Tuesday, February 25, 2014

NetApp & the storage industry 101

Wolfram Language - Knowledge Based Programming

Wondering what is a knowledge based programming, well event I don't know! Watch the video to know more about it :) It looks like it is waaay more powerful than MatLab!

Head out to the language sneak preview for more details!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Amazon AWS Cloud Kata

  I was totally blown off by the AWS event this weekend. So thought of sharing the amazing experience I had at the event.

  The event was filled with energy, enthusiasm and loads of great ideas. I can only portray only a small fraction of it in words. You've got to be there, to experience it!

  The event started with a trivia by Santanu Dutt, Solutions Architect @ Amazon, which was mostly about AWS offerings. It was an icebreaker for most. But since I am new to AWS ecosystem, it was like a quick intro to the suite of products and services Amazon is offering as part of AWS!

  Santanu continued to discuss about the typical scenario and various phases of an ideal startup going from an Idea to Profitability. And about how the Amazon AWS suite of products could help you get there with less chaos and minimal capital investment. He clearly categorized the startup journey into Idea - MVP (Minimum Viable Product) - Scale - Profitability. He talked about the preferred AWS architecture for the startups that is ideal for most startups going from an Idea to an MVP. He walked us through the first 3 months of a typical startup journey. After a quick Q&A which was always the most interesting part of any discussion, he gave way to Veer Bahadur, VP, SportsKeeda(sportskeeda.com). Veer told us about their journey of how they got from an Idea to MVP using the AWS suite and continue to use it. He also talked about the architecture and the thought process for their choice of architecture. After his talk, there were a lot of questions thrown at him about the cost, architecture etcetera.

  Moving on, Sandeep Cashyap, Business Development @ Amazon took the stage and talked about how to scale with Amazon AWS. He walked us through 3 different architectures for 3 different scales. It was a total technical deep dive on building applications at scale and how to leverage on the auto-scale feature of Amazon in a cost effective way! Followed by this was a rather exciting talk by Harikrishnan K, Cofounder and CTO, HackerRank (formerly Interviewstreet). Hari talked about how he and his friend Vivek came up with hackerrank one of the fastest growing companies in India. He also took us through the various challenges he had faced early on in the company by making some bad choices in terms of cloud, architecture and design. And how they overcome those problems. You should take a look into it's website! It’s pretty interesting and might be useful for all the geeks. I came across this interesting video of hackerrank @ techcrunch. The video is insightful. What I noticed from the video is they have built a great product and have a lot of addictive traffic coming their way. But what they lack is a good business model, which I think most of the young Indian tech entrepreneurs lack at the moment. It is critical to have a great business model around a great product to make it to the top!

  Lunch was a great treat from Adigaas. We had a couple of Indian entrepreneurs vending free Dosa’s for Lunch. It’s not the free part that was interesting here, but that the dosa’s were printed out of a machine! Also got a chance to network with some of the startup founders. It is always interesting to meet such people because they have gotten their hands dirty with various challenges that we do not face on a daily basis

  After a delicious lunch, we had Santanu came back on stage and talked all about pricing and how to reduce costs using Amazon suite. Followed by it was a talk from Narayan Babu, Cofounder and CEO, Dextera. Dextera is a company which does machine learning on your cell phone data. It provides a lot of insights in your data just the way "Google NOW" works but a tad different. He talked about how we should re-use the code and not reinvent the wheel if it's already available. He talked a lot about performance testing and how it will help to scale the application. He mentioned a note or two about why stateless is better than stateful for a cloud application.

  Sandeep took to stage on building business solutions at scale and to outperform! Following this was an awesome session by Vijay Rayapati, CEO, Minjar Cloud Solutions Pvt Ltd. Minjar is a company which partners with Amazon for consulting and building applications on the cloud for you. Vijay talked about the do's and Don’ts about cloud AWS. He also gave a lot of tips on how to look at an engineer a software application and not to over engineer. He also talked about how building solutions for cloud make you a better engineer, just because it forces you to decouple the layers well enough.

  The last and the most exhilarating part of the event was the panel discussion with the VC's. We had Gaurav Arora, Venture Capital and Startups, ASSPL hosting the discussion. With Anand Daniel, Principal, Accel Partners. Gautam Mago, Principal, Sequoia Capital. Parag Dhol, Managing Director, Inventus Capital Partners. Sudhir Sethi, Managing Director, IDG Ventures. It was an awesome round of discussion with the VC's talking about the startup scene in India. What are the areas we can see innovation happening. What to expect in the next 5yrs. Finally the panel was open for Q&A. We had a lot of interesting questions from the current and future entrepreneurs of India.

  We had an AWS coding challenge in parallel with the VC connect corner. I chose to go to the VC connect where I got a chance to see how and why elevator pitch is important in gaining the attention of a VC, i.e. if you need one to invest in your company! Also got to understand how VCs work.

  All in all, it was a great event!! The one which I would have repented if I had not been there.

Thursday, February 13, 2014