Monday, March 28, 2011

Microsoft Tech.ed India 2011,Bangalore

I was  in Bangalore City, to attend Microsoft's Tech.ed conference. It was a  unique opportunity to meet and mingle among my fellow MVP's.Each of them who are community leaders across various domains and who specialize in their own areas of expertise.From the first day to the last, I got to meet some exceptional people at the venue.While I was unknown initially due to my recent nomination,I made some acquaintance with  the other MVP's at the "Meet you MVP session".

The Tech.ed took place at the Lalit Ashok hotel,not from where I was living. The heavy and un -predictable traffic of Bangalore meant that I had to start at least an hour before to reach the venue on time.With lots of expectations and a bit of anxiety, I made it to the venue.It was nice to attend the conference without any registration fees, Kudos to my MVP team lead Abhishek Kanth for lobbying on our behalf! First thing, I met my friend Pranav at the hotel.Pranav is an active member of the Microsoft User Group Hyderabad.

[caption id="attachment_972" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="At the Tech.ed Expo"][/caption]

While there were plenty of tracks and sessions taking place for IT pros and Developers,I wanted to concentrate on the MVP sessions and round tables which were to take place through out those three days.I spent some time in attending some sessions on HTML5,Sql server, and Windows Azure.

Highlights of the Event :

On the first day, we had the "Meet your MVP" session. An opportunity to know and interact with all the attending MVP's and User Group Leads.I was quite surprised to find a couple of them from Hyderabad! They all had the same feeling too.We never knew there were 8 to 9 MVP's from the city.In all 35 MVP's and a couple of User group leads and Community members attended the session. Our team Lead Abhishek Kanth explained the agenda behind the meet and gave us a broader outline of what was in store in the coming days

[caption id="attachment_974" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Abhishek Kanth explaining the agenda"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_978" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="At the "Meet the MVP" session"][/caption]

I figured out that most of them were from either ASP or Sql based backgrounds.I guess I will find more of them from my category at the MVP open day.We introduced ourselves,explained how it all started and shared a bit about the online  communities,blogs and forums which we regularly participate in.Having settled down at the venue it was time to set out and attend some sessions/tracks on .NET since consider my self a noob in that  domain.I also tried out some cool stuff for the first time,like the Microsoft Kinect Gaming Controller and The Microsoft Surface

[caption id="attachment_976" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Trying out the Kinect Device"][/caption]

As an MVP  I had a unique opportunity to interact with some folks from Microsoft who are behind some of its emerging technologies like Windows Azure,IE9 and the Common Language Run time in Visual Studio.We met Bharat Shah(General Manager, Developer Experience ) ,Jason Zander(Corporate Vice President ,Visual Studio)  and Brian Hall (General Manager for IE9 and Windows Live) and Yousef Khalidi(Distinguished Engineer,Windows Azure)

[caption id="attachment_977" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Round table meet with Yousef Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer Windows Azure"][/caption]

There was some great  food and  and the ending of the tech.ed had a surprise in store for us.Cricketing legend Anil Kumble  took the stage and answered a couple of questions about the lessons he learnt in his life and shared some wisdom for us to grasp.Over all the attending the event was worth it and I am really looking forward to the MVP Open day at the India Development Center in Hyderabad in sometime around May.

[caption id="attachment_979" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Cricket Legend Anil Kumble at the Tech.ed"][/caption]

I  am leaving this place today with many good memories.I may come back in the future to this garden city.But till then Adios Bangalore!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's summer time again....

February has come and gone and I can already feel the surge in temperature.This year's winter had record setting temperature of 6 Celsius in Hyderabad,certainly not common.While waking up in the early morning to rush to the office by 7.30 was a big deal in Winter,the present situation has changed all that.

Apart from the office hours where I am spared from the rising heat, it's mostly sultry.Earlier when I used to have my week offs from Tuesday to Thursday I had the habit of  taking the 7.40 train in the morning to get back home.Sunrise comes early now and so does the heat.By the time I reach my home I am either exhausted due to the weather or  would probably just go and take a short nap.All this due to the excess usage of body fluids in the form of sweat.

This transition of seasons also brings in minor body pains and running fever.While this would be quite natural in a tropical climate like India, my sinuosities problem adds more fuel to the issue.It was  on monday when I suddenly started shivering in the afternoon while at the office.An AC vent right above me must have been the reason I thought. But it was the symptom of the impending  fever and cold which I had to face and am still suffering from.Suffering from cold in the winter would be common to any one, but this type of flu in the summer season is a  nightmare. It will not leave  your nasal cavity so soon and you must be  patient  for it to go off completely.I am waiting for when that will happen!

