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Showing posts from 2013

Golconda Fort - Hyderabad

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Pictures of the fort Panoramic pictures of Hyderabad city from atop the hill on Golconda Fort.

Blog on dental hospitals

Mona has worked with dental hospitals over the past 3 years helping them with their social media strategy and IT related strategic plans. You can read more about her experiences in her blog on dental hospitals . Given below is an extract of an article she has written about dental hospitals There are more than 1500+ dental hospitals in Hyderabad. Consultations cost anywhere between Rs. 100/- to Rs. 300/-. It is a business that functions a lot on word of mouth and references. However, if you are someone like me who came to Hyderabad and don't have anyone to point you in the right direction, then this is the dental review blog for you.If you call up JustDial, they will redirect you to the one that is paying them the most and who is in your area, ofcourse. However, for me, teeth are personal and sensitive and after horrible experiences, i decided to come up with this blog - To share information on good dental hospitals and in my own way give back to society.  If you refer to

Landing a programming job

It is getting harder for freshers to break into the software industry and land a good job especially if you are from a tier 2 or 3 colleges. So what can you do. The answer to this is very simple – the industry is looking for people who can do a task that is given to them – when you join the industry the key is to be able to “write code” as that is what you will be hired as a fresher to do. Let us say you go for a training you should ask yourself at the end of it – can I write code and if the answer is NO – then you will find it extremely hard to get a job in the software industry. The key is to get a computer and get comfortable with it. The more you work on the computer the more comfortable you will get at it. So go for the training and come back to your PC and you need to work hard at it writing programs – what programs? – You may ask and the answer is simple – any program that will teach you the concept that you learnt. You can find these programs to code at these locations

Who best fits the QA Role ?

For those of you who are not too familiar with these terms I would advise you to read my first article - Quality Assurance Vs Quality Control where I have spoken about my understanding of the two terms and it kind of leads into this article. I have been asked this a few times by professionals who do QC (essentially testers although testing != QC) - "How do I move into a QA role?" and I have also read in a few websites and newsgroups for QA and QC where one looks at moving from a QC role to a QA role like a natural progression in ones careers. Since I have played the QA role I would first talk about some of the things that helped me perform this role. Since the QA role expects the person to have a holistic view of the process of software development it is important to have a bit of experience in all the facets of software development right from requirements to design to development to deployment. Its only when one understands all of these elements in software developmen

Advertising as primary revenue stream in startups

Over the last few months I have seen a lot of business ideas that base their revenue generation through advertising. In my experience this is a very dangerous strategy for a startup. Let me narrate my experience about implementing this strategy on a website that Inforica had developed called mindqjobs.com . We launched this website in the last week of december 2012 with much fanfare with the assumption that we will get the traffic to monetize through advertising. The assumption was made on the fact that the website was to be used by the students of a software training institute Mindq Systems  which number in the 1000s every month. We started off by putting Adsense and the pennies started to flow in almost immediately. Thats right, all we got were pennies which added up to a few dollars every day, an amount barely enough to pay for hosting the site on a shared server. One of the reasons is because the traffic was from India and not the west, so you end up making very little in terms

10 guidelines to be a valued associate

Its appraisal time and everyone wants to be the most valued associate. But how do you become the most valued associate - here are my thoughts Creating a belief that you can meet your commitments. Given a task you will do what ever it takes to complete it in the allocated time. Take pains to ensure that the task is done with minimum defects or issues. This can be achieved by multiple practice runs or by a lot of testing. There is an eye for detail to ensure that simple things are not overlooked and there is no compromise made on quality. Shortcomings of delivering the application are noted and brought to the attention of the superior as soon as they are identified so appropriate action can be taken. Do not wait to be asked for status to bring this up.  Having the knowledge to deliver and train others so that you gain respect within the community. Should have the passion to learn new things and apply them in ones work. Documenting what is being done so that anyone else can take o

