unlucky to reach late and it was over. :-(
There was also lunch program after playing holi but as my hands were not good I choose to go home and then eat something instead of having lunch there.

It took about an hour for me to get well after playing with colors but it was worth after having so much of the fun dancing with colors.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

BarCamp in Silicon Vally

I am in US since last three weeks but BarCamp fever is still on.
I got to know about BarCamp which will be on the coming Saturday (15th March) at Yahoo, Mountain View.

Its a Product Management Unconference as Organizers quote it. There will be talks on Agile Product Management, Extreme Usability, Marketing the product and so many such interesting technical and non technical stuff. Ohhhh God. It will be great time to attend this and this is the kind of BarCamp we have been dreaming for even in Pune. Hope attending this BarCamp will give me some experience which will help me to make Pune BarCamps better.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My first visit to US

The first line in most of my blogs would be, I am here after a long tim. I should stop writing that from now I guess because that should be by default understood by now. :-)

This was the first time I was traveling international. I was supposed to leave from Pune 1t 3.00 PM. But as always I am always late and that too when I have to reach to Bombay, It always is the case. My sister had to come to Pune and my one more friend was supposed to travel with us to Mumbai. My parents had directly come to Mumbai to see me off. We started at 3.30 and we were at the first food plaza on Pune-Mumbai express way at 6.30. Our cab was not in a good condition and stopped three times in between Pune to the food plaza.

Then we decided to change the car. I called one of my friend. He sent a Tavera car for us. That left us to Mumbai airport at 10.30 which because there was so much traffic on the way. When you are in Mumbai, You don't have to say there was traffic. It is by default understood.

Then I introduced my friend Sarika and her brother to my parents and uncle. It was the time for me to get into the airport. I said "Bye Bye" to my parents and to all who had to come to see me off at the airport.

Initially I was confused as to where should I go which I think happens with all the first timers. It was over all a good experience in the flight and on the way to the Sunnyvale. I had a stop over of 3 hrs at the New York airport.

Weel my experience of US is, There are lots of cultural differences. Its difficult to digest many of the differences but you have to bare with them At the same time there are so many good changes that you will find here that you won't loke to go back to India after some time. I am on a mid way. I don't want to go back to India which means I am out of cultural shock at the same time I don't want to stay here for too long a period.

Will keep you updated about my different experiences in US. Stay tuned.


Monday, December 31, 2007

BarCamp with a difference

Its a very well known fact, more you grow or more you perform, expectations also grow. This is not only true for a living entity, its also true for an events like BarCamp or any other for that matter.

This is the fourth BarCamp we are heading towards in pune. And same above theory applies to this. People expect much more from a BarCamp and we have been brain storming from quite a bit of time to make this BarCamp "A BarCamp with a difference". We are still in the process of defining "differences" though.

The first question we had while we were discussing was "What makes a BarCamp successful?"
Is it more number of people attending it or Is it quality of speakers or Is it better food, better tshirts, better stationary or Is it coverage by media and question list just goes on and on.

After a long discussion we made a list of few crucial points to make a BarCamp successful.
  1. Getting good quality talks (Does BarCamp concept allow us to lay down such criteria? I think NO but we will try our best going beyond conventions)
  2. Getting interested people attending the event (No offenses meant, but it has been observed that after lunch many people disappear. Can we say they had come for tshirt and lunch? Hmmmm may be, but quality of few initial talks can also be the reason.)
  3. Media (Does media really play a role there? Well, I don't think so, but if they come, attendees may feel good if they are shot or interviewed and that may become "The factor" for the success of a BarCamp. But are BarCamp organized to make people feel good???)
  4. Plenty of take aways (Well, I don't think that really matters for the success of a BarCamp)
  5. Plenty of discussions and open space for networking (Ya it does matter. Finally that what people come to BarCamp for. I remember few people creeping at last BarCamp; there is no enough space for networking or to hang around but believe me that was intentional. We wanted more and more people to attend the sessions.)
All of the above play some (Though it may be very small) role in making a BarCamp successful.
Well we are working towards all of them. Here are few things that we have thought of.
  1. We went to the venue and believe me there is plenty of space for networking.
  2. We are planning to organize a workshop which will be full of practicals and coding unlike sessions where knowledge is shared and discussed.
  3. There will be plenty of discussions going on and we will make sure that all the infrastructure is provided to the discussions.
  4. Wifi is available at the venue and there won't be any problem of wifi as well.
  5. We have asked speakers to give brief description of their talks on wiki. We may filter out few talks. We will also make sure that diversity of topics will be there. And most important not more that one talk from one person. And not more than three talks from one company be it a sponsor or not
  6. There will also be media persons covering the event.
  7. We can't really do anything about quality of attendees. We can do extensive marketing to make sure that we reach to all enthusiastic and interested people but that will also attract few tshirt interested ones. Again no offenses meant.
We need all of yours support to achieve this and actually making this BarCamp "A BarCamp with a difference".


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Disaster management at my office

It was 21st December 11.00 AM and fire alarm goes on at my work place. All the colleagues stood on their feet and were looking at each other to find out what has actually happened. Finally one of us realized that its a fire alarm and the whole 7 floor building needs to be evacuated.

What I could see around were faces with shock and carrying questions "What should we do now?".
There starts disaster management plan. Fire quadrant on my floor asked everybody to get out of the work halls and stand near the stairs but not to start getting down. I could see few youngsters running fast to the ground floor through stairs to make sure that there is no hurdle in the way down to the ground floor. There were few youngsters running around on the floor and making sure that no one is left out, checking in all the conference rooms and discussion rooms, Helping paralyzed and pregnant women to get out of the work halls.

Have you ever been into such a situation? Please never wish to be in. Its not at all fun.

Then we were asked to start walking down to the ground floor to the rescue area in a queue. There were so much panic that even before the fire quadrant completed that instruction, people started running down to the rescue area.

Then there was a head count to make sure that all the people have been evacuated. And here I can see smile on a face of fire quadrant "All have been evacuated safely without any damage".

Here comes the announcement which made everybody smiling and taking breath of relief. It was fire drill. Big big claps for fire quadrants who did fantastic job by evacuating the whole 7 floors of building in less than 7 minutes.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sponsoring at BarCamp Pune4

In my previous post I described circumstances in which I had started of planning for next Pune BarCamp. On the very next of ClubHack We announced BarCamp Pune to a small group of proplr. First I sent a mail to ThoughtWorks to sponsor. And as I expected they are ready to sponsor not only venue but lunch and tshirts as well. Rohit The man behind ClubHack is sponsoring posters under the banner of ClubHack.

Many Many Thanks to ThoughtWorks and ClubHack.

We are still looking for sponsors for other logistics like pens, pads. You can get in touch with me (09850975679) or drop a mail to to sponsor at BarCamp Pune.


Monday, December 17, 2007


Hey Its time for one more BarCamp in Pune.

BarCamp Pune happens twice in a year. One in June-July and the other in November-December.

This time there was CLUBHACK event happening in December so BarCamp is delayed by two months or so.

When I was attending Clubhack, I met many BarCamp people and all had same question, When is next BarCamp. :-)

So here it is. It will be on 16th February. I was planning in January only, But Tarun is planning for BlogCamp in Mumbai in January.

Wiki is up and registrations have started.

So what are you waiting for. Do register yourself.