My mother always used to warn me about the onset of this summer flu,I would not listen to her.Now I know how it affects me.The installation of a new Air conditioning unit in the home is a relief,but I wonder if it can really handle the extreme temperatures during mid May  when the afternoons burn at 48 to 49 C.Having said that,summer is the only time when people would relish  all things fluid. There is  the road side sugar cane juice, Lemon juice,plenty of Ice creams and not to mention, taking a late night shower to sooth the body

I am now taking the first train out of Hyderabad at 5.30 in the morning to avoid the side effects of the heat. While I come home I have noticed that my pam which used to be very active all the time is a bit dull and shows no interest while I am at the gate. Perhaps she too is feeling the pinch.The green paddy fields which used to flash by during my train journeys   during the monsoon and the winter are no longer there... the country side seems to be lull ,and all I can see is a Mirage covering large areas of the land.... While we can protect over selves from  Mother nature to a certain extent, at some point of time we have to take a beating from the heat....There is no real escape.... But there are preventions

Drink loads of water, have salted  buttermilk and lemon juice at frequent intervals and small pieces of onion in the pockets  to keep sun strokes at bay,eat icecreams and enjoy the season because it's summer time again!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

After all,what are friends for ?

Seven months ago when I joined the Geo Content Ops in Hyderabad, I never imagined that friendship would be invaluable even in  our professional life.We see and read about the value and importance of friendship,At times  I've experienced  a  kind of emotional bonding which is in friendship,can't express it in words but I am sure we all have gone through it at some or other point in our life. While we generally have loads of friends from our elementary and high school days, As time progresses I've noticed very few of them have the zeal to stay in touch,hopefully Facebook and Orkut are changing all that.

I wish to share some   instances here, may be because my Karma was  good during that time.

It was during  the  first day in my  Bachelors and I was at the office paying my tuition fees, I saw a lanky person beside  me,he was a bit shy and was probably looking around to find the right class,I told his elder brother who had come along with him that as we both were from the same section, I will tag him along with me.Not a day has passed since that time when I always thought how lucky I was to get such a good friend in the form of Rajkumar.I say this because his acquaintance on the first day was  a blessing in disguise. My last 2 years at the  high school  were a mess and I never thought I could be back on the track in my academics.Luckily my friendship with Rajkumar changed all that!. The 4 years I studied with him,    I  became more Industrious.No one would believe that I had so much variance in my GPA between my high school and bachelors.Coming from a humble background he  proved that Diligence and Zeal  for education would take any person to great echelons.

Fast forward, I was finishing my bachelors and was wondering what to do next.Since recession was in full swing.And then I got an opportunity which some of my friends  were really envious of ;) To Intern the Global Marketing Hub of Ogilvy and Lenovo.I was second time lucky since a senior member of the forum gladly accepted my request and helped me to obtain that Internship.That was the first step of my professional life and also a very good learning opportunity.That some one would help me without even knowing me in person was truly another blessing.The short stint at Ogilvy made me more bold in nature. My parents were amused to see me change as a person from then on.

While I got into a regular full-time Job at Geo Content Ops,Life was seeming to settle down,but as it turned out I realised it is not  a bed of roses.I was in a  tight spot and was emotionally depressed for a month.It is here that I found not one but many  souls who have being helping me and mentoring me a lot.Their timely  and swift response towards me is something which I really appreciate.Fourth time lucky I must say since I found another good soul,Hemanth.He along with some  extra ordinary people have been my guides to achieve the required target. It feels disturbing to my mind when I think of leaving the place with so many admirable persons around me if I had to.

Thank you Rajkumar for being my first time lucky friend, had I not met you after screwing two years of my life, goodness knows where I would have been today!. Thank you Mark for providing the Internship opportunity at Ogilvy-Lenovo,that short stint has changed me as a person and made me to realise that I have some really good  potential .  And finally thank you Hemanth,Gaddemedi,Madhuri and Jonnada from Geo Content Ops, you guys exceptional!

One should never totally believe in Karma,but if things were to go in the wrong way for you,believe in your self.Some events in my life were not pre planned but then almighty must have made sure that I get to experience these points.In the end your self belief will help you get along things in life, and having good friends is  like a gift from  Almighty im my opinion. As the saying goes

"When true friends meet in adverse hour;
'Tis like a sunbeam through a
A watery way an instant seen,
The darkly closing clouds between"