Startup events in Hyderabad

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Was reading this small write up in the times paper about the NASSCOM initiative to create 10000 startups and over the last one month I have been part of 3 startup events in Hyderabad focused primarily towards students and encouraging them to take the entrepreneurial plunge rather than take up a campus recruitment offer. Startup Weekend University Startup Weekend University is similar to a regular startup weekend event except that the combination of students to experienced professionals is 70% students and 30% professionals. We had about 75 participants and the event was held at the beautiful BITS Pilani, Hyderabad campus over 3 days with many students staying on the campus. The students were primarily from BITS, IIT, IIIT and Vignan University, Guntur with a few students from other colleges in the city.  The event was a highly successful event in showcasing that students can build products over the weekend that have a business side to them. There were 13 startups formed over

Staying the course

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Life can be challenging for an entrepreneur. The inherent risks of running the venture are high and thus each day presents their own challenges. The risks are there as the number of people that can do a job is limited, the money available on hand is limited, the number of customers you have is limited and vendors do not give you attention as you are small. Any one of these can change every day and you will notice that you have ups and downs in quick succession - just like you are going on a roller coaster. This can play with the mind of the entrepreneur in a very significant way. The important thing is to keep evaluating your position with respect to your employees, customers, suppliers and money flow as often as possible and take actions accordingly. There are days when it would seem impossible to manage all of this and you feel like throwing in the towel wondering if it is all worth it. It is at this time you have to go back to your vision and believe completely in your vision a

Passport Renewal Application

Its been 5 years since I have applied for my daughters passport and I wrote a series of articles at that point of time on the process Daughter's passport : Getting the application form Daughter's Passport : Documents Daughter's Passport : Submitting the form The process now has changed significantly and so much for the better. I got the passport in about a week after applying for a tatkal passport. Let me go over the steps here. Please note a few things with respect to my application  It was for a minor. It was a renewal of a passport that expired less than 3 years ago. There was no address change. The address on the expired passport and the new passport is the same. Step 1 : Create a login Create an account on https://portal2.passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/user/userLogin . Give a valid email id as you will need to validate the email id after registration. Step 2 : Apply for Fresh Passport / Reissue of Passport Once you login, click on the link tha

Technology Entrepreneurship Certificate

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This is the certificate I got for successfully completing the Technology Entrepreneurship course on Venture Lab. The courses here are really good and I would advise all those that can do these courses to take them up.

10 Reasons to join mindqjobs.com

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Inforica in collaboration with Mindq Systems launced http://www.mindqjobs.com . Mindqjobs.com is a website that is going to cater to the needs of the student community. Here are 10 reasons why every graduating student that is preparing for a job or for higher studies has to join Mindqjobs.com . Browse the job board for up to date job information that is curated and posted.  Create a professional looking profile by using the Resume Builder. Once your profile is ready share it as a standalone URL to everyone and then track who has viewed the profile. Use the online material to prepare in various topics such as Quantitative, Logical, Programming languages and so on. Take tests in different topics and see how prepared you are in terms of speed of answering questions and also accuracy.  Connect with others through the discussion board and discuss common topics. Find solutions to common programming problems in different programming languages. Many technical interviews involve ans

The Entrepreneur mindset

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Just read this very insightful quote by Oliver Emberton, Founder of Silktide - Most people spend their money to get the most utility - fun, food, whatever. Entrepreneurs spend their money to make the most money. This picture is worth a million words. As a consumer we spend money on things for personal gratification - things that give us pleasure, satisfaction, meeting a need, motivation, enlightenment, satiate our ego or whatever else that makes us feel better. They do not help us make more money unless the money is spent on buying an asset of value. An an entrepreneur one needs to spend money on creating assets that will help create more money. This goes back to an earlier post that I wrote on Building your brands and assets . It is these brands and assets that you can monetize and generate more money.  As an entrepreneur it is very important to think this way. Its important to take stock of the assets you have and evaluate if these assets are being monetized properly and at the

Whats a good idea to startup with?

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How do you select a good idea that can make money and the picture above illustrates very nicely what such an idea can be. Ideas are plenty and if you put your mind to it you will come up with so many ideas that it becomes overwhelming after a bit. But which of these ideas can be converted into a company that can make money? We all end up doing what we do well and what we can be paid to do - because that is the easiest thing to do. We know how to do the work and we get paid for it so the rewards are instantaneous. But can we do this day in and day out for the rest of our lives - the answer is no because its not what we want to do. The passion will be lacking. When there is no passion there is no yearning to be the best or to give quality or to go to all lengths to ensure that the customer is delighted. When this does not happen you will start to lose customers and the business will not sustain. It is important to focus on ideas that you want to work on and are excited to work on a

Hotel Review : The Claridges, Surajkund

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Back in July, I got to spend a couple of nights in The Claridges, Surajkund. The hotel itself is very nice and spacious and is located about 25 km from the airport. As you enter the hotel the lobby and the reception is very spacious and inviting. The room The room is very spacious and airy. All the amenities that one expects in a 5 star hotel are present. We did not get much time to spend in the room as it was quite a hectic 2 days filled with meetings and discussions. The swimming pool The swimming pool is really nice. We spent a lot of time in the pool - might explain the lack of time spent in the room :). The swimming pool is next to the spa and it is an elevated pool with nice privacy. The water was warm and just lovely to lounge in for hours together. They do not sell swimming gear at the hotel so make sure you carry it and also they are quite strict with the clothing in the pool. Restaurants and Bars Dhaba - is a north Indian restaurant that has a rustic feel to it. T

Windows 8 : Hibernate Vs Sleep

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By default the Windows 8 operating system does not come with the hibernate option. When you close the lid the computer sleeps by default. This is how I left my system for the first couple of days but what I quickly realized that even though I was doing nothing - my computer was just sleeping and so was I, my battery would be drained by morning. There would be absolutely no charge left by the time I put on the laptop in the morning.  Thankfully Microsoft has not removed the hibernate option in Windows 8 - you just have to search for it under the many menus and you will find it or just follow the steps in this article and you will be there in a minute - http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/how-to-enable-windows-8-hibernate-option/ The option to find the menu to hibernate is quite hidden and a pain to do each time so what I have done is configured the sleep button to hibernate. Now I have no issues with my battery and my laptop does not feel like a heater each time I put it on.

Windows and XBox 360

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Being a person who watches a lot of downloaded content I was trying to figure out a way to stream content directly from my laptop to the TV. Since I have an XBox 360 I wanted to do it through that. In the past I have used Boxee but that meant having another computer connected to the TV. Windows 7 + Windows Media Center + XBox 360 When I had Windows 7 on my laptop I installed Windows Media Center and then connected that to the XBox 360 and streamed movies. The connection was a bit convoluted and painful. And I suffered from the following problems It would not reliably connect every time. Sometimes it connected with no issues sometimes it would just not behave. Its not a router issue as both the XBox and the laptop had wired connections into the same router.  Not all kinds of downloads played. The WMC software would play it on the laptop if the codecs were installed but the same would not play on the TV.  Windows 8 + XBox 360 I then went on to install Windows 8 on my laptop.

Review : Novotel Hyderabad International Airport

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A couple of weeks ago I got to spend a night at the Novotel International Airport Hotel. The hotel is located in shamshabad about 3 km from the International Airport. The hotel is 5 star and there are a lot of facilities available at the hotel to keep one engaged for a day. In this article I will review some of the facilities I did get to use in the airport. The room The room is very ordinary. There are a lot of other 5 star hotels that have rooms that are much more spacious and luxurious. There are two views, the swimming pool view and the airport view but there is not much to view either way so it does not make much of a difference. The room has all the standard accessories and fittings one expects in a 5 star hotel.   We did not get any night service where the bed is prepared to sleep in. Newspapers are only given on request. The television has a few foreign language channels other than the usual cable channels that one gets in India. The Square I had all my meals at the squ